- The Washington Times - Friday, July 12, 2002

Catholic Archbishop Theodore E. McCarrick yesterday announced a Child Protection Advisory Board, which will include non-Catholics, to review and upgrade policies pertaining to child abuse by clergy.
The existing policy, adopted in 1986 and updated in 1993 and 1999, already met or exceeded provisions of a child-protection charter adopted by U.S. Catholic bishops last month in Dallas, he said.
"We have always had a priority of protecting children," said Cardinal McCarrick, head of the D.C. and Maryland diocese of 550,000 Catholics and 140 parishes.
Reports from across the nation involving priests charged with sexually abusing children, some of them decades ago, has led to the charter's adoption. The charter is to be applied to all dioceses in the United States.
The new child-protection board will be led by Shay Bilchik, president of the Child Welfare League of America. Mr. Bilchik is a former assistant state's attorney in Miami and has worked for the U.S. Justice Office of Juvenile Justice and Delinquency Prevention.
Other members on the unpaid board include the Rev. William J. Byron, former president of Scranton University and Catholic University of America; Beatrice Tignor, president of the newly appointeed Prince George's County school board; Lynda Fox, who was deputy chief administrative officer for Prince George's County human services and then secretary of human resources for Maryland.
Four members are from Montgomery County: Tim Delaney, a retired police captain in charge of the family services section; Dr. Nerita Estampador-Ulep, a pediatrician with the county's public health service; Circuit Judge Dennis McHugh, chief of the county's juvenile division; and Evelyn Kays-Battle, executive director of Reginald Lourie Center for Infants and Young Children.
Cardinal McCarrick said 98.5 percent of priests are of good character but a few complaints put a "stigma on everybody."
"My allegiance is not to the church," said Ms. Kays-Battle. "Child abuse concerns me wherever in society it may be."
The board will not handle individual child-abuse complaints. That will continue to be the duty of the Archdiocesan Case Review Board, established in 1993.
But Cardinal McCarrick said he will choose a victim-assistance coordinator who will listen to and guide victims to assistance and care. The cardinal initially said he would like to choose a priest but then decided a lay person might be a better choice.

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