NEW ORLEANS, La. (WVUE) - The group Survivors Network of those Abused by priests, or SNAP, has issued a response to a statement made by Saints owner Gayle Benson Monday regarding the New Orleans Saints and its relationship with the Catholic church.
Mrs. Benson said in her statement, a team official played an advisory role in the announcement two years ago, about credibly abused priests, but SNAP wants more.
Benson also said that neither she nor her late husband contributed to the Catholic Church to pay for sex abuse settlements. She said she has released all related emails to courts involved in litigation surrounding the team's involvement with the church...but S.N.A.P. says her actions don’t go far enough.
“If you don’t have anything to hide, then forego this hearing on 2/20 and release it," Kevin Bourgeois, SNAP’s local director, said.
Bourgeois says that the Saints receive public money and the public deserves to have the Saints and the archdiocese release, all emails to the public.
“Let the public know, who pays a lot of money to keep the Saints in New Orleans, we have a right to know,” Bourgeois said.
SNAP also says it’s time for civil authorities to do more.
“For her to release the emails, that’s one part of it...our national director says the only way we can reach full transparency, is for a secular agency to investigate this archdiocese,” Bourgeois said.
SNAP gives Orleans D.A. Leon Cannizzaro credit for currently prosecuting accused child sex abuser and former church deacon George Brignac. As for SNAP's call for the attorney general to do more, Jeff Landry has repeatedly said he doesn’t have jurisdiction unless a parish DA asks for his help in any investigations.
We reached out to the Saints for comment. They deferred but acknowledged that the release of the emails is up to the legal system.