The Church’s Pastoral Response to Allegations of Misconduct

Supervisors need to act on allegations of misconduct.

11.1 Supervisors will take all allegations of misconduct seriously and will immediately and thoroughly investigate all concerns. Investigations will be conducted with the guidance of the appropriate Archdiocesan official and will follow all Archdiocesan procedures and applicable Church and State law.
11.2 The Supervisor will respond immediately and effectively to deal with any accusation of misconduct brought against church personnel. The obligation to investigate an allegation is in no way a judgment of the person being accused. It is always important for all members of the Church to be sensitive to the needs and feelings of those who allege misconduct as well as of those accused.
11.3 Under Maryland law any person who has reason to believe a child has been subjected to abuse must report the suspected abuse to civil authorities, even if the potential victim is now over 18 years old and even in cases where the alleged perpetrator is deceased. If someone associated with the Church, including clergy, employees, or volunteers in the Archdiocese of Baltimore, is suspected of abuse, then the suspected abuse must also be reported to the Archdiocese’s Office of Child and Youth Protection.
Church personnel who observe inappropriate contact or interaction with minors must report it immediately to a supervisor and to the Archdiocese of Baltimore’s Office of Child and Youth Protection.
All church personnel will be familiar with A Statement of Policy for the Protection of Children and Youth.
11.4 In all cases of harassment refer to the Archdiocese of Baltimore Harassment Policy (Appendix A). For additional information or direction contact the Director of the Division of Human Resource Services.
11.5 In cases of harassment in schools, refer to the Harassment Policy in the Catholic Schools Policy Manual (Appendix B). For directions on how to proceed, contact the school principal or the Superintendent of Catholic Schools, or the Director of Human Resource Services.
11.6 In cases of financial mismanagement contact the Executive Director of Management Services or the Manager of Internal Audit Review.
11.7 Church personnel who suspect misconduct are encouraged to speak with their supervisor or, if they prefer, to an appropriate Archdiocesan office.

When investigating allegations of misconduct, a supervisor should be guided by the following values:

  • The safety and protection of the community
  • An unbiased and earnest search for the truth
  • The need to provide appropriate outreach to victims
  • The need to uphold civil and canon law
  • The right of all persons to be treated fairly
  • The right of a person to be protected from unwarranted damage to his/her reputation
  • The need to comply with Archdiocesan policies and procedures
  • The need to maintain and disclose documentation as appropriate
  • The need to make any required report(s) in a timely manner
  • The need to provide for the well-being of the community impacted by the misconduct
11.9 When misconduct has occurred, discipline or corrective action taken with respect to the accused should be documented in the appropriate personnel file.
11.10 Appropriate care should be offered to the victims of misconduct. Appropriate pastoral care should be recommended to the one accused of misconduct.
11.11 Appropriate pastoral care should be extended to the community impacted by misconduct.