Roster of Statements


The Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests

SNAP Press Statement

For immediate release: Monday, March 7, 2011

DE man sues predator priest in PA; SNAP responds

Statement by Joelle Casteix of Newport Beach CA, western regional director of SNAP, the Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests (949 322 7434, [email protected])

We are grateful to this brave Delaware man for speaking up and taking action to expose wrongdoing, by both a predator priest and by so-called “victims assistance coordinators.”

Given the proximity to Philadelphia and Delaware’s vacation attractions, we strongly suspect that dozens of kids were molested by Philly priests visiting Delaware.

We hope this victim’s courage will inspire others who were assaulted and are suffering to step forward and start healing.

(SNAP, the Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests, is the world’s oldest and largest support group for clergy abuse victims. We’ve been around for 22 years and have more than 10,000 members. Despite the word “priest” in our title, we have members who were molested by religious figures of all denominations, including nuns, rabbis, bishops, and Protestant ministers. Our website is

Contact - David Clohessy (314-566-9790 cell, [email protected]), Barbara Blaine (312-399-4747, [email protected]), Peter Isely (414-429-7259, [email protected]), Barbara Dorris (314-862-7688 home, 314-503-0003 cell, [email protected])


Posted on Mon, Mar. 7, 2011

Lawsuit claims abuse by priest


A Delaware man on Monday became the latest alleged sex abuse victim to sue the Archdiocese of Philadelphia, contending negligence by archdiocesan leaders enabled a priest to molest him when he was a teen, and that church victim-assistance employees were unresponsive when he sought their help.

Philip Gaughan, 31, said he decided to come forward in the hope that doing so might he help other victims.

"I don't want anybody to have to go through what I've had to go through," Gaughan said at a news conference outside City Hall, where he was flanked by his wife, his father and his lawyers. "No child should have to go through this ever again."

Gaughan's lawsuit mirrors one filed last month, after three priests and a teacher were charged with abusing children and a grand jury vilified the archdiocese's attempts to reform in the years since the scandal first broke.

The lawsuit accused the Rev. John E. Gillespie of molesting Gaughan between 1994 and 1997, when the teen was a sacristan at Our Lady of Calvary Church, and Gillespie was its pastor.

And it contends archdiocesan leaders are guilty of conspiracy and fraud for ignoring signs of abusive behavior and being unresponsive to victims.

According to a 2005 grand jury report, Gillespie kept his post as pastor even after admitting to church leaders as early as 1994 that he had abused children. He died in 2008.

The archdiocese did not immediately respond to a request for comment.

Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests