The Catholic Church and the Art of the Coverup

by Frank E. Lamothe, III

Saint Louis Cathedral, New Orleans, Louisiana

Richard Windman, the President of Survivors of Childhood Sex Abuse, wrote this interesting article, The Catholic Church and the Art of the Coverup, recently featured in the Big Easy Magazine.

As a survivor who came forward publicly about his own abuse as a child at the hands of employees at Jesuit High School in New Orleans, Mr. Windman talks at length about the cover-up of child abuse by the Catholic Church in New Orleans. Among other tactics by the church, he says the victims who privately settle their claims with the church usually sign non-disclosure agreements so they can not speak about the abuse publicly. When the attorneys for survivors pushed to depose the local Archbishop, Mr. Windman says the New Orleans Archdiocese filed bankruptcy as a “litigation tactic.” “If the Church is exempt from taxes and does not contribute to the tax base, why are they allowed to avail themselves to the courts for relief? The Church is indeed not insolvent, which is why the court and bankruptcy laws exist.”

Mr. Windman also describes the recent Louisiana House hearings prior to the unanimous adoption of Bill 492. This new law extends the state’s statute of limitations and provides a three-year window for survivors of child sexual and physical abuse to file civil claims, even if the claim was previously time-barred. Before H.B. 492 went into effect August 1, 2021, survivors had until age 28 to file in most cases.

The caring and empathetic lawyers at the Lamothe Law Firm have substantial experience pursuing child sex assault cases. We fight to obtain justice and the best possible results for clients who suffer sexual trauma at any age. If you or someone you love was sexually abused as a child by an employee of a church, healthcare provider, sports team, school, or other organization, please contact us today for a confidential consultation to discuss your situation.

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