Catholic churches require volunteers’ fingerprints
LAS VEGAS (AP) – The bishop of the Roman Catholic Diocese of Las Vegas has decreed that anyone who volunteers in a Catholic parish in Las Vegas must be fingerprinted or they cannot volunteer.
The move by Bishop Joseph Pepe is in response to sex and child abuse scandals around the world.
The order covers all activities, including ushers and those who clean up litter at a church festival.
Mary Ann Walsh, the director of media relations for the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops, said the order didn’t come down from the Vatican.
She said each diocese can carry out a child protection program as it deems appropriate.
In 2004, the church found that of the 521 priests who served in Nevada from 1950 to 1995, eight were accused of sexual abuse of a minor.