Nationwide, there are calls for Pope Francis to resign amid allegations of sexual abuse by priests and a mass cover-up of those cases.
As reported, the Diocese of Lafayette has paid at least $26 million to 123 victims of sexual abuse by priests.
As parishioners were leaving noon Mass at St. John’s Cathedral on Monday, most people did not want to talk. Those that did speak said they still have faith in the pope and the Catholic Church.
“He made us a promise that the gates of hell would never prevail against our most holy Catholic Church,” said Todd Bourgeois as he left mass. “We have to believe in that and believe in him and ask for his blessings.”
Bourgeois said the Catholic Church needs prayer as it moves forward amid allegations of abuse and scandal.
“Our blessed Lord has all the answers,” Bourgeois said. “He judges what will and will not happen in our most holy church. We have to pray and do our penance and say our prayers. He has all the answers.”
Geri Kreamer, an area parishioner agrees with Bourgeois. She believes Pope Francis will address these allegations and make changes in the church.
“We’re all human beings, but those that go into the priesthood, it’s a higher level,” said Kreamer. “We’re all loved by God, but I have deep, deep faith, and I think this is a horrible thing, and it needs to be addressed.”
In 2004, then-Bishop Michael Jarrell acknowledged a list of at least 15 priests who faced “credible accusations,” but only one priest was criminally charged. The names of the other priests were never released.
“The best way to address a crime is to bring it out in the open, address it and move on from there,” said Bourgeois.
Monday afternoon, we reached out to the Diocese of Lafayette, but Bishop Deshotel is out of town and unavailable for comment.