Kelly Donahue, director of human resources for the diocese, credits Bishop Malooly and Msgr. Steven P. Hurley, vicar general, for encouraging the launch of a third-party system that enables people to anonymously report wrongdoing.
The diocese partnered with NAVEX Global to launch EthicsPoint, a confidential and anonymous online reporting system that has been used globally in private industry and in other dioceses. It enables people to report issues in categories including discrimination, sexual discrimination and abuse, financial matters and others.
“The message we want to send is we take our obligation seriously to our employees, our parishioners, our people,” Donahue said.
The website cdow.ethicspoint.com is where people can file reports. The system also includes a telephone number where people can report complaints.
“If something’s going wrong, we want to hear about it,” Msgr. Hurley said. “It holds us accountable because it’s a third party that’s going to be monitoring this. It will clearly show whether or not we have handled situations.
“This is serious stuff. It’s not just for clergy, but for parish employees, volunteers, anyone connected with the church.”
The system also helps fulfill a mandate earlier this year from Pope Francis, Msgr. Hurley said. The pope in May revised and clarified norms and procedures for holding bishops and religious superiors accountable in protecting minors as well as in protecting members of religious orders and seminarians from abuse.
“It’s a (NAVEX) system. It does not reside in our system. They maintain it and report the complaints to us,” Donahue said. “We want to promote transparency and make it easy for people to address concerns.”
If there are complaints against system administrators, a system advocate handles those so that no one is dealing with a complaint against themselves, she said.
“It’s a level of accountability,” said Msgr. Hurley. “We want to know what’s going on so we can fix it. It’s kind of like when you go to the airport. ‘See something, say something.’ It gives people an opportunity to say something and feel comfortable.”