Jesus with children

Independent Review Board

Archbishop Cordileone has identified a group of well-educated and highly skilled professionals to advise the Archdiocese on matters relating to abuse by clergy. This group includes a psychologist (Dr. Renee Duffey), a physician (Dr. Esther Dunn), an attorney (Sr. Mary Gemma O'Keeffe, RSM), a retired judge (Honorable Claude D. Perasso), a retired policeman (Mr. Dan L. Lawson), a survivor, (John McCord), and one pastor (Fr. John Ryan). There is a balance of men and women, and several members are also parents.

The Independent Review Board (IRB) oversees the "Safe Environment" program of the Archdiocese and has acted as a consultant to religious orders of priests. The Vicar for Clergy and the Archbishop meet regularly with this Board. The Victim Assistance Coordinator and the Diocesan Attorney serve as support staff, but are not members. They, along with the Archbishop and the Vicar for Clergy, excuse themselves during IRB deliberations on particular cases. The Judicial Vicar (Msgr. Michael Padazinski) is a member and takes part in deliberations, but has no vote.

The Archdiocese's Victim Assistance Coordinator, Rocio Rodriguez, can be reached at (415) 614-5506,, and works with the Archbishop, the Independent Review Board and the Vicar for Clergy to coordinate support for victims and their families.

Independent Review Boards are addresed in the USCCB document, Promise to Protect; Pledge to Heal – USCCB 2002 (Revised 2005 and 2010), Article 2: "Dioceses are also to have a review board that functions as a confidential consultative body to the bishop. The majority of its members are to be lay persons not in the employ of the diocese."

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