In the United States, the Catholic Church’s Charter for the Protection of Children and Young People calls for clear and well-publicized diocesan standards of ministerial behavior and appropriate boundaries for clergy and for all other church personnel in positions of trust who have regular contact with children and young people. (Article 6) This Code is a response to that call to integrity both in our relationships with children and young people as well as with the adult faith community.
Bishops, priests, deacons, pastoral ministers, administrators, staff, and volunteers in our parishes, schools, agencies, ministries, religious communities/institutes and organizations must uphold Catholic values and conduct that are rooted in the Gospel. We must be aware of the responsibilities that accompany our work while knowing that God’s goodness and grace support us in our ministry. We should and will be held accountable for our behavior. In order to maintain the highest level of accountability, each of us is required to abide by this Code which provides a set of standards outlining that which is appropriate and inappropriate behavior in pastoral situations.