Why do lay applicants for positions working for the Catholic Church go through criminal background checks? In response to the abuse scandal and as a proactive step to avoid future incidents the United States Catholic Conference of Bishops has mandated that: “Churches, schools, and youth organizations must ensure that children and youth who worship, study, or participate in activities sponsored by a parish can do so in the safest and most secure setting possible.” This has resulted in all Catholic Diocese instituting Safe Environment policies which in most cases require an extensive criminal background check, including finger print submission to law enforcement databases. Candidates for positions working for the Church should expect to be asked and required to comply with this policy prior to their employment with Catholic organizations.

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