Bishop David M. O’Connell, C.M., has appointed Maureen Fitzsimmons to the position of chairperson of the Diocesan Review Board, a team of professionally trained people who function as a confidential consultative body to the Bishop dealing with allegations of sexual abuse of minors by clergy and other representatives of the Church.
The board is composed of experienced individuals in law enforcement, medicine, social concerns, canon law and personnel management. It is charged with evaluating all available evidence, including interviews it conducts with victims and alleged perpetrators, and offering its determination to the Bishop as to the credibility of an allegation.
In a letter of appointment dated March 16, Bishop O’Connell thanked Fitzsimmons, a resident of Bradley Beach and a member of the town’s Ascension Parish, for her “generous acceptance of this position,” and acknowledged that she was already “well-acquainted with this role” through her service to the Diocese as victim assistance coordinator and a Diocesan Review Board member.
Fitzsimmons, who will continue in her role as diocesan victim assistance coordinator, expressed how honored she was to serve as chair of the group of men and women who serve on the DRB, acknowledging how over the years they have been “so dedicated in carrying out the difficult work they do.”