WASHINGTON (August 23, 2002) –- Belleville Bishop, Wilton D. Gregory, president of the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops (USCCB), announced today the appointment of Justice Petra J. Maes of the New Mexico Supreme Court to the National Review Board which will assist and monitor the USCCB's planned office for Child and Youth Protection.
This appointment brings the board to its full complement of 13 members.
"I was greatly encouraged that Justice Maes has been able to accept my invitation to serve as a member of the National Review Board. She will bring a great deal of personal thought and dedication to its deliberations," Bishop Gregory said.
Justice Maes had been asked earlier in the summer to be a member of the Board, and she attended the Board?s first meeting on July 30 while awaiting confirmation that she would be able to serve.
Petra Jimenez Maes is a native of New Mexico. She worked her way through University of New Mexico undergraduate and UNM Law schools. When she graduated from the UNM School of Law in 1973, she was one of the first two Hispanic women to graduate from there. Justice Maes was in private practice in Albuquerque until 1975 when she went to work for Northern New Mexico Legal Services. In 1981 she was appointed to the First Judicial District Court by Governor Bruce King. Her judicial assignments in the District Court included: four years in the Criminal Division; six years in the Family Division; and seven years in the Civil Division.
In addition to her other case assignments, Justice Maes served as the Children?s Court Judge for 12 years. She was elected by the judges of the First Judicial District Court as chief judge for two terms. As chief judge, she also had administrative responsibilities for the District Court.
In addition, Justice Maes served as president of the New Mexico District Judges' Association in 1992. She also served on the Chief Judges' Council, the Code of Judicial Conduct Committee, and the National Center on Women & Family Law. In 1984 she established the Family Court and in 1998, Justice Maes was elected to the New Mexico Supreme Court.
Those already named are: the Honorable Frank Keating, governor of Oklahoma, chairman; Anne M. Burke, justice of the Illinois Court of Appeals, vice-chair; Michael Bland, clinical counselor and clinical-pastoral coordinator for victim assistance ministry, Archdiocese of Chicago; Robert S. Bennett of the firm of Skadden, Arps, Slate, Meagher and Flom, Washington, D.C.; William R. Burleigh, chairman of the board and former CEO of the E.W. Scripps Company, Union, Kentucky; Nicholas P. Cafardi, dean of the Duquesne University Law School, Pittsburgh; and Jane Chiles, former director of the Kentucky State Catholic Conference.
Also appointed were: Alice Bourke Hayes, president of the University of San Diego; Pamela D. Hayes, attorney in private practice with a concentration on criminal defense litigation and federal civil rights litigation, New York City; Paul R. McHugh, M.D., director, Department of Psychiatry and Behavioral Sciences, Johns Hopkins University, Baltimore, 1975 to 2001; Leon Panetta, director, Leon & Sylvia Panetta Institute for Public Policy, Monterey Bay, California; and Ray H. Siegfried, II, chairman of board, the NORDAM Group, Tulsa.
The National Review Board is to function in tandem with the Office for Child and Youth Protection.
Its responsibilities are described in the Charter for the Protection of Children and Young People, adopted by the USCCB at its general meeting last June 13-15.
ARTICLE 8 of the Charter authorizes the establishment of an Office for Child and Youth Protection whose tasks will include:
- assisting individual dioceses/eparchies (dioceses of the Eastern Churches) in the
implementation of "safe environment" programs as described in Article 12 of the Charter;
- assisting the provinces and regions into which the dioceses/eparchies are grouped in the development of appropriate mechanisms to audit adherence to policies;
- producing an annual public report on the progress made in implementing the standards
in the Charter (including the names of those dioceses/eparchies which, in the judgment of the
Office, are not in compliance with the provisions and expectations of the Charter).
ARTICLE 9 of the Charter states that the work of the Office for Child and Youth Protection will be assisted and monitored by a Review Board appointed by the Conference President and reporting directly to him. The board will:
- approve the annual report of the implementation of the Charter in each diocese/eparchy
before the report is submitted to the President of the Conference and published;
- approve as well any recommendations that emerge from this review;
- commission a comprehensive study of the causes and context of the current crisis in
order to understand the problem more fully and to enhance the effectiveness of future response;
- commission a descriptive study, with the full cooperation of the dioceses/eparchies, of the nature and scope of the problem within the Catholic Church in the United States, including such data as statistics on perpetrators and victims.
The Board is participating in the search for the director for the Office of Child and Youth
Protection to be appointed by the Conference's general secretary, Monsignor William P. Fay.
More information about Board members and their photos can be found on the Conference Web site, www.usccb.org/comm/archives/2002.02-147.shtml