Our procedures have been in place since 1989 and reviewed twice, most recently in 2003. The procedures have been accessible for several years online through the Archdiocesan website and we continue to do all that we can to ensure these procedures are transparent and accessible for anyone who wishes to access them. They have served us well and fulfill all legal requirements under civil law in the province of Ontario. That said, His Grace felt, given the increased scrutiny on all church procedures regarding allegations of abuse, it was an appropriate time to have a lay committee review our current practices.
The Archbishop asked the lay committee to make any recommendations to him by July 31, 2010 and the committee has done so. For those who may be interested in how the process will progress from here, this is how things are shaping up for the next couple of months.
His Grace will be holding a series of four regional meetings with all priests of the Archdiocese in early September in which the updated procedures will be presented and reviewed. Following the final meeting with clergy, the procedures will be posted online and will remain publicly accessible. Appropriate communication will be sent to parishes throughout the Archdiocese asking parishes to inform their parishioners of the new procedures, their availability and to encourage Catholics to become familiar with the contents of the document.