National Charter & Norms (USCCB)

At their annual meeting in 2002, the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops (USCCB) drafted a landmark document in response to the crisis of sexual abuse of children. This document, setting forth their agreed upon responsibilities in combating the problem, was titled the:

"Charter for the Protection of Children and Young People" pdf_button


"Estatuto para la protección de niños y jóvenes" pdf_button

Charter Addressed Four Tasks

The charter specifically addressed the following tasks:
  • Reaching out to victim/survivors of sexual abuse and responding promptly to any allegation where there is reason to believe abuse of a minor occurred
  • Reporting allegations of abuse to civil authorities
  • Removal of clergy with credible allegations of abuse
  • Implementing "Safe Environment" programs and policies designed to ensure necessary safety and security for all children as they participate in church and religious activities


The USCCB is an assembly of the hierarchy of the United States and the U.S. Virgin Islands who jointly exercise certain pastoral functions on behalf of the Christian faithful of the United States. The purpose of the conference is to promote the greater good which the Church offers humankind, especially through forms and programs of the apostolate fittingly adapted to the circumstances of time and place.

We encourage you to read the USCCB's:

"Charter for the Protection of Young People" pdf_button (includes "Essential Norms for Diocesan/Eparchial Policies Dealing with Allegations of Sexual Abuse of Minors by Priests or Deacons")


"Estatuto para la protección de niños y jóvenes" pdf_button (incluye Normas básicas para reglamentos diocesanos/eparquiales que traten de imputaciones de abuso sexual de menores cometido por sacerdotes o diáconos)


Answering Questions

Frequently Asked Questions have been posted for additional information.