WASHINGTON — Three new members of the U.S. bishops’ National Review Board, which monitors dioceses’ performance in dealing with sexually abusive priests and creating a safe environment for children throughout the church, were appointed May 1 by Archbishop Joseph E. Kurtz of Louisville, Kentucky, president of the bishops’ conference.
The new members are Assistant U.S. Attorney Donald J. Schmid of Granger, Indiana; Judge Mary. K. Huffman of Centerville, Ohio; and Nelle Moriarty, a marriage and family therapist in Rochester, Minn.
Their terms start in June.
The all-lay board was established by the U.S. bishops in 2002 to provide an independent review and to critique how well U.S. Catholic dioceses were dealing with sexually abusive priests and their victims, and to keep track of what policies, personnel and programs the bishops were establishing to create a safe environment for children.
The board’s formation was part of the “Charter for the Protection of Children and Young People” that the bishops adopted that year in response to published revelations earlier in 2002 about the number of priests across the country who had molested children and especially the number of them who had been left in ministry or returned to ministry after church authorities learned of their actions.
Schmid, who works in the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Northern District of Indiana, has been a prosecutor with the Department of Justice since 1994. Prior to joining Justice, Schmid was a trial and appellate attorney with Gibson, Dunn & Crutcher in Los Angeles, A graduate of the University of Notre Dame, he taught there from 2001 to 2008 as an adjunct professor of law. He used a 2001 fellowship to go to New Zealand to study restorative justice.
Huffman has served as a judge on the Common Pleas Bench in Montgomery County, Ohio, since 2002, and is an adjunct faculty member of the University of Dayton School of Law, her alma mater. She currently is president of the Dayton Bar Association.
Moriarty has been a marriage and family therapist at Bluestem Center for Child and Family Development in Rochester, Minn., since 1997, and a school counselor in Rochester Catholic Schools since 1992. Since 2011, she has been a trainer for the “Protecting God’s Children” program offered by Virtus, a program of the National Catholic Risk Retention Group.
Moriarty chairs the review board of the Diocese of Winona, Minnesota. She holds a Master of Science degree in counseling psychology from Mankato State University and has a specialist certificate in human sexuality from the University of Minnesota.
The National Review Board member whose term is expiring is Stephen Zappala Jr., district attorney for Allegheny County, Pennsylvania. Another member, Susan King, resigned in 2013 before her term expired. The third slot is one that had been empty for some time.