The Diocese of Lafayette says they are getting closer to the date in which they will release the names of clergy accused of sexual abuse.
Blue Rolfes, spokesperson for the Diocese, confirmed that they are getting close to releasing the list but did not give any more information or timeline for when that will happen. Bishop Douglas Deshotel said in October that he would release Lafayette’s list – after most of the dioceses in Louisiana, including the Archdioese of New Orleans, had announced they would release their lists.
A past bishop acknowledged the existence of the list in 2004. So far, more than 120 dioceses across America, including those of New Orleans, Houma-Thibodaux, Baton Rouge and Alexandria, have released their lists.
In Lafayette, a billboard on the corner of Ambassador and Johnston street is once again calling on the Diocese of Lafayette to release their list.
The following is a statement from the private citizen who is paying for it:
“It is unconscionable that children have been abused and the diocese has covered it up for decades. And law enforcement is complicit in allowing it in their neglect in not investigating,” the citizen told KATC.
The same billboard ran at the same location last fall, too.
In January, KATC released a list of accused priests in the Diocese of Lafayette. Our producers and reporters scoured thousands of pages of documents – all public records – to find support for these accusations in the form of criminal charges, civil suit settlements, diocese statements, and court case evidence. Some of those records are recent, some decades old.
The List can be found here. The List: Accusations of Abuse in The Diocese of Lafayette (Part 1)
The second part of our series focused on promises kept by the Diocese of Lafayette. That story can be read here: The List: Were promises kept? (Part 2)
While the diocese is still working to release its own list, our investigation also uncovered questions about recent transparency and openness in the diocese. The third part in our series can be viewed here: The List: Transparency and openness (Part 3)
More can be read here: The List: A KATC Special Report