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Annual Conference Focuses on Child and Youth Protection

More than 150 safe environment and victim assistance coordinators representing dioceses from across the United States participated in the 16th annual Child and Youth Protection Catholic Leadership Conference in Grand Rapids in June.

The conference marked the 20th anniversary of the Charter for the Protection of Children and Young People, established in response to allegations of clergy sex abuse in the Church.

Speakers included Bishop James V. Johnston, Jr., chair of the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops (USCCB) Committee for the Protection of Children and Young People; Suzanne Healy, a member of the USCCB National Review Board; and Deacon Bernie Nojadera, executive director of the USCCB Secretariat of Child and Youth Protection, among many others.

The opening Mass was celebrated by Grand Rapids Bishop David Walkowiak and concelebrated by Bishop Johnston and Bishop Boyea.