Ministerial Standards Board
The bishop has appointed a ministerial standards board composed primarily of lay persons not in the employ of the diocese. This board functions as a confidential consultative body to the bishop in discharging his responsibilities.
See below for a description of the board, its responsibilities, its operational guidelines and a listing of board members.
The Diocese of Winona-Rochester Ministerial Standards Board has been established in accordance with the Charter for the Protection of Children and Young People and the subsequent Essential Norms for Diocesan Policies Dealing with Allegations of Sexual Abuse of Minors by Priests or Deacons, as approved by the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops in November, 2002 and given recognition by the Apostolic See on December 8, 2002.
The membership of this board will consist of at least five (5) persons of outstanding integrity and good judgment in full communion with the Church. The majority of the board will be lay persons not in the employ of the diocese, but at least one member should be a priest who is an experienced and respected priest of the diocese. The board should include experts in medicine, therapy, law, canon law, and victim advocacy, as well as parents and victims/survivors of childhood sexual abuse. The members will be appointed for a term of five (5) years, which can be renewed.
- To assess allegations of sexual abuse of vulnerable persons by priests, deacons, and other Church personnel in order to advise the bishop on whether or not the allegations appear to be credible.
- To make recommendations to the bishop concerning an individual’s fitness to continue in ministry or employment. Options might include complete removal from ministry or employment, limited ministry or employment, or continuing in ministry or employment.
- To review diocesan policies and procedures for dealing with allegations of abuse and to recommend modifications as necessary.
- When necessary, the board also may be asked to assist the Bishop in reviewing cases of sexual misconduct involving adults.