Four People Added to National Abuse Review Board, SNAP Responds
Four people have been added to the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops’ National Review Board. Rather than bring on outsiders, every single person named has close ties with their local diocese, something we do not think bodes well for the efficacy of this review board now and into the future.
Especially concerning is the fact that several of the new members come from dioceses that have lagged behind the rest of the nation when it comes to transparency and accountability. For example, one of the new members, Steven Jubera, works on the review board for the Diocese of Jackson, MS, a diocese that has come under national scrutiny for its unequal treatment of black survivors and which did not release any information on accused clerics until March of 2019.
In another example, James Bogner works on the review board for the Archdiocese of Omaha where just last year, SNAP found four clerics publicly accused of child molestation who are or were in the Omaha Archdiocese but were left off the archdiocese's list of clergy with “substantiated claims” of sexually abusing minors. We urged the archbishop to add those names; he apparently did not. That does not speak well of James Bogner's effectiveness on the archdiocesan abuse panel.
Survivors and advocates have for years called for more distance between members of the National Review Board and local Catholic institutions. Instead, the USCCB continues to add members who have close personal and business ties to their dioceses, something we are concerned will result in a continuation of the culture of secrecy and denial that has long permeated the institutional Catholic Church.
CONTACT: Zach Hiner, SNAP Executive Director (firstname.lastname@example.org, 517-974-9009)
(SNAP, the Survivors Network, has been providing support for victims of sexual abuse in institutional settings for 30 years. We have more than 25,000 survivors and supporters in our network. Our website is SNAPnetwork.org)