February 16, 2006

Oversight Board exercises vigilance

The Tidings

The Clergy Misconduct Oversight Board remains vigilant in its effort to ensure, ultimately, a safe environment for all people --- especially children --- in Los Angeles' parishes and Catholic schools.

"Our mission is to make sure that all allegations of misconduct by priests are investigated," says retired Los Angeles Superior Court Judge Richard P. Byrne, who has headed the Board from its inception in June 2002. "Our objective is to make sure that no priest who poses a danger to others is serving in ministry in the Archdiocese of Los Angeles."

The Board replaced the former Sexual Abuse Advisory Board that was formally established in 1994 and served continuously until 2002. The previous Board met and discussed cases with the Vicar for Clergy, who made his recommendations to the cardinal. The new Board takes an active approach in assessing and directing investigations, and makes its recommendations directly to Cardinal Roger Mahony.

Judge Byrne, a former deputy district attorney who had served on the Sexual Abuse Advisory Board, helped draft the charter for the new entity. His career on the bench included a tenure as the presiding judge of Juvenile Court in Los Angeles County, dealing with dependency cases and family law.

Posted by kshaw at February 16, 2006 07:30 PM