Code of Ethics & Integrity
Last updated January 1, 2021
A code of conduct for clergy, staff, and volunteers to follow for the protection of children and youth (“minors”) (the terms “children,” “youth” and “minors” as used herein are defined to also include vulnerable adults – those who habitually lack the use of reason).
The Eparchy expects that all church personnel, that is, clergy, staff, and volunteers of the Eparchy, in their contacts with minors and vulnerable adults, will observe the following guidelines:
- One-on-one situations with children or youths should occur only in an environment that is both observable and interruptible.
- When the necessity arises for counseling or advising a minor, avoid meeting in an isolated environment.
- Schedule meetings at times and use locations that can create accountability.
- Limit the length and number or meetings and make outside referrals, if necessary.
- Advise parents and supervisors of these meetings.
- Never be alone with a minor in a residence, sleeping facility, locker room, rest room, dressing facility, or any other isolated area that might become or even be construed as inappropriate to a ministry relationship.
- If you discover an inappropriate attraction or attention being shown to you by a minor, maintain clear professional boundaries between yourself and the minor and report or refer the minor to another adult.
- Avoid touching a child or youth in any manner that could be considered sexual or in some other way inappropriate.
- It is no longer allowed for any such thing as ‘an innocent hug.’
- Minors should not reside in or be overnight guests in a rectory unless they are along with the members of the immediate family of the clergy
- Adult chaperones should accompany any trip involving minors.
- Do not sleep in the same bed with a minor.
- If an adult chaperone stays in a hotel or other sleeping facility with a group of minors, the chaperone should sleep in his or her own bed.
- Take active measure to ensure that minors do not have access to or use alcohol, tobacco, drugs, or any illegal substances.
- Never attempt to exercise physical discipline upon a child or a minor.
- Coordinate the remediation of all disciplinary problems through the immediate supervisor and in consultation with the parents of the minor.
- Only someone with the appropriate license or certification may drive a church or school vehicle transporting a minor, and only after having received appropriate authorization.
- Exercise caution in communicating through emails and on the Internet. Only share work/ministry-related email addresses with minors. Do not participate in chat rooms with minors.
- Do not acquire, possess, share, or distribute child pornography.
Pastors and supervisors must see that all persons in an Eparchial Parish who have contact with children and youth have received and agree to abide by these guidelines and that they sign the “Agreement of conduct for Eparchy clergy and staff members and volunteers,” one copy of which is then filed with the Eparchy.
Pastors and supervisors should also post these guidelines and openly discuss them at periodic intervals with all youth workers and volunteers.
Report to the Superiors when an in case of any inappropriate action observed during service and/or ministry.
 Church personnel includes priests, religious permanent and transitional deacons, seminarians, all paid and volunteer personnel who are employed by or work in Eparchial Parishes or institutions.