The Archdiocese of New Orleans and dioceses in other parts of Louisiana on Tuesday committed to releasing the names of clergy who have been credibly accused of sexually abusing minors within the last half century, stepping up their language from last month, when they said it was only exploring the possibility, our media partners at the Advocate report.
In a prepared statement, Archbishop Gregory Aymond said the release “will be sooner rather than later,” though he stopped short of giving a firm date, the newspaper reports.
The Diocese of Shreveport’s administrator, Father Peter Mangum, said that his diocese “will follow the lead of New Orleans and release names.” The Diocese of Houma-Thibodaux also said it intends to release a list, as does the Diocese of Lafayette.
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The Lafayette Diocese has confirmed with KATC that they will release their list, and sent the following statement:
“We certainly applaud Archbishop Aymond’s decision and fully support it. Our Diocese is currently embarking on the same process of examining 50 years of clergy files very closely and carefully to ensure the accuracy of any list of priests accused of abuse of a minor or vulnerable adult. Disclosure of that list is a good idea to foster healing and provide assurance that no one accused of abuse is currently serving in ministry. Because of the extent and complexity of the research, the process will take time and it’s impossible to predict precisely when that process will be completed.”
When a priest was arrested in June and booked with child molestation, Lafayette Bishop Douglas Deshotel held a press conference. He was asked if he was going to release Lafayette’s list, and he demurred. However, he did say that no priest serving in ministry in the diocese was accused.
But just last week, a Lafayette Monsignor was suspended after a woman re-urged complaints she had made in the 1990s and again in the 2000s against him. This week, a second woman came forward with complaints about the same priest – who was serving in ministry in Lafayette until last week. To read the story, click here.