The Commission


Monsignor Robert W. OLIVER

United States

Former Secretary

Mons. Oliver has over twenty years of experience in safeguarding minors and vulnerable persons from abuse and in conducting canonical investigations and penal processes, assisting local Churches around the world and the Holy See. He also serves as the Coordinator for Child Protection (Referente) in the Vatican City State and as a Consultor to the Dicastery for the Laity, Family, and Life.

Mons. Oliver was born in New York, entered religious life in the Brotherhood of Hope in 1984, and was ordained a priest in 2000 for the Archdiocese of Boston and service to his community. His studies included Dartmouth College (A.B.), a doctoral degree in ecclesiology from the Pontifical Gregorian University in Rome (S.T.D.), and a doctoral degree in canon law from the Catholic University of America in Washington DC (J.C.D.), with thesis work titled the “The Vocation of the Laity” and “Developing Criteria of Ecclesiality for Associations of the Faithful”.

After work as a judge, promoter of justice, defense advocate, and advisor for several dioceses and religious communities (2002-2012), Mons. Oliver served as promoter of justice at the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith (2012-2014). In the Archdiocese of Boston, he was director of the Office for Investigations (2002-2005) and assistant to the vicar general for canonical affairs (2010-2012). 

His pastoral experience includes inner-city and suburban parishes, seminaries, high schools, movements of the Christian faithful, developmentally-disabled adults, and victims of abuse. He was visiting professor of canon law at the Catholic University of America (2010-2012) and professor of theology and of canon law at St. John’s Seminary (1997-2010), where he also served as dean of students (2004-2007) and director of the Masters of Arts in Ministry Program for Laity (2005-2007).