Clergy abuse survivors, Hancock Bank on Archdiocese of New Orleans bankruptcy creditors’ committee

Times-Picayune and New Orleans Advocate

May 20, 2020

By Ramon Antonio Vargas

A committee representing the unsecured creditors in the Archdiocese of New Orleans’ bankruptcy case will include clergy abuse claimants and Hancock Whitney Bank, which has managed more than $38 million in state facilities bonds that helped the local Catholic Church rebuild after Hurricane Katrina.

Federal court records Wednesday only identified one representative on the seven-member committee: Beth Zeigler of Hancock Whitney. The rest of the names were redacted, suggesting that the committee’s balance might be comprised of people who claim they were sexually molested by New Orleans-area clergymen and religious personnel.

The records said a prior order from U.S. Bankruptcy Judge Meredith Grabill classifies the names of clergy abuse claimants as confidential information. But to facilitate the committee’s work, an attorney with the U.S. Trustee’s Office — which helps oversee bankruptcy cases — requested Wednesday that the redacted group members’ names be disclosed.

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