New Orleans Archdiocese Target of Child Sex-Trafficking Inquiry

The Roman Catholic archdiocese of New Orleans is the target of an active child sex-trafficking investigation, according to a sweeping and unprecedented search warrant Louisiana state police recently served on an organization that for decades has been submerged in the global church’s clergy molestation scandal.

The clerk at the state criminal courthouse where the warrant was signed released the 11-page document on Tuesday. It makes clear that troopers involved in a pending rape prosecution against one priest came to suspect that particular case was part of a broader pattern of “widespread sexual abuse of minors dating back decades” that was “covered up and not reported to law enforcement”.

In a stunning assertion made under oath, troopers said they had already recovered documents that “back” the notion that “previous archbishops, the highest-ranking official in the archdiocese, not only knew of the sexual abuse and failed to report all the claims to law enforcement, but spent archdiocese funding to support the accused”.

The warrant requests “ANY and ALL documents that pertain in any way to the sexual abuse of a minor by clergy members employed or otherwise associated with the Archdiocese of New Orleans”, concluding those “records are believed to constitute a violation of” the state’s law against trafficking of children for sexual purposes. It also seeks “ANY and ALL communications between the archbishop of New Orleans and ANY department within the Vatican pertaining to child sexual abuse”, among various other files.

The warrant refers to a 48-page memorandum first reported by the Guardian in summer 2023 which summarized secret internal archdiocesan records that the church was required to produce after seeking federal bankruptcy protection in 2020 in order to shield itself from a steadily growing wave of abuse-related litigation.

Continue reading at the The Guardian