VIRTUS—which derives from Latin and means valor, moral strength, excellence and worth—is the brand name that identifies best practices programs designed to help prevent wrongdoing and promote correct actions in religious organizations.
This brand was developed by the
National Catholic Risk Retention Group Inc. and selected by the diocese because of its quality and for the ability of the diocese to "train the trainer" and have those individuals train other people in the diocese.
At that time, the VIRTUS program, "Protecting God's Children," was implemented. The VIRTUS workshops help people recognize improper behavior.
A "Diocesan Code of Pastoral Conduct" was implemented in the diocese on Sept. 30, 2012, for all clergy and church personnel who are in contact with minors and vulnerable adults. That code, in part, requires all clergy, paid employees and regular volunteers to comply with Pennsylvania Acts 33 and 34. The parishes are required to keep the clearances on file.
VIRTUS training is required of all clergy, as well as employees and volunteers prior to clergy assignment, employment or engaging as a volunteer. The initial course required for all is “Protecting God’s Children Awareness.” To meet the five-year update requirement there are two additional courses from which to choose, “VIRTUS Protecting God’s Children Re-Certification for Adults” and “Keeping the Promise Alive.” All three courses are available in the VIRTUS Online System.
All individuals who must complete VIRTUS training are encouraged to complete the session online. For those individuals that are unable to complete the session online, there will be facilitator sessions offered throughout the Diocese.
The schedule of VIRTUS training sessions offered locally by the diocese can be found online, published in
The Catholic Accent newspaper and listed in all parish bulletins.