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Bishop defends diocesan safe environment program

.- Bishop Salvatore Matano of Burlington, Vermont, has stepped up to defend the diocese's director of safe environment programs after an advocacy group called for his dismissal.

Former Burlington Police Chief Kevin Scully has been the diocesan employee responsible for training church workers in the prevention of child sexual abuse.

In a letter to David Clohessy, director of Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests, Bishop Matano said Scully has accomplished a lot in his 18 months with the diocese. Clohessy had criticized the diocese for failing to train all of its workers, including volunteers.

A recent audit found that Vermont and the Cincinnati diocese were the only two in the country that did not to meet all the standards set by the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops to prevent sexual abuse by priests.

The bishop told Clohessy he was concerned that the diocese had not completed its training as well, but he disagreed with Clohessy's conclusions, which "seem to lack basic information."

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