SNAP stands in solidarity with excommunicated father; says actions of Louisiana bishop will discourage victims from coming forward

For immediate release: March 25, 2024

A Louisiana man, who worked as a Catholic deacon and whose son was sexually assaulted by his priest as a child, has been excommunicated by his former bishop. As far as SNAP can tell, no perpetrator has ever faced this harsh ecclesiastical penalty. We call on the faithful who are appalled by this action to contact the bishop and express their dismay.

Scott Peyton’s excommunication from the Church on March 13, 2024, at the hands of Diocese of Lafayette Bishop J. Douglas Deshotel, seems to us to be vindictive, unnecessary, and likely to have a chilling effect on those victims and their families who are also believers. While Scott had worked as a deacon in the Diocese alongside his son Oliver’s abuser, Fr. Michael Guidry, Scott had already stepped away from this position in December, telling the Bishop at the same time that he and his family had moved on to another faith community.

We cannot help but consider that the true motive for this excommunication was to discourage victims and their families who are also still practicing Catholics from coming forward in the future. Many of the faithful believe that those who are excommunicated die in a state of sin, and consequently are condemned to hell. Fear of incurring this same penalty would certainly be a powerful deterrent to those who still want to be a part of the Church to stay silent.

Bishop Deshotel was also behind the recently successful appeal to overturn the state’s three-year lookback window. That action too is likely to discourage all Catholic victims, not just those who wish to remain communicants, from coming forward.

Yet exposing hidden predators and their enablers will help to safeguard children today and in the future. Moreover, the publication of perpetrator names can also be the first step to healing for those still suffering alone and in silence from their abuse.  

While the Catholic Church claimed in 2002 to be turning over a new leaf, welcoming the reports of survivors and their families and promising not to hide perpetrators, Bishop Deshotel’s intimidation tactics and hypocrisy gives the lie to those claims, in our opinion. We think it is long past time to push back.

As Scott’s case illustrates, even the children of those who work hard to support the mission of the Church can be subjected to the trauma of child sexual abuse, which has life-long consequences. Moreover, while the abusers apparently continue to enjoy protection from Catholic officials, those who speak truth to power seem likely to find themselves punished.

If you too find this state of affairs intolerable, please let Bishop Deshotel know how you feel. Let him know in no uncertain terms that his tactics will not prevent anyone from speaking out to protect children.

Bishop J. Douglas Deshotel

1408 Carmel Drive
Lafayette LA 70501

[email protected]

CONTACT: Curtis Garrison, SNAP Louisiana and ([email protected]214-808-2878), Melanie Sakoda, Survivor Support Director ([email protected], 925-708-6175), Mike McDonnell, SNAP Executive Director ([email protected], 267-261-0578),  Shaun Dougherty, SNAP Board President ([email protected], 814-341-8386)

(SNAP, the Survivors Network, has been providing support for victims of sexual abuse in institutional settings for more than 35 years. We have more than 25,000 survivors and supporters in our network. Our website is

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