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 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, which provides accreditation for religious orders, in this effort. Among our efforts, we have developed standards in consultation with partner organizations, members and experts; 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. 

CMSM statement on abuse and healing (August 2018)

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.

Current Documentation

Over the past 15 years, CMSM has worked diligently on its own 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. Here is some key documentation which highlights current information, reports, research and activities related to the protection of minors in the Catholic Church.


CMSM offers a variety of events for our members, fellow religious, and other experts or professionals concerned with or working in areas related to the protection of minors in the church. The information for these events is shared with all participants and an archive is made available here on our website.

USCCB Resources

CMSM maintains a strong relationship with the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops (USCCB) to ensure access to resources that can be both valuable and adaptable to the efforts for protection of minors that is ongoing in men's religious communities and institutes for consecrated life.

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.