Policies, Procedures, and Guidelines for Ethical and Responsible Conduct in Ministry

Policies, Procedures and Guidelines for Ethical and Responsible Conduct in Ministry

The Diocese has recently updated its policies for clergy, religious, employees, and volunteers in this area. The policies are now known as "Policies, Procedures and Guidelines for Ethical and Responsible Conduct in Ministry", and include norms of conduct, preventive measures, directions for the reporting of suspicious behavior or for making sexual abuse allegations, investigative procedures, and disciplinary steps to be taken as is appropriate.

Reports can be made to:

  • Bishop Daniel Flores, (956) 784-5067 or (956) 542-2501
  • Fr. Alfonso Guevara, Vicar General, (956) 682-1351
  • Mr. Walter Lukaszek, Assistance Coordinator, (956) 784-5066, e-mail: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.
  • Sr. Norma Pimentel, Director of Social Services, (956) 402-4088, e-mail: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

 

2012 annual report on the implementation of the Charter for the Protection of Children and Young People

 

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  Quarterly Bulletin Announcement

 

Protecting God’s Children

The Diocese of Brownsville continues in its long-standing positive and proactive approach to this sensitive issue. Sexual abuse of children is not tolerated and timely responses are made to all allegations of violations of sexual boundaries. The Diocese is fully implementing the nationally recognized "Protecting God’s Children" program of sex abuse education/prevention.

 

Protecting God’s People

As the Catholic faithful of the Valley, we share responsibility for the life and mission of the Church. Each of us is called to celebrate, promote, and when necessary to defend the life and dignity of every person. This awesome responsibility demands that we treat everyone with respect, do what we can to see that harm is never brought to others, especially minors and vulnerable adults, and seek to bring healing for those who have been harmed.

 

To help achieve these ends, the Diocese of Brownsville has taken the following steps:

  • Appointed an Assistance Coordinator to offer immediate assistance to victims. 

  • Adopted new Policies, Procedures, and Guidelines for Ethical and Responsible Conduct in  Ministry.

  • Introduced a nationally recognized safe environment program of education and prevention of    child sexual abuse called Protecting God’s Children.

  • Established a policy requiring criminal background checks of all clergy and religious, of all  church employees and of all volunteers who have regular contact with minors or vulnerable  adults.

 

How to Report Suspected Misconduct

Suspected misconduct with minors by lay church personnel should be reported to the pastor of the parish, the principal of the school, or the head of the Catholic institution in question.

Suspected misconduct with minors by a priest, deacon, or religious should be reported directly to the Bishop or Vicar General at (956) 784-5067 or (956) 542-2501; to Walter Lukaszek, Assistance Coordinator, (956) 784-5066; or to Sr. Norma Pimentel, Director of Social Services, (956) 402-4088.

Letters to the Vicar General or Bishop should be sent to P.O. Box 2279, Brownsville, TX 78522-2279. Upon request, a form for a Confidential Notice of Concern may be obtained from the local pastor, school principal, institution head, or diocese, or it may be downloaded from this page.

By state law, anyone who suspects abuse or neglect of a minor must report it to local law enforcement officials or to the Texas Department of Family and Protective Services at 1-800-252-5400.

 

Review Board for the Protection of God’s People

The Review Board for the Protection of God’s People serves as a confidential body to advise the Bishop in matters of policy, prevention of misconduct, and on responses to allegations of misconduct.

Once a person has indicated to the Diocese that they experienced clergy sexual abuse as a minor, the assistance coordinator contacts the person to listen and begin the healing process and assists them to contact those in the Diocese and community who can help them.

Confidentiality: Mr. Lukaszek abides by the Code of Ethics for Social Workers & the Diocese of Brownsville.

Biographical details: Mr. Lukaszek is married 38 years, father of one son, 27 years with Child Protective Services, included in the 38 years of public service, lay minister in Donna since 1980.