The Archdiocese of Toronto has implemented a series of policies and procedures to foster a safe environment for all those who interact with the Catholic Church in the Archdiocese of Toronto. Those we serve include young people, adults and seniors who all make up the body of Christ among us.
Should you have any questions about these documents, contact the Office of Public Relations & Communications in the Archdiocese of Toronto.
Procedures for Cases of Alleged Misconduct in the Archdiocese of Toronto
This document, first created in 1989, revised in 1991, 2003, 2010 and, most recently in October 2018, provides a detailed procedure for cases of alleged misconduct to be followed by the Archbishop’s Delegate when a complaint is received about the conduct of a priest or lay employee of the Archdiocese.
To report an allegation of misconduct or abuse against a priest, lay employee or volunteer
A victim of any crime is encouraged to contact their local police service. If a credible allegation of abuse against a minor is reported to the Archdiocese of Toronto, we contact the appropriate civil authorities within one hour or as soon as circumstances will permit.
Persons can make a confidential allegation of abuse or misconduct directly to the Archdiocese by calling 416-934-3400, extension 108. Alternately, you may email your concern to firstname.lastname@example.org. We will strive to respond efficiently to all messages. Clergy and staff of the archdiocese can also pass on a complaint to the Archbishop’s Delegate. Our prime concerns are for the care of the complainant who is hurting, and the prevention of abuse and misconduct. Recognizing that coming forward with an allegation of abuse or misconduct is difficult, the person who first hears the complaint will treat the complainant with great care and compassion, and will encourage the complainant to talk with the Archbishop’s Delegate. We respect the complainant’s right to privacy and confidentiality.
Our full procedure for allegations of misconduct can be found here: Policy & Procedure for Cases of Alleged Misconduct
To report an allegation of misconduct or abuse against a Canadian Bishop (living or retired)
A victim of any crime is encouraged to contact their local police service. Dioceses in Ontario are also required to do so if a minor is at risk or the allegation involves a child aged 18 or under. On May 6, 2021, a national, bilingual service for reporting allegations of sexual abuse, either committed or covered-up by a Catholic Bishop, was launched. This initiative furthers the commitment of the Canadian Catholic Church to responsibility, accountability and transparency in matters of clergy sexual abuse and to facilitate healing and justice for victims-survivors. A report can be made online at www.bishopreportingsystem.ca or by calling 1-866-892-3737.
Frequently Asked Questions regarding Bishop Reporting System
Candidates for the Permanent Diaconate
St. Augustine’s Seminary of Toronto provides a formation program for candidates for ordination to the Permanent Diaconate in the Archdiocese of Toronto. Deacons provide ministry for the dispossessed and disadvantaged, those who live on the margins of civil society as a result of poverty, sickness, crime and age. Candidates for the program must be between the ages of 35 and 59.
The selection process is rigorous. The candidate and his wife are interviewed extensively to ensure that the candidate does have a calling to order of deacon. There is an extensive screening process that includes a psychological profile.
Candidates for the Priesthood
The major purpose of St. Augustine’s Seminary of Toronto is to prepare men for the Catholic priesthood. Candidates are required to complete a package of admission materials that is detailed in nature and includes medical and psychological testing. The complete psychological assessment is an interpretive report based on a battery of psychological tests. The report addresses the following areas:
While each psychologist will have particular preferences with respect to the actual battery of tests administered, a typical battery might include the following:
These tests may be supplemented by additional tests administered by the psychologist.
Education Programs for Seminarians, Priests and Lay Staff
The Archbishop’s Delegate of the Archdiocese visits the Seminary annually to provide instruction to seminarians and candidates for the Permanent Diaconate concerning the canonical and civil requirements associated with fostering a safe environment. From time to time the Archbishop’s Delegate of the Archdiocese provides updates to priests and lay staff of the Archdiocese on developments in the area of safe environment.
Priests from Outside of the Archdiocese
The Archdiocese requires a priest from another diocese or religious order who wishes to minister in Toronto to obtain the permission of his bishop or superior, who must complete a certificate providing full disclosure, attesting to the good character and history of the priest candidate.
Volunteer Screening Program
This is a program designed to create, maintain and promote a safe environment for all those to whom we minister, to support parish volunteers and preserve their safety, integrity and reputation as well as to ensure that we fulfill our duty and obligations as a caring faith community.
The Volunteer Screening Department manages the Archdiocese's volunteer screening policies and program "Strengthening Our Caring Community", and works with parishes to implement and administer the program locally by training parish volunteer screening coordinators and committee members; meeting with pastors and screening committees to support and review the parish set-up; and by providing parishes with the required resources to execute, document, and complete the process.
Caring For Our Community: Pastoral Resources