FALL RIVER — The Fall River Diocese has announced the creation of a national method by which sexual misconduct of bishops can be reported.

However, implementation of that program is months away so dioceses in the Boston Province have agreed to join a program already established by the Archdiocese of Boston through the independent EthicsPoint website, the diocese announced.

To file and track a submission using that system go to www.Bishopreporting.ethicspoint.com.

The new national system will be designed to receive, via phone or email, confidential information reporting alleged violations, according to the press release.

The measure was approved at the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops in June and establishes “a third-party national reporting system for allegations or complaints involving bishops in the United States.”

It also requires new procedures for investigating crimes by bishops including both allegations of sexual abuse and any coverup “by way of actions or omissions intended to conceal information or to interfere with investigations.”

In May, Pope Francis required all dioceses in every country to establish a public, accessible and reliable system for reporting crimes of clergy sexual abuse and any coverup of abuse by May 31, 2020.

“In order for the Catholic Church to continue to restore trust and credibility, leadership must be committed to transparency and accountability,” a spokesperson said. “We hope and pray that this effort will further strengthen the work begun nearly two decades ago to offer healing.”

The area covered is the Province of Boston which includes the Archdiocese of Boston, Diocese of Fall River, Diocese of Worcester, Diocese of Springfield, Diocese of Burlington, Vermont, Diocese of Manchester, N.H. and the Diocese of Portland, Maine.

George W. Rhodes can be reached at 508-236-0432.

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