WATCH: Attorney Says New Orleans Archdiocese Clergy Abuse Much Greater Than We’ve Been Told

A secret memo written by attorneys for victims of clergy sexual abuse says more than 300 New Orleans Catholic clerics have been accused of abuse in the archdiocese’s bankruptcy case.

The number of clerics accused by 450 claimants in the Archdiocese of New Orleans’ bankruptcy case dwarfs the 77 names announced publicly by the Archdiocese of New Orleans on a list of clergy considered “credibly accused” of sexually abusing minors or vulnerable adults.

The memo also cites documents filed in the bankruptcy case indicating that Archbishop Gregory Aymond overruled the church’s own internal review board and declined to put at least four living priests on his list of credibly accused clergy, even after the board of experts found accusations against those priests to be credible.

The memo written by abuse victims’ attorneys was filed under seal in the archdiocese’s bankruptcy case and it summarizes other internal church files that also remain secret under a judge’s order. But the memo and some of the supporting church files were obtained by Ramon Vargas, our former reporting partner at The Times-Picayune who now works for the British news site The Guardian. He reported his findings in The Guardian and shared some of the 48-page memo’s contents with WWL-TV.

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