Catholic church

The Catholic church has released the names of 17 priests assigned to churches in North Louisiana who are believed to have sexually abused children before 1986. Thirteen served at churches in Shreveport-Bossier City.

The names were released Wednesday by the Diocese of Alexandria, which oversaw Shreveport until 1986, when Shreveport became a separate diocese. Under church protocol, the files of accused pedophile priests stayed in Alexandria.

The diocese released the names of priests both living and dead, the North Louisiana churches where they served and general allegations against them. The church has paid damages to several of the victims, although it has not disclosed details of the amounts. In each case there were "credible allegations" of sexual abuse of a minor, the diocese said. 

The priests identified by the diocese are:

  • Father Edward Allen; St. Theresa in Shreveport and St. Lucy in Hodge. Allegations of sexual abuse of a boy dating to 1973 was brought before a Permanent Review Board in 2005. Allen resigned from the ministry in 2005 and a settlement with the victim was made in 2012. Allen died in 2018.
  • Father William Allison; Our Lady of Fatima in Monroe and Christ the King in Bossier City. An allegation of sexual abuse of a boy dating back to 1961 was brought before the review board in 2004. Allison died in 1986.
  • Father William Bressler; St. Catherine of Siena in Shreveport. Multiple allegations of sexual abuse of boys and girls dating back to the 1960s were brought before the review board in 2004 and 2005. Bressler died in 1990. Settlements were made with victims in 2006 and 2017.
  • Monsignor Paul Conway; Christ the King in Bossier City and St. Lucy in Hodge. Allegations of sexual abuse of girls dating back to 1956 was brought before the review board in 2004. Conway died in 1996. Settlements were paid to victims in 2005 and 2017.
  • Father Francis Couvillion; St. Francis Sanitarium in Monroe, Sacred Heart in Rayville and Sacred Heart in Springhill. Multiple allegations of sexual misconduct and abuse of boys dating back to the 1950s. Couvillion died in 1978.
  • Father Francis Donohoe; Holy Rosary in Shreveport, St. Matthew in Monroe and Little Flower of Jesus in Monroe. Evidence of multiple allegations of sexual abuse of boys dating from the 1960s. Donohoe resigned as a pastor and was removed from active ministry in 1966. He died in 1983.
  • Father Harvey Fortier; Christ the King in Bossier City and St. Margaret in Homer. Fortier's file showed an allegation of sexual abuse of a boy dating back to 1954. An allegation of sexual abuse of a boy was made in 1994. A settlement was made with the victim in 1995. Fortier died in 1999.
  • Father John Franklin; Holy Trinity in Shreveport. An allegation of sexual abuse of a boy dating back to 1966 was brought before the review board in 2004. A settlement was made with the victim in 2005. Franklin left the diocese in 1973 and died in Alabama in 1986. A review of Franklin's file in 2019 showed further evidence of sexual misconduct and abuse of male minors.
  • Monsignor Robert Friend; St. Joseph in Zwolle. An allegation of sexual misconduct and abuse of a boy dating back to 1954 was brought before the review board in 2004. Friend died 1977. A settlement was made with the victim in 2005.
  • Father Moise Gremillion; Holy Trinity in Shreveport, St. John the Baptist in Many, St. Matthew in Monroe, Sacred Heart in Rayville and St. Clement in Vivian. Multiple allegations of sexual abuse of boys dating from the 1960s. Gremillion retired in 1969 and died in 1973.
  • Father Michael Hannon; St. Joseph in Monroe and St. Matthew in Monroe. Multiple allegations of sexual abuse of boys dating from the 1960s. Hannon left the diocese in 1963, was placed under the jurisdiction of the Diocese of Brooklyn, N.Y., in 1982 and died in 2000.
  • Father Kenneth Mathews; Christ the King in Bossier City. Multiple allegations of sexual abuse of boys dating back to the 1980s. Mathews left active ministry on a leave of absence in 1998 and died in 2008.
  • Father Donald Rogers; St. Catherine of Siena in Shreveport. Allegation of sexual abuse of a boy dating back to 1962 was brought before the review board in 2004. Rogers was removed from active ministry in 1967 and permanently dismissed in 1974. His file also showed multiple allegations of sexual misconduct and abuse of minors.  Rogers was born in 1930 and his whereabouts are unknown to church officials.
  • Father Louis Senesac; St. Clement in Vivian. An allegation of sexual abuse of a boy dating back to 1945. Senesac was removed from active ministry and died in 1966.
  • Father Victor Sepsi; St. Catherine of Siena in Shreveport. Multiple allegations of sexual misconduct and abuse of boys dating back to the 1960s. Sepsi left the active ministry in 1967. Sepsi was born in 1930 and his whereabouts are unknown.
  • Monsignor Clinton Teacle; St. Joseph in Shreveport. Allegations of sexual abuse of boys dating back to the 1960s were brought before the review board in 2009. Teacle died in 1969. A review of Teacle's file in 2019 showed further evidence of sexual misconduct and abuse of boys.
  • Father Léger Trembley; Holy Rosary in Shreveport and St. Joseph in Mansfield. Allegations of sexual abuse of boys dating back to the 1950s and 1960s were brought before the Permanent Review Board in 2003 and 2005. Tremblay died in 2002. Settlements with victims were made in 2004 and 2005. Further review of Tremblay's file in 2019 showed further evidence of sexual misconduct.

There have been no allegations received of sexual misconduct by a member of the clergy since 1986, the year the Shreveport diocese was created by the Vatican, said the Rev. Peter Mangum, administrator of the Shreveport diocese.

The names of North Louisiana churches where the priests served were released but Mangham said that does not necessarily mean the abuse happened there.

"Each name represents a unique case," Mangham said in a statement. "Some only had one victim and others' abuse gouged a wide path of pain in the lives of many victims. In some cases the victims were male and in others female. But there is one thing, most importantly, they have in common, they all have been credibly accused of sexual abuse of a minor or minors.

The Catholic church for years swept clergy abuse under the rug -- often times transferring priests to other parishes where abuses continued. Many parents and victims were reluctant to come forward.

"My hope is that this list is a concrete sign that we do want to talk about this," Mangham said. "Hopefully a victim of abuse will see a name on this list and say, that's me, and this will give them the courage to go to a trusted friend, counselor, family member or come talk to me and share their story and no longer bear the pain alone. We must be willing to share their pain, admit our part in this tragedy so that we can help ease their burden and be for the victims of sexual abuse a support and not a barrier on the path to healing. So this list is not the final piece of 'dealing with this' but rather I see it as a beginning step in a foundational change in our Church's way of acting that will renew all the programs we have in place to protect our children with a focus on the healing of the victims of abuse rather than the protection of the status quo."

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