Federal Judge Recusal in Archdiocese of New Orleans Bankruptcy Case
(For Immediate Release May 1, 2023)
A federal judge overseeing the bankruptcy of the Roman Catholic Archdiocese of New Orleans recused himself Friday in a late-night reversal, a week after an Associated Press report showed he donated tens of thousands of dollars to the Church and consistently ruled in its favor. We are grateful for this development, as we are sure the almost 500 child sex abuse victims waiting for justice in the courts must be. To us, this was the correct and obvious decision.
Judge Greg Guidry’s recusal is welcome and long overdue. Initially, the judge told attorneys in the high-profile case that a panel of federal judges he asked to review the possible conflict determined no “reasonable person” would question his impartiality despite his contributions and longstanding ties to the Archdiocese. We obviously disagreed, as did many others in the advocacy and legal communities following the initial reveal.
It was not so long ago that a "reasonable person" would never believe a Catholic priest would rape a child. It was this blind spot that enabled bishops to conceal crimes and unconscionably dismiss the danger to other boys and girls in doing so. When criminal behavior was outed, Church officials, in our opinion, long used their money, power, and influence to deceive the public and law enforcement and to use sympathetic judges like Guidry to help suppress the truth.
It is our belief that all of Judge Guidry's cases involving the Archdiocese of New Orleans should be scrutinized carefully and sent back to be re-litigated if necessary. It seems obvious to us that the judge has had conflicts of interest for years. We question if victims in New Orleans will ever get a fair shake when confronted with the one-two punch of the Church's wealth and judges like Guidry, who are biased beyond any "reasonable" belief.
(SNAP, the Survivors Network, has been providing support for victims of sexual abuse in institutional settings for 35 years. We have more than 25,000 survivors and supporters in our network. Our website is SNAPnetwork.org)