Dioceses like the ones in New York City, Brooklyn, Iowa, Dallas and Philadelphia have made the ‘Model Code of Pastoral Conduct’, readily available. You can download it for free from the website www.virtus.org. The National Catholic Risk Retention Group created the website to prevent sexual abuse in the Church.
This 13-page document, outlines the code of conduct for the diocese to prevent abuse in parishes and schools. It refers to priests, deacons, pastoral ministers, administrators and volunteers who work there.
The document also includes a special section about the relationship with youth. By signing the document one agrees to avoid situations that could lead to abuse like signs of affection or sleeping in the same bedroom with a minor.
Additionally it points out sexual abuse cases should be taken seriously and immediately reported to the leader of the local church and civil authorities.
The document allows users to add suggestions and also describes troublesome conduct, like sexual or insulting jokes.
The document says both the Church institution and the people who work there, should have exemplary behavior, because their behavior could either help people or hurt people’s faith.