A New Orleans priest was accused of molestation; he still collected $2,500 monthly in retirement

Times-Picayune / New Orleans Advocate

May 6, 2020

By Ramon Antonio Vargas

Accused of sexually molesting a boy he taught before he become a priest, Paul Calamari walked into New Orleans Archbishop Alfred Hughes’ office on Feb. 5, 2004, to discuss what might be ahead.

The Catholic church had only recently been rocked by the sexual-abuse scandal in Boston. Bishops across the U.S. were dealing with allegations in their dioceses, and New Orleans was no different. Calamari ultimately chose to retire, and he began receiving a monthly pension of $1,566 from the archdiocese — which later rose to more than $2,500 a month, according to court records.

The archdiocese slashed the amount by several hundred dollars during the spring of 2019, citing “significant” budget issues.

But after the archdiocese petitioned for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection last week, U.S. District Judge Meredith Grabill ordered the organization to stop paying priests who — like Calamari — are credibly accused child molesters.

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.