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Communications Policy


  1. Coordination with Media —The Communications Office shall be responsible for coordinating all contacts with the media. The staff shall also contact the Communications Office if they receive any media inquiries, to facilitate communication between the Diocese and the media. Media personnel shall always be given professional courtesy and receive a response from the diocesan Communications Office.

  2. Emphasis on ethics and integrity in ministry —The Communications Office shall work with Church personnel and the public to provide information that will increase the awareness and understanding of the need for ethics and integrity in ministry.

  3. Ensure internal communications — The Communications Office shall provide information and support to parishes, schools and diocesan offices using all appropriate media regarding policy, programs, events and occurrences as well as assist in the promotion of news and activities in collaboration with various Diocesan ministries. This may include, but is not limited to information on safe environment programs, policy implementation, and issues on ethics and integrity in ministry.

  4. Timely and clear communications —Communications within the larger faith community (parishes, schools or other agencies), the media and the broader diocesan community shall be timely and clear. These communications shall attempt to respect the confidentiality and privacy of all involved, in a manner that promotes collaboration in the community and in accord with any applicable civil and canon laws.

  5. Collaboration with appropriate sources —The Communications Office shall work with the bishop, the coordinator of Pastoral Care, the diocesan Review Board and other appropriate diocesan and/or parish personnel in providing information to ensure accuracy, and responsibility.

  6. Special Concerns: Sexual abuse and allegations — Regarding the prevention, identification and treatment of child abuse and neglect and in the event of allegations of sexual abuse, the Communications Office shall exercise special care and coordination with the staff of the affected faith community and the faith community-at-large.

    The communications philosophy regarding matters of abuse and allegations of such, align with The Charter for the Protection of Children and Young People, Article 7.

    a) The Diocese of Sacramento is committed to transparency and openness. In this context, “transparency and openness” refers to a willingness to share information unless there is a serious reason to maintain confidentiality. (Matters under litigation, unsubstantiated allegations, and information which a victim has asked the diocese to keep private would all qualify as possible exemptions to “transparency.”)


    b) The Diocese will take appropriate measures in communicating information without compromising legitimate privacy needs. Within the confines of respect for the privacy and the needs of the individuals involved, this diocese will deal as openly as possible with members of the community. This is especially so with regard to assisting and supporting parish communities directly affected by ministerial misconduct involving minors. Communications will occur in a proactive manner, with clear and consistent messages conveyed through various and appropriate media, and always emphasizing concern and sensitivity toward victims/survivors.


    c) Perception often is the reality when it comes to public opinion. It is essential to promote accurate perceptions through the media and to rebut misimpression.


    d) The media are vital in providing information to the general public. The spirit of cooperation will prevail in working with the media to convey our message through them in both English and Spanish.

    e) The Communications Director shall identify the appropriate spokesperson (s) and coordinate, accordingly, the role of the Bishop(s) in media activity. Similarly, there shall be coordination with Diocesan Catholic media.


Charter Compliance/Audit Results


Sacramento Diocese in Full Compliance


Independent audits of the Diocese of Sacramento’s compliance with the Charter for the Protection of Children and Young People occur periodically, often annually.  The method of audit alternates between paper audits and onsite audits, with onsite audits generally happening every three years. To date, every audit has found the Diocese of Sacramento in compliance.


The Diocese of Sacramento anticipates a week-long onsite audit in the fall of 2009. This audit will involve third party auditors visiting several parishes and schools assessing local safe environment compliance in addition to the overarching Diocesan Charter compliance.


The U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops will review the Charter for the Protection of Children and Young People in 2010 as part of its ongoing effort to monitor and evaluate the Charter’s effectiveness.



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