Archdiocese, diocese, or archdiocesan includes the Roman Catholic Archdiocese of Louisville as a corporation sole, all parishes, diocesan elementary and secondary schools, diocesan agencies, and all other diocesan owned and operated facilities.

Archdiocese of Louisville Sexual Abuse Review Board is a group of individuals appointed by the Archbishop. This board will assist the Archbishop as he assesses allegations of sexual abuse and will make recommendations to the Archbishop about the fitness for ministry or employment of someone who has been accused of sexual abuse. The Sexual Abuse Review Board also will regularly review archdiocesan sexual abuse policies and procedures and may be asked to assist the Archbishop in reviewing cases of adult sexual misconduct.

See “Guidelines for the Archdiocese of Louisville Sexual Abuse Review Board.”

Child Pornography: According to the Charter for the Protection of Children and Young People, child pornography is defined as the acquisition, possession, or distribution by a cleric or Church personnel of pornographic images of minors for purposes of sexual gratification, by whatever means and using whatever technology. Child pornography is a form of sexual abuse.

Church personnel includes all employees and volunteers (clergy, religious, seminarians, and laity) of the parishes, schools, agencies, or other entities owned by the Archdiocese and other Catholic youth-serving organizations. See definition of volunteer below.

Sexual abuse includes sexual molestation or sexual exploitation and any behavior by which an adult uses a minor or a vulnerable adult (hereafter described as vulnerable persons) as an object of sexual gratification. It includes behavior that is contrary to Catholic moral doctrine and to canon law of the Roman Catholic Church and that is unlawful as described by the laws of Kentucky. Sexual abuse does not need to be a complete act of intercourse. Nor, to be objectively grave, does an act need to involve force, physical contact, or a discernible harmful outcome.  The acquisition, possession, or distribution of pornographic images of minors for purposes of sexual gratification, by whatever means and using whatever technology, is a form of sexual abuse.

Sexual misconduct is inappropriate adult behavior by Church personnel related to Church employment or ministry. Two categories of behavior are included:

  1. Sexual exploitation is sexual contact between Church personnel and an adult who is receiving counseling or other ministerial care from that priest, deacon, employee, seminarian, religious, or volunteer.
  2. Sexual harassment is unwelcome sexual advances, requests for sexual favors, and other verbal or physical conduct of a sexual nature. Sexual harassment occurs whenever a hostile environment is created through humor, vulgar comments, sexually suggestive cartoons, e-mail messages, or posters, as well as actual physical abuse.

Victim Assistance Coordinator is a person appointed by the Archbishop to assist victims and their families when they report sexual abuse or misconduct by Church personnel. The Victim Assistance Coordinator will take the initial report, make sure that the authorities have been properly notified, inform victims/survivors about counseling and pastoral assistance opportunities, and keep the victim informed about the progress of any internal investigation.

Volunteer (see Church personnel) is defined in these policies as a person who works in a volunteer (unpaid) capacity for a parish, school or agency and who has ongoing ministerial responsibilities within that parish, school, or agency. This category includes but is not limited to coaches, youth ministers, catechists and religious educators, retreat leaders, after-school activity coordinators, classroom assistants, parish ministry coordinators, tutors, etc.

Vulnerable persons are all persons under 18 years of age and vulnerable adults as defined in Section 209.020(4a) of the Kentucky Revised Statutes. An adult 18 years or older is considered vulnerable when, because of impairment of mental or physical functions, that person is unable or unlikely to report abuse or neglect without assistance.

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