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Clergy abuse reporting service is established

As part of an ongoing commitment to addressing the issue of sexual abuse and bishop accountability across the country, the Catholic Bishop Abuse Reporting Service was established.

According to a release from the Diocese of Youngstown this week, the 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.

Individuals may go to ReportBishopAbuse.org in order to make a report. Reports are also accepted via 800-276-1562.

When a report is received, it will be forwarded to the local metropolitan archbishop who will undertake the responsibility of initially assessing the report.

The Diocese of Youngstown is a suffragan diocese of the Archdiocese of Cincinnati and its metropolitan is Archbishop Dennis M. Schnurr.

In the event that a report is received that concerns Archbishop Schnurr, then it will be forwarded to Bishop George Murry, who is the senior suffragan bishop of this local province.

The Catholic Bishop Abuse Reporting service allows for individuals to relay to church authorities any reports of a U.S. Catholic bishop who has:

• Forced someone to preform 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 bishop 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 Reporting Service (CBAR) does not replace existing reporting systems for complaints against priests, deacons, religious or laity.

CBAR was designated to respond only to complaints against bishops for issues related to sexual misconduct.

The reporting of sexual misconduct by anyone in diocesan ministry who is not a bishop, such as priests, deacons, religious brothers and sisters or laypersons working or volunteering for the Church should continue to be handled in accordance with the Child Protection Policy of the Diocese of Youngstown by contacting Dominic Colucy at 330-718-1388 and to proper civil authorities.

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