Archdiocese of New Orleans Prepares to Add 7 Franciscan Priests to Clergy Abuse List

By Ramon Antonio Vargas
Times-Picayune and Advocate
October 14, 2020

The Archdiocese of New Orleans is preparing to add seven names to its list of local clergy found to have credible accusations of child molestation against them, after a Roman Catholic religious order released its own roster of accused priests last week.

The additional names, which include a priest who is believed to have preyed on a minor during his time in the New Orleans area, will bring the total number of alleged abusers publicly identified by Archbishop Gregory Aymond to 72.

Since Aymond released his initial list of 57 clergy in November 2018, a series of disclosures, some by the local archdiocese and others by regional religious orders not directly controlled by the archdiocese, have continued to raise the total.

The most recent release, by members of the Franciscan Friars chapter overseeing personnel in a region that encompasses Louisiana, contained a roster of 24 priests and seven religious brothers with “substantiated child sex abuse allegations against them,” according to order officials.

Of those Aymond identified as having worked in the New Orleans area, the Rev. Frank Davied, who now lives in Pueblo, Colorado, is the only one who the archdiocese believes may have molested a child during the period he spent in the area.

Information about the accusation against Davied was not provided in the Franciscan's release, but a church source with knowledge of the situation said that a man came forward in 2013 and reported that decades earlier Davied sexually abused him while the priest was stationed at Our Lady of Good Harbor in Buras.

Reached by telephone Wednesday, Davied, who is no longer a Franciscan, said he had never abused anyone and was shocked by the allegation. He also insisted that no abuse claims were “ever verified to me by my attorney” or Franciscan leaders.

“I know there was a situation that came up when I was pastoring, but it was never verified,” said Davied, referring to what he argued was a false claim against him in Pueblo, Colorado. “I go back and think what it was like when Jesus Christ was accused.”

Attorney for dominatrices says group sex with priest was legal; Pearl River church's altar is burned

Attorney for dominatrices says group sex with priest was legal; Pearl River church's altar is burned

The archdiocese said it relied on an audit by the Franciscans to determine that seven of the order's priests should be added to the local list. The church announced the pending additions one day after The Times-Picayune | New Orleans Advocate asked the church for comment on priests who appeared on the order's Oct. 9 roster as well as in newspaper articles showing they served in the metro area.

Priests belonging to religious orders such as the Franciscans frequently work in an area overseen by dioceses but are managed by their orders’ officials rather than the local bishops. Bishops only supervise diocesan priests.

Another priest alleged to have sexually abused a child while serving in the archdiocese is the late Alfred Pimple, who appeared on Aymond’s original list of credibly accused clergy.

Besides Davied and Pimple, there are six Franciscan priests on the list who had accusations leveled against them while ministering elsewhere: Ray Chappa, Finbar ”Barry” Coyle, Joachim Lux, Carter Partee, Juvenal Pfalzer and Randolph Thompson.

All but Chappa, who is no longer a priest, are dead.

-- Coyle, ordained in 1958, was added to the Diocese of Baton Rouge’s clergy abuse list last year. He served at St. Jean Vianney, St. Aloysius and a couple of hospitals there. His last assignment before his death in 1991 was at St. Mary of the Angels.

-- Davied, ordained in 1976, served at Our Lady of Good Harbor for about five years beginning in 1978. That church, also run by the Franciscans, was closed after Hurricane Katrina and merged with St. Patrick’s in Port Sulphur.

-- Partee, ordained in 1947, was an assistant pastor at St. Mary of the Angels before being transferred to a church in Detroit in 1958. He ultimately left the order and — like Chappa — underwent laicization, a process by which a priest permanently leaves the clergy.

-- Pfalzer, ordained in 1942, worked at St. Mary of the Angels and taught Christian Doctrine at a school there, according to a newspaper story.

-- Thompson, ordained in 1948, moved from Hamilton, Ohio, to Houma in 1965 to become the chaplain of Terrebonne General Hospital. The Franciscan order last year acknowledged receiving an abuse complaint involving Thompson in 1967, and he was removed from ministry, according to the website, which tracks clergy abuse cases.

The Archdiocese of New Orleans was in charge of priests who worked in Houma until 1977, when a separate diocese was created to serve Catholics in both Houma and Thibodaux.

Nationwide, Catholic dioceses and various religious orders have been intermittently releasing lists of suspected clergy abusers in bids to come clean with parishioners about the worldwide church's decades-old clerical molestation scandal.

A letter accompanying the Franciscans' list in many ways resembled statements Aymond made when he released his roster two years ago.

"The behavior of these friars in not acceptable in our fraternity and is a betrayal of our Franciscan values," the letter read. "We are hopeful that publishing the names of friars with substantiated allegations against them will bring some measure of healing, reconciliation and resolution to abuse survivors."

Burnett Risk Control International, a firm which specializes in examining claims of sexual abuse and misconduct, compiled the information released by the Franciscans. Franciscan members ended up on the list if they admitted to claims or were found culpable by a criminal investigation, civil case, or internal investigation, the order said.

A statement Wednesday from the local chapter of the Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests said the latest expansion of New Orleans' clergy abuse list was a reminder that the public may never know exactly how many clerical abusers actually worked in the area over the years.

"We are confident that New Orleans’ list remains deficient and will have more names added," SNAP's statement said.








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