CHICAGO, IL [MW Diocese Communications] — In a letter from His Grace, Bishop Paul, addressed to all rectors and priests-in-charge of parishes in the Diocese of the Midwest and dated August 17, 2015, it was announced that “in response to questions and concerns which were raised at our recent Clergy Convocation, the Office for Review of Sexual Misconduct Allegations has created, and the Holy Synod has blessed, new documents which provide clarification and consolidation of the Policies, Standards and Procedures.”
These materials “are focused specifically on the parish — what you and your council need to do and to be in compliance with the PSP, with particular emphasis on how to screen parishioners who volunteer to work with children such as Church school teachers,” the letter continued.
The related documents are available on the Midwest Diocese’s web site.
- Abbreviated PSP. These are to be read by all rectors, priests-in-charge, and parish council members. It is no longer required that they read the full PSP.
- Background Check Guidelines. These also are to be read by all rectors, priests-in-charge, and parish council members. The guidelines have been revised from previous versions.
- PSP Acknowledgement Form. This is to be signed by all parish council members.
- Application Packet. This provides a comprehensive collection of materials needed for the application and interview procedure for youth volunteers.
- Exemption Form. Rectors may sign this affidavit for any youth volunteer who has been in his or her role for two or more years and whom he deems exempt from the interview and reference checks. Such individuals must nevertheless comply with all other requirements as outlined in the PSP.
- PSP Compliance Report. This constitutes a revised version of the Annual Compliance Report which is to be submitted annually by February 15.
The Diocese of the Midwest has been in a process of gradually implementing the PSP, Bishop Paul noted, adding that “at this time, I wish for all parishes to seek to implement items 1-3 listed above. I consider this a matter of utmost importance, so, please, do not hesitate to call me with any questions.”
UPDATE: On July 11, 2016, Bishop Paul implemented the third and last phase of PSP compliance in the Diocese. See his letter, here. All six items listed above are now expected to be implemented.