Priest recently added to New Orleans’ credibly accused clergy roster also put on Las Vegas list

Times-Picayune and New Orleans Advocate

August 22, 2020

By Ramon Antonio Vargas

A priest whom the Archdiocese of New Orleans added this week to a list of clergymen faced with credible allegations of child molestation dating back to the 1980s has since been listed on a similar roster compiled by church officials in Las Vegas, where he spent his retirement.

Officials with the Diocese of Las Vegas said they moved to include Brian Highfill on their credibly accused list Friday as a result of two complaints filed against him by accusers he encountered while working in New Orleans. No one in Las Vegas had accused Highfill, 78, of any misconduct as of Friday, officials there said.

Highfill was ordained in 1974 and worked at a half-dozen different churches in the New Orleans area over the next six years, among them Metairie’s St. Catherine of Siena and St. Edward the Confessor. He later moved away from New Orleans and worked as a military chaplain for about two decades before retiring in the late 1990s in Las Vegas, where he continued in ministry as a volunteer.

After new revelations about the worldwide Catholic Church’s ongoing clergy sex abuse crisis surfaced two summers ago, a man named Mike Brandner Sr. contacted Las Vegas diocese officials in late August 2018 and provided them with love letters that his late younger brother, Scot, had started receiving from Highfill when Scot was a high school senior in 1980.

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