Fulfilling a Commitment to the Protection of Minors

In 2002, the members of the Conference of Major Superiors of Men (CMSM) committed to honor and fulfill the standards in the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops’ landmark document, the Charter for the Protection of Children and Young People and applied in the Essential Norms for Diocesan/Eparchial Policies Dealing with Allegations of Sexual Abuse of Minors by Priests or Deacons.

CMSM has continued to expand training, resource development, and consultation to support religious institutes of men, societies of apostolic life, and monasteries in fulfilling their commitment to the safety of young people.

Safeguarding Over the Years


CMSM pledges

  • Mechanisms to respond promptly to any allegation of sexual abuse.
  • Independent review boards, either singly or in union with others.
  • Mechanisms of public accountability from outside the leadership of institutes.
  • Educational programs for the protection of children and the prevention of abuse.
  • More effective methods of intervention, care, treatment and follow-up supervision of members in need of this care.
  • Programs of healing, reconciliation and wellness for all those affected by sexual abuse through dialogue with appropriate group


CMSM’s National Board selects Praesidium, recommended by Christian Brothers Services, to implement the goals of 2002 (February) and announces the Hope and Healing Program (launched in 2004).


Standards for Accreditation are published in partnership with Praesidium, Inc.

CMSM launches Instruments of Hope and Healing Program, and provides training to 209 religious institutes, societies of apostolic life, and monasteries (August)


First annual Safeguarding Workshop is held for those working in the area of protection of minors and supervision of men removed from ministry


Standards for Accreditation are updated.


CMSM releases statement, Eleven Years of Work and Reflection by United States Male Religious on the Tragedy of Sexual Abuse within the Catholic Church


National Advisory Council established (now the Safeguarding Advisory Committee)

CMSM partners with the Jesuit Conference to offer the annual Conversations that Matter formation program


Standards for Accreditation are updated


Director of Safeguarding Initiatives position is hired (originally Associate Director for the Protection of Minors)


CMSM encourages members to follow best practices regarding the release of names for those with established allegations


CMSM launches webinar education series and expands the annual Safeguarding Workshop content


Standards for Accreditation are updated.