NEW ORLEANS (LA)
Catholic News Agency - EWTN [Denver CO]
November 22, 2022
By Peter Pinedo
Travis Clark, the disgraced priest of the Archdiocese of New Orleans, pled guilty Monday to a felony count of obscenity for his actions in filming pornographic material with two hired women atop the altar of Sts. Peter and Paul Parish in Pearl River, Louisiana.
Clark admitted his guilt as part of a plea deal in the state district court in Covington, Louisiana.
Clark received a suspended three-year prison sentence, three years supervised probation and a $1,000 fine, WAFB.com reported.
In a statement Tuesday, the Archdiocese of New Orleans said it will now take the necessary steps to remove Clark from the priesthood.
“Now that the criminal proceedings involving Travis Clark have concluded, the Archdiocese of New Orleans will move forward with the process to have him formally laicized. The necessary information will be sent to the Vatican where in consultation with Vatican officials, the Holy Father will make the final determination on Clark’s laicization,” the statement said.
On Sept. 30, 2020, Clark was arrested, along with the two women involved. A bystander called the police after seeing the lewd actions occurring while passing by the church windows. When authorities arrived at the scene, they removed Clark, the two women, multiple articles of sexual paraphernalia as well as lights and recording devices.
In the wake of the arrest, Archbishop Gregory Aymond of New Orleans called Clark’s behavior “obscene,” “deplorable,” and “demonic.” Aymond ordered the burning and replacement of the desecrated altar.
The two women arrested with Clark pled guilty in July to misdemeanor counts of institutional vandalism. Both received two years probation. One of the women refers to herself as “Satanatrix” and had posted on social media the day before that she planned to “defile a house of God.”
Though the desecrated altar had to be destroyed, the New Orleans Archdiocese released a statement at the time saying that “there was no desecrating of the Blessed Sacrament” and that no other sacred vessels were known to be involved.