The Diocese of Dallas has been taking strong steps to provide a safe environment for all children. Texas State Law requires that anyone who reasonably suspects that abuse is taking place to report it to civil authorities. Diocesan policies have for many years and continue to fully support state law. Bishop Edward J. Burns strongly advocates anyone who knows of, or suspects that abuse has taken place, to make the proper reports to law enforcement, as well as the diocese if the potential abuser is an employee or volunteer of the diocese or one of its institutions. To assist in providing safe environments, the Diocese of Dallas offers the following information and contacts:
PREVENTION AND EDUCATION
The Diocese of Dallas provides ongoing education on best practices for its priests, educators, staff and volunteers, including programs that focus on “Recognize, Respond and Report.” For more information about the Diocese of Dallas’ programs regarding child abuse prevention, visit the diocesan website at www.cathdal.org/a-safe-environment.
The Dallas Diocesan Review Board includes experts in law enforcement, clinical psychology, law and medicine. The Diocesan Review Board examines cases and implements the policies of the diocese’s Safe Environment Program. Bishop Edward J. Burns has not made the names of the Diocesan Review Board members public.
The Victims Assistance Coordinator for the Diocese of Dallas is Barbara Landregan. She can be reached by calling 214-379-2812 or via email at firstname.lastname@example.org.
COOPERATION WITH AUTHORITIES
Reports or suspicion of child abuse are to be immediately taken to law enforcement officials directly and the Diocese of Dallas will cooperate with any investigation. In addition, suspicions or reports of abuse may be directed to the Texas Abuse Hotline at 800-252-5400.
HOW THE CHURCH RESPONDS WHEN…
Abuse is alleged:
- Immediately reported to civil authorities
- Clergy is removes while doing investigation
- Cooperation with investigation
- Review by Independent Review Board
- Permanent removal if credible
A survivor comes forward:
- The Catholic Church apologizes
- Counseling is offered to the survivor
- A meeting with the bishop is arranged
Someone wants to work or volunteer:
- A screening form is submitted
- Sexual Misconduct Policy, Safe Environment Program and Social Media Policy read and signed
- References for safe environment checked
- Safe environment interview conducted
- Criminal background check completed
- Safe environment training attended
A man wants to be a priest:
- Criminal background check and motor vehicle background check
- Psychological evaluation before entrance in seminary and a second psychological evaluation before ordination
- Multiple interviews with diocesan vocation director to discern personal history, psychosocial interview, pornography addiction screening, maturity evaluation and spiritual inventory
- Three letters of recommendation, one from priest and two from non-family members
- Seven- to nine-year formation process
Children need protecting:
- Independent compliace audits for diocese.
- Independent compliance audits for schools and parishes
- Children in Faith Formation and Catholic Schools attend prevention education programs.