In Archdiocese bankruptcy case, creditors committee wants clergy abuse documents to be made public

Times-Picayune and New Orleans Advocate

June 22, 2020

By Ramon Antonio Vargas

James Adams had helped run the Archdiocese of New Orleans’ fundraising arm for years, even serving as president of its board of directors, when his lawsuit alleging sexual abuse at the hands of a Metairie priest compelled him to step down nearly two months ago.

Now, Adams leads a different board: one formed after the archdiocese filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protections May 1, tasked with representing the interests of those who say they are owed money by the church, including fellow clergy abuse claimants.

While securing financial compensation for abuse victims and other creditors is the committee’s key aim, it also intends to fight for the disclosure of documents outlining exactly how the church handled priests and deacons faced with child molestation allegations, Adams said during an interview that marked the first time he publicly identified himself as a clergy abuse survivor.

“We want to know how this happened, how it was allowed to continue to happen, how these pedophiles ended up in the seminary to begin with,” said Adams, who recalls being a fifth-grader at the time of his abuse in 1980. “There’s a healing quality to having this information out there that really validates (the idea) that this was not your fault.”

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