Priests in Montreal will soon need to submit to fingerprint-based background checks, and some already have.
It’s part of a larger project undertaken by the Catholic Church of Montreal in an effort to prevent abuse of the vulnerable, particularly concerning the sexual abuse of children that has been found to be pervasive in the Church in recent years. The new program will see all volunteers and employees of the Church vetted in a rigorous screening process, and lays out requirements ensuring that minors are not left alone with individual church officials.
The program has trialed in ten churches already, and the CBC reports that it will be expanded to all 194 Catholic churches and ministries in Montreal by the year 2020.
Concerns about sexual abuse and other security issues have prompted calls for biometric background checks in other areas, one of the most contentious in recent years being ride-hailing services like Uber and Lyft, which have resisted such regulations. For the Church’s part, the new measures appear to be the initiative of the Archdiocese of Montreal, not government authorities.
June 22, 2017 – by Alex Perala