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The National Review Board


The United States Conference of Catholic Bishops established the National Review Board during their meeting in June of 2002. The functions of the Board were revised slightly and reconfirmed in June of 2004. The purpose of the National Review Board is to collaborate with the USCCB in preventing the sexual abuse of minors in the United States by persons in the service of the Church.

Functions of the National Review Board

  • Advise the Committee for the Protection of  Children and Young People on matters of child and youth protection, specifically on policies and practices
  • Review the work of the Secretariat of Child and Youth Protection and make recommendations to its Director, assisting the Director in the development of resources for dioceses and eparchies
  • Review, prior to publication, the annual report of the Secretariat of Child and Youth Protection on implementing and maintaining the standards of the Charter and any recommendations that emerge from the report, providing its own assessment regarding its approval and publication to the Conference President
  • Advise the Conference President on future members of the Board and future Directors of the Office;
  • Advise the Committee for the Protection of Children and Young People on the annual audit process prescribed in the Charter, including methods, scope, and personnel
  • Alert and inform the appropriate parties of concerns that emerge from the above responsibilities that may run counter to the spirit of the Charter
  • Consult as requested with the Conference President, the Committee for the Protection of Children and Young People, the Administrative Committee, and other USCCB or relevant Church entities on matters relating to the protection of children and young people from sexual abuse
  • Make appropriate recommendations to prevent sexual abuse of minors

Recent National Review Board Reports to the Body of Bishops

Special Report of the National Review Board to the Body of Bishops on the Sexual Abuse Crisis in the Church

On Tuesday, November 13, the head of the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops' independent lay advisory panel on the protection of children and young people delivered a special report to the body of U.S. bishops regarding the abuse crisis in the Church. In an address to the bishops who have gathered in Baltimore for the annual fall general assembly, National Review Board Chairman Francesco Cesareo, Ph.D., outlined key reforms and urged action. The report calls for broadening the scope of the Charter on the Protection of Children and Young People to include bishops; the publication of complete lists of credibly accused clergy in all dioceses; improving the audit process; and enhancing accountability for bishops regarding cases of abuse.

Recommendations from the National Review Board Addressing the Current Crisis specific to Restoring the Trust of the Faithful (November 13, 2018)

2017 National Review Board Progress Report

2015 National Review Board Progress Report

2014 National Review Board Progress Report

*No report was provided in 2016.

Other National Review Board Reports

Current National Review Board Members

Dr. Francesco Cesareo, Chairman, is president of Assumption College, Worcester, Massachusetts. He holds a doctorate in Late Medieval/Early Modern European History from Fordham University. He also was a Fulbright Scholar and studied at the University of Rome and Gregorian University in Rome. He has been president of Assumption College since 2007, and has held both faculty and administrative positions at several Catholic colleges and universities, including Duquesne University, Pittsburgh; John Carroll University, Cleveland; Albertus Magnus College, New Haven, Connecticut; and St. John's University, Jamaica, New York. He serves on several boards including the Board of Visitors of Worcester Academy, the New England Center for Children, and the Adopt a Student Committee for the Diocese of Worcester. He also served on the Seminary Advisory Board for the Diocese of Pittsburgh.

Amanda Callanan, Director of Communications for the Claremont Institute, has occupied several positions in the communications field—including digital and broadcast development for The Heritage Foundation, public relations for Fortune 500 clients at Hill+Knowlton Strategies, corporate branding and strategy with a boutique agency in Baltimore, and direct-response marketing for the National Association of Corporate Directors' educational events and programs. She attended Loyola University in Maryland, is married and resides within the Archdiocese of Washington.

Garry E. Hall is a retired U.S. Navy rear admiral who currently chairs the review board of the Archdiocese of the Military Service and is an active member of the Knights of Columbus. He is also the CEO and president of the Association of the United States Navy, in Washington. He holds a bachelor's degree in marine engineering from the U.S. Naval Academy, and an MBA from Southern Illinois University at Edwardsville. He was designated a naval aviator and served 35 years on active duty. Operating in helicopter squadrons throughout the Pacific, he commanded two squadrons, the capital ship USS Tarawa, an expeditionary strike group, and was commandant of the Eisenhower College of National Security and Resource Strategy at National Defense University. He spent his entire Navy career operating in and managing risk.

Elizabeth Hayden is a retired District Court Judge for the State of Minnesota. She is a graduate of the College of St. Benedict with a degree in Social Work.  While working in that field, she held positions in a psychiatric hospital, county social services and the State Dept. of residential licensing.  She received her law degree from Oklahoma City University.  Subsequently, she served as a prosecutor in the office the Stearns County Attorney for six years before being appointed a District Court Judge.  In her more than 23 years as a judge she presided over criminal, civil and family law cases and trials including many sexual abuse cases. She served as Chair of the MN Supreme Court Committee on the General Rules of Practice which led to a change in MN law to allow cameras in the courtroom.  

After being appointed by the MN Supreme Court, she served on a three-judge panel that presided over the U.S. Senate election contest of Norm Coleman vs. Al Franken.  Judge Hayden was President of the Minnesota District Judges Association.  She has served on the Board of Trustees of the College of St. Benedict and is currently a member of the Board of Governors of St. Thomas University School of Law.  She is also a Trustee for St. Mary’s Cathedral in St. Cloud MN.  Appointed by Bishop Donald Kettler she has been on the Diocesan Review Board for the Diocese of St. Cloud and is serving her second term as Chair of that Board.  As a member of the CentraCare Health Foundation Board, she chairs the Grants Committee.  Judge Hayden and her husband, retired Judge Charles A. Flinn live in St. Cloud MN.      

Suzanne Healy was the Victims Assistance Coordinator for the Archdiocese of Los Angeles from 2007 through 2016. Her role was to assure healing, reconciliation and support for victim survivors. She is a licensed Marriage and Family Therapist with experience in private practice and as a school counselor. She also has eighteen years of business management and strategic planning experience with AT&T and Pacific Bell. Mrs. Healy has a BS in Psychology and an MS in Counseling, M.F.C.C. option, with a Pupil Personnel Services Credential with Advanced Specializations in School Counseling and Child Welfare and Attendance Services, both from California State University at Los Angeles. Mrs. Healy served on the Executive Board of the Los Angeles Department of Mental Health Faith Based Advocacy Council, and also as a Committee Member for Los Angeles City Attorney Office Cyber Crime Prevention Symposium in Los Angeles, both From 2008-2016.  In 2016, she received the Archdiocese of Los Angeles Department of Health Affairs Excellence Award.
She presently is retired and serves on the board of directors for Valley Family Center in San Fernando, CA.

Stacie LeBlanc is the Executive Director of the New Orleans Children's Advocacy Center and the Director of the Audrey Hepburn Children at Risk Evaluation (CARE) Center of Children's Hospital in New Orleans. She began her career as a child abuse prosecutor and is the former chief of the Felony Child Abuse Division in Louisiana. LeBlanc obtained a master's degree in Early Childhood Development and her Juris Doctorate from Loyola University New Orleans. She designed two educational programs, Teens, Sex and the Law, and Painless Parenting, and has trained an average of 8,000 people annually on these and other mandatory reporting programs. To battle child abuse, LeBlanc developed a social media campaign, Dear Parents, and launched No Hit Zones at Children's Hospital and its subsidiaries to raise awareness of the harms of corporal punishment, which is the most prevalent risk factor for child physical abuse. She has been recognized for 11 successful legislative amendments and named the Champion for Children for Policy and Legislation by Prevent Child Abuse Louisiana. She has received a Victims and Citizens Against Crime Lifetime Achievement Award, the FBI Directors and Community Leadership Award, Outstanding Prosecutor Award, recognition as Catholic Graduate of the Year and City Business' Health Care Hero Award. LeBlanc is currently the President of the Louisiana Alliance of Children's Advocacy Centers and the Vice President of the American Professional Society on the Abuse of Children (APSAC).

Dr. Christopher McManus is the owner and President of CP & RP McManus, MD, Ltd where McManus practices Internal Medicine in the Diocese of Arlington, VA. He is active in the Northern Virginia Guild of the Catholic Medical Association and is a charter member and current leader for Privia Medical Group.  McManus was a professor for Georgetown University Medical School from 1998-2006 and has served as a Physician Advisor for Quality Resource Management. McManus served his residency training at the University of Vermont and received his degree from the University of Virginia School of Medicine.  He currently serves on the Arlington County Executive Board and has previously served as President of the Arlington Medical Society. Other volunteer activities for McManus include serving at the Arlington Free Clinic, volunteering in the Medical Reserve Corps for the Arlington County Health Department, and local service to his home parish. He has been married for over thirty years, has four adult children, and enjoys spending time outdoors with his family.

Eileen Puglisi held the position of Director of the Office for the Protection of Children and Young People in the Diocese of Rockville Centre where from 2003-2014.  Her prior work history involves director level work at various Psychiatric Centers in New York, including Deputy Director of the Queens Children's Psychiatric Center. Puglisi received a Professional Degree in School Psychology from St. John's University in New York and an M.S. in Guidance and Counseling from Hunter College in New York. She has direct experience as a psychologist and is an avid golfer.

John N. Sheveland is Professor of Religious Studies and the current Flannery Chair of Catholic theology at Gonzaga University in Spokane, WA., where he teaches courses on Christian theology, interreligious dialogue, and religion and violence. He holds a doctorate in systematic and comparative theology from Boston College, a master’s degree in Christian theology from Yale Divinity School, and a bachelor’s degree in history and theology from the University of Portland. His current areas of research and writing include theological reflection upon traumatic wounding and upon religious violence. At Gonzaga he organizes the annual lecture series called Being Religious Inter-religiously which advances the Jesuit commitment to interreligious dialogue.

He received in 2013 a Faculty Diversity Leadership Award and in 2015 an Exemplary Faculty Award from Gonzaga University.  He serves on the boards of the College Theology Society and the Society of Buddhist-Christian Studies, the steering committee of the Interreligious and Interfaith Studies Group of the American Academy of Religion, the advisory board of the Currents of Encounter monograph series with Brill and is a book review editor for Horizons. His research articles have appeared in a variety of academic journals and scholarly books, and he is the author of Piety and Responsibility (Ashgate/Routledge, 2011 (2017 2nd edition).

Theresa Simak is an Assistant State Attorney in the 4th Judicial Circuit of Florida. She has been with the State Attorney's Office since 2003 and was made a Division Chief in 2009. Simak has spent most of her career focused on the prosecution of sexual assault, child abuse and domestic violence offenses. She is active in the community of Jacksonville and serves as chair of the University of Florida Child Protection Team Community Advisory Council and serves on their Operations Advisory Council. Simak currently serves on the State Forensic Interview Protocol Task Force to help develop a standardized protocol for forensic interviews of children suspected of having been abused. She also works closely with the sexual assault and domestic violence centers in Northeast Florida to include Hubbard House, Quigley House and the Women's Center of Jacksonville. Simak received the Mayor's Judicial Victim Advocate Award for outstanding service to victims in 2014 and received the State Attorney's Office Distinguished Service Award for dedication and outstanding performance in 2015. Simak is married, and she and her husband have three children.

Jan Slattery served as the Director of the Office for the Protection of Children and Youth in the Archdiocese of Chicago from 2003-2015. Previously she was the Director of Ministry in Higher Education for the Archdiocese of Chicago. Prior to working in the Archdiocese, Slattery was an administrator at Loyola University Chicago. She has been a consultant for various religious denominations on child abuse prevention and has been a frequent presenter on child abuse prevention. She gave a presentation on pornography at the Pontifical Gregorian University in Rome in 2012 and is co-author of Conversations, a program that addresses loneliness and life issues in diocesan priesthood. She was a member of the USCCB Higher Education Committee and Chairperson of the Jesuit Association of Student Personnel Administrators.  While Director of the Office for the Protection of Children and Youth, she partnered with the Children's' Advocacy Center in Chicago and Prevent Child Abuse America to further awareness of child abuse.  Slattery currently serves on the Review Board for three religious communities. She has an MA in Higher Education Leadership and Policy from Loyola University Chicago.

Ernest Stark currently serves as chair of the review boards for several religious communities including the Augustinians, Carmelites, Passionists, and Benedictines and is a member of the review board of the De La Salle Christian Brothers. He has served as a teacher and administrator in Catholic secondary schools and colleges for fifty years. He was a member of the review board of the Diocese of Joliet, Illinois, for ten years, serving as chair for eight of those years. He holds a master's degree in education from St. Mary's University, Minnesota, and a master's degree in theology from Manhattan College, New York. He has pursued additional studies at Northern Illinois University, and he received a grant from the National Endowment for the Humanities for summer study at the University of Notre Dame.

Belinda G. Taylor served as the first Victim Assistance Coordinator on contract for the Diocese of Amarillo for sixteen years and worked with three Bishops over the course of nineteen years. She served on the Bishop’s Advisory Committee and Review Board to address issues related to clergy misconduct and sexual abuse of minors by priests. Prior to retiring in 2018, Mrs. Taylor established and operated a private counseling practice as a Licensed Professional Counselor-Supervisor working with child and adult victims of sexual abuse, as well as providing individual, family, and play therapy. In 2003, Mrs. Taylor established an ongoing therapy support group for victims abused by clergy which allowed the group to create a training video for clergy on the effects of abuse. Through these efforts, victims were invited to participate in clergy trainings and reconnect with their church communities. 

As a Texas Registered Sex Offender Treatment Provider, Mrs. Taylor provided thirteen years of ongoing treatment services for registered adolescent and adult sex offenders on probation or parole. In addition, Mrs. Taylor served as the Executive Director for fifteen years at a local non-profit community center providing an array of social services from early childhood education, afterschool programs, counseling, a senior citizen center, and numerous youth programs serving predominately low-income residents struggling in poverty. In 2010, Mrs. Taylor was awarded the ‘Friend of the Child’ Mayor’s Service Award.  Mrs. Taylor continues to volunteer as a Safe Environment Trainer and serves on the Amarillo Bi-City-County Public Health Board.  Together, she and her husband Wayne have spent their married life farming and ranching in the Texas Panhandle. They have four adult children, seven grandchildren and three great grandchildren



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