Archdiocese of New Orleans will release names of child sex abusers within the church
NEW ORLEANS (WVUE) - As we continue our investigation into child sex abuse within the Catholic Church and schools, we have learned the Archdiocese of New Orleans will release a list of names of abusers within the church.
In a statement, Archbishop Gregory Aymond says, “The clergy files are being examined very carefully. It is important to note that the review of the files will go back at least 50 years to ensure the list is accurate and complete. We will publish the list as soon as the work is finished. It will be sooner rather than later.”
Last month, we sat down with the Archbishop. In our interview, Aymond told us he is not opposed to a statewide investigation into child sex abuse within the Catholic Church but said he would like the church to do its own. He also told us that a committee made up of representatives from all seven dioceses in Louisiana was formed and was working on what a release of those names might look like. Aymond said the church was considering a very careful check of their files and if there was any documentation that resembles credible abuse, the church was considering releasing the names of those abusers.
Our news partners HTV also recently interviewed the Vicar General for Parish Life for the Diocese of Houma and Thibodaux about that list.
“It’s not that you release names because everybody else is doing it, you release names because it’s the right thing to do. You act with integrity because it’s important to act with integrity,” said Very Rev. Mark Toups, V.G. “There are 38 parishes in our diocese, we have 54 active priests who are actively involved in those parishes right now, and I can absolutely guarantee you that none of those priests that are active in our diocese right now have any allegation against them.”
But likely on the list of abusers, two names from the Houma-Thibodaux Diocese - Robert Melancon and Patrick Kujawa.
According to a 2004 article from the Houma Courier, Melancon, a former Houma priest, was sentenced to life in prison for raping a former altar boy. And Kujawa faced child porn charges. He was removed as an associate pastor of Holy Cross Catholic Church in Morgan City in 2000 according to the article.
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