Catholic Review Board to Form Bishop Pilla Will Name 11 People to Assess Sex-Abuse Allegations

By Colette M. Jenkins
The Beacon Journal [Cleveland OH]
Downloaded May 1, 2003

Bishop Anthony M. Pilla expects to make appointments as early as next week to an 11-member review board that will assess the credibility of sex-abuse allegations against employees of the Catholic Diocese of Cleveland.

Diocese spokesman Robert Tayek said board members will be selected from a pool of 30 candidates, whose names are being submitted to Pilla today by William Denihan, who headed an independent commission that developed a new diocese policy for addressing allegations of sexual abuse of children.

The policy, which was adopted Feb. 28, called for the creation of a review board composed primarily of lay people.

It also requires that the board consist of a clinician with experience in the detection and/or treatment of child sexual abuse victims and in the detection and/or treatment of child sexual abuse offenders; a survivor of child sexual abuse who has completed a course of treatment; a parent; a parish priest; a church lawyer; an attorney; someone with investigative experience; someone with experience in human resources; and someone trained in administrative law and dispute resolution.

Denihan and five other members of the commission that developed the policy chose the 30 candidates for Pilla's review from a pool of 121 applicants. In April, 67 of the applicants were interviewed and Denihan and his subcommittee chose three candidates for each review board position, except that of parish priest, which was left to Pilla's discretion.

Tayek said the names of the 30 candidates will not be released, but the original pool of 121 applicants included members of the original commission and residents from all eight counties within the diocese, including Summit, Medina and Wayne.

In addition to assessing the credibility of abuse allegations, the review board will be responsible for advising the bishop of its conclusions, monitoring cases and making recommendations concerning the continuation of ministry or service of priests, deacons, seminarians and other diocesan employees.

Once the review board is created, its first task will be to develop its governing procedures.


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