VIRTUS is derived from Latin and means valor, moral strength, excellence, and worth. The United States Conference of Catholic Bishops adoped a policy that was revised in their 2005 document, the Charter for the Protection of Children and Young People. Following that Charter, the Bishops across the US have been implementing Virtus (or a similar program) for all persons in contact with children in any way. Virtus was created in 1998 with the goal to prevent children and vulnerable adults from becoming victims of sexual abuse, both inside and outside a religious environment. The program is to help people become aware of abuse, how to recognize the signs, and to overcome the natural reluctance of most adults to report suspected abuse. Many dioceses are now requiring all volunteers in parisher to experience the training and fulfill all the requirements so that, as leaders in our faith life, as many parishioners as possible are trained in observing and protecting God’s children.
The steps to complete Virtus training include:
- Participate in a “Protecting God’s Children” training session (approx. 2.5 hours)
- Complete the volunteer application form and agree to a background check by the Diocese
- Read & sign the diocesan “Policies & Procedures for Addressing Sexual Misconduct”
- Read monthly training bulletins online or request that they be mailed to you.
How to Report the Abuse of Minors
All in Church Roles Need Virtus Training (June 2010 letter from Bishop Taylor)
list of upcoming Virtus Training Sessions in the Arkansas Diocese.