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Pope’s Visit to America Renews Quest to Have Priests Background Checked

Millions of U.S. Catholics applauded Pope Francis when he first arrived on American soil, but for families at the center of the Catholic Church pedophile scandal, it was another opportunity to condemn the church’s actions and to hold it accountable for priests’ crimes.

It’s a sobering reminder of the importance of background screening for all clergy members, and all employees and volunteers of any religious organization. The time for blind faith in all people has passed, and churches who are not embracing that fact, or who are not prepared to embrace that fact, are putting themselves, and their congregations and missions, at risk. As we’ve said before on Protect My Ministry, background checks are the single, most effective tool at eliminating predators from your midst, and empowering your employees, volunteers and members to spot and report suspicious behavior.

  Still Recovering

The Catholic church abuse scandal lasted longer than a decade, but its wounds are still being felt. Men like Mark Rozzi continue to share their horrific encounters with pedophile priests in the hopes of making the church accountable and the church continues to contend with financial settlements and deep bruising to its reputation. The church today is still accused of covering instances of child sexual abuse across the country. In fact, 294 people reported abuse last year, some of it stretching from years ago.

Some experts say that Pope Francis is helping followers and ex-followers recover from the scandal. According to this LA Times article, Pope Francis has talked about the scandal publicly, has promised “zero tolerance,” and created an advisory board to improve the protection of minors.

Perhaps most influential in terms of proactively protecting our children, though, is the Pope’s commitment to abuse prevention by insisting on background checks for clergy. The same LA Times article reports:

“More than 35,000 priests have undergone background checks and have been trained to spot warning signs of abuse, according to an audit last year. More than 4.4 million children — 92% of those educated by the church — have been taught abuse prevention.”

Ministry-Specific Tools

Protect My Ministry has always believed in the power and prevention of background checks for churches. Preventing sexual
predators and violent offenders from working with children and youth is our primary concern. It’s one of the reasons we developed ministry-specific tools to implement and maintain a thorough background screening program for employees, staff and volunteers. Protect My Ministry is a Christian-owned and operated business. This business was started as the co-owners noticed that churches were not fully aware of the best sources for background checks or truly what they were getting.

With Protect My Ministry’s comprehensive screening and child protection training program, you will have access to the screening tools needed to eliminate predators from your ranks and the information your employees and volunteers will need to spot suspect behavior. Simply put, another case of abuse conducted within the confines of a church, or by a clergy member, or even associated with a church, is one too many.

What Can We Do Better?

Protecting people and churches is mission critical for Protect My Ministry. The Pope’s visit to America will undoubtedly shine an important light on this topic. We’re sure the Pope’s visit might bring up some questions about background screening for churches. We’d love the opportunity to answer your questions.

  • What can we, as a screening company who understands the huge importance of background checks, do better?
  • What do you think are the best ways we can reach out to churches?
  • As the member of a congregation, what do you think is the most important aspect of background screening?
  • Would like materials to bring to your own church?

Please give one of our team members a call at 1-800-319-5581 or email us here: