Editor’s Note: The following information responds to the requests from Catholics throughout the Diocese of Orange to better understand how the diocese has dealt with claims of sexual abuse in the past, what has occurred in our own diocese, and what policies are in place to create and maintain a safe environment for all.
Most Rev. Kevin Vann, Bishop of Orange, continues to reaffirm the Diocese of Orange’s commitment to protecting children and young people by creating a safe environment throughout the Diocese. In 2002, the Diocese implemented in a comprehensive approach to protect children and young people, and partners closely with law enforcement to ensure all accusations of abuse are investigated and those responsible for crimes are held accountable, both in the eyes of the law and in the face of the Lord.
The Diocese safe environment approach is consistently being re-evaluated to ensure all those entrusted in our care, regardless of age or gender, are protected and that those who are victimized receive the support they need. The Diocese has created extensive and comprehensive education and background check programs for all clergy and lay staff members.
Other actions the Diocese has taken since or before 2002 include:
• CREATED an Office of Child and Youth Protection to support parishes and schools in the Diocese with their ongoing commitment to create a safe environment.
• PROVIDING since 2002 mandatory Safe Environment Training for all adults—including clergy—who work or volunteer with children and youth, as well as Safe Environment Training for children.
• CONDUCTING since 2002 extensive and comprehensive background screening and fingerprinting services for all priests, deacons, educators, and all other adults working or volunteering with children and youth in parishes and schools.
• REQUIRING parish and school sites to maintain accurate records of fingerprinting and background screening and safe environment training, to ensure all required employees and clergy adhere to the Diocesan-wide requirement.
• MANDATED safety education programs into curriculum at schools and parishes. These programs provide age-appropriate education for our children and information for teachers and parents.
Additionally, the Diocese was the first in California, and is currently one of the few Dioceses across the state, to voluntarily release the names of priests who have been credibly accused of abuse and misconduct. The list can be found at:
RCBO.org/resource/chartered-priests/. The work of updating this list has been underway for some time and will be forthcoming soon.
If you have been a victim of sexual abuse by clergy or a church representative, please call the Diocesan Toll-Free Reporting Line, 1-800-364-3064 as well as local law enforcement.
Learn more about the work underway across the Diocese of Orange to ensure all children and adults are free to worship in an
environment that is safe, compassionate and welcoming at: SafeRCBO.org
Roman Catholic Diocese of Orange by the numbers
With 1.6 million Catholics, 57 parishes, 5 Catholic centers, and 41 schools, the Roman Catholic Diocese of Orange is one of the largest, most diverse and fastest-growing faith communities in the United States. The Diocese empowers Catholics across Orange County to have an active life of faith that is integrated and woven into the fabric of their daily lives through the community and sacramental life of the Church. Under the leadership of Bishop Kevin Vann, the Diocese works to establish and support dynamic, vibrant parishes and schools welcoming all to live the Gospel with faith, joy, charity and unity. Christ Cathedral, the spiritual home of the Diocese, will be dedicated on July 17, 2019.