Facebook Twitter Contact Safe Environment Intranet for Staff and Parishes The Cathedral of Christ the Light

Skip to content. | Skip to navigation

Personal tools


Diocesan Review Board

You are here: Home / Offices / Safe Environment and Victims Assistance / Diocesan Review Board

Diocesan Review Board

Members 2019


Diocesan Review Board

A Review Board for the Diocese of Oakland has been in existence since 1993.  Its purpose is to assist the Bishop of the diocese in reviewing and handling cases of alleged sexual abuse against persons acting in the name of the Church. In earlier years the Board was called the Sensitive Issues Committee.  The Board is responsible for investigating allegations of clergy sexual abuse, assessing the allegation and making recommendations to the Bishop regarding the alleged offender.  In 2003 the Sensitive Issues Committee was renamed the Diocesan Review Board.  It operates as a consultative body to the Bishop.

The purpose of the Diocesan Review Board is to assist the Bishop of the Diocese in reviewing and handling cases of alleged sexual abuse against clergy and other persons acting in the name of the church.


  • Board shall be comprised of no less than five members or more than nine.
  • The majority of the Board must be laypersons not in the employ of the diocese.
  • One member must be a priest who is experienced and respected as a pastor in the diocese.
  • One member will have the particular expertise of treatment of sexual abuse of minors.
  • All Members shall be of outstanding integrity and possess good judgment.
  • Generally all members must be in full communion with the church.  Bishop has the right to make an exception to this requirement.
  • One member must be a victim/survivor or a parent of a victim/survivor of clergy sexual abuse of a minor.
  • Members are to be volunteers.
  • The Victims Assistance Coordinator will be staff to the Diocesan Review Board.
  • The Promoter of Justice may attend and participate in all meetings of the Diocesan Review Board.

Terms of Office

The members of the Diocesan Review Board are appointed by the Bishop to a five-year term once renewable.  The Bishop may remove a member of the Board but must state a serious reason for this action.


The Bishop shall designate one Board member as Chairperson and one Board member as Vice Chairperson for a one-year term.

  • The Chairperson will ordinarily convene and preside at the meetings of the Board in accordance with the will of the Board.
  • The Vice Chairperson will perform these functions when the Chairperson is unable to do so.


The Diocesan Review Board shall conduct its business at meetings.  These meetings shall be scheduled to occur monthly or as often as necessary in order to perform its duties.

  • The meeting shall reflect the pastoral care of this process, which is consultative and advisory and not adversarial and adjudicative.
  • The Board receives and considers information, deliberates and formulates its determinations, and makes its recommendation to the Bishop.
  • One over half of the membership of the Board shall constitute a Quorum.
  • The Board ordinarily will meet in person, but may in cases of extreme emergency meet by telephone conference call.

Functions of the Diocesan Review Board

  • Provide assistance to the Bishop by assessing the allegations of sexual abuse of minors in order to advise the Bishop whether or not the allegations appear to be credible.
  • Make recommendations as to the fitness of the alleged offender to continue in ministry while his case is pending.
  • An ongoing relationship with outside experts may be key in assuring the Board's need to act promptly in these cases.  The Board may be assisted in its deliberations, assessment and investigations by the Diocesan Attorney or by a mental Health Professional chosen for his or her expertise in cases of sexual abuse.
  • Periodically review Diocesan Policies and Procedures for dealing with sexual abuse of minors at appropriate intervals.