“We must make clear that we will not tolerate criminal and evil behavior, regardless of the rank and standing of the accused.” — Archbishop William E. Lori
The Archdiocese of Baltimore complies with Maryland laws requiring reporting suspected child abuse to law enforcement. Under Maryland Law any person who has reason to believe a child has been subjected to abuse must report the suspected abuse to law enforcement, even if the potential victim is now over 18 years old and even in cases where the alleged perpetrator is deceased. To make a report, click here.
If someone associated with the Church, including clergy, employees, or volunteers of the Archdiocese of Baltimore, is suspected of abuse, then the suspected abuse must also be reported to the Archdiocesan Office of Child and Youth at 410-547-5348 or the Victims Assistance Line at 1-866-417-7469.
If you have reason to believe that a bishop has engaged in child sexual abuse or other sexual misconduct*, or has interfered with an investigation into sexual misconduct, please click here. To view a detailed description of the archdiocesan protocols for receiving and investigating a report of abuse by a bishop, click here.
* Under Pope Francis’s Vos estis lux mundi and the Directives of the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops, the following forms of misconduct by bishops should be reported using this dedicated reporting system: 1) forcing someone, by violence or threat or through abuse of authority, to perform or submit to sexual acts; 2) performing sexual acts with a minor or a vulnerable person; 3) the production, exhibition, possession or distribution, including by electronic means, of child pornography, as well as by the recruitment of or inducement of a minor or a vulnerable person to participate in pornographic exhibitions; and 4) actions or omissions intended to interfere with or avoid civil investigations or canonical investigations, whether administrative or penal, against a cleric or a religious regarding the misconduct referred to in 1-3 above.
The Archdiocese of Baltimore is committed to ethical behavior and accountability. To make a report regarding violations of ethical behavior, visit the secure EthicsPoint site here.
Categories for reporting include: accounting/financial; confidentiality; fraud/theft; gifts/donations; harassment/inappropriate behavior; misuse of resources; workplace safety; child and youth protection and school safety.
The Independent Review Board, made up mostly of lay people and headed by Judge Joseph F. Murphy, is an interfaith group including representatives from the legal community and law enforcement, health care, academia and social work.
Board members review individual allegations of abuse and help shape archdiocesan child protection policies.
“They make sure that we actually live up to our policies … to make sure that we are living up to the promises of our policy and of the charter,” said Jerri Burkhardt, director of the Office of Child and Youth Protection for the archdiocese.
Retired judge of Maryland Court of Appeals, former Chief Judge of Maryland Court of Special Appeals and former Deputy State’s Attorney for Baltimore City
Former police commissioner of Baltimore City
Vice president, The Reginald F. Lewis Foundation, Inc.
Managing director, Beowulf Energy
Pastor of St. Mary-St. Francis-Holy Family Catholic Community, Frederick County
Headmistress, Notre Dame Preparatory School, Towson
Chancellor of the University System of Maryland
Anti-human trafficking and exploitation program manager, Baltimore Child Abuse Center
Retired Associate Judge of the Maryland Court of Special Appeals
Archbishop William E. Lori was a guest on WYPR’S “Midday” program, discussing the meeting of U.S. Catholic bishops in Baltimore and the Catholic Church’s response to the sexual abuse crisis. Click play on the accompanying video link.