The Archdiocese of Des Moines today released its new policy to deal with the sexual abuse of minors by priests. The new policy is an outgrowth of the sex abuse scandal that’s rocked the church in the past year, and follows the guidelines set down by Catholic Bishops at a June meeting in Dallas. The new policy creates a committee to review any new charges against priests in the Des Moines Diocese. Des Moines lawyer Robert Holz (holts) will serve on the committee.Victims will be referred to a victim’s advocate. The complaint will be reported to the Bishop, the review committee and law enforcement. The alleged offender will be suspended during the investigation. Holz says the committee will make recommendations to the Bishop and those will be made public. Holz says the committee will also review all past allegations of sexual abuse. He says the work will not stop there.He says a policy review committee will reconvene later on to develop educational and safe environment programs. Bishop Joseph Charron believes the new policy will protect parishioners. He says he’s done everything he can to appoint a committee to come up with a good plan, and will continue to try and improve the policy. Charron has spoken personally with five or six victims of abuse in Des Moines. He says he feels good about those discussions. Charron says it has been an embarrassing thing for the church, but he feels the church can move forward. People in the Des Moines Diocese that have complaints can call the advocate at 515-286-2031, or e-mail her at: firstname.lastname@example.org.
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