DIOCESE OF LAKE CHARLES LA
Accused Priests: 8 (of which 3 were diocesan priests)
Total Priests: NA
Alleged Victims: 10
Data is since 1980, when the diocese of Lake Charles was separated from
the diocese of Lafayette.
See Cathy Lynn Grossman, Survey:
More Clergy Abuse Cases Than Previously Thought (2/10/04) with AP
of data for 74 dioceses.
Bishop Braxton's 11/28/03 statement (reproduced below) was also carried
in the diocesan Catholic
Calendar for 12/12/03.
A Statement from Bishop Edward K. Braxton
November 28, 2003
LAKE CHARLES -- The Most Reverend Edward K. Braxton, Bishop of Lake Charles,
has today, Friday, Nov. 28, 2003 released the following statement:
"The Bishops of the United States committed themselves during their
meeting in Dallas on June 14, 2002 to a Charter for the Protection of
Children and Young People in order to respond effectively to cases of
sexual abuse of minors by clergy and other personnel. In the Diocese of
Lake Charles we have faithfully followed the mandate of the Charter.
We have established a local Review Board, appointed Fr. Whitney Miller
as our coordinator for victim’s assistance, provided safe-environment
for children training for diocesan clergy and completed FBI background
checks on all clergy. (The training program and FBI checks for other personnel
will be completed shortly.) We were audited Aug. 11-14 for compliance
with the standards of the Charter by the Gavin Group, an independent investigative
agency, and received a favorable evaluation. We were given a commendation
because of my letter on this topic published prior to the Dallas meeting.
The results of this national audit are scheduled to be released on January
6, 2004. In late February, John Jay College will release a study the Bishops
commissioned them to make to provide an accurate picture of the extent
of this problem over the past 50 years. To my knowledge no other institution
has done a similar study.
Although the John Jay Study will contain collective national numbers without
reference to specific dioceses, I believe that it is best to share with
the priests and the general public the results of the Gavin Audit here
in Lake Charles before the publication of the John Jay Study.
The Diocese of Lake Charles was erected by Pope John Paul II on April
25, 1980 when it was separated from the Diocese of Lafayette. As a result
our figures pertain only to the twenty-three years of our existence and
not a 50-year period. Since 1980, there have been ten allegations against
eight members of the clergy serving in the Diocese of Lake Charles. Three
of these were diocesan priests. No one found to be guilty of these allegations
is currently serving in the Diocese. $293,921 have been expended from
diocesan funds for financial settlements, psychological counseling and
legal fees. Every effort has been made to reach out to the victims and
their families with compassion and support.
On April 7, 2002, before the meeting in Dallas, I said in a letter to
the Diocese, "I share your shock amazement, anger, sorrow and distress
about the terrible harm done to innocent children and their families by
priests who betrayed the trust of those for whom they should have shown
the greatest concern." Today, I repeat those sentiments and make
my own the words Pope John Paul II spoke at World Youth Day in Toronto
on July 28, 2002. "Do not be discouraged by the sins and failings
of some of the Church’s members. The harm done by some priests to
the young and vulnerable fills us with a deep sense of sadness and shame.
But think of the vast majority of dedicated and generous priests whose
only wish is to serve and to do good!"