The USCCB has established a third party reporting system to receive allegations of sexual abuse and related misconduct by bishops of the United States. Catholic Bishop Abuse Reporting Service (“CBAR”) is operated by Convercent, Inc., an independent third party which supports organizations worldwide by providing a secure portal for the receipt of complaints related to ethics, compliance and other sensitive matters. Anyone wishing to make a complaint against a bishop of sexual abuse or other related misconduct as set forth below may make such a report at ReportBishopAbuse.org or by calling toll-free 1-800-276-1562.
CBAR is an additional measure instituted by the USCCB to safeguard minors and other vulnerable persons in response to Pope Francis’ Apostolic Letter “Vos Estis Lux Mundi”. In that document the Holy Father called on metropolitan archbishops worldwide to investigate reports of sexual misconduct involving bishops. Archbishop Robert J. Carlson is the metropolitan responsible for investigating allegations made against any present or past bishop of the four Missouri dioceses. Bishop James V. Johnston of the Diocese of Kansas City-St. Joseph, as Senior Suffragan, would be responsible for investigation of any such complaints made against the metropolitan. Specifically, any allegation against a Missouri bishop of the following types of sexual abuse will be investigated:
- Forcing someone, by violence, threat or through abuse of authority, to perform or submit to sexual acts;
- Performing sexual acts with a minor or a vulnerable person;
- Production, exhibition, possession, distribution or recruitment of minor or vulnerable subjects, including by electronic means, of pornography of children or other vulnerable persons;
- Any intentional interference by a diocesan or eparchial bishop in a civil or church investigation of a cleric or religious for any of the above types of sexual misconduct.
CBAR does not replace existing reporting protocols for allegations against diocesan priests, deacons, religious or lay employees of the Church which have been in place since 2002. Complaints against such clerics and personnel should continue to be made both to law enforcement and the Archdiocese of St. Louis’ Office of Child and Youth Protection.
CBAR will promptly report the receipt of any of the above complaints to the metropolitan archbishop, who for Missouri is Archbishop Carlson, as well as to civil authorities who may begin an investigation of their own. Archbishop Carlson must inform the Congregation at the Vatican responsible for investigating such complaints. The Vatican then will authorize the metropolitan, Archbishop Carlson, to begin an investigation. Archbishop Carlson has authorized the use of qualified independent forensic investigators, who are not employees of the Church, to conduct prompt, fair investigations, the results of which will be forwarded by Archbishop Carlson to the Holy See for review and potential discipline in accordance with Church law.
Archbishop Carlson and all bishops of Missouri dioceses are committed to the pursuit of justice and respect for all persons who make or are the subjects of the above complaints. The institution of this third party reporting system adds a layer of independence and diligence to the Catholic Church’s efforts including the 2002 Charter for the Protection of Children and Youth to eradicate sexual abuse of minors and other vulnerable persons by members of the clergy or other church personnel.
Archbishop Carlson has previously expressed support of the implementation of the national third-party hotline and reporting policy for abuse by bishops, and he continues to reiterate the utmost importance of the protection of youth.
USCCB Directives for the Implementation of Vos estis lux mundi
MEDIA RELEASE - The Archdiocese of St. Louis Outlines Bishop Reporting Policy
For more information on the reporting service, please click the link below:
For more information on what the Archdiocese of St. Louis has done and continues to do for the protection of children and vulnerable adults, please visit our Promise to Protect web presence.
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