Catholic Diocese of Richmond

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Diocesan Review Board

The Review Board assists the bishop in examining and assessing allegations of sexual abuse of minors and vulnerable adults by clergy and other Church personnel and in determining the fitness for ministry of an alleged offender.

The Review Board is composed of no more than seven regular members. All the regular members are persons recognized for their integrity, good judgement and respect for the Catholic Church. The majority of regular members are lay persons not in the employ of the diocese. One member must have professional experience in the area of sexual abuse of minors. One member is an experienced and respected priest of the diocese.

The bishop appoints the members of the Review Board. The membership term is for three years and is renewable, with a limit of three terms for a total of nine years. The non-voting members appointed to the Review Board include a priest as the bishop’s representative, an advisory resource staff, the Director of Safe Environment and the Victim Assistance Coordinator. To learn more about the Review Board members who currently serve, click here.

In carrying out its responsibility to assist the bishop with assessing allegations of sexual abuse of minors and vulnerable adults, the duties assigned to the Review Board include:

  • To examine and assess the facts relevant to an allegation.
  • To review the facts gathered by the Fact-Finder and other relevant sources. After examining the materials presented by the Fact-Finder, the Review Board can direct the Fact-Finder to continue with further fact-finding. Whenever it does so, the Review Board will establish a strict and expeditious timeline for the Fact-Finder to conclude his or her work.
  • To assess the allegation(s) for credibility, substance and gravity based on the facts.
  • To report its findings to the bishop, determining appropriate actions relating to the accused and the accuser.
  • To provide the bishop with advice and consultation in judging the allegations(s) and determining appropriate actions relating to the accused and the accuser.
  • To monitor the implementation of actions directed by the bishop.
  • To ensure that all documents related to the allegation(s) are filed with the Office of Safe Environment following the decision to ensure a thorough and complete record of the proceedings.
  • To transfer custody to the Office of Safe Environment all other documentation related to the allegation to avoid personal data exposure. Electronic documents must be deleted.
  • 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.