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Spotlight Report

Bishops' watchdog to meet church heads

By Michael Paulson, Globe Staff, 1/23/2003

Kathleen L. McChesney (AP Photo)
Kathleen L. McChesney, the former FBI official hired by Catholic bishops to police compliance with their new national abuse policy, is scheduled to arrive in Boston today for two days of meetings with leaders of the Archdiocese of Boston.

McChesney is scheduled to meet today with Bishop Richard G. Lennon, who has been serving as administrator of the archdiocese since Cardinal Bernard F. Law resigned as archbishop Dec. 13. While in town, she also plans to meet with Barbara Thorp, who is director of the archdiocese's Office of Healing and Assistance Ministry, and Deacon Anthony P. Rizzuto, director of the archdiocese's Office for Child Advocacy, Implementation and Oversight.

She will also visit a church training program about abuse prevention, according to archdiocesan spokeswoman Donna M. Morrissey.

McChesney also plans to meet with leaders of Voice of the Faithful, according to James E. Post, president of the organization.

McChesney, whose title is executive director of the Office of Child and Youth Protection for the US Conference of Catholic Bishops, was hired by the bishops' conference in November to monitor implementation of the child abuse prevention rules approved by the bishops. She is now working on an audit of all US dioceses in an effort to determine whether they are complying with the new rules, and expects to publish the results in December. She also assists the National Review Board, headed by former governor Frank Keating of Oklahoma, which is working on a series of reports looking at the scope and causes of the clergy sexual abuse crisis.

McChesney was previously a top official at the Federal Bureau of Investigation, serving as executive assistant director of the law enforcement services division.

This story ran on page B2 of the Boston Globe on 1/23/2003.
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