Maintaining a Safe Environment for Children

To comply with the USCCB Charter and Norms, the Diocese of Knoxville’s Safe Environment Program requires all clergy, employees, contracted school personnel, volunteers, members of groups and organizations, over the age of 18, who work, volunteer or participate in any capacity to complete the Diocesan Safe Environment training and have a criminal background check before they may begin employment, volunteer, or participate with ministries, groups and organizations.

In addition, the mandatory renewal training must be completed every 5 years and a new background check submitted before the 5 year expiration of prior training. The Diocese of Knoxville Safe Environment compliance training and renewal training is a condition of employment and for volunteer ministry in the Diocese of Knoxville.

Please click here to go to the Safe Environment page for information regarding registration, training, and compliance.

Safe Environment Coordinator for Saint Mary Parish, Oak Ridge: Denise Miller, (865) 603-5822 or .

Who must comply with the Safe Environment Program?

All employees and volunteers must be in full compliance of the Safe Environment
Program. Volunteers are defined as those who have the opportunity to be alone
with or in proximity to either a minor (below 18 years of age) or a vulnerable
adult. Examples could include:
• Catechists
• Choir Members
• Extraordinary Ministers of Holy Communion
• Ushers
• Youth Ministers and Youth Coordinators
• Interns and students over the age of 18
• Teachers
• Chaperones
• Scout Leaders and Volunteers
• Coaches
• Drivers
• Others in similar capacities, i.e., those who have the opportunity be alone
with or in proximity to either a minor (below 18 years of age) or a
vulnerable adult

Procedure for reporting sexual abuse:

Involving a bishop:

Anyone who has actual knowledge of or reasonable cause to suspect an incident of sexual harassment, abuse, or misconduct by a bishop should report their allegation to or call (800) 276-1562. This reporting service is operated by Convercent, Inc., an independent, third-party entity that provides intake services to private institutions for reports of sensitive topics such as sexual harassment through a secure, confidential and professional platform.

Involving a priest, deacon, religious, or layperson:

Anyone who has actual knowledge of or who has reasonable cause to suspect an incident of sexual abuse should report such information to the appropriate civil authorities first, then to the Diocesan Victims’ Assistance Coordinator, Marla Lenihan, 865-482-1388.

Procedimiento para reportar casos de abuso sexual:

Sobre un obispo:

Cualquier persona que tenga conocimiento real o una causa razonable para sospechar de un incidente de acoso sexual, abuso o mala conducta por parte de un obispo, debe reportar su denuncia a o llamar al (800) 276-1562. Este servicio para hacer denuncias es operado por Convercent, Inc., una entidad externa e independiente, que ofrece servicios de información a instituciones privadas para reportar temas delicados como el acoso sexual, a través de una plataforma segura, confidencial y profesional.

Sobre un sacerdote, diácono, religioso o laico:

Cualquier persona que tenga conocimiento real o que tenga una causa razonable para sospechar de un incidente de abuso sexual debe reportar primero tal información a las autoridades civiles apropiadas, y a la coordinadora diocesana de asistencia a las víctimas Marla Lenihan al 865-482-1388. Para asistencia en español durante el contacto inicial, favor de comunicarse con Blanca Primm, llamando al 865-637-4769. Toda información recibida será tratada con la más absoluta confidencialidad.

List(s) of priests credibly accused of abusing minors:

Diocese of Knoxville list of priests credibly accused of abusing minors

Diocese of Knoxville publishes names of priests accused of abusing minors

Diocese of Nashville publishes names of priests accused of abusing minors