Priest Accused of Seducing Altar Boy

United Press International
December 19, 1987

New Orleans - A Mandeville couple and their 19-year-old son have filed a $17 million lawsuit against the archdiocese of New Orleans and four of its priests, claiming one of them seduced the teenager as a 13-year-old altar boy.

The lawsuit, filed Friday, said the Rev. James Kilgour initiated the boy into homosexual activities in 1980 and 1981. At that time, Kilgour was the boy's teacher and counselor at Our Lady of the Lake Church in Mandeville.

The suit claims Kilgour told the boy, who wanted to become a priest, that the church permitted homosexual activities.

Archdiocese spokesman Tom Finney said Kilgour was transferred to St. Pius X Church in New Orleans in 1982 and was there until he recently went on leave. Finney said he did not know Kilgour's whereabouts.

The suit contends Kilgour's misrepresentation of religious and moral standards affected the young man to the point that he ''was completely, totally and mentally possessed'' by the priest ''to such an extent that he was unable to protect his rights.''

Attorney Burton Klein said the young man dropped out of St. Joseph Seminary and has contemplated suicide.

The other priests accused in the suit are the Rev. Joseph Chotin, pastor of Our Lady of the Lake; the Rev. Charles Fendin of Madisonville's St. Anselm Church; and the Rev. Vince Feehan, a former St. Anselm pastor now on leave of absence.

Archbishop Philip Hannan, also a defendant in the suit, said he believed most of the claims were false, but that one may be substantially correct. He refused to say which one.

''I wish to express my heartfelt regrets and apologies to anyone who may have suffered from the actions of one priest who betrayed his sacred office and trust, and I offer whatever spiritual and psychological assistance can be given,'' Hannan said.


Any original material on these pages is copyright © 2004. Reproduce freely with attribution.