Archbishop offers counseling, guidance to abuse victim
NEW ORLEANS (WVUE) - Archbishop Gregory Aymond has reached out to an alleged victim whose attorney says agreed to a large settlement in a clergy abuse case.
The archbishop is offering pastoral counseling, and the man’s attorney welcomes the invitation.
Attorney Roger Stetter shares the pastoral letter he says the archbishop sent to his client. The letter backs up statements made by Aymond earlier to FOX 8, where he expressed a desire to walk with the victims in healing.
The letter was sent on Oct. 1 to a second alleged victim of former deacon George Brignac. His case was settled last week, according to Stetter. This victim, like the first, was a former altar boy at Our Lady of Holy Rosary church back in early 80s.
Brignac was in charge of the altar boy program there.
Stetter says he’s advising his clients to meet with Aymond for their own sake, and so that the archbishop can learn of the damage caused by abusive priests.
"It's very different to hear about these stories, rather than having a grown man cry in front of you and tell you how it impacted their life," said Stetter.
“When they come forth, the first thing I do is walk with them. We offer counseling, spiritual direction, and anything else they need to heal,” said Aymond.
He says being able to confront someone in the church, and hear the church say “I’m sorry,” can be a big part of the healing process.
No word yet on whether the alleged victim will set up a meeting.
Stetter says he is involved in more than 10 mediation cases between now and the end of the year involving alleged misdeeds by Brignac.
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