Loading...
Loading...
Click here if you don’t see subscription options
Kevin Bourgeois with Archbishop Gregory Aymond (CNS photo/courtesy Archdiocese of New Orleans)Kevin Bourgeois with Archbishop Gregory Aymond (CNS photo/courtesy Archdiocese of New Orleans)

Ongoing discussions between Archbishop Gregory M. Aymond, of the Archdiocese of New Orleans, and Kevin Bourgeois, the leader of the New Orleans chapter of Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests, have led to a significant broadening and restructuring of the archdiocese’s response to abuse survivors.

Archbishop Aymond announced on Feb. 11 that Joey Pistorius, director of the archdiocesan Catholic Counseling Service, will become the new victims assistance coordinator in April. Mr. Bourgeois, who is a licensed clinical social worker, will serve as a volunteer and will offer training to the counseling team when there are disclosures of sexual abuse trauma.

“There’s no need for us to be at odds,” Archbishop Aymond said of the relationship between the archdiocese and SNAP. “We want the same thing, and reconciliation has happened.”

And the archbishop, on the recommendation of Mr. Bourgeois and other victim advocates, plans to appoint a sexual abuse survivor to the Independent Review Board, a body primarily composed of lay professionals, which reviews allegations of abuse to determine their credibility and makes recommendations to the archbishop.

“There’s no need for us to be at odds,” Archbishop Aymond said of the relationship between the archdiocese and SNAP. “We want the same thing, and reconciliation has happened,” he said. “We will work together. Independently, the archdiocese can do many things well, and independently, SNAP can do many things well. We can do more together.”

The archbishop first met with Mr. Bourgeois on Dec. 15, initiating “some very open and frank discussions about the strengths and weaknesses of what we’re doing.”

“It really opened up the question: Let’s start from scratch. Let’s start from the very beginning and see what we can do, what we can do better,” Archbishop Aymond said.

The new victims assistance response team will work together to address the individual needs of each survivor.

The latest from america

At times, by over-emphasizing our efforts to do good works, we have created an ideal of holiness excessively based on ourselves.
Pope FrancisMay 15, 2022
The lives of the saints prove that holiness is not an unreachable goal accomplished by a select few but comes from acknowledging and sharing God’s love, Pope Francis said.
In “Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness” Marvel took all the toys that they know the fans want and then smashed them in front of us.
Jim McDermottMay 13, 2022
The greatest evangelization we can offer is a joyful church.
Damian J. FerenceMay 13, 2022