Justice Anne Burke Responds to VOTF-LI

National Review Board for the Protection of Children and Young people

July 22, 2004
Mr. Dan Bartley, Co-Chair
Ms. Patricia Zirkel, Co-Chair
Long Island Voice of the Faithful
P.O. Box 1007
Nesconset, NY 11767
Dear Mr. Bart1ey and Ms. Zirkel,

On behalf of the members of the National Review Board, thank you for your letter of June 25, 2004 and for the continued interest of the membership of Voice of the Faithful in the implementation of the Charter for the Protection of Children and Young People. As you note in your letter, the USCCB approved a second annual audit of diocesan compliance with the provisions of the Charter. Certain modifications will be made to the audit process, to include more timely publication of the findings. Victims of sexual abuse will be selected and interviewed by the Gavin Group, as they were in the 2003 audits. Written comments about the diocese which pertain to the implementation of the charter are welcome.These may be communicated to the Gavin Group through the Office of Child and Youth Protection at 3211 4th NE, Washington, DC 20017.

Persons interviewed in the audit process do not provide testimony, and include those individuals who have responsibility for implementing the Charter in each diocese and eparchy. Members of the laity are included, but the Gavin Group will not conduct public forums. Be assured that we will continue to include laity in the process as best we can within the parameters of the Charter.

I do hope that this information is helpful to you. Additional information about the audits will be available on the USCCB website (www.usccb.org) in the near future. In addition, Dr. McChesney's office is preparing a website devoted to listening to victims of clergy sexual abuse. Her office will process this information and use it to reach out to victims.

The National Review Board truly appreciates the assistance that VOTF has provided throughout this ordeal. We are grateful for your willingness to offer suggestions for best practices that will make each successive year's audit even better. Know that members of the Board will continue to speak out, to remain independent, and to meet with interested organizations.

Justice Anne M. Burke Interim Chair
National Review Board
United States Catholic Conference
AMB: mfy
National Review Board Members
Dr. Kathleen McChesney