The Vatican has long avoid accountability: church authorities have asserted that any inquiry by national courts into the church's handling of sexual violence cases constitutes interference with religion, and the Vatican uses its statehood to invoke immunities granted to state officials.

International law recognizes that rape and sexual violence can constitute a form of torture. In May 2015 the UN Committee Against Torture (CAT) found that the widespread sexual violence within the Catholic Church amounts to torture and cruel, inhuman and degrading treatment prohibited by CAT.

In February 2014 the Committee on the Rights of the Child (CRC) found that the Vatican has violated the core principles in the Convention that require States to ensure that the best interests of the child be the primary consideration in all actions concerning children and to protect children from all forms of physical or mental violence, including protecting children from sexual violence within the Catholic Church.

As attorneys across the nation press countless clergy sex abuse cases against the church, two critical questions they most often ask are: “What did the bishop know?” and “When did he know it?” At stake is episcopal culpability. Also at stake in thousands of lawsuits, many filed and many others still being planned, is potentially billions of dollars in payments to victims.


In light of these developments, a 92-page report on clergy sex abuse, distributed to the U.S. bishops in May 1985, warning them of the trouble ahead, has been repeatedly cited by victims’ attorneys as a hard measure of episcopal negligence. The document, reportedly referred to in more than 100 lawsuits, is well known to the bishops.


Among the insights in this document are clear statements that while help can be provided for abusive priests, there is “no hope” for a cure for some of them, that a bishop “should suspend immediately” a priest accused of sexual abuse when “the allegation has any possible merit or truth,” and that “In this sophisticated society a media policy of silence implies either necessary secrecy or cover-up.” It said, “clichés such as ‘no comment’ must be cast away.”


In some ways this is a story of what might have been or, perhaps, what might have been avoided.


(What they knew in 1985)


In 2014 the UN Committee on the Rights of the Child urged the Holy See to "immediately remove all known and suspected child sexual abusers from assignment and refer the matter to the relevant law enforcement authorities for investigation and prosecution purposes.”


The Vatican denied any official cover-up.


In December 2013 the Vatican refused a UN request for data on abuse on the grounds that it only released such information if requested to do so by another country as part of legal proceedings.


Screening for children at risk, victims & survivors


It is extremely important that survivors are identified so they can access the protection and services that serve their best interests after everything they have endured and been forced to do to survive. Early intervention disrupts the manifestation of long-term physical and psychological consequences of child sexual abuse & exploitation.



USCCB (United States Conference of Catholic Bishops)

2011 Charter for the Protection of Children and Young People


For purposes of this Charter, the offense of sexual abuse of a minor will be understood in accord with the provisions of Sacramentorum Sanctitatis Tutela (SST), article 6, which reads:


§1. The more grave delicts against morals which are reserved to the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith are:


1) the delict against the sixth commandment of the Decalogue committed by a cleric with a minor below the age of eighteen years; in this case, a person who habitually lacks the use of reason is to be considered equivalent to a minor.


2) the acquisition, possession, or distribution by a cleric of pornographic images of minors under the age of fourteen, for purposes of sexual gratification, by whatever means or using whatever technology;


§2. A cleric who commits the delicts mentioned above in §1 is to be punished according to the gravity of his crime, not excluding dismissal or deposition.


In July 2011, the Charter was updated to include child pornography in its definition of sexual abuse against a minor. During the audit period, five clerics were removed from ministry because of allegations of possession of child pornography.


Appendix A: 2011 Charter for the Protection of Children and Young People: In view of the Circular Letter from the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith, dated May 3, 2011, which calls for “mak[ing] allowance for the legislation of the country where the Conference is located,” Section III(g), we will apply the federal legal age for defining child pornography, which includes pornographic images of minors under the age of eighteen, for assessing a cleric’s suitability for ministry and for complying with civil reporting statutes.



2011 USCCB Audit Report.

Charter for the Protection of Children and Young People




The most common scope limitation encountered in the Charter audit process was the unwillingness of most dioceses and eparchies to allow us to conduct parish audits during their onsite audits. Although an understanding of Charter implementation may be gained through interview of personnel and review of documentation at the diocesan/eparchial level, greater proof of compliance—or lack thereof—can be found at the parishes and schools. Without the opportunity to observe compliance activities at parishes and schools, the auditors must rely solely on the information provided by the diocese or eparchy, instead of observing the program firsthand.


Another limitation is frequent turnover in diocesan/eparchial personnel. When a key player in a Charter implementation program steps down, or his or her position is otherwise vacated, most dioceses and eparchies attempt to fill the position, at least temporarily, with existing personnel. During this time, important compliance components may be overlooked or neglected. Records are often lost, and successors to the position are often placed in key roles without formal orientation. These individuals, we found in three cases, were not fully aware of their responsibilities under the Charter, and were unable to answer certain questions posed by the auditors.


Use of estimates in the preparation of Chart C/D continues to be a problem. While some dioceses and eparchies are able to provide exact figures as of June 30 of the audit year, others report information that is collected earlier in the year, or make estimates based on criteria established in the past. As a result, the data compiled for the annual report is not an accurate reflection of compliance with Article 12 and Article 13 as of a certain date; instead, it is a rough estimate.


Finally, as long as dioceses and eparchies continue to refuse participation in the Charter audit process, we will not have a complete and accurate picture of Charter compliance during a given period. This year, we were pleased to visit new Bishop Liam Cary in the Diocese of Baker. The Diocese of Baker had not participated in either type of audit since 2009. One diocese and five eparchies did not participate in the audit process this year, either by refusing an onsite audit, or failing to respond to StoneBridge’s requests for information:

  • Ukrainian Catholic Eparchy of Stamford (Connecticut)
  • Eparchy of Our Lady of Deliverance Syriac Catholic Diocese in the U.S. and Canada (New Jersey)
  • Chaldean Eparchy of St. Peter the Apostle, San Diego (California)
  • Eparchy of Our Lady of Nareg in New York of Armenian Catholics
  • Eparchy of Newton, Our Lady of the Annunciation, Boston (Melkite Greek)(Massachusetts)
  • Diocese of Lincoln (Nebraska)

The total number of clerics accused of sexual abuse of a minor during the audit period was 805. For purposes of this report, clerics were categorized as a priest, deacon, unknown, or other. By “unknown” is meant that the victim/survivor was unable to provide the identity of the accused. “Other” represents a cleric from another diocese for whom details of ordination and/or incardination were not provided. Accused priests numbered 571, of which 436 were diocesan priests, 101 belonged to a religious order, 34 were incardinated elsewhere. There were 11 deacons accused during the period, of which 9 were incardinated in a specific diocese, and 2 were religious. Allegations brought against unknown clerics numbered 209, and 14 other clerics were accused. 287 of these clerics had been accused in previous audit periods, and 132 of this year’s allegations were either unfounded or unable to be proven.



2012 USCCB Audit Report

Charter for the Protection of Children and Young People  

Finally, as long as dioceses and eparchies continue to refuse participation in the Charter audit process, we will not have a complete and accurate picture of Charter compliance during a given period.


Data collection for 2012 took place between Dec 2012 & Feb 2013. CARA received responses from 193 of the 195 dioceses and eparchies of the USCCB and 157 of the 215 clerical and mixed religious institutes of CMSM.
 (Feb. 2014)


Cardinal Timothy M. Dolan was elected to a three year term as president of the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops (USCCB, in November, 2010.  He now serves as chair of the Bishops’ Committee on Pro-Life activities.

On January 6, 2012, His Holiness Pope Benedict XVI announced that Timothy Dolan was to be appointed to the College of Cardinals.

Safeguarding chronically vulnerable children.


Unaccompanied Alien Children (UAC)


Pursuant to Section 462 of the Homeland Security Act of 2002, the custody and care of Unaccompanied Alien Children (UAC) was transferred from the former Immigration and Naturalization Service (INS) to the Office of Refugee Settlement (ORR) in March 2003.


In FY 2010, ORR continued a contract with the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops (USCCB) to provide comprehensive case management and support services to foreign adult and child victims of human trafficking.



FY 2010 ORR Report to Congress (most recent made public as at Feb 2014)) extracts from FY 2010 report:


Per Capita Services and Case Management. ORR used both contracts and grants to create a network of service organizations available to assist victims of a severe form of trafficking. In FY 2010, ORR continued a contract with the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops (USCCB) to provide comprehensive case management and support services to foreign adult and child victims of human trafficking.



Unaccompanied Alien Children Program (UAC)


Care and Placement: With a total operating budget of $166,300,000 in FY 2010 (including available prior year funds), ORR funded approximately 2,046 beds and placed 8,287 children (this number does not include Haitian orphan parolees) in its various shelter care provider programs.


Anti-Trafficking in Persons Program: Grants and contracts awarded to non-profit and for-profit organizations totaled $8 million to organizations to identify and assist victims of human trafficking in becoming certified and accessing benefits to the same extent as refugees.

**In FY 2010, ORR issued 92 Eligibility Letters to children and issued 12 Interim Assistance Letters to children, seven of whom later received Eligibility Letters.


Refugee Appropriations: In FY 2010, ORR received an appropriation of $730.8 million to assist refugee populations, victims of trafficking, and unaccompanied alien children (UAC).



SIJ Specific Consent and the Perez-Olano Settlement Agreement. In 2010, the parties to the Perez-Olano lawsuit reached a settlement requiring ORR to adhere to specific timelines on the acknowledging, processing, and response to specific consent requests. ORR implemented protocol for providing notices to UAC and processing specific consent requests that conformed to the settlement’s requirements. During FY 2010, ORR received and processed 32 specific consent requests in accordance with the requirements.


ORR’s vision for FY 2011 is centered on programs designed to support the most vulnerable and often-marginalized refugees. These programs include targeted services for lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) refugees.



During FY 2011, ORR/DUCS care provider mental health clinicians screened over 7,500 UAC in ORR care for indicators of human trafficking. Twenty-five (25) trafficked children identified by ORR were placed in foster care in the URM program.

Through ORR, HHS continued its cooperation with DHS ICE to enable the prompt identification of and assistance to potential child trafficking victims.


In FY 2011, ORR, through the Division of Unaccompanied Children’s Services (DUCS), funded a network of shelters, group homes, and foster care programs to provide services for UAC.



UAC who are trafficking victims may be referred to HHS’s Unaccompanied Refugee Minors (URM) program, which is administered by ORR.


An Unaccompanied Alien Child (UAC) is defined in Section 462 of the Homeland Security Act of 2002, Pub. L. 107-296 (6 U.S.C. § 279(g)(2)), as a child who is without lawful immigration status and does not have a parent or legal guardian in the U.S. who is available to provide him or her physical custody and care.


The URM program establishes legal responsibility under state law for such children to ensure that they receive the full range of assistance, care, and services currently available to foster children in the state. A legal authority is designated to act in place of the child’s unavailable parent(s).









Catholic League Board of Advisors include:

Robert P. George.





Article on Renewal Forum website:


The GEO Group

Mr. Zoley also serves as a director of several business subsidiaries through which The GEO Group, Inc. conducts its operations worldwide. Mr. Zoley is GEO’s Chairman of the Board, Chief Executive Officer and Founder. He has bachelor's and master's degrees in Public Administration from Florida Atlantic University (FAU) and a Doctorate Degree in Public Administration from Nova Southeastern University (NSU). For seven years, Mr. Zoley served as a member of the Board of Trustees of Florida Atlantic University (FAU), and previously served as Chairman of the Board of Trustees. Mr. Zoley also served as Chair of the FAU Presidential Search Committee and member of the FAU Foundation board of directors.


FAU Presidential Search Committee, Florida.



His House Children's Home & His House International, Florida.




When there is an emergency or an influx of Unaccompanied Alien Children (UAC), the Flores Settlement permits state licensing of facilities for minors to be waived.



May 2014: Sen. Barbara Mikulski, the chairwoman of the Senate Appropriations Committee, was informed by the Office of Management and Budget that the increase in children trying to cross the border alone could cost the government as much as $2.28 billion to house, feed, transport to shelters and release the Unaccompanied Alien Children to adult sponsors in the USA.

That means...

$2,280,000,000 ÷ 60,000 (total number of UAC expected) = $38,000 (expenses per UAC) ÷ 365 (days) = $104 (per child per day)

The Administration originally asked Congress for $868 million for the Unaccompanied Alien Children (UAC) program run by Health and Human Services (HHS), the same amount Congress approved last year when budgeting for 24,000 UAC. (2013 budget for UAC program was $868 million).

That means...

$868,000,000 ÷ 24,000 = $36,166 (expenses per UAC) ÷ 365 (days) = $99 (per child per day)

Brian Deese, deputy director of the budget office, said the Homeland Security Department (DHS) would need an extra $166 million to help pay overtime costs for Customs and Border Protection officers and agents, contract services for care of the children and transportation costs. A House appropriations subcommittee voted (June 2014) to add $77 million to the original request.

That means...

60,000 (total UAC expected) – 24,000 (UAC already budgeted for) = 36,000 (additional UAC to be provided for).

$77,000,000  ÷ 36,000 UAC = $2,139 (CBP expenses/contracts, per additional UAC to be processed).


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