NEW ORLEANS (WVUE) - The Archdiocese of New Orleans has released a list of names of abusers within the church. Some abuse victims said this is something they have been waiting years to see.
“By this we are saying our desire and reality of our repentance is present and we hope it will show transparency and help bring healing for our victims. This is part of our atonement,” Archbishop Gregory Aymond said.
Aymond recently said he is not opposed to a statewide investigation into child sex abuse within the Catholic Church, but he said he would like the church to do its own.
The list includes 57 clergy members with past affiliations with the Archdiocese of New Orleans. It includes the names of men who were credibly accused of sexually abusing minors and were removed from ministry.
Clergy like Deacon George Brignac, who served at a number of local churches and schools including Holy Rosary, and was responsible for two massive settlements paid out this year by the archdiocese.
He is also the target of two new lawsuits and 13 scheduled settlement negotiations over the next five months.
The list of the living former priests also included Thomas Glasgow, who served at Mater Dolorsa in New Orleans, and was removed from the ministry in 2008.
Also on the list is Paul Calamari, who served at five churches in the area, including Holy Rosary, and was removed in 2003.
The list also includes other names of clergy members, 36 of whom are deceased, including Gorham Putnam of St. Agnes in Jefferson Parish, John Thoman from Our lady of Lourdes in New Orleans, and Cornelius Carr from Jesuit.
The president of Jesuit High school says he supports the decision of Archbishop Gregory Aymond to release the names of clergy members accused of sexual abuse. Read his full letter here.
The list of the living also includes Patrick Keane, who served at St. Anselm in Madisonville and was removed from ministry in 1995.
James Lockwood was removed after a 1978 allegation. He served at Center of Jesus the Lord and Our Lady of Prompt Succor in Chalmette.
Aymond said the list was released after careful consideration and with the help of a 10-member lay staff, which included outside legal professionals who reviewed files of more than 2,400 priests who served in the archdiocese going back to 1950.
The list includes 14 names of former Archdiocese of New Orleans clergy who are still alive and were accused of sexually abusing a minor - those allegations led to their removal of ministry and the archdiocese says in each case, they remain out of ministry.
FOX 8 is working to contact those 14 men to get a response to the allegations.
The list also includes 18 names are Archdiocese of New Orleans clergy who are deceased and who either admitted to or were publicly accused of sexually abusing a minor.
“It’s not that you release names because everybody else is doing it, you release names because it’s the right thing to do. You act with integrity because it’s important to act with integrity,” said Vicar General for Parish Life for the Diocese of Houma and Thibodaux Rev. Mark Toups.
Louisiana Attorney General Jeff Landry said the state department of justice has received four criminal complaints involving Catholic clergy and a few correspondences from constituents expressing support of a statewide grand jury, similar to what Pennsylvania was legally able to do.
The New Orleans District Attorney’s Office issued a statement Friday morning saying, “We stand ready to evaluate for possible prosecution any cases brought to us after investigations are completed by the New Orleans Police Department. District attorney Leon Cannizzaro has a long track record of aggressively prosecuting those who sexually assault or exploit innocent children, and he will continue to do so whenever the evidence and the law allow."
It is a day that one alleged victim of clergy abuse thought would never come.
“This day for me, is the first time I’ve seen the archdiocese head in the right direction,” said one alleged victim, who has filed for a church settlement. “...The archdiocese did nothing but put these sharks into a pond of trout, and kept feeding them over and over again, moving them around to schools, and they destroyed a lot of us.”
“We hope that it will show transparency and, most importantly, healing for victims. I think this is part of our atonement,” said Aymond.
Release of the list is one of the toughest things Archbishop Aymond said he’s ever done. He knows some of the priests and insists the names represent a tiny percentage of all clergy who’ve served in the Archdiocese of New Orleans.
“It’s very difficult, because to see their names on the list is a painful disappointment,” said Aymond.
Alleged victims of clergy abuse said the release of the names will help heal, but they said the scars have lasted decades.
“This is just the beginning. It’s so embarrassing that such a huge organization, would finally be caught,” said the alleged victim.
That alleged victim we spoke with is one of 13 that attorney Roger Stetter said will be the focus of settlement talks over the next five months.
A full list of names is below: