Former Lafayette lawyer rises from the ashes of the Gilbert Gauthe case

The Advertiser

[with video]

Written by
Evan Moore

On clear mornings he can see the steeple.

It rises from a little russet-stone Catholic church in the village in southern France where Ray Mouton, former Louisiana lawyer-turned-expatriate-American author, now lives.

The view from Mouton’s terrace focuses squarely on that steeple as it cuts a vertical line through the horizon, reaching heavenward against a backdrop of the Pyrenees Mountains, a symbol of solace, hope and inspiration to man.

But not to Mouton.

Mouton has never been to Mass in that church. He has never heard a sermon there.

Mouton no longer attends church services. Not since the case of Father Gilbert Gauthe, whose horrific crimes against children in the Diocese of Lafayette set off a wave of scandal in 1985 that reached from southern Louisiana throughout the nation. Not since that wave rolled across the ocean to Europe, all the way to the Vatican.

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