Disgraced New Orleans deacon continued as lay minister despite abuse claims; archbishop ’embarrassed’

The New Orleans Advocate

July 7, 2018

By Jim Mustian

Last weekend, a parishioner pulled up to St. Mary Magdalen Catholic Church but drove away before walking into the sanctuary.

The woman decided not to attend Mass, she said, because she could no longer stomach the sight of George F. Brignac, a defrocked deacon who as recently as last month served as a lector at the Metairie church — reading Scripture and announcements — despite years of sexual abuse allegations that prompted his removal from the ministry in 1988.

Brignac, 83, remained in this public role even after the Archdiocese of New Orleans this spring quietly paid more than $500,000 to settle claims that he repeatedly raped an 8-year-old altar boy at Holy Rosary School more than three decades ago.

At least a half-dozen other boys accused Brignac of molestation throughout his tenure as a Catholic school teacher — allegations that fell on deaf ears within a church that stubbornly supported him through three police investigations.

Note: This is an Abuse Tracker excerpt. Click the title to view the full text of the original article. If the original article is no longer available, see our News Archive.