Baton Rouge Diocese adds two more names to list of clergy accused of abuse
By Lea Skene
July 07, 2019
|Two priests with ties to the Baton Rouge area were named as part of a list Jesuit leaders released of credibly accused of sexual abuse.|
The Diocese of Baton Rouge on Sunday released two more additions to its list of Catholic clerics who have been credibly accused of sexual abuse, bringing the total now to 43.
Baton Rouge Bishop Michael Duca released the initial list in January, which included 37 names but has since been supplemented multiple times. Duca said from the beginning that it would evolve as other diocese release their own lists amid a nationwide push for transparency from church leaders.
The two names added Sunday to the Diocese of Baton Rouge's list are the Revs. Joseph Guidry and Robert Limoges. Dan Borné, a spokesman for the diocese, released the names in a statement to media Sunday.
Guidry was included in the abuse list that the Diocese of Jackson, Mississippi, released in March, and Limoges was included in the Diocese of Lafayette's list, which was made public in April.
Borné said neither faced credible accusations of abuse while serving within the Diocese of Baton Rouge but have been credibly accused in those other areas.
Limoges was accused of abusing multiple boys between 1980 and 1982 while he was a pastor at Our Lady of Victory in Loreauville, according to a lawsuit filed in 1991. The accusations against him and the reaction from church leaders have been made public in court documents and media reports in recent years.
The Diocese of Baton Rouge acknowledged the allegations months ago but said Limoges wasn't included on the initial list because officials were waiting for the Diocese of Lafayette to release its own list.
The Diocese of Lafayette knew of Limoges' problems in the early '80s and sent him in 1983 to the House of Affirmation treatment center for priests who struggled with pedophilia and other problems, according to court records unearthed by The Advocate in 2014. The Diocese of Lafayette then wrote in 1984 to Baton Rouge's former Bishop Stanley Ott and asked that Limoges be transferred to a church parish in Baton Rouge.
"Any assignment will be such that it will make it possible for Father Limoges to continue in counseling," former Diocese of Lafayette Vicar General Henri Alexandre Larroque wrote in his 1984 letter to Ott, which Lafayette's KATC-TV published on its website. "It is also understood in this process that you may communicate whatever information you deem necessary with the clergy personnel board, the intended pastor or anyone whom in your own judgment you deem should know."
Limoges only lasted two months as associate pastor of St. Joan of Arc in Bayou Pigeon, KATC reported, citing clashes with the pastor. He was suspended and removed from the diocese in 1984, and he went to live in an abbey. It isn't known whether he is still alive.
Little information was available about Guidry, but Borné said he served for some time at St. Paul the Apostle in Baton Rouge.
He was ordained in 1957 and accused of abusing one or more victims in 1980 while serving in Greenville, Mississippi, according to the Diocese of Jackson. The abuse was reported in 2004, which is when Guidry was removed from ministry.
It's unclear if he served in St. John the Apostle in Baton Rouge before or after the alleged abuse occurred in the Diocese of Jackson.
The Diocese of Baton Rouge encouraged anyone who suspects abuse to immediately report it to law enforcement or to the Department of Children and Family Services. After reporting it to those entities, diocesan officials encouraged people to contact the diocese's victim assistance coordinator, Amy Cordon.