• Archdiocese

Responsible Pastoral Ministry

Accompanying people at risk in our communities

Responsible Pastoral Ministry

Ensuring a safe and healthy environment for all

In order to ensure the safety and integrity of those to whom it brings the Gospel message, the Catholic Church in Montreal has adopted a specific policy with the purpose of preventing of all forms of abuse against minors and vulnerable persons, and promoting a pastoral approach that is safe, open and responsible.

This is Responsible Pastoral Ministry.

Decree for the implementation of Responsible Pastoral Ministry (French only)

Diocesan Policy for Responsible Pastoral Ministry (under revision - new version coming soon)

Code of Ethics and Conduct

The Responsible Pastoral Ministry Service is in place to support the efforts of parishes, and diocesan organizations in the implementation of preventive measures, in the awareness and training activities carried out, and through support mechanisms guaranteeing the sound management and supervision of their paid and volunteer personnel.

vva

Awareness and Training Program 
Focus on the Victims of Abuse
 

Let us build safe and welcoming communities together and protect the dignity and integrity 
of all people, because they are "in the image of God".

Program goal
This program aims to raise awareness and educate people about the impact of abuse on victims, and about everyone's responsibility to prevent and report it. 

General objective 
To provide training for everyone working in the Archdiocese of Montreal to prevent all forms of abuse in the Church: spiritual, psychological, physical, financial, and sexual.  

Persons in the following categories are required to participate in this training:

  • Members of the Clergy, pastoral agents and other pastoral staff;
  • Paid staff of the archdiocese, parishes, missions, and diocesan organizations
  • Parish Responsible Pastoral Ministry Coordinators, 
  • Churchwardens and other volunteers in high-risk positions
  • Volunteers working with vulnerable people (catechists aged 18 and over, PHC volunteers, volunteers working with retired, sick and/or elderly priests, etc.).
     

For information: 

pastoresponsable@diocesemontreal.org

514-925-4300, poste 288 or 353

 

Next Training Session in English, and Registration

Saturday, April 20, 2024, 9 a.m. to 4 pm.
Archdiocese of Montreal
2000, Sherbrooke St. West Montreal (Qc) H3H 1G4
To register: Eventbrite Registration VVA26 - April 20, 2024

 

Upcoming Training Sessions in French, and Registration

Saturday, March 16, 2024, 9 a.m. to 4 pm.
Archdiocese of Montreal
2000, Sherbrooke St. West Montreal (Qc) H3H 1G4
To register: Inscription Eventbrite VVA25 - 16 mars 2024


Tuesday, April 23, 2024, 6:30 pm to 9:30pm-Part 1 (modules 1 and 2)
Tuesday, May 7, 2024, 6:30pm to 9:30 pm-Part 2 (modules 3 and 4)

Archdiocese of Montreal
2000, Sherbrooke St. West Montreal (Qc) H3H 1G4
   To register: Inscription Eventbrite VVA27 - 23 avril et 7 mai 2024


Advertising posters to download: 
VVA Poster-Spring 2024 EN.pdf
VVA General Posters-EN.pdf
 

Testimonials from participants (2022):

“I was sceptical and went reluctantly, thinking this training had nothing to do with me. But I learned a lot and I think that this training is essential for everyone.” – Churchwarden

“The session was very enlightening. I am glad the Archdiocese is the leader in the path of reconciliation.” – Catechist

“The creation of the Ombudsman position is fantastic. It gives me hope for the future of the Catholic Church.” – Secretary

This program aims to raise awareness and train members of the clergy, pastoral staff, churchwardens and employees of the Fabriques, catechists (18 years and older) and PHC volunteers on the impact of abuse on victims and the importance of being vigilant and quickly denouncing any unacceptable or worrisome behaviour or situation. 
 

Here are a few inspiring testimonials from participants collected during the fall 2022 seminars:

 

“I was sceptical and went reluctantly, thinking this training had nothing to do with me. But I learned a lot and I think that this training is essential for everyone.” – Churchwarden
“The session was very enlightening. I am glad the Archdiocese is the leader in the path of reconciliation.” – Catechist
“The creation of the Ombudsman position is fantastic. It gives me hope for the future of the Catholic Church.” – Secretary

 

 

1100 volunteers have already taken part in this training. 

More sessions will be offered in the fall of 2023. Stay tuned!

For more information, please contact the Pastoral Responsible Ministry at 514 925-4300 # 353.

Screening Process

Screening, a responsible process tied to human resource management, consists of carefully examining the candidacy of those who apply for a job, be it in a volunteer or paid position. This process clears the way to choosing the best candidates and to warding off, as much as possible, all those who might be susceptible to behaving inappropriately toward those who are vulnerable, be it children or adults.

Screening objectives

1- To create and maintain a safe and secure environment.

2- To assure that the chosen candidate possesses the necessary aptitudes to accomplish the task.

Screening steps

Ten stages of the screening process

Recruitment

Job description

The job description for positions of authority defines the tasks to be performed in the context of a particular service or of a pastoral activity. The task description establishes the precise rules and procedures to which all hired personnel in pastoral activities must conform. It also permits the proper evaluation of the risk level inherent in each task.

Job description model

Risk evaluation

Risk evaluation associated with a position represents a pivotal step if we want to choose the most adequate screening measures.  This evaluation, done beforehand, will be very useful to the directors of the screening process, and is comprised of 10 steps.

The following factors will serve to establish the risk level for a position of authority:
 

  • Profile of the participants or the beneficiaries (age of the people involved, physical state, degree of vulnerability);

  • Environment (location of the activity, physical disposition, public/private);

  • Nature of the activity (animation, counseling, visit);

  • Type of supervision (people present, direct, indirect, frequency);

  • Nature of the interactions (individual, group, intensity, intimacy).
     

Examples of risk factors

Recruitment process

It is strongly advised that all organizations adopt a formal recruitment process, whether for volunteers or for those in paid positions.

If you want to transition from an informal hiring context to a process that is more systemized, we recommend following these steps:
 

  • Provide a written statement that outlines the position of authority or the description of the associated tasks to the people involved;

  • Give written or oral explanations concerning the moral and legal obligation of submitting to administrative formalities, as much for any volunteers who wish to work for the community as for those applying for a paid position;

  • Provide information regarding the routine screening process that all candidates must submit to.

Selection

The admission or identification forms should be completed by all those who wish to occupy a position, or who already occupy a position. This form, which collects basic information (name, coordinates, work experience, references, etc.), will allow, as needed, the various diocesan organizations to proceed with regular verifications, according to the risk associated with the desired or occupied position.

Volunteer form
Employee form

 

Job interview

All new personnel offering their services on the diocesan or pastoral level must undergo a job interview, to be led by at least two interviewers. The candidate will answer questions pertaining to his or her human and professional development (formation and experience), his or her motivations, as well as all other subjects judged to be pertinent, with scrupulous respect to the fundamental rights of the person as granted by the laws and charters of Quebec.

Practical guide for interviews

Verification of references*

All candidates who wish to occupy a function (whether paid or not) in the diocese, must provide at least two references on his or her admission form. Those listed as references may be of several types: employers, association managers, pastors, community members, etc.; out of prudence, the listed references must have no family ties with the candidate. The verification of a reference is most often done over the phone and does not last longer than ten to twelve minutes.

Checklist for the verification of references

Verification of police check*

The verification of the police check is done within a protocol that exists between the SPVM and the Diocese of Montreal.  The diocesan pastoral responsibility service will inform the parishes and other organizations of the mode of application of this protocol.

*Steps reserved for people occupying a position with elevated risk.

Orientation and Evaluation

All hired personnel are considered on probation for a determined time, out of respect for the laws of Quebec. This probationary period, clearly outlined by the employer, will allow for the validation or cancellation of the choice of candidate for the position.  This probationary period is essentially the orientation and formation stage.

The orientation and formation stage allows the employer:
 

  • To review with the hired person what the task consist of, the objectives to be achieved and the expectations of the parish directors, as well as the internal functioning of the organization (procedures, relationships with authorities, responsibilities, etc.);
     
  • To familiarize the person with the diverse tools associated with their task (programs, catechetical processes, etc.);
     
  • To acknowledge that the employee or volunteer have read the Code of Ethics and Conduct, and undertook to respect it by signing the commitment form.
  • To keep up to date employee and volunteers with any document necessary to complete the policy for responsible pastoral ministry, such as the guide to online activities, in our common concern to always promote a safe and healthy environment for our pastoral activities.

A volunteer candidate who has been accepted at a parish has an obligation to provide written (signed) agreement to respect the mutual commitment agreement.

Supervision and evaluation

The form and frequency of evaluations will vary according to the nature of the task (or the function) and the associated risks. For this reason, the supervision of any positions of trust will be regular and thorough.

The supervisor must therefore foresee the form and frequency of the evaluation of the person under his or her responsibility, keep that person informed, and as much as possible provide support in a positive way and tailor their professional development and the use of their talents.

Follow-up with participants

After the supervision and evaluation of pastoral personnel, whether volunteer or in a paid position, it is also necessary to assure a follow-up for the beneficiaries of the pastoral work (and their families, if necessary)

Regular meetings or telephone contact with the participants (and their families) of a program or activity will allow those responsible to assure their human and organizational quality. These follow-ups will also allow for the quick identification of a dysfunctional individual or of any malevolent intentions.

Focus on the Victims of Abuse Training

The collaboration of all is important to achieve a major transformation for abuse prevention.

 

 

 

Awareness and Training Program 
Focus on the Victims of Abuse
 

Let us build safe and welcoming communities together and protect the dignity and integrity 
of all people, because they are "in the image of God".

Program goal
This program aims to raise awareness and educate people about the impact of abuse on victims, and about everyone's responsibility to prevent and report it. 

General objective 
To provide training for everyone working in the Archdiocese of Montreal to prevent all forms of abuse in the Church: spiritual, psychological, physical, financial, and sexual.  

Persons in the following categories are required to participate in this training:

  • Members of the Clergy, pastoral agents and other pastoral staff;
  • Paid staff of the archdiocese, parishes, missions, and diocesan organizations
  • Parish Responsible Pastoral Ministry Coordinators, 
  • Churchwardens and other volunteers in high-risk positions
  • Volunteers working with vulnerable people (catechists aged 18 and over, PHC volunteers, volunteers working with retired, sick and/or elderly priests, etc.).
     

For information: 

pastoresponsable@diocesemontreal.org

514-925-4300, poste 288 or 353

 

We would like to thank everyone who took the VVA training this fall.

Other courses will be offered again soon. Dates will be posted online as soon as possible.

 

Advertising posters to download:
VVA General information posters (bilingual)
 

This program aims to raise awareness and train members of the clergy, pastoral staff, churchwardens and employees of the Fabriques, catechists (18 years and older) and PHC volunteers on the impact of abuse on victims and the importance of being vigilant and quickly denouncing any unacceptable or worrisome behaviour or situation. 
 

Here are a few inspiring testimonials from participants collected during the fall 2022 seminars:

 

“I came backwards, without conviction, because I thought that this training did not concern me. But I learned a lot and I think that this training is essential for everyone.” – Churchwarden”
“The session was very enlightening. I am glad the Archdiocese is the leader in the path of reconciliation.” – Catechist
“The creation of the Ombudsman position is fantastic. It gives me hope for the future of the Catholic Church.” – Secretary

 

 

1100 volunteers have already taken part in this training. 

More sessions will be offered in the fall of 2023. Stay tuned!

For more information, please contact the Pastoral Responsible Ministry at 514 925-4300 # 353.

 

Please see the following documents:

Communiqués :

 

Module 1: It's not just about sexual abuse

 

 

Module 2: Struck to the core

Do you want to file a complaint? Contact the Ombudsman.

‘‘The Archdiocese of Montreal is committed to carrying out a thorough investigation in its search for the truth. To that end, it has mandated an Ombudsman, whose function will be autonomous and independent of the Church. Any person who calls upon the Ombudsman to file a complaint concerning any form of abuse or inappropriate behaviour, regardless of the age of the victim, will be welcomed by her with goodwill and compassion.

We want to ensure that victims are listened to and receive better support.

+ Christian Lépine
Archbishop of Montreal

  • Letter from the Archbishop
  • Documents concerning the processing of complaints
  • Episcopal reporting system
  • Report by the Honourable Justice Capriolo
  • Responsible pastoral ministry 
Accueillir-votre-plainte-en.jpg

 “Walk the Talk”

In an open letter published on September 8, 2018, in La Presse and The Gazette, Archbishop Lépine appeals to everyone within the Church to be resolute in tackling the issue of sexual abuse.


Bishop Reporting System

The Bishops of Canada launch a national, bilingual service for reporting situations of sexual abuse either committed or covered-up by a Bishop. This service furthers their commitment to responsibility, accountability and transparency in matters of clergy sexual abuse and their commitment to facilitate healing and justice for victims-survivors.

bishop-reporting-system.jpg

Filing a complaint

The Capriolo Report was released November 25, 2020. With the support of a Committee co-chaired by Archbishop Lépine and the Honourable Pepita G. Capriolo, we are undertaking to implement the recommendations contained in that Report. The end result will be an abuse complaint process that focuses on the victim, that examines all forms of abuse, and under which a victim’s age no longer constitutes a criterion for reporting a complaint. The existence of an Ombudsman, the creation of a lay Advisory Committee comprising five members, one of whom is a survivor, and the fact that investigations are conducted by external experts will ensure that each complaint is treated with all due diligence and respect.

iphone-388387_1280.jpg

Video testimonial - Il faut le dire (currently available in French only)

 

The diocesan pastoral responsibility service wants all parishes, works and diocesan organizations to put into place a systemized screening process for salaried personnel and volunteers. Integrating this process of preventative measures into current systems of operations will allow us to achieve the objectives of the pastoral responsibility policy.

Contact information:

 

Marylène Valade, Responsible
514-925-4300, ext. 353 
 

Sr. Jacqueline Tchamgbade, Training coordinator
514-925-4300, ext. 288

Responsible Pastoral Ministry
2000, Sherbrooke St. West
Montreal (Qc)
H3H 1G4
(514) 925-4300, ext. 353 
pastoresponsable@diocesemontreal.org