Gov. John Bel Edwards has been asked by the Louisiana State Police to conduct a statewide investigation of the Catholic church for its role in child sexual abuse cases.
The head of the state chapter of Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests, Richard Windmann, requested the investigation. He said his group had previously asked Attorney General Jeff Landry to “begin an impartial and secular investigation into cases of serial abuse and cover-up, but he is unwilling to help.”
“But it is a serious problem when the district attorney in Lafayette says on public TV that he doesn’t have to do an investigation because ‘the church has already done their investigation.’ It is a huge problem when our state law recognizes and bows down to canon law. The church has proven time and time again that it is not capable of policing itself,” Windmann said.
The Roman Catholic Archdiocese of New Orleans announced earlier this month that it is filing for bankruptcy protection because of the growing legal costs related to sexual abuse by priests. More than 20 dioceses nationwide have been accused of sexual misconduct.
“In the event that you will entertain our request, I can refer your office and the state police to several officers of the court that can provide irrefutable documentation that the rape of our children was organized, systematic, institutionalized, intentionally covered up, and that there is a cover up of the actual cover up,” Windmann said.
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