Archbishop Gomez names four new members of National Review Board

Archbishop Gomez names four new members of National Review Board

Archbishop Jose Gomez of Los Angeles at the Pontifical North American College in Rome, Sept. 16, 2019. Credit: Daniel Ibanez/CNA.
Archbishop Jose Gomez of Los Angeles at the Pontifical North American College in Rome, Sept. 16, 2019. Credit: Daniel Ibanez/CNA.

.- The president of the United States’ Conference of Catholic Bishops has appointed four new members of the National Review Board, a lay advisory body to the bishops on the protection of minors.

The new members are Vivian Akel, James Bogner, Steven Jubera, and Thomas Mengler. A June 10 statement from the conference said they are experts in social work, law enforcement, Catholic education, and legal counsel.

Archbishop José Gomez of Los Angeles, president of the USCCB, announced the new members who will help advise the bishops’ Committee on the Protection of Children and Young People.

“The National Review Board plays a vital role as a consultative body assisting the bishops in ensuring the complete implementation and accountability of the Charter for Protection of Children and Young People,” said Gomez.

Akel has spent 21 years as a social worker for the New York City Department of Education. Having received her master’s degree in Social Work from Hunter College School, she began outpatient psychotherapy to individual patients and families at the Community Mental Health Center in Brooklyn. She is a facilitator for pre-Cana consultation and volunteers as the Safe Environment Coordinator for the Maronite Eparchy of Saint Maron of Brooklyn.

Bogner is a retired Senior Executive Special Agent of the Federal Bureau of Investigation. He has more than 35 years of law enforcement experience. He graduated from the FBI’s National Executive Institute and has a master’s degree in Administration of Justice. Bogner has also served as president of his parish council, providing data analysis and strategic planning. He currently serves as a member of the Archdiocese of Omaha’s Advisory Review and Ministerial Misconduct Boards.

Jubera, a former Marine, is an Assistant District Attorney for Mississippi's 17th Judicial District. He earned his law degree from the University of Mississippi. He has been involved with Healing Hearts Child Advocacy Center in Southaven and has spoken for child safety at One Loud Voice conference in Mississippi. He also serves on the Diocese of Jackson’s review board.

Mengler, president of St. Mary’s University in San Antonio, is a board member of the Board of Directors of the Association of Catholic Colleges and Universities, and he served as association’s chair from 2018-2020. He has also served as a Co-Chair of the Lay Commission on Clergy Sexual Abuse of Minors in the Archdiocese of San Antonio.

The National Review Board is composed of 13 laymen and women. The review board was organized after allegations of clergy sexual abuse and subsequent cover-up by bishops and Church officials surfaced nationwide in 2002.

The bishops passed the Charter for the Protection of Children and Young People shortly after the allegations of abuse arose in 2002. It was set up as a process for bishops to deal with abuse allegations against priests.

Tags: USCCB, Catholic News, Archbishop Jose Gomez, NRB

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