Safe Environments Overview

Read an overview of Safe Environments (PDF)

For questions or concerns relating to Safe Environments, Background Checks, VIRTUS Awareness Training, Resources for Victims of Abuse or Mandated Reporting, please contact

Erin Neil
(203) 416-1406
(203) 650-3265

To schedule a VIRTUS facilitator to come onsite to conduct a live training at your school or parish

Bernadette Griffin, Safe Environment Program Assistant
Office (203) 416-1650
Cell (475) 988-5366

Welcome    Contact    Safe Environment Training (VIRTUS Registration & Re-Certification)    Dallas Charter

Q & A    Essential Norms    2015 Safe Environments Handbook    Report an Incident    Background Checks   

Mandated Reporting    Updates    List of Accused Clerics    Continuing Education Opportunities   

Welcome! The Safe Environments Office is dedicated to ensuring the safety of all children in our Diocese.

Ms. Erin Neil, L.C.S.W., Director of Safe Environments and Victim Assistance Coordinator

Diocesan Statement on hearing and oral argument related to its motion for a protective order
in Bridgeport Superior Court

BRIDGEPORT—The Diocese has agreed to and has spent many, many hours satisfying Tremont and Sheldon’s discovery demand to review and disclose any and all information found in priest personnel files, including priests not accused of anything.
Their request has been extremely broad and has involved the personnel records of numerous priests with long and successful careers who have never had an allegation brought against them. These priests are not in any way implicated in the current cases, and the Diocese has complied with the request, producing the documents. However, it is seeking to limit the use of this information outside of the current cases at issue.  
In producing the files of priests not implicated in current cases, the Diocese has requested confidential treatment of certain information including but not limited to, medical records. As the diocese commits to full transparency and accountability with respect to any allegation of abuse, it also has the responsibility and the obligation to protect the privacy of priests in good standing from having their personal information publicly disclosed.
The Diocese has repeatedly asked the team at Tremont and Sheldon to agree to mediate the cases in order to reach a settlement. They have refused to mediate each and every time, even when the request has been made in the presence of Judge Bellis.
It is noteworthy that while the Tremont and Sheldon cases have been pending without any resolution for the benefit of the alleged victims, the Diocese has successfully settled through mediation several cases involving other attorneys.
While the Diocese responds to this challenge, it continues to reaffirm its commitment to zero tolerance of child abuse, to remove from ministry anyone who has been credibly accused, and to bring healing and support to the victims and their families.




June 25, 2016 | Bishop Caggiano Statement on Fr. John Stronkowski



Bishop renews Safe Environments


BRIDGEPORT—Bishop Frank J. Caggiano has reconstituted the Review Board of the Diocese of Bridgeport with the announcement of new board members and the reappointment of long-time members.

The Review Board was formed in 2002 by Bishop William E. Lori to oversee the implementation of the diocesan Sexual Misconduct Policy and to function as a consultative body to the bishop. Review Boards are required in all U.S. dioceses as a direct result of The Charter for the Protection of Children and Young People (Charter), established by the U.S. Council of Catholic Bishops (USCCB) in June 2002 and revised in June, 2011.


Judge, Federal Prosecutor, Family Therapist Appointed to National Review Board

WASHINGTON—Archbishop Joseph E. Kurtz of Louisville, president of the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops (USCCB), has Named Judge Mary. K. Huffman of Centerville, Ohio; Assistant U.S. Attorney Donald J. Schmid of Granger, Indiana, and Marriage and Family Therapist Nelle Moriarty of Rochester, Minnesota to four-year terms on the U.S. bishops’ National Review Board. Their terms begin in June.
Archbishop Kurtz in the appointment letters said that “The National Review Board plays a vital role as a consultative body assisting the bishops in ensuring the accountability of our procedures in theCharter for the Protection of Children and Young People.” With a quote from the Charter, he added that “The whole Church, especially the laity, at both the diocesan and national levels, needs to be engaged in maintaining safe environments in the Church for children and young people.”
Judge Huffman has served as a judge on the Montgomery County, Ohio Common Pleas Bench since 2002, and is an adjunct faculty member of the University of Dayton School of Law, her alma mater. She currently is president of the Dayton Bar Association.
Mr. Schmid has been Assistant U.S. Attorney in the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Northern District of Indiana since 1994. He is a graduate of the University of Michigan Law School and the University of Notre Dame, where he was an adjunct professor of law, 2001-2008.
Nelle Moriarty has been a marriage and family therapist at Bluestem Center for Child and Family Development in Rochester, Minnesota since 1997, and a school counselor in Rochester Catholic Schools since 1992. She has been a trainer for the VIRTUS “Protecting God’s Children” program since 2011, and chairs the diocesan review board of the Diocese of Winona, Minnesota. She holds a master of science in counseling psychology from Mankato State University and has a Specialist Certificate in Human Sexuality from the University of Minnesota.

Sister Mary Ann Walsh
.(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address)
(O) 202-541-3200
(M) 301-325-7935

Important Downloads

News Articles

Other Important Links


A newly revised Policy and Procedures Relating to Allegations of Sexual Abuse of Minors by Priests or Deacons or by Lay Employees or Volunteers. This policy is in full accordance with state and federal laws and meets the Standards set forth in the Charter for the Protection of Children and Young people. All clergy, employees, volunteers and contract employees of the Diocese of Bridgeport will receive a copy of the policy.

This policy is contained within the 2015 Safe Environments Handbook (link below)


The following pages have been archived for reference only.  The new Code of Conduct and Sexual Misconduct Policies are contained within the 2015 Safe Environments Handbook.

Code of Conduct (defunct as of December 2014)

Sexual Misconduct Policy (defunct as of December 2014)