Glossary of Key Terms - Publication With Respect to Archdiocesan Clergy Accused of Sexual Abuse of a Child
Administrative Leave – While on administrative leave pending an investigation of an allegation of sexual abuse of a child, clergy are restricted from performing public ministry.
Child – A person under eighteen (18) years of age.
Clergy or Cleric – Clergy (or clerics) are the ordained ministers of the Catholic Church, including bishops, priests, transitional deacons and permanent deacons.
Dismissed – A member of the clergy who has been dismissed from the clerical state. The Archdiocese may petition Rome for a priest's dismissal after a canonical process, or a priest may be dismissed by Rome ex officio.
Laicized – A member of the clergy who has been voluntarily removed from the clerical state. Clergy may voluntarily petition for laicization; petitions are granted by Rome.
Prayer & Penance – Priests who have admitted an accusation and who have been assigned to a life of prayer and penance because they are not suited for dismissal due to age or infirmity.
Publicly Accused – Clerics accused of sexual abuse of a child where: a) the accusations have been the subject of media coverage; b) the accusations have been the subject of a press release by the Archdiocese; and/or c) the cleric's name appears on lists maintained and published by advocacy groups such as BishopAccountability.com.
Restricted – A cleric who is prohibited from performing public ministry.
Review Board – A consultative committee consisting of at least five (5) and up to nine (9) members that advises the Cardinal in the assessment of complaints of child sexual abuse by a cleric and in his determination of the suitability of an accused cleric for ministry. The Review Board reviews investigations which have been conducted by the Delegate for Investigations (an Archdiocesan office comprised of professional investigators.) In addition to advising the Cardinal on addressing particular complaints, the Review Board also advises on policy matters relating to the protection of children. The Review Board is comprised of psychologists, social workers, educators, retired law enforcement agents, survivors of clergy sexual abuse, parents, judges and pastoral ministers. Only one person is a member of the clergy of the Archdiocese and none of the other Board members are employees of the Archdiocese. The Cardinal appoints each member for a term of five (5) years, which can be renewed.
Senior Priest – Status granted by the Archdiocese to priests who have reached the age of 75.
Sexual Abuse of A Child – Sexual molestation or sexual exploitation of a child and other behavior by which an adult uses a child as an object of sexual gratification.
Substantiated – A claim which, after review, is supported by sufficient evidence to establish the probability that the accused cleric has committed an offense of sexual abuse of a child.
Unsubstantiated – A claim which, after review, is not supported by sufficient evidence to establish the probability that the accused cleric has committed an offense of sexual abuse of a child.