Safe-Environment-Program

Updates to the Safe Environment Programs

November 29, 2012 Update

Bishop Paprocki has extended the deadline for parishes to meet the new volunteer safe environment background check and training requirements, originally effective January 1, 2013, to the new deadline of April 1, 2013. This is according to The Policy on Sexual Abuse of Minors by Church Personnel that went into effect July 1, 2012.

April 19, 2012 Update

A more detailed explanation of the volunteer requirements can be found by clicking on the link below.

pdfVolunteer Explanation

January 24, 2012 Update

On January 2, 2012 The Most Reverend Thomas John Paprocki issued a decree of Promulgation to revise the Pastoral Policy on Sexual Abuse of Minors by Church Personnel.

When does it take effect?

The revisions to the policy become effective July 1, 2012 with compliance of the policies provisions throughout the diocese by January 1, 2013.

How has the policy changed?

The policies major revision directly affecting parishes and schools in the diocese is the inclusion of ALL volunteers within the policy definition of Church personnel.

The policy no longer limits compliance with the policy to those volunteers with regular and significant contact with minors. The policy now expands the definition of Church Personnel as follows:

Article III, b. 4):

"All religious and lay persons 18 years of age and older serving in any volunteer capacity in the parishes, schools, agencies and other institutions of the diocese of Springfield in Illinois to include volunteers in ministries of the liturgy (i.e., Eucharistic/Extraordinary Ministers of Holy Communion, Lectors, Ushers, Greeters/Hospitality, Choir members, Musicians and Equipment Technicians), volunteering in the parishes schools agencies and other institutions of the diocese".

With the new policy all volunteers in a parish or school regardless of volunteer reason or position would be required to attend the diocese VirtusĀ® Protecting God's Children Training and undergo a Criminal History Background Check. This includes for example, volunteers working at parish festivals and fund raising events, etc.

Preparing for Compliance with the New Policy

Planned publication of the revised policy:

  • Catholic Times,
  • Diocesan web site
  • All Protecting God's Children Training,
  • Bulletin announcements
  • Explanation of the reason for the change in policy will accompany these publications.

Streamlining the background check process

The diocese is currently working on a web based criminal history background search process that in most cases would be accessed by the individual at their leisure to complete online. This process would also provide automatic rechecks of individuals still in employment or volunteer service.