New charter for the Protection of Children and Young People

The Charter for the Protection of Children and Young People is a comprehensive set of procedures originally established by the USCCB in June 2002 for addressing allegations of sexual abuse of minors by Catholic clergy. The Charter also includes guidelines for reconciliation, healing, accountability, and prevention of future acts of abuse. It was revised in 2005, 2011, and 2018.

The Charter directs action in all the following matters:

  • Creating a safe environment for children and young people;
  • Healing and reconciliation of victims and survivors;
  • Making prompt and effective response to allegations;
  • Cooperating with civil authorities;
  • Disciplining offenders;
  • Providing for means of accountability for the future to ensure the problem continues to be effectively dealt with through the Secretariat of Child and Youth Protection and the National Review Board.
During the June 2018 Plenary Assembly, the full Conference of Bishops voted in favor of proposed revisions to the Charter. The revisions are the result of the dedicated efforts and collaboration of the Committees on the Protection of Children and Young People; Canonical Affairs and Church Governance; Clergy, Consecrated Life and Vocations; the National Review Board, and the Office of General Counsel.