LA- Lafayette predator priest quietly sent to Baton Rouge; SNAP responds
For immediate release: Monday, Sept. 8, 2014
A Louisiana newspaper has disclosed that a Lafayette predator priest was quietly sent to work in the Baton Rouge diocese. We strongly suspect that he is living or working among unsuspecting neighbors or colleagues. So for the protection of kids and the healing of victims, we urgently call on Baton Rouge Bishop Robert W. Muench to:
–warn his flock about the priest (through news conferences, news releases, on church websites, etc.),
–aggressively seek out anyone who may have seen, suspected or suffered the cleric's crimes and
–disclose whether there are or have been other pedophile priests who molested elsewhere and were secretly transferred to his diocese.
In the 1980s, Lafayette diocese officials “quietly moved another child sex-abusing priest, Fr. Robert Limoges, to the neighboring Diocese of Baton Rouge,” reported The Advocate yesterday.
The revelation comes from long-secret Catholic church records that were unsealed in litigation and sought first by Minnesota Public Radio (for a profile of a former Louisiana bishop).
Fr. Limoges was first exposed as a child molester almost three decades ago.
Baton Rouge Bishop Robert Muench has had more than a dozen years to tell parishioners, police, prosecutors and the public about Fr. Limoges. We see no evidence that he ever did. That's stunningly callous and reckless. Bishop Muench, like his colleagues, have repeatedly promised to be “open” about clergy sex cases. He has broken this promise. Shame on him. And shame on every Catholic official – in Baton Rouge and Lafayette – who knew and stayed silent – for decades - about the dangerous, secret transfer of Fr. Limoges.
More than 25 years ago, in 1986, journalist Jason Berry reported:
“In 1984, Fr. Robert Limoges, left for an undisclosed treatment center after families in Eunice and Lafayette complained to their respective district attorneys” and “Seven priests—Gauthe, Fontenot, Limoges, Engbers, Hebert, the priest in treatment and the priest now in another diocese—have left Lafayette diocesan parishes.”
We desperately hope Fr. Limoges has not molested more kids in Baton Rouge. But dozens of Catholic officials have made it easy for him to do so.
And we hope that Louisiana parishioners, police, parents and prosecutors tell officials - both secular and religious, for the safety of innocent kids and the healing of suffering victims - that these names should be made public.
(SNAP, the Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests, is the world’s oldest and largest support group for clergy abuse victims. We’ve been around for 25 years and have more than 20,000 members. Despite the word “priest” in our title, we have members who were molested by religious figures of all denominations, including nuns, rabbis, bishops, and Protestant ministers. Our website is SNAPnetwork.org)
Contact - David Clohessy (314-566-9790 cell, email@example.com), Barbara Dorris (314-503-0003 cell, SNAPdorris@gmail.com)
SNAP will be Representing Clergy Abuse Survivors in Rome!
We are taking the fight to Rome and are standing up for all survivors on a world stage! From February 19-25, Board President Tim Lennon, Seattle Leader Mary Dispenza, Los Angeles Leader Esther Hatfield Miller and Austin Leader Carol Midboe will be traveling to Rome for Pope Francis' Papal Abuse Summit.
If you are a member of the media and looking to get in touch with these survivors while in Rome, click here for our media advisory and contact information. If you are interested in connecting with a survivor in the US from your area of coverage, please contact one of the SNAP leaders in the US listed below:
- East Coast/DC: Becky Ianni (SNAPvirginia@cox.net, 703-801-6044)
- Midwest/Chicago: Zach Hiner (firstname.lastname@example.org, 517-974-9009)
- Midwest/St. Louis: David Clohessy (email@example.com, 314314-566-9790)
- West Coast / San Francisco: Melanie Sakoda (firstname.lastname@example.org, 925-708-6175)
If you are looking to help spread the word about the importance of this summit and for survivors to be heard, add your voice to the conversation on social media using the hashtag #PBC2019. Be sure to follow SNAP on twitter and Facebook and share our posts, add your comments, and let the world know that we are watching!Learn More