Secrets of the Job Hunt


Wednesday, February 11, 2009

Background Checks for Priests

In today's world, background checks are commonplace among many companies. They're especially required for most jobs that entail trust or working with children, such as teachers, healthcare workers and public safety workers.

One might think that background checks would leak into the religious world sooner rather than later, considering the recent controversy there. One country is trying that idea out.

According to an article by The Irish Catholic, priests in the Diocese of Ferns have volunteered to undergo background checks. The diocese has received completed forms from more than 70 percent of priests so far.

The idea to have priests submit to background checks was brought about by the Diocesan Child Protection Committee, which is made up of lay people and clergy. The committee thinks the checks will demonstrate good leadership.

The Fern diocese also plans to issue a newsletter updating all parishes on what has been done to safeguard children and what future plans lie ahead.

"These lay representatives will be the first port of call for anyone worried about a child's safety," the article notes. "A spokesman confirmed that the diocese is also meeting all of its obligations from Church and civil authorities in reporting all allegations of child sexual abuse involving priests, to the Holy See, the Diocesan advisory panel, the Garda (police) and the HSE at inter-agency meetings. All recommendations and directives received from these bodies have been implemented."

While background checks remain the focus of priests for the time being, there is a chance they could be expanded into Catholic schools in the future.

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