37 Baton Rouge-area clergy members on diocese’s official sex abuse list

The Advocate

January 31, 2019

Bishop Michael Duca on Thursday released the names of 37 clergy who were removed from ministry after accusations that they sexually abused minors were deemed credible. This is the first time in the history of the Diocese of Baton Rouge that a Catholic bishop has attempted to provide an accounting of the identities of the alleged abusers in church ranks.

The list below, in alphabetical order, does not include employees of the church, or any other religious — such as nuns or brothers — who may have been accused. Clergy accused of sexually abusing a minor can try to clear their names through church tribunals, the outcomes of which are secret.

The biographies combine information provided by the bishop with information found in media reports, court documents and interviews.
Name: John J. Berube

Age: Died in 2001, age unknown

Position: Missionary Order of Our Lady of La Salette priest

Served where: St. Theresa of Avila in Gonzales (1965), other church parishes in Canada (1970s) and Boston.

Ordained: 1953

Date of abuse: 1965

Allegation received: 1965

Number of allegations: More than one

Assignment at time of abuse: St. Theresa of Avila, Gonzales, LA

Lawsuits filed/previous known allegations: Four men filed a lawsuit in 2003 that alleged Berube’s abuse in 1965.

Removed from ministry: Remained a priest until his death.

Action taken: Priestly service in Diocese of Baton Rouge was terminated in 1965. The La Salette Order was notified of the allegation and he was transferred to the supervision of the La Sallette Superior.

Details: Four boys told their parents in 1965 that Berube had abused them. The parents reported the abuse to their parish priest and the Diocese of Baton Rouge sent Berube back to his missionary order of La Salette. But Berube remained in ministry, was the pastor of Our Lady of Victory in Gatineau, Quebec and several other church parishes in Boston before his death.

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