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Standards of Ministerial Behavior Advisory Council | Official Decree

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As Bishop of Youngstown, following the review and unanimous recommendation of the Presbyteral Council, I hereby establish the Standards of Ministerial Behavior Advisory Council and promulgate the Bylaws of The Standards of Ministerial Behavior Advisory Council for the Catholic Diocese of Youngstown, effective immediately.

This Advisory Council will assess allegations of clerical misconduct that constitute violations of our “Standards of Ministerial Behavior” (contained in the Safe Environment Policy) or other diocesan policies including, but not limited to, offenses involving fiscal mismanagement, misappropriation of funds and resources, or a refusal to adhere to diocesan policy. The Advisory Council will also provide an official recommendation to the bishop regarding the suitability for ministry of the accused cleric, possible responses to or rehabilitation for the offending cleric, and types of assistance that may be provided to the alleged victim(s). The Advisory Council is composed of diocesan staff, a member of the Diocesan Review Board, and others as requested by the chairperson.

Allegations of abuse of a child, young person, or vulnerable adult shall not be referred to the Advisory Council; these types of allegations will continue to be reviewed by the Diocesan Review Board, an independent body composed of professionals from various fields.

Along with the Diocesan Review Board, this Advisory Council will strengthen our existing commitment. to justice for victims and those who are accused of misconduct of any kind. At the same time, the establishment of this policy and all the protocols therein provides a fair and just way for the Church to respond to situations of concern and potential scandal that impact the life of our local Church. I am grateful that we now have in place a body to assist me in addressing these matters. It is important that we have policy and consistency as we move forward for the good of the Church and for the fairness of all involved.

Together, let us pray, “That all may be one.”

Given at Youngstown, Ohio, this 3rd day of April, 2023

Most Reverend David J. Bonnar
Bishop of Youngstown

Joan Lawson

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