USCCB News Release
January 8, 2009
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Diane Knight Named New Chair of The National Review Board
WASHINGTON—Social worker Diane Knight of the Archdiocese of Milwaukee has been appointed the next chair of the National Review Board (NRB) by Cardinal Francis George, OMI, Archbishop of Chicago, President of the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops (USCCB).
The retired Executive Director of Catholic Charities of the Archdiocese of Milwaukee and member of the National Review Board since June of 2007, Ms. Knight will succeed its current chair, Judge Michael Merz, at the conclusion of his term following the June 2009 meeting of the USCCB. In making the appointment, Cardinal George stated that he is very grateful that Ms. Knight, with her dedication to the mission of the Church and her experience in the protection of children and young people, has agreed to serve as the chair of the NRB.
Ms. Knight spent the first 20 years of her career in social work directly involved in child protection and related services for Milwaukee County. She currently serves on the Community Advisory Board, which, along with the Archdiocesan Review Board, advises the Milwaukee Archbishop on child and youth protection and victim outreach, and on the Milwaukee Area Review Board, which advises orders of Catholic religious men and brothers in the area of child and youth protection. She also served on the Code of Ethics Task Force of Catholic Charities USA. Ms. Knight holds a master's degree in social work from the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee.
The United States Conference of Catholic Bishops established the National Review Board during its meeting in June of 2002 as a consultative body tasked with
reviewing the annual report of the Secretariat of Child and Youth Protection on the implementation of the Charter for the Protection of Children and Young People and the recommendations that emerge from it, and offering its assessment to the President of the USCCB. The Board offers its advice in cooperation with the Committee for the Protection of Children and Young People, especially with regard to policies and practices related to child and youth protection. It also reviews the work of the Office of Child and Youth Protection.
Cardinal George said Ms. Knight's appointment reflects the continuation of the dedicated efforts undertaken by the bishops with the National Review Board to create a safe environment within the Church for children and youth, and to care for and reach out to victims of sexual abuse and their families. "We bishops are dedicated to the continued implementation of the Charter and the application of the Essential Norms as the guidelines for our response to the grave sin and crime of the sexual abuse of minors by clergy," said the cardinal. "The collaboration and support of the NRB has been a critical source of advice and assistance in that undertaking."
Cardinal George also took the opportunity to thank outgoing chair Judge Michael Merz for the "excellent and collaborative manner" with which he has led the NRB. "The last several years have witnessed great strides in the efforts of the Catholic Church in the United States to strengthen and renew her efforts for the protection of young people and healing for victims," said Cardinal George.
Bishop Blase Cupich of Rapid City, Chairman of the Committee on Child and Youth Protection, also welcomed the news, commenting, "I look forward to working with Ms. Knight and all of the members of the NRB in our goal of helping the Bishops to foster a safe environment for children and outreach to victims."
For more details regarding the National Review Board, its functions and other members, please reference http://www.usccb.org/ocyp/nrb.shtml.