Archbishop Aymond asking all diocesan priests credibly accused of child sex abuse to leave the clergy entirely

Times-Picayune and Advocate

October 21, 2020

By David Hammer and Ramon Antonio Vargas

He is considering requesting two possible church trials for priests who were implicated in separate sex scandals this month

In his most aggressive action to date while managing the fallout of an ongoing clerical molestation scandal, New Orleans Archbishop Gregory Aymond is asking all diocesan priests on his list of religious men credibly accused of molesting children to leave the Catholic clergy entirely.

Aymond is also considering more aggressive action, including possible church trials in Rome, to force out Patrick Wattigny and Travis Clark, two priests who were implicated in separate sex scandals this month.

Wattigny allegedly admitted to the archdiocese on Oct. 1 that he sexually abused a minor in 2013. He is now being investigated by the St. Tammany Parish Sheriff’s Office. That same day, police in Pearl River booked Clark with obscenity after he was discovered taping himself engaged in three-way sex with two dominatrices — including one who is an avowed Satanist — on the altar at Sts. Peter and Paul Parish.

Since 2018, Aymond has been privately asking credibly accused clergy to voluntarily leave the priesthood and return to the laity through a process called “laicization,” according to archdiocesan officials. The late Dino Cinel, who was acquitted of child pornography-related charges in the 1990s, voluntarily underwent that process in 2010, Aymond’s second year as New Orleans’ archbishop.

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