NewsCovering Louisiana


Church paid New Orleans sex abuse victim $100,000 then waited two years to investigate the priest

Posted at 8:42 PM, Nov 06, 2020

NEW ORLEANS, La. — Mark Vath thought the sexual abuse complaint he filed against his father’s cousin, a Roman Catholic priest named Paul Calamari, was resolved when the Archdiocese of New Orleans put Calamari on a 2018 list of clerics strongly suspected of molesting children.

According to a report from, church officials also agreed to pay Vath a $100,000 settlement for his ordeal. That was less than a month before the release of the roster of fallen priests and deacons.

Church officials also later told him they believed his allegations.

But it turns out a formal investigation of Vath’s case by the church didn’t even start for another two years.

Archbishop Gregory Aymond informed Vath in a letter in September that the church had only begun scrutinizing Calamari a month earlier, a process that might refer the matter to top Catholic bureaucrats in Rome to consider removing Calamari from the priesthood.

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