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April 04, 2005

Archbishop Replies

An advertisement placed by Voice of the Faithful in the March 14 issue of America erroneously stated that I had dismissed a lay board responsible for reviewing cases of clergy child sexual abuse.

Our Case Review Board was not dismissed. It had concluded its work according to guidelines set out in the Charter for the Protection of Children and Young People and the Essential Norms approved in Dallas in 2002 by the U.S. bishops and the Vatican.

I appointed the Case Review Board following approval of the Dallas charter to review 13 allegations of child sexual abuse against clergy. Concurrent with this, we have had a Policy Review Board in place to review archdiocesan policies for prevention of abuse and protection of children.

Once the Case Review Board concluded its work last year, no further cases remained, and I determined the time was right to bring our review process into conformity with the national model by consolidating the two existing boards into a single board. I took this step to improve efficiency and make the process more cost-effective.

The Case Review Board and the Policy Review Board are currently being reorganized into a single Archdiocesan Review Board. This reorganized board, which will include former members of the Case Review Board and the Policy Review Board, will be responsible for advising me on policies and, when needed, reviewing any new cases that come forward.

If those who purchased the advertisement in your magazine had taken the time to contact local representatives of Voice of the Faithful, they could have corrected this error themselves prior to publication.

(Most Rev.) Alexander J. Brunett
Seattle, Wash.

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