Following a three-day site visit in the summer of 2014 that reviewed an audit period from June 2011 through June 2014, Praesidium found Saint John’s Abbey “in full compliance” with all 25 of the organization’s Accreditation Standards. Each standard includes a number of Requirements that must be met for accreditation as well as detailed Clarifications of these Requirements. The entire current set of Praesidium’s Standards for Accreditation as adopted by CMSM is available here.
Praesidium Standards for Accreditation (2012)
NB: Praesidium uses the word “Institute” to represent the organization being evaluated. In this instance, the Institute is Saint John’s Abbey.
The Institute will screen new Candidates for membership in the Institute.
At each stage in the initial formation of Members, the Institute will assist in their ongoing growth toward a healthy sexuality as a foundation for celibate chastity.
The Institute will identify and utilize systems of support and accountability for its Members.
The Institute will establish and publish clear policies for boundaries with minors.
The Institute will educate its Members regarding the prevalence, identification, and prevention of sexual abuse of minors, giving special attention to topics that are of unique relevance to religious.
The Institute will interrupt and intervene when a Member violates the Institute’s policies regarding boundaries with minors.
The Institute will offer to provide support and assistance to any Member who discloses to leadership concerns about his own attraction to minors or about potential boundary violations with minors.
Standards for Responding (Standards 8 –18)
Representatives of the Institute will respond pastorally and compassionately to any person who alleges sexual abuse of a minor by a Member of the Institute.
Representatives of the Institute who are responsible for assisting individuals who have alleged sexual abuse as a minor will be educated regarding the nature of their role.
Representatives of the Institute will make a significant effort to promote the healing process for individuals who allege being sexually abused as a minor.
The Institute will adhere to written protocols for responding to reports and allegations of sexual abuse of a minor.
The Institute’s policy will state the obligation of each of its Members to report to civil authorities all allegations of known or suspected sexual abuse of a victim who is currently a minor.
The Institute will report known or suspected sexual abuse of a minor by a Member when the victim is no longer a minor, as obligated by the civil laws of the state where the sexual abuse of the minor allegedly occurred.
The Institute will investigate all reports and allegations of sexual abuse of minors by a Member, to the extent possible, based on the information provided.
The Institute will cooperate with civil authorities that are conducting an investigation of an allegation of sexual abuse of a minor.
The Institute will document all reports and allegations of sexual abuse of minors by a Member, and its responses to the reports and allegations, including anonymous allegations and reports.
The Institute will utilize a Review Board for the purpose of providing consultation to the Major Superior on the response to all reports and allegations of sexual abuse of minors.
In cases where an allegation of sexual abuse of a minor committed by a Member has been established, the Institute will inform the leadership of any organization or ministry in which the Member has admitted to, or is suspected of, having sexually abused a minor, to the extent possible.
Standards for Supervisions (Standards 19-25)
The Institute will maintain a written, individualized Safety Plan to guide the supervision of any Member against whom an allegation of sexual abuse of a minor has been established.
When the sexual abuse of a minor by a Member has been established, the Member will not be permitted to work in any position which allows access to minors, or in any ecclesiastical ministry, in accordance with the Essential Norms for Diocesan/ Eparchical Policies Dealing with Allegations of Sexual Abuse of Minors by Priests or Deacons.
The Review Board will review each Safety Plan at least annually and offer recommendations to the Major Superior.
Individuals who supervise Members who have Safety Plans will be physically and emotionally capable and adequately trained to perform the duties involved in supervision.
Those who supervise Members who have Safety Plans will have access to all pertinent information about the Member that is not otherwise privileged.
The Major Superior or his delegate will annually evaluate compliance with all Safety Plans.
Communities that house “high-risk” Members will be visited by outside auditors on an unannounced basis to ensure consistent implementation of Safety Plan protocols.
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