Roster of Press Releases


The Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests

SNAP Press Release

Catholic abuse committees are subject of panel discussion

“Hand picked boards aren’t assertive or effective,” SNAP says

Ex- church board member will disclose her painful experiences

For the first time since the recent Philadelphia grand jury report and the removal of 20+ priests for sexual abuse allegations, a former member of a Catholic diocese abuse review board will discuss:

  • The role of diocese lay review boards in the cover-up of child sexual abuse,
  • The ineffective nature of the boards and how they are powerless to get to the root of the problem,
  • How the boards were set up as a mechanism for bishops to continue “business as usual” in regards to sexual abuse, and
  • Possible solutions to empower Catholics and victims to stop abuse and cover-up in Philadelphia and internationally

Aulenbach House, the Parish House of Episcopal Christ Church and St. Michael’s, 29 W. Tulpehocken St. (at Germantown Avenue) Philadelphia

Saturday, March 26, 2 to 4 p.m.

A California woman who once served on the Catholic diocese of Orange’s lay review board and members from across the United States, including:

  • Joelle Casteix of Newport Beach, CA – Former member of the Diocese of Orange Sexual Misconduct Oversight and Review Board – now Western Regional Director, SNAP, the Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests. Joelle has traveled to numerous countries, testified before legislators and worked with dozens and dozens of clergy abuse victims who have been traumatized by lay review boards.

The event is sponsored by SNAP, the Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests ( and Voice of the Faithful (VOTF)

Why: Since the recent publication of the Philadelphia Grand Jury Report on sex abuse and cover-up in the Archdiocese of Philadelphia (and the subsequent removal of 20+ priests for previously secret or “discounted” allegations of abuse), the role of the Archdiocese lay review board has come under intense scrutiny.

Earlier this month, a few members of the Philadelphia board told the Inquirer that they were given incomplete information about seven of the priests and no information at all about 14. One Philly board member said that they had recommended the removal of other abusive priests, but Cardinal Rigali ignored their requests.

Several members of other lay review boards across the county has stepped down, citing inaction by the bishops, continued cover-up of sex abuse, manipulation of the role of the board for public relations purposes, and lack of reporting to law enforcement by members who are mandated reporters. Casteix, who is also a victim, has been vocal in her criticism of the boards, as well as other “reforms” mandated by the 2002 Dallas Charter, which required the boards’ formation.

Nancy Mortimer O’Brien 610-825-0355 [email protected]
Marita Green 610-724-1376 [email protected]

Barb Dorris of St. Louis, SNAP Outreach Director (314) 503-0003
Barbara Blaine of Chicago, SNAP President (312) 399-4747
Joelle Casteix of Newport Beach, SNAP Western Regional Director (949) 322-7434, [email protected]

Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests