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Introduction

Church personnel in the Archdiocese are expected to promote the dignity of each person and to understand the power they have to do great good and the power to cause harm. We pray for the healing and reconciliation of all those who have been victims of child abuse. We will exclude from ministry, employment, and volunteer service anyone against whom there is a credible allegation of sexual abuse, physical abuse, or neglect of a child. We will affirm efforts to provide appropriate and loving outreach to the children and youth of the Archdiocese of Baltimore.

The Archdiocese of Baltimore wishes to acknowledge the commitment of the clergy, religious, employees, and volunteers to the young people of our Church and the implementation of these policies.

We believe that God's people have the right to healthy ministry and to quality pastoral care.

We believe that at the heart of this ministry is a relationship with God, a desire for holiness, and a commitment to live in right relationship with God's people.

We believe that the protection of those children and youth entrusted to the Church's care is of paramount interest.

We believe that those who work in the Church have grace influenced ability to do great good for children and youth.

We believe that when a representative of the church commits child abuse, emotional, spiritual, physical and/or psychological damage occurs.

We believe that the Church must continue to reach out to those who are victims of child abuse with the very compassion of Christ.

We recognize our responsibility to provide avenues of healing for those who are victims and for their families.

We recognize our responsibility to observe the requirements of civil law regarding prompt reporting of suspected child abuse and to continue cooperating with civil authorities.

We recognize there are instances where the state may not prosecute even though a credible allegation has been made. Regardless of criminal proceedings, when a credible allegation has been made we take appropriate action to promote the safety of children and youth.

We recognize our responsibilities as an employer: Church personnel are entitled to fair treatment under canon and civil law.