Archbishop Aymond Tiptoes Towards Zero Tolerance
Archbishop Greg Aymond of the scandal-ridden Archdiocese of New Orleans has adopted a harder stance towards priests credibly accused of abuse and is asking all of them to leave ministry permanently. This message is long overdue from the archbishop and needs to be backed up by action in both the church and secular society.
According to WWL TV, Archbishop Aymond and his colleagues in New Orleans are getting more aggressive with how they handle abusive priests following the Clark and Wattigny scandals of the past month. While we welcome any efforts to remove abusers from positions of power, we cannot help but wonder “why now?”
Apparently, Archbishop Aymond has allegedly been asking abusive priests in private to resign since 2018. Yet American prelates pledged to uphold zero tolerance all the way back in 2002, so this more aggressive stance is nearly two decades too late. Yet despite his tardiness in arriving to the right conclusion, we are glad that Aymond is taking these steps now and believe that this will help protect future children from abuse.
We hope that he will use all of his resources, canon lawyers, and influence with the Vatican and the CDF, to not just ask these abusive men to leave the priesthood, but force them out. But even more importantly, we hope that Archbishop Aymond’s newfound aggression will also signal his full cooperation with secular law enforcement. The best way to get abusive priests away from children is to put them in jail where they belong.
(SNAP, the Survivors Network, has been providing support for victims of sexual abuse in institutional settings for 30 years. We have more than 25,000 survivors and supporters in our network. Our website is SNAPnetwork.org)