LC Diocese Responds to Report - KPLC 7 News, Lake Charles, Louisiana

LC Diocese Responds to Report

January 7, 2004
Reported by KPLC Staff & Wire Reports

Audit teams from the Gavin Group visited Dioceses from August to October and interviewed church leadership, lay workers, some local law enforcement officials and asked to see new reform policies and procedures. Baton Rouge and Houma-Thibodaux passed on the first try. Elsewhere, auditors issued instructions where they found a mandated reform was not in place, or recommendations when a reform was nearly in place or could be improved.

They also issued a number of commendations. The auditors commended the Archdiocese of New Orleans for its outreach to parishes on sexual-abuse issues and the Archdiocese's coordination with religious orders in enacting changes. Alexandria was among a handful of Dioceses in the nation found to be ``significantly behind'' putting reforms in place. Auditors commended the Diocese of Lake Charles for its communications policy.  But the report says the Diocese still had work to do on background checks and the implementation of a safe environment program.

KPLC contacted the Diocese of Lake Charles today.  They say there are inaccuracies in the report.  Despite what the report claims, officials say the code of conduct for priests, deacons and others who have regular contact with children have already taken place.

They add, the safe environment program was started right after the December first deadline of the audit and continues next week with more training sessions.   

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