Priest Relieved of Duties in Child Porn Investigation

The Advocate (Baton Rouge, Louisiana)
January 7, 2000

HOUMA - A priest suspected of possessing child pornography was relieved of his church duties in Morgan City and is under investigation by police.

The Rev. Patrick Kujawa, who started his career in 1995 at St. Francis de Sales Church in Houma, was an associate pastor at Holy Cross Church in Morgan City.

Officials with the Diocese of Houma-Thibodaux were told about the accusations during the holidays. Once church leaders verified the accusations and confiscated the pornography, Kujawa was relieved of his duties and sent to an in-patient hospital for a "complete psychological evaluation," according to a statement from the diocese.

The director of communications for the diocese, Louis Aguirre, said Thursday the hospital is an "out-of-state facility" but would not disclose the name.

Morgan City police Sgt. Travis Crouch, the lead investigator on the case, said his agency was not notified of the incident when diocese officials first became aware of the allegations.

"We saw it on the news one night, and then we got a flood of calls the next day," Crouch said.

"It was a big shock. Just overwhelming."Kujawa has not been charged, but the Police Department's investigation into the incident didn't begin until Wednesday.

According to diocese officials, church leaders turned over the pornographic material to diocesan attorneys first "to determine any legal responsibilities."Kujawa was ordained as a priest in 1995. His first assignment was at St. Francis de Sales in Houma. He was transferred to Holy Cross in Morgan City in 1997.

Aguirre said he does not think Kujawa will ever be a priest in the Houma-Thibodaux-Morgan City area again.


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