Catholic Life Center

Catholic Life Center in Baton Rouge

BATON ROUGE – Three Catholic priests who previously served in Livingston Parish were among the 37 who have been the subject of credible allegations of sexual abuse of one or more minors or vulnerable adults.

The list, released Jan. 31 by Bishop Michael G. Duca of the Catholic Diocese of Baton Rouge, included two priests who served at St. Margaret Queen of Scotland in Albany -- Antonio Gonzales and Bryan Keith Gray -- along with Daniel Paul Lemoine from Immaculate Conception in Denham Springs.

Bishop Duca announced plans in November to release the names of the clergy.

“This is a difficult decision that I have made, but I am convinced that bringing more of the facts of the tragedy into the light will be a help to the victims of abuse and the beginning, I hope, of re-establishing trust where it has been lost,” he said in a letter to the Diocese of Baton Rouge during the weekend of Jan. 26-27.

The decision to publicize the names was the only way the Church could move forward, according to Bishop Duca.

“The fact that this wound will not heal tells us that we must continue to bring everything into the light,” he said. “This is not easy. I have listened to some victims share their stories, and there are no words to express the depth of sadness and shame that was experienced in our Church and is part of our diocesan history.”

The one allegation of abuse against Gonzales occurred in the 1970s, while he served as pastor at St. Margaret Queen of Scotland. The report was received in 2002, 15 years after he was laicized.

Gonzales, who was ordained in 1957, died in 2016.

The act of laicization prohibits a priest from saying Mass, hearing confessions and administering sacraments.

The allegation against Gray stemmed from a report of abuse during his pastorate at St. Charles Borromeo in Baton Rouge. The one reported act occurred either in the late 1970s or early 1980s, according to the Diocese. The report was received in March 1992. The Diocese placed him on permanent leave, and he was removed from the priesthood the same year.

“More than one” allegation was filed against Lemoine. The reported acts of abuse occurred during tenures at Our Lady of Mercy in Baton Rouge, St. Joseph the Worker in Pierre Part and St. Philomena in Labadieville.

The acts of abuse allegedly occurred between the late 1970s and early 1980s. The acts were reported in October 1994, April 1999 and April 2007.

The Diocese placed Lemoine on administrative leave in 1994. He was removed from the priesthood in 1999.

The listing also included Joseph Vincent Sullivan, who served as Bishop of the Diocese of Baton Rouge from 1974 until his death in 1982. He was the second Bishop for the Diocese, which formed in 1961.

The “more than one” reports of abuse by Sullivan occurred between 1974 and 1982. The Diocese received reports in 1994, 2005 and 2007.

The Diocese publicly announced the allegations in 2004 and changed the name of Bishop Sullivan High School to St. Michael the Archangel.

Other priests on the list, and their parishes within the Dioceses, included:

-- John Berube: St. Theresa of Avila, Gonzales.

-- Clarence Joseph Biggers: St. Joseph, Paulina.

-- Carmelo Ignatius Camenzuli: St. Joseph the Cathedral, Baton Rouge, and St. Mark, Gonzales.

-- David Chaloux: Chaplain at East Baton Rouge Prison; St. Aloysius, Baton Rouge; Chaplain at Angola State Penitentiary; Ascension of Our Lord, Donaldsonville; Sacred Heart of Jesus, Baton Rouge (in residence); St. Pius X, Baton Rouge; Our Lady of the Holy Rosary, St. Amant; St. John the Evangelist, Plaquemine; St. Joan of Arc, Bayou Pigeon and St. John the Baptist, Brusly.

-- David Joseph Clark: Our Lady of Prompt Succor, Alexandria; St. Joseph, Monroe; St. Anthony, Cottonport; St. Joseph, Marksville and St. Thomas More, Baton Rouge.

-- James Preston Clement: St. John the Baptist, Edgard; St. Francis de Sales, Houma; St. Joseph, Grosse Tete; Our Lady of the Holy Rosary, St. Amant and St. Patrick, Baton Rouge.

-- John Coyne: St. Augustine, New Roads.

-- Daniel Michael Drinan: Christ the King, Baton Rouge.

-- James Funnel: St. Isidore the Farmer, Baker.

-- George David Gensler: Our Lady of Mercy, Baton Rouge (in residence); St. Joseph Cathedral Preparatory Diocesan Seminary, Baton Rouge and St. Anthony of Padua, Darrow.

-- Rodrigue Alphonse Hammond: St. Joseph Cathedral, Baton Rouge; St. Homas More, Baton Rouge; Our Lady of Mercy, Baton Rouge; Immaculate Conception, Scotlandville; St. Pius X, Baton Rouge; St. Charles Borromeo, Baton Rouge and Immaculate Heart of Mary, Maringouin.

-- Myles Joseph Kearney: Ascension of Our Lord, Donaldsonville; St. Theresa of Avila, Gonzales; Sacred Heart of Jesus, Baton Rouge; Our Lady of Prompt Succor, White Castle; St. Mark, Gonzales; St. Francis de Sales, Baton Rouge; St. Joseph, Grosse Tete; St. John the Evangelist, Prairieville; St. Joseph Cathedral, Baton Rouge; Immaculate Conception, Scotlandville; St. Jude the Apostle, Baton Rouge; Most Blessed Sacrament, Baton Rouge; St. Anne, Sorrento and St. Patrick, Baton Rouge.

-- Clyde Bernard Landry: Holy Family Baton Rouge; St. Geoarge, Baton Rouge; St. Aloysius; Our Lady of the Holy Rosary, St. Amant; Our Lady of Mount Carmel, St. Francisville; St. Theresa, Gonzales and St. Joseph Cathedral, Baton Rouge.

-- Nicholas Joseph Martrain: St. Isidore the Farmer, Baker; Ascension of Our Lord, Donaldsonville; St. Pius X, Baton Rouge; St. Thomas More, Baton Rouge and St. Patrick, Baton Rouge.

-- Salvador (Butch) Moran: St. Theresa of Avila, Gonzales; St. Joseph the Worker, Pierre Part; Ascension of Our Lord, Donaldsonville and St. Philip, Vacherie.

-- Jesse Ray Ortego: St. Thomas More, Baton Rouge; St. Theresa, Gonzales; Holy Family, Port Allen and Our Lady of the Holy Rosary, St. Amant.

-- Christopher Joseph Springer: St. Gerard Magellia, Baton Rouge; St. John the Evangelist, Plaquemine; Immaculate Heart of Mary, Maringouin; St. Mary of False River, New Roads; St. Pius X, Baton Rouge; Our Lady of Perpetual Help, Jackson; Our Lady of Assumption, Jackson; Our Lady of the Assumption, Clinton.

The listing also included nine priests with allegations prior to the formation of the Diocese in 1961, as well as four who served in the Diocese without credible allegations made against them for reasons unrelated to the Diocese of Baton Rouge. 

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