Bishop Accountability


Accused Priests: 8 (of which 3 were diocesan priests)
Total Priests: NA
Alleged Victims: 10
Cost: $293,921
Data is since 1980, when the diocese of Lake Charles was separated from the diocese of Lafayette.

See Cathy Lynn Grossman, Survey: More Clergy Abuse Cases Than Previously Thought (2/10/04) with AP table of data for 74 dioceses.

Bishop Braxton's 11/28/03 statement (reproduced below) was also carried in the diocesan Catholic Calendar for 12/12/03.

A Statement from Bishop Edward K. Braxton

November 28, 2003

LAKE CHARLES -- The Most Reverend Edward K. Braxton, Bishop of Lake Charles, has today, Friday, Nov. 28, 2003 released the following statement:

"The Bishops of the United States committed themselves during their meeting in Dallas on June 14, 2002 to a Charter for the Protection of Children and Young People in order to respond effectively to cases of sexual abuse of minors by clergy and other personnel. In the Diocese of Lake Charles we have faithfully followed the mandate of the Charter.

We have established a local Review Board, appointed Fr. Whitney Miller as our coordinator for victim’s assistance, provided safe-environment for children training for diocesan clergy and completed FBI background checks on all clergy. (The training program and FBI checks for other personnel will be completed shortly.) We were audited Aug. 11-14 for compliance with the standards of the Charter by the Gavin Group, an independent investigative agency, and received a favorable evaluation. We were given a commendation because of my letter on this topic published prior to the Dallas meeting.
The results of this national audit are scheduled to be released on January 6, 2004. In late February, John Jay College will release a study the Bishops commissioned them to make to provide an accurate picture of the extent of this problem over the past 50 years. To my knowledge no other institution has done a similar study.

Although the John Jay Study will contain collective national numbers without reference to specific dioceses, I believe that it is best to share with the priests and the general public the results of the Gavin Audit here in Lake Charles before the publication of the John Jay Study.

The Diocese of Lake Charles was erected by Pope John Paul II on April 25, 1980 when it was separated from the Diocese of Lafayette. As a result our figures pertain only to the twenty-three years of our existence and not a 50-year period. Since 1980, there have been ten allegations against eight members of the clergy serving in the Diocese of Lake Charles. Three of these were diocesan priests. No one found to be guilty of these allegations is currently serving in the Diocese. $293,921 have been expended from diocesan funds for financial settlements, psychological counseling and legal fees. Every effort has been made to reach out to the victims and their families with compassion and support.

On April 7, 2002, before the meeting in Dallas, I said in a letter to the Diocese, "I share your shock amazement, anger, sorrow and distress about the terrible harm done to innocent children and their families by priests who betrayed the trust of those for whom they should have shown the greatest concern." Today, I repeat those sentiments and make my own the words Pope John Paul II spoke at World Youth Day in Toronto on July 28, 2002. "Do not be discouraged by the sins and failings of some of the Church’s members. The harm done by some priests to the young and vulnerable fills us with a deep sense of sadness and shame. But think of the vast majority of dedicated and generous priests whose only wish is to serve and to do good!"




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