Last week on the Awake Blog, we took a closer look at new archdiocesan policies related to allegations of misconduct by bishops, clergy, and lay leaders.
Awake welcomes these policies, in part because they make reporting processes clearer. But we had a number of basic questions, including how to access information about the new protocols, and how they will be implemented. We sent these questions to archdiocesan staff on February 25, and received answers from Jerry Topczewski, the archbishop’s chief of staff, last Friday. To keep you informed, we offer our questions and Topczewski’s answers here.
1. How are these new protocols being communicated to the public/average Catholics in the Archdiocese?
The new protocols have been communicated to clergy, parish staff and parish leadership. They are also on the archdiocesan website. [Note from Awake: The protocols are found here.]
2. Is there a place where Catholics in our archdiocese can see the names of the members of the Fitness for Ministry Oversight Board? How and by whom were these people chosen?
The names of the Fitness for Ministry Board members are on our website. They are respected clergy and lay leaders from within the Archdiocese of Milwaukee, with a variety of backgrounds. The members were appointed by Archbishop Jerome Listecki. [Note from Awake: The list of board members is now found here at the bottom of the page under the subhead “Fitness for Ministry Oversight Board.”]
3. Where can Catholics view the “Fitness for Ministry Oversight Process” document mentioned in the “Conduct Violation Reporting Process?”
This document is on the archdiocesan website. [Note from Awake: The document is now found here.]
4. The new “Conduct Violation Reporting Process” flow chart describes the role of the “Case Manager,” “Fact Finder,” and “Crisis Communications Team.” Who will fill these roles? How and by whom will those people be chosen?
These roles are filled by experienced members of the archdiocesan staff. External, independent investigators are utilized on a case-by-case basis.
5. In cases of sexual misconduct against adults, will the archdiocesan victim assistance coordinator or someone else with training and experience with victim-survivors have a role in receiving those reports and supporting people who make reports?
Reports are received through Convercent. It is a mistake to think all reports deal with instances involving sexual misconduct. Appropriate referrals will be made as needed, depending upon the situation and the desire of the individual making a report.
6. If Catholics have questions about these new protocols, whom should they contact for more information?
Questions can be referred to Barbara Anne Cusack, Chancellor of the Archdiocese of Milwaukee. [Note from Awake: Barbara Anne Cusack can be contacted at 414-769-3341 or firstname.lastname@example.org]