About Us » Ethics & Integrity

Ethics & Integrity

As volunteers, paid staff, religious and clergy who serve the Catholic Diocese of Austin, we share in the ministry of Jesus Christ, a great privilege, and an awesome responsibility.

Our diocesan policies, Ethics and Integrity in Ministry, are rooted in the Catholic understanding that each individual must be respected and honored. Jesus had a deep, abiding respect for each human being and would not harm or mislead anyone in their personal or spiritual life. We must attempt to do likewise. Our policies cover four areas of possible harm: immoral conduct, exploitation, harassment, and abuse.

Asking for your help

Our policies, Ethics and Integrity in Ministry, are available in their entirety at www.austindiocese.org, or a paper copy may be obtained from your parish or school office.

Please take the time to read these policies so that you may understand your role in upholding them.

The policies also provide procedures for reporting any suspicions of abuse or other violations of the policies.

It is a state law that anyone who suspects abuse of a minor must report it to local law enforcement officials.

Protecting God's Children

Anyone---volunteers, paid staff, religious or clergy---involved in a ministry with minors (those under the age of 18) or vulnerable adults (those who are uniquely vulnerable to abuse because of physical or mental disabilities) is required to:

  1. Submit a Parish Volunteer Application to the Diocese of Austin
  2. Agree to a criminal background check
  3. Attend a workshop on "Protecting God's Children," a seminar on child sexual abuse.

The Parish Volunteer Application is completed on a secure web site. Go to www.austindiocese.org and, in the upper corner, click on the link for "eAppsDB" (formerly "Datorum Applicatium"). The form will ask for personal information; employment, educational and volunteer history; five references and their contact information and approval to conduct a criminal record check. Information from this application will only be available to designated parish staff and the diocesan Chancellor and Bishop.

If you do not have access to the Internet, please contact our office for a paper copy of the Volunteer Application. You need only complete the application once, regardless of your involvement in multiple parishes or schools in the diocese.

The criminal background check will be completed by the Diocese, based on information provided by you. The results will be held confidentially. The Diocese will conduct a criminal background check every three years for every individual in a ministry for minors or vulnerable adults.

"Protecting God's Children" is a nationally developed program that helps parents, volunteers, and staff understands the nature of pedophilia and how to keep our churches and schools as safe environments for our children. The workshop is scheduled on a regular basis at various locations throughout the diocese. Check on the diocesan web site at www.austindiocese.org or with the school office for current workshop dates. There is no fee for the workshop, although advance registration is usually required.

For more information:

Contact either the Chancellor of the Diocese or the diocesan Director of Human Resources (512)476-4888. All information received is held confidentially and will only be used to implement the diocese's Ethics and Integrity in Ministry policies.

These policies have been put into place after extensive research, discussion, and much reflection.

Statistics show that, while clergy sexual misconduct receives the most media attention, about half of all abuse perpetrated in parishes is done so by volunteers.

Ensuring personal integrity

We highly value the many volunteers who, through their generous giving of their time, talent, and treasure, enrich our communities and serve our children. Our policies ensure that their personal integrity is not questioned and that all of us are taking seriously our responsibility to shelter from harm those most vulnerable among us, especially our children and vulnerable adults.

Thank you for being a part of our family of faith.

Thank you for bringing to our family, your gifts and talents -- which include your gifts of Christian ethics and personal integrity.

Together, we will continue the mission of our Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ.

Diocese of Austin
The Catholic Church of Central Texas
P.O. Box 13327
Austin, TX 78711