In reacting to the recently resurrected allegations of sexual abuse among local clergy, is the Catholic Diocese of Lafayette maintaining its old stance of protecting their own?
In a four-part series released last week, Minnesota Public Radio — using a recently un-sealed federal lawsuit filed in 1988 by the Diocese of Lafayette against its insurance broker — has shed new light on the church’s handling of a 1980s pedophilia scandal, including the name of a priest still working in the diocese.
That priest, according to the report, is the Rev. Gilbert Dutel of St. Edmond Catholic Church in Lafayette.
According to a statement filed in 1992 by Dutel’s alleged victim, the sexual relationship with the local priest started in 1976. The victim was 9 or 10, and the alleged relationship would go on for another five or six years, eventually including two additional priests from the diocese.
“[Dutel] would just put his arms around me and he was, I guess, trying to be consoling, kind and gentle and then he just started playing with me and he unzipped my pants,” claims the victim, a former altar boy who’s name was redacted from the 1992 document recounting his first sexual encounter with Dutel in Vermilion Parish.
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