Intake Officer

An allegation of misconduct by a clergyperson should go to the Intake Officer, and may be referred to the Bishop or any other church official who has the information. That person may be the person allegedly injured by the conduct.

The primary responsibility of the Intake Officer is to obtain as much information as possible about the alleged misconduct, short of a full investigation. That information includes the identity of the clergyperson allegedly responsible for the misconduct, a full narrative description of the incident or acts of misconduct alleged, the identity of all other witnesses, and the identity of any others who may have been victimized by the misconduct. The Intake Officer will also determine whether or not there is any tangible or electronic material related to the alleged misconduct.

The key goal of the Intake Officer is to decide whether or not the facts presented, if any were true, would constitute an “Offense” under the Canons. (Title IV.6.5). This determination expressly excludes any determination as to the actual truth of the allegations.

While working with the people providing this information, the Intake Officer advises each person about the procedures the Church follows to consider and respond to allegations of misconduct, including the rights of the Complainant.

The person making a complaint or providing information to the Intake Officer can usually locate the Intake Officer by contacting the Diocesan Office, the Bishop’s office, or the Diocesan website. No information needs to be disclosed. In some dioceses, there is more than one Intake Officer. A complainant or other information provider may be more comfortable with one or the other.
A Chancellor may be asked to help the Intake Officer with canonical interpretations and the scope of their duties, or in the choice of effective information-gathering techniques. This may include training, coaching, and consultation, but not direction. A Chancellor cannot have a direct role in any disciplinary process.
A Bishop will often be the initial recipient of a complaint or information about misconduct. If so, and the Bishop determines that the allegations describe any conduct that could constitute an Offense under Title IV, the Bishop is required promptly to forward the information to the Intake Officer. In selecting the Intake Officer(s), the Bishop will want to be sure the person(s) can effectively fulfill this critical and sensitive initial step in the Title IV process.
Members of the Standing Committee have a very limited role in Title IV matters but do help assure that the diocese has taken steps to provide the canonically required structures and officials of the disciplinary system with sufficient training and resources to implement the canons. Only in cases involving allegations of abandonment by a clergyperson does the Standing Committee have a participatory role in Title IV proceedings. (Title IV.16) When the Standing Committee is acting as ecclesiastical authority in the absence of a bishop, it has some additional responsibility. In this event, the Standing Committee should consult with its Chancellor to determine the scope of its authority and responsibility.
These groups have no direct role or responsibility in a Title IV proceeding, unless a member is one of the sources of information or complaint to the Intake Officer. Diocesan committee and staff members could be asked to be a witness or provide documents or other materials to be disclosed in the proceedings. Generally, however, members should not try to get more information or provide information to anyone in the process. Their most important task is to refer people to the right person, and to do that in a spirit of pastoral care and confidentiality.
Investigators may be engaged by the Intake Officer for a preliminary investigation, or by the Reference Panel for a more substantive investigation of more serious or complex allegations. This will usually include interviewing witnesses and may include forensic work with documents or other materials. The Investigator must be knowledgeable about Title IV and an experienced investigator. (Title IV.2) These sensitive matters require attention to confidentiality and discretion.
A Conciliator will help the Intake Officer understand how the information about the matter has come to the attention of the Diocese, and the work undertaken by the Intake Officer in gathering preliminary information from the Complainant and possible other witnesses. The Conciliator will not be provided with the Intake Officer’s file.
It is important for Board Members to understand how the initial complaint information came to the attention of the Diocese, and the role of the Intake Officer in the preliminary engagement with the Complainant and witnesses, if any. This is summarized in the Intake Officer’s Report, which is part of the record of the case.
Loading FAQs...

Loading Glossary...

No words could be found.
Loading Resources...

No resources could be found.