Archdiocese of San Francisco

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Independent Review Board


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.”
Promise to Protect; Pledge to Heal – USCCB 2002 (revised 2005)
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. Suzanne McDonnell Giraudo), a pediatrician (Dr. Eileen G. Aicardi), 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 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) takes part in deliberations but is not a member and has no vote.
The Archdiocese’s Victim Assistance Coordinator, Renee Duffey, PsyD, 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.
A Prayer for Healing

Victims of Abuse God of endless love, Ever caring, ever strong, always present, always just: You gave your only Son over suffering and death. Gentle Jesus, shepherd of peace, Join to your own suffering The pain of all who have been hurt In body, mind, and spirit By those who betrayed the trust placed in them. Hear our cries as we agonize Over the harm done to our brothers and sisters. Breathe wisdom into our prayers, Soothe restless hearts wit hope, Steady shaken spirits with faith: Show us the way to justice and wholeness, Enlightened by truth and enfolded in your mercy. Holy Spirit, comforter of hearts, Heal your people’s wounds And transform our brokenness. Grant us courage and wisdom, humility and grace, So that we may act with justice And find peace in you. We ask this through Christ, our Lord. AMEN. USCCB, c. 2004