News from Around:
CHARLESTON, S.C. — The Roman Catholic Diocese of Charleston, keeping up with technology as it revises its policy for dealing with sexual abuse of children, is prohibiting any church worker from using personal email to contact a child. The policy also prohibits workers from playing online games with minors late at night, asks them to avoid using personal cell phones to contact children and not be accessible to minors on an on-call basis.
The new rules for the statewide diocese are part of the updated abuse policy signed by Bishop Robert E. Guglielmone on Monday. The document was last updated in 2003. "We have become a very technologically advanced society," the bishop said. "When the policy was written, these technological possibilities didn’t exist. However, there are all kinds of possibilities for children to be hurt through the use of technology."
The nearly 70 page document includes new rules for social media and prohibits church workers from using them to have personal communications with children and from friending them on Facebook. It also says that in each parish, "at least two adults must regularly monitor church-sponsored internet content and interactions." The policy suggests appropriate content in communications to children includes information on upcoming activities, calendars of events, spiritual links and prayer resources.
Guglielmone said the new policy takes effect next April so there can be workshops to train workers and volunteers on the rules. The bishop said the policy was put together in consultation with those involved in youth ministries and those who are experts in the new technology.
"In the past few weeks and months looking at Penn State, looking at Syracuse University, this problem of sexual abuse is a problem that is societal and very much with us," Guglielmone said.
Read more from The State
In related matters…
> Given the importance of social media today, it’s no surprise that 44% of teens have lied about their age online (to access a site limited to sites meant for older audiences. Moreover, they’re not always being safe online since 30% of teens have shared a password with a friend, boyfriend, or girlfriend, and nearly 70% of teens say they see mean behavior online)
News from ‘Round Here:
Monday was an all-right day, I knocked off another writing project, this time for slant33. Also, Georgina and I worked on the CRS Ambassador project.
Tuesday was crazily busy with ups and downs… supervision with staff (always good and a pleasure), two meetings, tracking down Rally for Life tickets… the day ended in the office by following up on my Thanksgiving Week/ Black Friday health physical by scheduling an January colonoscopy, (Ahem… you guys who are my age, we need to take care of ourselves) Highlights of the day were two… sharing a moment of Christmas with the staff as well as giving myself a decadent gift.
I hit the road in Wednesday… down to DC to pick up rally for life tickets, up to Frederick for a Central MD Youth Ministers meeting (got there early so counted out the 1500 tickets into forty plus groupings), sat in on a mentoring consultation, and then off for a social Starbucks run. Snuck in some tasks early in the morn and after dinner… too much of a day.
The E-team Advent retreat was on Thursday… so up early to provide morning snackage and then just a day of chillin’ as we had two great local presenters. The evening had a combined meeting of our Archdiocesan Young Adult Council as well as the Youth Ministry Council. In various corners, we talked World Youth Day Rio ‘13, the parish planning process, and the next steps for the direction of youth ministry. Great, GREAT conversations all!
Friday was a good desk day, wrapping up some details of a class or two as well as developing something big for late January and debriefing the events of Thursday. Had a great dinner in Little Italy with a friend.
Saturday was a day finishing off Christmas decorating, with the purchase of a tree and the hanging of ornaments. My daughters came over to inspect the work and share some personal news. The evening involved a viewing of The Descendants, a difficult story well told.
Sunday involved doing some homework from a Friday afternoon meeting, backing cookies during the early games of football, hitting the mall to exchange a gift already received, and then to pick up my son, Clark, at the airport as he returned home for the holidays . Saving the best for last, that and the family dinner out afterwards was was this week’s Amazing Weekly Event: A.W.E.! (which is more than can be said for the Ravens’ loss on Sunday night football.)