CATHOLIC APOSTOLIC CHURCH OF ANTIOCH
The Catholic Apostolic Church of Antioch, (hereinafter, the Church), has established an Anti-Discrimination Policy. This policy applies to all aspects of the relationship between the Church and its clergy, seminarians, participants in any Church-related function, as well as the general public. This policy also applies to all independent contractors, temporary employees, all personnel working on the premises, and any other persons or firms doing business for or with the Church. This policy applies to Church Central and to all ministries of the Church, without exception.
All clergy, seminarians, volunteers, employees, directors, officers, and guests of the Church and the Church’s ministries are covered by this policy. This policy applies to all activities which take place on the premises of the Church or its ministries (including interpersonal and electronic communications) or which are directly related to the Church’s ministries and during any ministry-related task or activity, including conferences, training sessions, travel and social functions.
- DISCRIMINATION DEFINITION
The Catholic Apostolic Church of Antioch shall not tolerate, under any circumstances and without exception, any form of discrimination based on race, creed, religion, color, age, disability, pregnancy, marital status, parental status, veteran status, military status, domestic violence victim status, national origin, political affiliation, sex, predisposing genetic characteristics, sexual orientation, gender identification, financial status and any other status protected by the law. This list is not exhaustive. For qualified people with disabilities, the Church will make every effort to provide reasonable workplace accommodations that comply with applicable laws. All clergy, seminarians, employees, managers, stakeholders, and agents of the Church will comply with these anti-discrimination policies. In some cases, local laws and regulations may provide greater protections than those described in this policy.
- RIGHTS, ROLES AND RESPONSIBILITIES
Each and every clergyperson, seminarian, volunteer, and employee of The Catholic Apostolic Church of Antioch is expected to support the implementation of this policy by:
- Behaving in a manner that reflects professional conduct, mutual respect for others and respect for diversity in the ministry environment;
- Refraining from engaging in any acts of discrimination;
- Participating fully and in good faith in any resolution process or formal complaint and investigation process when it has been determined that they are able to provide relevant information;
- Reporting any ministry related discrimination they experience or observe that may contravene this policy; and
- Respecting the rights to personal dignity, privacy and confidentiality relating to this policy.
- LEADERSHIP AND INDIVIDUAL RESPONSIBILITY
All ministry leaders have a responsibility to maintain a ministry that is free of discrimination. Leaders are directly responsible for the conduct of their staff and the smooth running of their ministry.
Also, the Church expects all individuals associated with any Church ministry to comply with this policy and to conduct themselves appropriately.
Ministry leaders are responsible for:
- Promoting a ministry that is free of discrimination and setting an example of appropriate behavior;
- Communicating the process for investigating and resolving complaints of discrimination;
- Dealing with discrimination situations immediately after becoming aware of them, whether or not a complaint of discrimination has been made;
- Taking appropriate action during investigations into complaints of discrimination, including the separation of the parties to the complaint, if necessary; and
- Ensuring that discrimination situations are handled in a sensitive and confidential manner.
All those associated with the ministry in any way whatsoever are responsible for:
- Treating others with fairness, respect, free of any discriminatory behavior;
- Informing the ministry leader or the Presiding Bishop of any discrimination;
- Collaborating in any investigation into a complaint of discrimination and respecting the confidentiality of the investigation process;
All those associated with the ministry in any way whatsoever can expect:
- To be treated with fairness, respect, free of any discriminatory behavior;
- That reports of discrimination will be dealt with in a timely, confidential and effective manner;
- To have their rights to a fair process and to confidentiality respected during an investigation into a complaint of discrimination; and
- To be protected against retaliation for reporting discrimination or cooperating with an investigation into a complaint of discrimination.
If you observe discrimination or believe you are being discriminated against in the course of the Church’s ministry or any other activity sponsored by the Church, here are the first things you can do:
- Everyone is encouraged to make it clear to the person who is the source of the discrimination that their behavior is undesirable and that it must be stopped.
- If the behavior persists, keep records of incidents of behavior which you consider to be discriminator, noting the date and time of the incident and details of any witnesses. Such records can be helpful in describing the problem and may also be used if any formal action is subsequently taken.
- Should the behavior continue, the individual should approach their ministry leader or if that person is the one causing the concerns, the Presiding Bishop of the Church.
- Make your complaint of discrimination by contacting your ministry leader or the Presiding Bishop. The complaint may be verbal or in writing. If the complaint is made verbally, the ministry leader or the Presiding Bishop will record the details provided by the individual.
- A ministry leader handling the complaint of discrimination is likely, in the first instance, to discuss the complaint informally with the alleged offender. This should take place without delay after the complaint has been made. If the matter is not resolved informally, the leader will initiate an investigation.
- Following an investigation, the decision of the leader will be confirmed in writing to the complainant and the person against whom the allegation has been made.
- If the leader concludes that discrimination has taken place, the leader will discuss the findings with the Presiding Bishop. The ministry leader and the Presiding Bishop will determine any disciplinary or corrective actions to be taken and who will be responsible for implementing them.
Complaints should be made as soon as possible but no later than within one year of the last incident of perceived bullying, unless there are circumstances that prevented the individual from doing so.
- HOW COMPLAINTS WILL BE DEALT WITH
Any claims of discrimination will be investigated promptly and discreetly. All complaints are treated with sensitivity and are kept confidential as possible. If you witness discrimination and make a complaint about it, we will never disclose who made a complaint to anyone or give out information that may help others identify that person. An appropriate disciplinary action will be taken to eliminate inappropriate behavior.
In addition, you are not required to report your complaint to the person who is the subject of the complaint. For example, if your complaint concerns your ministry leader, you can report your complaint to the Presiding Bishop. If the subject of your complaint is the Presiding Bishop, you may report your complaint to a Bishop of the Church, active and in good standing. The Bishop to whom you report your claim is responsible for investigating the complaint.
However, if someone in the course of the ministry’s worship or the course of any other ministry-sponsored function engages in conduct that makes you feel uncomfortable, we encourage you to tell them that the conduct is unwelcome, that you find it offensive, and that you ask that it stop immediately.
Ministry leaders or the Presiding Bishop will promptly investigate complaints. You must cooperate fully in such investigations. If warranted, the Church will take appropriate corrective action, up to and including release from the Church or Sophia Divinity School, or termination of employment or volunteer status.
The Church will not tolerate intimidation, victimization, retaliation or discrimination against an individual for filing a complaint or assisting in an investigation, whether or not the complaint is upheld. Where such action is alleged, the matter will be dealt with in the same way as an allegation of harassment or bullying.
If you believe you have been subject to reprisal, you can use any of the resources described above to report your concern.
- DISCIPLINARY MEASURES FOR DISCRIMINATION
Whether or not an actual law has been violated, any clergyperson engaging in behavior that violates this policy will be subject to disciplinary action including, but not limited to, the revocation of the person’s charter, laicization or excommunication as deemed appropriate by the Presiding Bishop. Any seminarian that violates this policy will be subject to disciplinary action, up to and including possible removal from the seminary program. The Church will sever its relationship with any organization doing business with or providing any service to the Church if it violates this policy unless legally obligated to the offending agency by a binding contract. If legally obligated to the offending agency, the Church will not renew any contracts with the agency once the current contract expires.