The Diocesan Review Board is an advisory committee that assists the Bishop of Richmond in examining and assessing allegations of sexual abuse of minors by clergy and other church personnel and in determining the fitness for ministry of an alleged offender. In addition, the board reviews and proposes revisions to policies and procedures on all aspects of the diocesan Safe Environment program.
The Review Board is composed of individual recognized for their integrity, good judgement and full communion with the Church. The majority of the regular members of the board are lay persons not in the employ of the diocese. The board is composed of lay individuals in the field of civil and canon law as well as individuals in the field of mental health with expertise working with victim survivors of abuse.
The Bishop appoints the members of the Review Board for three- year terms which can be renewed. In addition, the Bishop appoints a priest as his Representative to the Review Board and a Secretary for the Review Board who both are non -voting members.
The duties of the Review Board include:
- To gather and examine facts relevant to an allegation.
- To convene a Fact-Finding Committee to assist in gathering the facts.
- To direct and monitor the work of each Fact- Finding Committee.
- To keep the Bishop, the accuser, and the accused informed of progress with the allegation.
- To review the facts gathered by a Fact- Finding Committee and other relevant facts.
- To assess the allegation(s) for credibility, substance and gravity based on the facts.
- To report its findings to the Bishop, with advice and consultation in judging the allegation(s) and determining appropriate actions relating to the accused and the accuser.
- To monitor the implementation of actions directed to the Bishop.
- To document and keep a record of all the proceedings related to the allegation(s).
- To maintain, if necessary, an adequate number of persons who are prepared and available to be called upon as part of a fact-Finding Committee.
- To review and propose revisions of policies and procedures for handling allegations.
*Further information regarding the Diocesan Review Board can be found in the Diocesan Safe Environment Regulations.