The Diocese of Toronto is committed to ensuring that clergy and those responsible for liturgical, pastoral, education or recreational activities maintain the highest ethical standards of mutual respect, responsibility and caring, as well as modeling wholeness and healthy sexuality in all their relationships with those for whom they have responsibility.
The Diocese has addressed this commitment in the following ways:
- Sexual Misconduct Policy (also available split into the policy and the procedures)
- Appointment of a Canon Pastor who is responsible for handling complaints and investigations.
- Responsible Ministry: Screening in Faith policy and program
- Sexual Misconduct Policy Parish Workshop Kit, including a Policy Brochure
- Sexual Misconduct Policy Training Videos
The policy applies to every bishop, priest, deacon or lay person under the jurisdiction of the Bishop of Toronto. Adherence to the policy is mandatory. All clergy, employed staff members and volunteers of the Diocese, its parishes and agencies, are expected to be familiar with the policy, consent to it and abide by it.
Exploitation of trust through sexual activity, touching for sexual purposes, or the suggestion or depiction of any such activity, will not be tolerated, and is to be reported to the Diocesan Canon Pastor, the Rev. Canon John Anderson at his confidential telephone number, 416-807-2494 or toll-free at 1-844-807-2494.
Sexual exploitation is taking advantage of the vulnerability of an adult where there is a fiduciary or pastoral relationship. It includes any form of sexual contact or invitation to sexual contact with an adult by a professional, a member of clergy or anyone in a position of power, whether or not there is consent.
Sexual assault includes sexual offences as defined in the Criminal Code of Canada and sexual abuse of children as defined in the Ontario Child and Family Services Act.
Suspected child abuse must be reported to a Children’s Aid Society. There is a special obligation on clergy and professionals to report child abuse.
For sexual harassment there are three alternative courses of action that may be followed:
- It is possible, on the agreement of both the complainant and the respondent, to attempt to resolve the problem through an informal process facilitated by a Diocesan resource person.
- It is also possible for the Diocese to refer the matter to mediation. Again this happens only if both parties consent.
- The third option is a formal process with an investigation.
- In all cases, support persons are offered to each of the parties involved.
- The final decision on complaints is made by the Diocesan Bishop.
- The Diocesan Response Team can help guide parishes affected by a complaint of sexual misconduct.
If the concern is about child abuse, call the Children’s Aid Society:
- Ontario Association of Children’s Aid’s Societies: 416-987-7725
- Durham Region: 905-433-1551
- Halton: 905-333-4441 or 1-866-607-5437
- Kawartha-Haliburton: 705-743-9751 or 1-800-661-2843
- Muskoka: 705-645-4426 or 1-800-680-4426 (Huntsville 705-789-8866)
- Northumberland: 905-372-1821 or 1-800-263-7902
- Peel Region: 905-363-6131 or 1-888-700-0996
- Toronto: 416-924-4646
- York Region: 905-895-2318 or 1-800-718-3850
If the matter concerns a possible offence under the Criminal Code, call the Police.
For information on the Responsible Ministry: Screening in Faith program, please review the Screening section of the web site or contact the Human Resources Manager, 416-363-6021 ext. 241 (1-800-668-8932).