New Orleans archdiocese overhauls support for sex abuse survivors

Catholic News Service via National Catholic Reporter

February 22, 2021

By Paul Finney Jr.

New Orleans – An ongoing series of discussions between New Orleans Archbishop Gregory M. Aymond and Kevin Bourgeois, the leader of the New Orleans chapter of Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests, or SNAP, has led to a significant broadening and restructuring of Archdiocese of New Orleans’ response to abuse survivors.

Aymond announced Feb. 11 that Joey Pistorius, director of the archdiocesan Catholic Counseling Service, will become the archdiocese’s new Victims’ Assistance coordinator April 1.

The victims’ assistance office will move from its current location in the archdiocesan administrative offices to the offices of the Catholic Counseling Service.

In addition, Bourgeois, who is a licensed clinical social worker, will serve as a volunteer who will offer training to the counseling team when there are disclosures of sexual abuse trauma.

The archbishop, on the recommendation of Bourgeois and other victims’ advocates, also will appoint a sexual abuse survivor to the Independent Review Board, a body primarily composed of lay professionals who review allegations of abuse to determine their credibility and make such recommendations to the archbishop.

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