June 3, 2019
By Mike Latona
For more than a quarter-century, an advisory group in the Diocese of Rochester has played a crucial role in addressing cases of alleged child sexual abuse by clergy.
The Diocesan Review Board, a confidential consultative panel, provides guidance and advice to Bishop Salvatore R. Matano in assessing sexual-abuse allegations and determining whether accused people are suitable to continue in ministry. The board also assists in updating diocesan polices related to handling and preventing sexual abuse.
The board was established by Bishop Emeritus Matthew H. Clark in 1993, nine years before the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops’ Charter for the Protection of Children and Young People made such boards mandatory for all dioceses and eparchies nationwide.
In keeping with provisions of the bishops’ 2002 charter, the current review board primarily comprises laypeople who are not employed by the diocese. These volunteer members have experience and expertise in such areas as law enforcement, child-protective services and the practices of law, psychiatry and psychology. Two priests also sit on the board.
Members of the current Diocesan Review Board are Douglas Nordquist, retired Town of Ogden police chief; James VanBrederode, current Town of Gates police chief; John McIntyre, psychiatry professor at the University of Rochester Medical Center; Robert Napier, a criminal defense lawyer; Teresa Pare, an attorney specializing in family law; Margaret Joynt, a retired child-advocacy lawyer; Jeff Munson, a clinical social worker who works with men who were sexually abused as youths; Father Daniel Condon, diocesan chancellor; and Father Kevin McKenna, rector of Sacred Heart Cathedral and diocesan chancellor from 1991-2001. Assisting the board are attorney Philip Spellane along with Deborah Housel, diocesan victim assistance coordinator.
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