As Baton Rouge Bishop Michael Duca released the names Thursday of 37 clergy members who had been credibly accused of sexual abuse, a man who said he was a survivor of abuse from a Baton Rouge clergyman confronted him.
Brennan Tomeny, who sat near the back of a room in the Catholic Life Center where Duca held his news conference, said the biggest problem with the clergy abuse crisis is the hiding and cover-ups that have happened over time. Tomeny said Clyde Landry, who was named on the list Thursday, abused him when he was younger.
The Diocese of Baton Rouge has released a list of 41 clergy who were removed from ministry after accusations that they sexually abused minors …
And Tomeny said he worried until the list was released that Landry’s name would not appear on it. He told Duca that people are less worried about moving on from the sex abuse crisis and more concerned with preventing it in the future.
“They want to know it’s not happening right now under their noses, again, today, the same way it happened in the ‘60s, ‘70s and ‘80s,” Tomeny said.
Duca apologized repeatedly for the hush-hush culture that has surrounded sexual abuse allegations in the Catholic Church, and acknowledged that the culture in the past has tried to protect the church and the accused priest, rather than hear the voice of victims.
“I can honestly say, I am not aware of any hint or possibility that this is going on in our diocese right now,” Duca said.
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Landry was a Diocesan priest whose first report of abuse was received in 1988. The Diocese reported that Landry resigned from his pastorate in 1988, was placed on leave and left the Diocese in 1990.
But Landry remained a priest, and, in fact, became the co-director of “aftercare” at the infamous Villa Louis Martin home to rehabilitate pedophile priests in New Mexico. His priestly faculties were not removed until 1999, and more reports of his abuse came into the Diocese of Baton Rouge in 2002 and 2004. Allegations of abuse were made against him during his time at St. Aloysius and St. George in Baton Rouge, Holy Family in Port Allen and Our Lady of Mount Carmel in St. Francisville.
Tomeny said in a brief interview after the news conference that he lapsed in his Catholic faith for a period after the abuse before returning to the church.
“I have a right to have God in my life and to have salvation and that’s what I choose to do,” he said. “I know where I need to be, and I need to be in church every Sunday and a part of the church, helping it get better, not condemning it for everything wrong.”
Bishop Michael Duca on Thursday released the names of 37 Roman Catholic clergymen credibly accused of sexually abusing minors — the first majo…