Virtus Website

The Protection of Children: United States Catholic Conference of Bishops (USCCB)

From the Virtus.org website:

What are the VIRTUS® programs?

VIRTUS is the brand name that identifies best practices programs designed to help prevent wrongdoing and promote "rightdoing" within religious organizations. The VIRTUS programs empower organizations and people to better control risk and improve the lives of all those who interact with the Church.

Who created the VIRTUS programs?

The National Catholic Risk Retention Group, Inc. (National Catholic) created the programs. Monsignor Kevin McCoy, past board chairman of National Catholic, asked whether child sexual abuse could be prevented and, if so, how? In March of 1998, National Catholic invited prominent national experts—experts in many disciplines—to discuss these questions at a forum in Washington, D.C. From those discussions, the initiative for the VIRTUS programs was created. The National Catholic Board of Directors selected an Ad Hoc Committee to oversee development of the programs. The Ad Hoc Committee was assisted by a steering committee of nationally known experts and program and service providers.

Why did National Catholic select VIRTUS as the brand name for the programs?

The word virtus derives from Latin, and means valor, moral strength, excellence, and worth. In ancient times, virtus denoted a way of life and manner of behavior that always aspired to the highest, most positive attributes of people and aspects of human interaction.

VIRTUS Programs: Our Concept and Methodology

The VIRTUS programs are a platform that provide the foundation, and also, the superstructure, of all the risk control (loss prevention/loss control) initiatives undertaken by National Catholic on behalf of its shareholders and the Church.

The VIRTUS programs constantly and consistently employ several elements as the cornerstone of their methodology. These are (summarized):

  • they target both institutional change, and also, individual behavior modification, with appropriate products/services.
  • they provide both reactive/responsive and proactive tools, often assembled as "toolkits," to address the exposure areas confronting our insureds.
  • they employ multiple modalities (written materials, web training modules, audiotapes, videotapes, training manuals, seminars, etc.), to reach our audience.
  • they utilize a "Think Tank" development model, including engagement of an Expert Consulting Team that assists with the development and implementation of our products/services.
  • they are "constructed" and deployed in phases or components (Phase I of the VIRTUS programs deals with child sexual abuse and other inappropriate sexual behavior; we intend for Phase II to address violence prevention/mitigation; etc.).
  • they exist as an ongoing process—phases are never "finished," but rather are continuously refined and updated, and constantly available.
  • all activities are designed to ensure a constant product/service "pipeline."
  • they seek and engage outstanding professional service providers for product development and training, whom we manage synergistically.
  • they are committed to measurable results and continuous improvement.
  • they adhere to a "best practices" standard.

Through the VIRTUS programs, we are committed and dedicated to the task of constantly providing National Catholic’s shareholders, and indeed the broader Church, with the absolute finest, most cost efficient, and effective risk control measures available anywhere.