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Paynesville Press -July 9, 2003

Diocese releases new policy on sexual misconduct

Bishop John F. Kinney released a revised sexual misconduct policy for the Diocese of St. Cloud last week. The revised policy replaces the sexual misconduct policy the diocese has had in place since September 1991.

The policy applies to all diocesan and religious priests, deacons, brothers, women religious, and non-ordained people working in parishes, schools, and other institutions of the Diocese of St. Cloud.

It also applies to volunteers who work on a significant scale or with children and vulnerable people in the parishes and institutions of the diocese.

In releasing the revised policy, Bishop Kinney stated that the policy "has been endorsed and recommended to me by the presbyterial council, pastoral council, and diocesan review board" of the Diocese of St. Cloud.

Bishop Kinney extended his "apology to all those who have been deeply scarred by these terrible sins and crimes" of sexual misconduct.

He added, "It is my fervent hope that this revised policy will help restore trust in the church and will offer the necessary safeguards and protocol for all the people of the diocese now and in the future."

The revised policy - which is more extensive and comprehensive than the previous policy - includes the following contents: a letter from Bishop Kinney; an introduction; a statement of purpose; care for the victim; care for the community affected by sexual misconduct; a review board on sexual misconduct; background and reference checks; steps for reporting alleged incidents of sexual misconduct; an appeal process; and an appendix listing civil authorities and their contact information.

The full policy is available online at

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