Catholic Diocese of Shreveport issues statement on sexual abuse of juveniles

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In a statement issued Friday, the Very Rev. Peter Mangum, administrator of the Catholic Diocese of Shreveport, said no allegation of sexual abuse of a minor by a clergy member has been received since the diocese was formed in 1986.

In the statement, Mangum stressed that is consistent with the findings of many dioceses, as most of the accusations nationwide are from incidents that occurred decades ago.

That’s not to say there weren’t area priests accused of sexual misconduct, only that if there were, the accusations came prior to Shreveport becoming a stand-alone diocese.

Prior to 1986, Shreveport and Monroe were part of the Alexandria-Shreveport Catholic Diocese, meaning any local allegations would have been submitted to the bishop in Alexandria.

After the diocese split, many of the priests serving in churches that became part of the Shreveport Diocese became a part of the new diocese.

In Friday’s statement, Magnum wrote, “I am aware that names of priests who served in north Louisiana prior to 1986 may be disclosed in the public report from the Diocese of Alexandria when they have completed their review.

“The release of those names and the parishes in which they served may be difficult for many. Some may be surprised to see the name of a priest who served in their parish or who was personally known to them. There may be, no doubt, disappointment and horror with the realization of such unspeakable immorality harming many youth and their families.”

In August 1994, Magnum said, the late Most Rev. William Friend, first bishop of Shreveport, created a “Permanent Review Board” to review any allegation of sexual abuse of minors by a member of the clergy. Still in place today, that board is composed of lay Catholics who meet annually to investigate every reported allegation of sexual abuse of a minor by a bishop, priest or deacon.

For information related to the release of names from the Diocese of Alexandria, see the article by its bishop, the Most Reverend David P. Talley:

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