WHEELING, WV (WOWK) – A new nationwide service has been launched to report sexual misconduct involving U.S. Bishops.
The Diocese of Wheeling-Charleston says the Catholic Bishop Abuse Reporting Service is operated by Convercent, Inc., an independent, third-party entity that provides intake services to private institutions for reports of sensitive topics such as sexual harassment through a secure, confidential, and professional platform.
Reports will be forwarded to the dioceses’ local metropolitan archbishop who will assess the report. According to a press release sent out by the Diocese of Wheeling-Charleston, the service gives people a chance to give Church authorities any reports of a U.S. Catholic bishop who has: forced someone to perform or to submit to sexual acts through violence, threat, or abuse of authority; performed sexual acts with a minor or a vulnerable person; produced, exhibited, possessed, or distributed child pornography, or recruited or induced a minor or a vulnerable person to participate in pornographic exhibitions; or, a diocesan or eparchial bishop, or a cleric overseeing a diocese/eparchy in the absence of a diocesan or eparchial bishop, who has intentionally interfered with a civil or church investigation into allegations of sexual abuse committed by another cleric or religious.
The Catholic Bishop Abuse Reporting Service (CBAR) does not replace existing reporting systems for complaints against priests, deacons, religious or laity. The diocese says CBAR was designed to respond only to complaints against bishops for issues related to sexual misconduct. Reports of sexual misconduct by anyone in diocesan ministry who is not a bishop will continue to be handled in accordance with the Diocese of Wheeling-Charleston’s child protection policy and with proper civil authorities.
The diocese says anyone looking to make a report or who would like more information on the reporting service can visit ReportBishopAbuse.org. Reports can also be called in at (800) 276-1562.