Youth Protection & Safe Environment


***If a child/youth is in immediate danger, call 911 right away.***

Reporting Abuse by a Priest, Deacon, Religious Brother or Sister, or Layperson

Call the Victim Assistance Coordinator, Sister Natalya Stoczanyn, SSMI, at (845) 709-0769 to report abuse by a priest, deacon, religious brother or sister, or layperson working/volunteering in the Church. Please also contact the police.

Reporting Sexual Abuse or Misconduct by a Bishop

Call 1-800-276-1562 or go to to report sexual abuse or misconduct by a bishop.

Why is there a separate reporting channel for bishops?

The Catholic Bishop Abuse Reporting service (CBAR) was created to gather and relay reports of sexual misconduct involving bishops of the United States as well as reports of their intentional interference in a sexual abuse investigation. CBAR is designed to ensure such reports are received and acted upon by the Church.

The Archeparchy of Philadelphia will comply with all applicable civil laws with respect to the reporting of allegations of sexual abuse of minors to civil authorities and will cooperate in their investigation. In every instance, the Archeparchy will advise and support a person’s right to make a report to public authorities.


Victim Assistance Coordinator (VAC) - Sister Natalya Stoczanyn, SSMI

Safe Environment Coordinator (SEC) - Sean McLaughlin

Sister Natalya Stoczanyn, SSMI


The Charter for the Protection of Children and Young People is a comprehensive set of procedures originally established by the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops (USCCB) in June 2002 to address allegations of sexual abuse of minors by Catholic clergy. The Charter also includes guidelines for reconciliation, healing, accountability, and prevention of future acts of abuse.

Article 12 of the Charter requires dioceses/eparchies to maintain “safe environment” programs which the diocesan/eparchial bishop deems to be in accord with Catholic moral principles. They are to be conducted cooperatively with parents, civil authorities, educators, and community organizations to provide education and training for minors, parents, ministers, employees, volunteers, and others about ways to sustain and foster a safe environment for minors.

Safe Environment Training and Background Checks for Adults

Anyone in the Archeparchy who works with or around children/youth must complete Safe Environment training and submit a background check. The Archeparchy uses VIRTUS Online’s “Protecting God’s Children 4.0” curriculum to train adults and JDP, a national background check provider. (Pennsylvania law requires those who work or volunteer with children/youth to submit two to three additional background clearances.) Examples of those who work with or around children/youth include adult altar servers (18 or older), cantors, catechists, choir members, lectors, religious education teachers, ushers, kitchen volunteers, etc.

Additional Background Clearances Required by Pennsylvania

Pennsylvania has some of the strictest child protection laws in the country. Those who work or volunteer with children/youth must obtain additional clearances and forward them to the Chancery. For more information see the Department of Human Services’ clearances site.

Please note the FBI Criminal History Background Check is waived if the PA residency requirement is met (residing in PA for the previous 10 consecutive years). Individuals who meet the PA residency requirement must sign and forward to the Chancery the appropriate Disclosure Statement.

Safe Environment Training for Children/Youth

The Charter requires dioceses/eparchies to provide Safe Environment training to children/youth. The Archeparchy uses VIRTUS Online’s “Empowering God’s Children” curriculum to train altar servers, students in religious education, and any other minors active in parishes. The Church firmly holds, “Parents have the first responsibility for the education of their children.” (Catechism of the Catholic Church, Paragraph 2223) Therefore, parents are free to opt out their children from Safe Environment training; for such cases, the Archeparchy must have a waiver on file. The waiver may be submitted here.

Review Board

Article 2 of the Charter for the Protection of Children and Young People mandates that each diocese/eparchy have a review board that functions as a confidential consultative body to the bishop/eparch. This board is to advise the diocesan/eparchial bishop in his assessment of allegations of sexual abuse of minors and in his determination of a cleric’s suitability for ministry. It is regularly to review diocesan/eparchial policies and procedures for dealing with sexual abuse of minors.

Archeparchy of Philadelphia Review Board Members

  • Helen Chaykowsky (Review Board Chair)
  • John Kurey
  • Stephen Nasevich
  • Rev. Ihor Royik
  • Myron Soltys
  • Andrew Tershakovec, MD
  • Xenia Zacharczuk

Empowering God’s Children

Virtus Online


Mitered Archpriest Peter D Waslo

(215) 627-0143


Victim Assistance Coordinator (VAC)

Sister Natalya Stoczanyn, SSMI

(845) 709-0769


Safe Environment Coordinator (SEC)

Sean McLaughlin

(215) 627-0143