Archdiocese Adds Deceased Fr. Robert Cooper to Clergy Abuse Report

Archdiocese of New Orleans
December 02, 2020

The Archdiocese of New Orleans has concluded an investigation into newly received information regarding allegations of abuse of minors lodged against the late Fr. Robert K. Cooper. With moral certitude, today, December 2, 2020, the Archdiocese of New Orleans has added Cooper’s name to the Archdiocese of New Orleans Report Regarding Clergy Abuse found online at

This deceased Fr. Cooper should not be confused with the Fr. Cooper who is an active pastor in the Archdiocese of New Orleans.

The complete assignment history for the deceased Robert Cooper is below:

Date of Birth: 1945
Date of Ordination: 1971
Estimated Timeframe of Abuse: late 1970s
Allegation Received: 2007
Date of Death: 1989
Pastoral Assignments:
Ascension of Our Lord, LaPlace
Our Lady of Prompt Succor, Chalmette
Sacred Heart of Jesus, Norco
St. Andrew the Apostle, New Orleans
St. Angela Merici, Metairie
St. Francis Cabrini, New Orleans
St. James Major, New Orleans
St. Philip Neri, Metairie
St. John Vianney Prep, New Orleans

In addition, in light of newly received information, the Archdiocese of New Orleans is announcing that two retired priests have been placed on administrative leave without faculties pending the outcomes of the penal process against each individual. The two retired priests are:

Fr. Joseph M. deWater
Fr. J. Luis Fernandez

Neither of the retired priests is living in the New Orleans area and neither has a formal pastoral assignment. Regardless, this announcement is made to protect the common good and guard the course of justice. These actions do not imply guilt or innocence.

Information about the allegations against the living priests have been reported to law enforcement. Anyone with any additional information about allegations of abuse should contact law enforcement. Victims of abuse are encouraged to contact the archdiocesan Victims Assistance Coordinator at (504) 861-6253.


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