WASHINGTON (October 15, 2004) –- Belleville Bishop, Wilton D. Gregory, President of the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops (USCCB), announced today the appointment of a chairman and 5 new members for the National Review Board for the Protection of Children and Young People (NRB).
Nicholas P. Cafardi, dean of the Duquesne University Law School, Pittsburgh, and serving board member, has been named chairman through the conclusion of his term in June, 2005.
The new members, appointed for three-year terms concluding October 31, 2007, are: Dr. Patricia O'Donnell Ewers, educational consultant and president emeritus of Pace University; Dr. Angelo P. Giardino, vice-president for clinical affairs of St. Christopher's Hospital for Children, Philadelphia; Mr. Ralph I. Lancaster, Esq. of the firm of Pierce Atwood, Portland, Maine; Judge Michael R. Merz, United States Magistrate Judge; Mr. Joseph Russoniello, Esq., senior counsel and resident in the San Francisco office of Cooley Godward, LLP.
These appointments fill the positions opened up by the departure of several Board members: former Oklahoma Governor Frank Keating, first NRB chairman; Justice Anne M. Burke of the Illinois Court of Appeals and interim chair of the NRB; Mr. Robert S. Bennett of the firm of Skadden, Arps, Slate, Meagher and Flom, Washington, D.C.; Mr. William R. Burleigh, chairman of the board and former CEO of the E.W. Scripps Company; and the Hon. Leon E. Panetta, director, Leon & Sylvia Panetta Institute for Public Policy, Monterey Bay, California.
Bishop Gregory said that the NRB has been "vitally important in assisting the Bishops of the United States in dealing with the crisis of the sexual abuse of minors within the Church."
He praised the dedication of the outgoing members who contributed significantly to the achievements of the NRB during the last two years, especially the development of the NRB's "Report on the Crisis in the Catholic Church in the United States"; its role in commissioning the research study conducted by the John Jay College of Criminal Justice, "The Nature and Scope of the Problem of Sexual Abuse of Minors by Catholic Priests and Deacons in the United States"; and its review and approval of the "Report on the Implementation of the Charter for the Protection of Children and Young People" by the USCCB Office of Child and Youth Protection.
Bishop Gregory expressed his great appreciation for the generosity of the new members in accepting appointment to the NRB.
"As a gifted member of the Church, your concern for the protection of children and for strengthening our response to that protection is both gratifying and admirable," he told the new members.
Bios of the new chairman and members are below:
Nicholas P. Cafardi, a native of Pittsburgh, is a professor of law and dean of the Duquesne University School of Law. His undergraduate degree is from the Gregorian University, Rome. He holds a master's in philosophy from Duquesne University. His law degree is from the University of Pittsburgh from which he graduated cum laude. He also received a licentiate in Canon Law from the University of St. Thomas in Rome, summa cum laude. Cafardi teaches courses in legal process, tax-exempt organizations, and canon law. His scholarly work has been published in numerous law reviews. He is the co-author, with Cardinal Adam Maida, of "Church Property, Church Finances, and Church-Related Corporations". He was for 13 years legal counsel to the Diocese of Pittsburgh, and still represents numerous religious orders both as a canonist and as a civil lawyer. Cafardi is a member of the American Bar Association, the Allegheny County Bar Association, the St. Thomas More Society (Board of Governors), and the Canon Law Society of America. He was only the second layman in history to be elected to the Board of Governors of the Canon Law Society of America, on which he served 1991-1993.
Patricia O'Donnell Ewers is an educational consultant whose clients include DePaul University, Roosevelt University, and the Poetry Foundation. Previously, she was the fifth president of Pace University and the first woman to lead the institution, which has an enrollment of more than 13,000 men and women on five campuses in New York City and Westchester County. Prior to this position, Dr. Ewers was the chief academic officer and a Professor of English at DePaul University in Chicago. She is a graduate of Mundelein College and Loyola University, Chicago, where she earned an M.A. and a Ph.D. in English. She was Trustee, Catholic Theological Union, Chicago, from 1985 to 1990, and on the Board of Directors of Catholic Charities from 1984 to 1990.
Angelo P. Giardino, MD is Vice-President for Clinical Affairs at St. Christopher's Hospital for Children in Philadelphia. He has also been Medical Director, Child Protection Program at St. Christopher's. Dr. Giardino's faculty appointments have included the University of Pennsylvania-School of Medicine, where he was Assistant Professor in Pediatrics, LaSalle University, School of Nursing, and Drexel University College of Medicine, where he was Physician Consultant to the Department of Youth and Family Services, State of New Jersey. Dr. Giardino is a graduate of Temple University, where he earned a degree in biochemistry (summa cum laude) and the School of Medicine and Graduate School of Education, University of Pennsylvania. He has pursued a Master's in Religious Studies at Catholic Distance University.
Ralph I. Lancaster, Jr., of the firm of Pierce Atwood, Portland, Maine, is an attorney who has specialized in civil and criminal litigation in State and Federal courts throughout the country. His cases have included admiralty, airplane crashes, corporate controversies, income tax evasion, murder, personal injury, wrongful death, white collar crime, real estate, products liability, and other matters. He has also engaged in public and professional service, and was twice appointed Special Master by the United States Supreme Court, in New Jersey v. Nevada, et al. (1987-1988) and in Virginia v. Maryland (2001-2003). In 1984 he served as counsel for the United States before the International Court of Justice in a dispute between Canada and the United States. Mr. Lancaster is a graduate of the College of the Holy Cross, Worcester, MA, and Harvard Law School.
Judge Michael R. Merz is a United States Magistrate Judge. A native of Dayton, Ohio, he is a graduate of Harvard College and Harvard Law School. He was a Judge, Dayton Municipal Court, 1977-1984, and was appointed a United States Magistrate Judge in 1984. His work has included both court and jury trials in the areas of products liability, securities fraud, employment and housing discrimination, trade secret, trademark, and patent litigation, federal agency litigation, arbitration matters, and prisoner civil rights and habeas corpus cases. Judge Merz was Trustee, National Conference of Christians and Jews, Dayton chapter, 1988-1992, and Chair of the Cincinnati Archdiocesan Pastoral Council, 2002-2003.
Joseph R. Russoniello is senior counsel and resident in the San Francisco office of Cooley, Godward, LLP, and Dean of the San Francisco Law School. Mr. Russoniello's practice has concentrated on the representation of clients who are targets of criminal investigations. In addition, he assists in the development of internal control and security programs for business and institutional clients. His cases have involved healthcare, government contracts, bank loans, and securities fraud. From 1982 to 1990, he served as U.S. Attorney for the Northern District of California. He also served as a member of the Attorney General's Advisory Committee, was Chairman of its White Collar Crimes Subcommittee, and was a member of the Economic Crime Council of the Department of Justice. Mr. Russoniello is a graduate of Fairfield University and New York University Law School. He serves as legal analyst for KTVU-TV Channel 2 and has appeared as a legal commentator on several national and local television and radio stations.