Statement from SNAP New Orleans Regarding Bar Date

Clergy sex abuse survivors have no choice but to accept the Sept 17th decision of Federal Bankruptcy Judge Meredith Grabill in setting March 1, 2021 as the date by which victims of abuse in the Archdiocese of New Orleans must come forward or lose their rights.  Judge Grabill disregarded U.S. Trustee Amanda George’s recommendation of a March 31st bar date.

In our opinion, the judge was more concerned with the debtor’s rights that the abuse survivor creditor’s rights.  She denied a motion to delay the bar date until the COVID-19 crisis abated.

We firmly believe that the Archdiocese of New Orleans does not care about our best interests in healing and moving forward.  In our opinion, this is a financially solvent multinational corporation that was on the verge of being forced to disclose its knowledge of sex crimes committed by priests and deacons over the past several decades. Filing for bankruptcy, we feel, was done to keep that damning information hidden.

The Catholic children of this Archdiocese will never be safe while those who prey on children are protected by Church officials. These men will continue to have open access to groom and then to abuse, robbing countless boys and girls of their God-given potential. 

We hope that Judge Grabill forces this corporation made up of men who employ and protect deviant sexual criminals, to stay away from children forever.

By speaking out, we want to prevent anymore children from being victims of clergy sex crimes.  However, parents and the public need information to protect boys and girls from sex criminals in religious garb.

The disease of clergy sexual abuse and the cover up of these crimes was only possible because of a conspiracy of silence maintained by almost every priest and bishop in the Catholic Church.  This is their problem.  It is a shame that clergy who are not sexual abusers, and may well be good men, will be blighted by the scandal that their fellow clergy and supervisors created.

Archbishop Gregory Aymond is the only native New Orleanian to lead the Church in our city. It is unfortunate that his legacy will forever be stained in our eyes by his refusal to come clean about what the Archdiocese truly knows about clergy sex crimes.  How can you live with yourself?

We hope at the very least that Judge Grabill forces this corporation to disgorge these secret files as part of the bankruptcy settlement, as was done in the Diocese of St. Cloud. But we urge Archbishop Aymond to prove our suspicions wrong and to open his books on clergy sexual abuse to law enforcement and the public without a court order.

CONTACT: Kevin Bourgeois, SNAP New Orleans (neworleans@snapnetwork.org, 504-376-5445), Zach Hiner, Executive Director (517-974-9009, zhiner@snapnetwork.org)

(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)


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