Auditors Test Detroit Archdiocese Sex Abuse Compliance

The Associated Press, carried in [Detroit MI]
May 30, 2003

DETROIT (AP) -- Two auditors who are former FBI agents are scheduled to visit the Archdiocese of Detroit on Monday to check on its compliance with national Roman Catholic guidelines on child sexual abuse.

More than 190 dioceses nationally are to be audited through October in an effort to give a public accounting by December of how U.S. Catholic bishops are handling the sex abuse scandal.

"We'll be one of the first," Msgr. Walter Hurley, pastor of Farmington's Our Lady of Sorrows parish and the archdiocese's top official on abuse cases, told the Detroit Free Press.

The auditors will assess the archdiocese's sexual abuse policy to see whether it conforms with guidelines approved in 2002 by America's Catholic bishops.

Cardinal Adam Maida told 400 priests Wednesday about his plan for them to undergo training to spot signs of sexual abuse and to require background checks for employees and volunteers who work extensively with minors, elderly people and people with disabilities.

The child-safety programs were designed to comply with the new guidelines, which also require church officials to report all suspected cases of abuse to law enforcement agencies.

The national policy also bans priests involved in cases of sexual misconduct with minors from wearing priestly garb, identifying themselves as priests or saying mass publicly.

At least 33 Catholic priests in Michigan have been removed, suspended or have left their duties since Jan. 1, 2002, over sexual abuse or misconduct allegations. Some of the cases are under review. At least 20 of the cases involved a minor.


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