New Review Board Chair and Francis’ First Acceptance of a Resignation


 New Review Board Chair and Francis’ First Acceptance of a Resignation

 USCCB’s National Review Board

 There is a new chair of the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops’ National Review Board. He is Francesco C. Cesareo, who has been on the review board since last year. He is president of AssumptionCollege, Worcester, Massachusetts.

 Cesareo’s appointment was made by New York Cardinal Timothy Dolan, who chairs the USCCB.

New review board chairs have been mostly the same as the chairs they succeed:  invisible and largely ineffective. That’s except for the first two – Frank Keating, the former governor of Oklahoma, who chaired the first review board, and Illinois Supreme Court Justice Anne Burke. They both served on the first review board which actually came close to being an independent review board.

 Keating, you may recall, likened the USCCB members to the Mafia as he handed in his resignation.

 The boys club denied the title of “chair” without an adjective to Justice Burke. By the bishops’ decree, she was known throughout her time at the helm as “interim chair. Burke has remained outspoken about the bishops in the decade plus one years since the initial review board was set up in the white heat of media coverage of the crisis in 2002.

 For subsequent review boards the bishops created panels of people with wonderful resumes but no guts to stand up to their appointers and hold their feet to the fire to make the necessary changes to the Charter beginning with the inclusion of penalties for bishops (read cardinals also) who covered up crimes let alone for bishops who become criminally convicted covering up crimes as has Diocese of Kansas City-St. Joseph Missouri Bishop Robert Finn.

So it wasn’t so much the new chair that caught our eye in the USCCB’s announcement but one of the new members: Scott Wasserman. Wasserman, the USCCB’s news release says, is a Kansas City, Kansas attorney whose law practice “focuses on legal issues involving children, especially abused children and children with special needs.”

 Kansas City, Kansas isn’t Kansas City, Missouri but it’s close enough for this attorney to indeed be more aware than most Catholics about what Finn did and the fact that he is still a sitting bishop.

 Here’s the link to the USCCB release:

His opportunity to follow in the footsteps of Keating and Burke awaits. Will he take it?

On the Eve of Deposition, Archbishop’s Resignation Accepted

Pope Francis has accepted the tendered resignation at age 73, two years younger than the age required for resignation by bishops, of Archbishop Jerome Hanus of Dubuque, Iowa.

Archbishop Hanus says his resignation is for “health reasons”.

In two weeks, Archbishop Hanus was scheduled to be deposed in a case of a former priest, Bede Parry. This priest has said in an interview that he told Archbishop Hanus about what he had done. Subsequent to the Archbishop having this information, Parry abused other children. Parry admitted to his conduct in 2011. 

So, Hanus hands in a resignation, it’s accepted in the shadow of a court date. 

Finn is criminally convicted. He is still a bishop with jurisdiction.

— Kristine Ward, Chair, National Survivor Advocates Coalition (NSAC)





One thought on “New Review Board Chair and Francis’ First Acceptance of a Resignation

  1. Richard Baldwin Cook

    Re Scott Wasserman’ appointment: According to his profile, posted by his law firm, he “chairs the Independent Review Board of the Archdiocese of Kansas City in Kansas to investigate alleged sexual abuse of minors by priests.” See:
    So expectations about Mr. Wasserman’s likely performance on the national “independent” Review Board can be gaged by what the “independent” Review Board has accomplished in Kansas City, KS, during his chairmanship.


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