At the Diocesan Vocations Centre we are conscious of the responsibility which we have to ensure that the pre-seminary selection of candidates for priesthood is carried out in a way which contributes to the protection of children and other vulnerable persons. There are good reasons other than child protection for many of the procedures outlined below. We believe, however, that this policy will help to ensure that nothing which the Diocesan Vocations Centre does or fails to do, will result in children being placed at risk.
Vocations Promotion Activities
The Diocesan Vocations Centre will always seek to promote vocation to the priesthood in a manner which respects the personal freedom and dignity of all concerned.
- Arrangements for classroom presentations for vocations promotion purposes will be agreed with the school principal in every case. The presence of a staff member during the presentation will be a requirement. Presentations to non-school groups involving young people under eighteen will be arranged in a similar manner.
- DVC personnel will take particular care to ensure that meetings involving minors take place in a safe environment and in a manner which is in keeping with current child-protection guidelines.
- Email response to enquiries from children will seek to be age-appropriate. Children will never be asked to furnish personal information or contact details.
- DVC will take all possible precautions to ensure that graphic material which depicts violence, or which is sexually explicit, will not appear anywhere on the Vocations Web Site, either directly, or inadvertently through web-advertising. We will welcome representations concerning any problem in this area which may need to be drawn to our attention.
Applicants for Seminary Formation: Evaluation and Selection
We appreciate the fact that nobody wishes to be the subject of scrutiny. We are confident, however, that any reasonable person who offers himself as a candidate for priesthood, will recognise the importance of a thorough background check for child-protection purposes. We emphasise that the carrying out of such a check is a matter of routine and does not imply anything about the character of any particular applicant.
- Each applicant will be asked to agree to a background check which will include written and oral contacts with previous employers, and responsible persons in voluntary bodies with which he has been involved.
- Each applicant will be asked to undergo a thorough psychological assessment, which will be carried out by a qualified clinical psychologist.
- DVC is currently seeking to establish a procedure whereby a Garda check, with the consent of the applicant, will form part of the background check.
- DVC will make available the name, date-of-birth, and last known address of each applicant, to be registered on a national data-base of applicants as soon as this facility has been agreed and established.
- In the event that reasonable grounds exist for believing that an applicant may be likely to place children or other vulnerable persons at risk, he will not be accepted as a candidate for priesthood. A more complete presentation of the admissions process followed by the diocese can be found on our FAQ page.