We are a community committed to preventing abuse. Our policies and programs prioritize safety of children and the vulnerable.
We care about survivors of abuse.
Victim Care Advocate: (913) 298-9244
Independent Review Board
The Independent Review Board reviews reports of child sexual abuse by church personnel and all actions taken by the Archdiocese of Kansas City in Kansas to ensure the integrity of the archdiocesan process for responding to reports of child sexual abuse. The church mandate and operational guidelines for the board can be found in the USCCB Charter for the Protection of Children and Young People. [LINK https://www.usccb.org/offices/child-and-youth-protection/charter-protection-children-and-young-people). The Independent Review Board advises the archbishop of its assessment of allegations of child sexual abuse and its determination of a clergy member’s suitability for ministry, serving as a confidential consultative body.
The Independent Review Board receives notification of all allegations of child sexual abuse, child pornography, sexual misconduct with minors and sexual misconduct involving vulnerable adults or an abuse of authority by church personnel. Additionally, the archbishop may seek advice from the Independent Review Board on other matters. The Independent Review Board can review matters both retrospectively and prospectively and give advice on all aspects of responses in connection with these cases.
When advising the archbishop on the assessment of an allegation of sexual abuse of a minor, theb will hear a presentation of the investigation by the investigator and the board may ask for any additional information that is needed.
The Independent Review Board will provide advice and feedback on the investigation, making an assessment of whether or not the allegations appear to be credible. It will also provide a recommendation as to the accused’s fitness for ministry when applicable.
The Independent Review Board will review actions taken by the archdiocese to ensure that the archdiocese is in compliance with the archdiocesan child and youth protection policies and procedures, periodically reviewing this policy and its procedures for dealing with allegations of sexual abuse of minors. The board will make recommendations to the archbishop for any proposed change or modification. The Independent Review Board will regularly review and offer advice on the archdiocesan child and youth protection policies and procedures. The Independent Review Board is composed of at least five persons, a majority of whom are laity who are not in the employment of the archdiocese. The members of the board are selected by the archdiocese on the basis of their maturity, integrity, credibility, and ability to exercise good and independent judgment.
Currently, the board has seven active members, all with different areas of expertise in sexual abuse and an appropriate response. The current members include professional counselors, lawyers, retired law enforcement, and a pastor. Archdiocesan staff members who are not members of the Independent Review Board may serve in a consultative role. At least one member shall have expertise in the treatment of the sexual abuse of minors. One member shall be a survivor of sexual abuse. All members shall be Catholics with expertise in various fields, capable of providing insight into sexual abuse allegations.
The board meets regularly to review reports and policy. Those alleging harm from abuse as well as the accused will be invited to meet with the Independent Review Board.
On May 9, 2019, Pope Francis issued a Motu proprio, a mandate directed to the Universal Church, as a follow up to the meeting held in Rome in February with bishops from around the world, including Cardinal Daniel DiNardo, then president of the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops and archbishop of Galveston-Houston. This Motu proprio, Vos estis lux mundi, which translates You are the Light of the World, orders a response to the scourge of sexual abuse in the world, and especially in the church by her clerics.
The Archdiocese of Kansas City in Kansas has a sincere commitment to protecting our vulnerable from abuse. When those efforts fail, we strive toward transparency in the hope of healing and restoration. There is much work left to do to atone for the heinous sins and crimes committed by those who were entrusted with the sacred care of the vulnerable.