Meeting its self-imposed deadline, the St. Louis Archdiocese has restructured its long-standing advisory committee that examines charges of clergy sexual abuse.
The Gennesaret Committee, as it is known, now complies with the Charter for the Protection of Children and Young People adopted by the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops in June. The compliance was achieved with the naming by Archbishop Justin Rigali of three laypersons not employed by the archdiocese. A majority of the committee's membership, or five of its nine members, now are people who are not archdiocesan employees.
The committee has existed in the archdiocese for 10 years. The archdiocese, in responding to the U.S. bishops' Ad Hoc Committee on Sexual Abuse survey sent to all U.S. dioceses in August, said it had chosen Oct. 15 as a compliance date.
The new members, appointed to five-year terms, are Robert Furey, a psychologist from Webster Groves; Peggy Henderson, a parishioner from St. Elizabeth, Mother of John the Baptist Parish; and Thomas Malacek, a career law enforcement officer from Ballwin.
They join current committee members Sister Carol Ann Callahan, RSM, the committee chairwoman; Dr. Joseph Callahan of Creve Coeur; Dr. Henry Clever of St. Charles; Msgr. Vernon Gardin; Suzanne Harvath, a psychologist and theology teacher at Kenrick-Glennon Seminary; and Rev. Mr. Daniel Henroid of South St. Louis.
The committee reports to Msgr. Richard Stika, vicar for priests in the archdiocese. He is assisted by Rev. Mr. Phil Hengen. Bernard Huger is the committee's legal adviser. Nancy Brown is the coordinator for victim assistance and Harold Bruns is the alternate coordinator. Judicial vicar is Father John B. Shamleffer. Msgr. Dennis Delaney is moderator of the curia.
The Gennesaret Committee meets at least once a month at the Catholic Center, 4445 Lindell Blvd.