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Professor reviews sex abuse

Saoud, Angela | Wednesday, March 3, 2004

In connection with Friday’s release of two reports pertaining to sexual abuse allegations in the Catholic Church, the Diocesan Review Board recently awarded special commendations to eight of the nearly 200 U.S. Catholic dioceses. The work was done in compliance with the Charter for the Protection of Children and Young People. Saint Mary’s Religious Studies professor Joe Incandela – along with several other members of the Notre Dame community – sits on the 11-member committee that makes up the Review Board.”Our job is to review the past and present cases of sexual abuse and make a recommendation of what is to be done to Bishop [John] D’Arcy,” Incandela said. “Ultimately, Bishop D’Arcy has the final say in what the course of action is going to be.”In the reports, D’Arcy and the Review board were complimented for their serious approach to the issues at hand.”This commendation was given to the diocese based on the programs that have been implemented that ensure a safe environment for kids,” Incandela said. “We are taking precautions, and we are in full compliance with the charter from Dallas.”The Diocesan Review Board formed in January 2003 to comply with the June 2002-issued Charter for the Protection of Young People.”When I found out this board would be forming, I expressed an interest in being a part of it,” Incandela said. “You’re either part of the problem or part of the solution, and I wanted to be part of the solution. I wanted to try to do something to advance the Church to do the right thing.”Incandela said he believes that some people fail to give Bishop D’Arcy and the diocese the credit they deserve for what has been accomplished.”I believe that Bishop D’Arcy responded in a compassionate, pastoral manner to the victims that have come forward,” he said. “As far as the Charter goes, we are ahead of the curve in the country, and we’re only going to progress forward.”Members of the Notre Dame community that are a part of the Review Board include Susan Steibe-Pasalich, assistant director of Notre Dame Counseling Services, and graduates Lisa Everett, Frank Byrne and Ann Firth.