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Procedures for Priests, Deacons and Religious

The Responsible Administrator shall apply all the procedures above for screening volunteers and employees to applicants who are priests, deacons, and religious. The procedures of this section are in addition to those previously stated in this document.

It is also the responsibility of the Archdiocesan Director of Clergy Personnel to ensure that all priests, deacons, religious and seminarians have completed the appropriate applications and fingerprinting prior to beginning their assignment.

  1. Criminal/Fingerprint Checks are included in the screening procedures for applicants to the priesthood, permanent diaconate, and pastoral life directors. The Directors of Clergy Personnel (for Priests and Permanent Deacons), Vocations (for Seminarians), and the Director of Ministry Formation and Development (for Pastoral Life Directors) are responsible for obtaining CJIS/Fingerprint Checks during the application and screening phase of recruitment.
  2. All superiors of religious communities proposing names of individual religious for ministry or residence at Covered Entities, as well as those simply requesting parochial faculties in the Archdiocese, are required to state clearly in writing to the Director of Clergy Personnel, that there is no history that would render the individual unsuitable to work with children.

The Archdiocese of Baltimore uses the Suitability for Ministry form developed jointly by the USCCB/CMSM/LCWR for this purpose.

The Director of Child and Youth Protection contacts the Major Superior of each religious institute of Sisters and Brothers annually (August) to facilitate a census update process for institutional information.

The Major Superior is asked to identify members of the institute who are newly assigned to ministry within the Archdiocese.

The Major Superior completes a suitability form for each member newly assigned to the Archdiocese and returns the form to the Director of Child and Youth Protection.

A religious superior must state in writing that he/she has reviewed employment and Criminal History Records of the individual proposed.  The Director of Clergy Personnel will review all background check results.  The response of the Major Superior is filed in the Division of Clergy Personnel.

  1. Prior to contracting with a religious community for the services of an individual religious, a Covered Entity must contact the Director of Clergy Personnel to confirm the individual’s eligibility to serve in the Archdiocese of Baltimore.
  2. Bishops of diocesan priests from other dioceses ministering or residing in Covered Entity, as well as those requesting priestly faculties in the Archdiocese, are required to present the same written assurances and background checks as Major Superiors and their priests are required to adhere to the policies and procedures outlined in this document and the guidelines for transfers outlined in the Essential Norms.
  3. Individuals applying to be a priest, pastoral life director or deacon, and priests seeking incardination in the Archdiocese, are subject to psychological testing in addition to criminal background checks.

The Director of Deacon Formation, the Director of Vocations, and the Director of Ministry Formation and Development arrange for psychological testing for viable candidates for the roles of deacons, seminarians, and pastoral life directors, respectively.  The appropriate Director participates in the interview during which the candidate receives feedback from the psychological testing.  Results of the psychological testing are retained in the appropriate offices as confidential records.

In addition, all applicants shall be required to complete the Archdiocesan Application and complete criminal history record checks from all states where the individuals lived or worked during at least the past ten years; and state in writing that they have no history which would render them unsuitable to work with children.

  1. Prior to engaging an ordained minister from another diocese or a religious community, the Covered Entity must contact the Director of Clergy Personnel to assure the priest/deacon has been granted faculties by the Archbishop of Baltimore to function as a priest/deacon.  The Covered Entity must also assure that the required CJIS/Fingerprint Check has been obtained and the results are acceptable.