Bishop J. Douglas Deshotel of the Diocese of Lafayette has issued the following statement following a vow from an anonymous group of Acadiana Catholics to expose “corruption” in the church.
“The Diocese of Lafayette remains firmly committed to its Safe Environment Program for the protection of minors and vulnerable adults. Protocols have been in place since 2002 to make every Church entity in the Diocese a safe place for minors and vulnerable adults. These are openly posted on the Diocesan website.
The Diocese will not respond to deadlines, bullying and ultimatums issued by any non-Diocesan, anonymous group. I also remind such groups that slander, detraction and defamation of character are mortally sinful. Those who commit them must receive sacramental absolution in Confession and in justice restore the good name of those offended or risk losing everlasting life at the final judgment.”
The Society of St. Peter Damian sent a letter to the bishop last month, requesting an independent investigation with full cooperation from the diocese. On their website, the society writes: “As far as we can see, the only way forward for him is to invite and work with a completely independent, non-diocesan, and permanent board with full access to diocesan files to investigate and root out the corruption and perversion that is rampant in our diocese.”
The group previously said if they didn’t hear from Deshotel by October 2, they would begin to publish evidence of “institutionalized corruption” in the diocese.
On the group’s website, members say their mission “is not an attempt to tear down the Catholic Church, as we are all devout and grateful members of that Church.”