Dear Reverend Fathers, and Brothers and Sisters in Christ,
Throughout the Diocese of Peterborough, many volunteers assist in a wide range of activities and services. It is expected that those who volunteer wish only to help and serve with love, and not to do harm. Experience has shown that this is true in the vast majority of people, who generously offer their time, energy, skills and resources. Some people, however, may seek out the vulnerable to exploit or abuse them. Organizations that do not have established screening procedures cannot fully protect their volunteers and those whom they serve. For this reason, it is important to develop, adopt and implement thorough, appropriate, consistent and on-going screening measures according to established procedures.
The Canadian Conference of Catholic Bishops has, for a number of years, invited all of the dioceses of Canada to develop and implement a “Volunteer Screening Process.” Peterborough has been late in providing such procedures. Therefore, I have asked Fr. Joe Moran to initiate and coordinate this effort in the Diocese of Peterborough. I wish to thank him for accepting to take on this responsibility.
It will be the policy of the Diocese of Peterborough that all volunteers be screened, both those presently serving and those seeking to do so, according to procedures that are common to the Diocese. Parish screening committees are to be established for this purpose. Guidelines will be provided in the near future with instructions of how to go about this.
I have no doubt that everyone will cooperate in this necessary process which has been strongly recommended by the Conference of Bishops for the sake of protecting the vulnerable.
Thank you for your cooperation.
Sincerely Yours in Christ,
Most Rev. Nicola de Angelis, c.f.i.c.
Bishop of Peterborough