JEFFERSON CITY — The membership of the Diocesan Review Board met Jan. 26, 2019 for an orientation session. The board, which is comprised of 17 appointed members and three staff from the Diocese of Jefferson City, is a confidential, consultative body for Bishop Shawn McKnight. The board advises Bishop McKnight on policies and responses to allegations of violations of the diocese’s Code of Pastoral Conduct, the U.S. bishops’ Charter for the Protection of Children and Young People and the Essential Norms which augment the Charter.
“I value the insights of the board,” explained Bishop McKnight. “Their professional expertise, as well as their perspective as faith-filled people who know the importance of our Church, guide me in my decision-making.”
The 17 appointed members include attorneys, counselors, educators, pastors, pastoral ministers, pediatricians and psychiatrists, as well as people from the professions of criminal justice, human resources, law enforcement and social services. They come from parishes in the following counties of the Diocese: Boone, Callaway, Cole, Crawford, Marion, Moniteau and Montgomery.
Members have agreed that they would keep their identity private, to allow themselves to be free of outside influence in advising Bishop McKnight.
The Charter has mandated that every diocese in the United States have a review board; the Diocese of Jefferson City has had a consultative body for the bishop since 2003.
The membership of the Review Board is for a five-year, renewable term. It is comprised of at least five persons who are in full communion with the Church, and can include permanent deacons, and men and women religious. Most of the members are to be laypersons not in the employ of the Diocese, and at least one diocesan priest who is an experienced and respected pastor. The diocesan chancellor, School Sisters of Notre Dame Sister Kathleen Wegman, is the chair.