For the Implementation of The Charter for the Protection of Children and Vulnerable Adults

The communications plan for The Charter for the Protection of Children and Young People reflects a commitment by the Diocese of St. Petersburg to provide information on how the Charter has/will be implemented. This plan exhibits the Diocese’s commitment to promote the Charter and to deal as openly as possible with members of the West Central Florida community. This includes clergy, alleged victims and families, law enforcement, Catholic community and public-at-large, and the media in cases of alleged sexual abuse by clergy or church personnel.

This plan provides information and direction for communications.

Promoting Policy

  1. Promote the existence of The Charter for the Protection of Children and Young People and the Policy of the Diocese of St. Petersburg For the Protection of Children and Vulnerable Adults and guidelines through diocesan media, including our Catholic radio station WBVM, 90.5 F.M., social media, the Official Diocesan Website, parish websites, and the Official Diocesan Pastoral Bulletin.
  2. Provide resources such as bulletin announcements and bulletin inserts to educate about the protection of children and vulnerable adults.
  3. Use the official Diocese of St. Petersburg website to provide immediate access to Charter/policy and Victim Assistance Coordinator;
  4. Use weekly Official Diocesan Pastoral Bulletins to 80 parishes and missions for current information and to direct pastors, parishioners, and public to Official Diocesan Website for Charter/policy information;
  5. Use diocesan media and secular media as avenues of reaching out to victims and to encourage those who have been abused to come forward;
  6. Respond to editorial staffs of newspapers and broadcast outlets to familiarize each with Charter/policy information, how they are at work in the diocese and answer any questions;
  7. Provide spokesperson for media interviews/talk shows regarding this issue.

Notification of Allegations/Internal Communications

  1. Refer to Diocese of St. Petersburg Policy for the Protection of Children and Vulnerable Adults for notification procedures.

External Communications

  1. All media inquiries will be answered by the designated spokesperson, usually the Communications Director or the bishop’s representative. No other diocesan employee will respond to media inquiries without prior approval from the bishop;
  2. Every effort will be made to ensure that all information is disseminated in a timely and appropriate manner to the secular press;
  3. Every effort will be made to respond to media inquiries with openness without jeopardizing aspects of the legal investigation/litigation or breaching elements of confidentiality for either alleged victim or abuser.