The Eparchial Review Board on the Implementation of Charter for the Protection of Children and Young People Held its Consecutive Meeting
The Review Board of the Ukrainian Catholic Eparchy of St. Josaphat in Parma on the implementation of the USCCB Charter for the Protection of Children and Young People held its consecutive meeting on Saturday, May 27, 2017 at the parish hall of Sts. Peter & Paul Ukrainian Catholic Church in Ambridge, PA.
Four members of the Review Board: Fr. Lubomyr Zhybak, head of the eparchial Office of Children and Youth Protection and Safe Environment Coordinator, head of the eparchial Office of Children, Youth and Young Adults Ministry, and pastor of Holy Trinity Ukrainian Catholic Church in Youngstown, Ohio and St. Anne Ukrainian Catholic Church in Austintown, Ohio; Mr. John Bates, Esq., legal advisor to the board; Ms. Marika Zalisczuk, eparchial Victims Assistance Coordinator; and Dr. Justine Perhosky, PhD were present at the meeting. Other members of the Board: Right Rev. Msgr. George Appleyard, Protosyncellus of the Eparchy, Rev. Deacon Wirag, and Mrs. Renata Harmatiy were not present at the meeting due to personal reasons.
The meeting began with a prayer Our Father, led by Fr. Lubomyr Zhybak. Afterwards Fr. Lubomyr reconfirmed to the Board members that the eparchy has been found compliant with all audited Articles within the Charter for the Protection of Children and Young People for the 2015/2016 audit period after the on-site audit performed by Stonebridge Business Partners on November 10, 2016 in Parma, OH. Much of the meeting was centered on the suggestions made by Stonebridge regarding the eparchial Policy and Procedures for the Protection of Youth and Young People, namely: in regard to updating the language in the document to include procedures for handling allegations regarding the acquisition, possession, and distribution of child pornography; reviewing and revising the current policy to ensure that the protocol includes procedures for handling allegations of abuse of individuals who habitually lack the use of reason; and some other issues. The Review Board members also reviewed a suggestion made by Stonebridge in regard to updating the eparchy’s Code of Conduct to include specific language prohibiting child pornography in accord with the most current Charter revision. The proposed suggestions were submitted to the eparch, Bishop Bohdan Danylo, for his approval and promulgation of the two revised documents.
During the meeting, Father Lubomyr informed the board members that the eparchy now officially uses VIRTUS on-line training program as the universally acceptable in the eparchy training program that has JD Palatine – the agency that performs background checks for the clergy, employees and volunteers in the eparchy – incorporated into the platform (to note: JD Palatine performs background checks for the residents of all States that fall under the jurisdiction of the eparchy except for the State of Pennsylvania that requires for a person’s background check to be obtained through a State run agency). Father Lubomyr likewise informed the board members that, following the suggestion made by Stonebridge, the eparchy will be using “Protecting God’s Children Touching Safety Program,” developed by VIRTUS, as the universally acceptable in the eparchy training program designed for the children and youth Grades K through 12, that is to be promulgated by the bishop.
Before the end of the meeting that concluded with a prayer Hail Mary, Father Lubomyr renewed gratefulness to all Review Board members for their time and sacrifice in serving as the board members and wished everyone to have a blessed summer.