Protection of Minors

Resources for Accountability, Healing & Reconciliation

CMSM is committed to prevention, accountability, healing and reconciliation.

Religious communities and institutes for consecrated life, as with all Church organizations, must ensure that children and young people who worship, study, or participate in activities sponsored by our communities do so in the safest and most secure setting possible and proactively ensure that those who have abused are prevented from causing further harm to others.

Since 2002, CMSM has worked through its members, leaders of men religious institutes, to promote the protection of minors in men's religious communities, often partnering with organizations such as the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops and Praesidium, the entity that provides accreditation for religious orders. Among our efforts, with Praesidium, members, and experts in child protection, we have developed national standards; established a National Advisory Council, an independent panel of nationally recognized experts who advise CMSM on matters related to the protection of minors for religious institutes of men; and provided continuing education to our member institutes.

Child Abuse Prevention Month (April)

This annual observance is a both national and Church effort and provides an opportunity to build awareness of this important topic. View some key free resources for sharing in April and throughout the year.

Conversations That Matter

CMSM is privileged to distribute the excellent series of learning modules, Conversations That Mattera resource designed to assist those in leadership of institutes for consecrated life for men, or involved in formational aspects of community life, to address the vital and important issues of sexual abuse of minors by clergy and male religious.

Resources and Documents

Over the past 15 years, CMSM has worked closely with its members and with partners at the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops, Praesidium and other organizations, persons and groups committed to ensuring the church is and remains a safe environment for minors. These resources highlight current information, reports, research and activities related to the protection of minors in the Catholic Church.


CMSM offers workshops, webinars and other resources for our members, fellow religious, and other experts or professionals engaged in the protection of minors in the Church. An archive with materials of many of the past events is online.

History of Programs for the Protection of Minors

Beginning in August of 2002, the Conference of Major Superiors of Men (CMSM) embarked upon a long-term program of education and accountability, which honors and fulfills the standards set forth by the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops (USCCB) regarding the protection of minors in the Catholic Church.