WASHINGTON, July 31, 2002 ( – In a move that has confounded some Catholics in the United States, the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops (USCCB) has appointed two known associates of former President Clinton to its 12-member National Review Board to deal with the sexual abuse scandals.  Kathryn Lopez of National Review asks in a column “What are the Catholic bishops thinking?”  Lopez points out that Robert Bennett, Clinton’s lawyer in the Paula Jones sex scandal was named to the USCCB core group of three on the National Review Board.  Moreover, in a release last week, the USCCB announced the appointment of another Clintonite to the Board.  Leon Panetta, Clinton’s former chief of staff was appointed despite his public pro-abortion stance.

The Board’s extensive powers include approving actions to deal with sexual abuse by clergy.  While faithful Catholics would implement the Pope’s suggested primary remedy of finally acting against decades of dissent in North America against the church’s moral teachings, nominal Catholics such as Panetta are typically averse to such measures.  Another Clintonite may be in store for the Board since the New York Times reports that the Board said today that it hoped to identify a director for the church’s proposed Office for Child and Youth Protection by Sept. 1. One board member, Robert S. Bennett, Clinton’s former attorney, will lead the search.

See the column by Lopez:   See the USCCB release announcing the Board members:   See the New York Times coverage:   See a Washington Post article identifying Bennett as Clinton’s attorney:   See LifeSite’s Church Scandals pages with extensive articles on the issue


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