NEW ORLEANS — The Diocese of Houma-Thibodaux released a list of priests Friday afternoon with a credible allegation of child sexual abuse since the start of the diocese in 1977.

Bishop Shelton J. Fabre released the list along with a letter expressing his and the diocese’s apologies for the victims impacted.

“Let me be clear: the abuse of a child by anyone is sinful, abhorrent and evil, particularly when perpetrated by one vested with the sacred trust of God’s children. Furthermore, any attempt to cover up these sins is even more disturbing. I apologize to all who have been harmed. It is with deep respect and profound reverence that I humbly extend this apology,” Fabre wrote in part.

Fabre notes that no priest in current active ministry in the diocese is on the list.

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The following priests admitted, were convicted or pled guilty:

LAWRENCE CAVELL

  • Ordained in 1989
  • Admitted to solicitation of a minor
  • All priestly faculties permanently removed by the Diocese
  • Served at Holy Cross in Morgan City, Sacred Heart in Montegut, Saint Francis de Sales in Houma,
  • Saint Genevieve in Thibodaux, and Saint Mary in Raceland

ALEXANDER FRANCISCO

  • Ordained in 1979
  • Admitted to inappropriate physical contact with a minor
  • All priestly faculties permanently removed by the Diocese
  • Served at Holy Cross in Morgan City, Saint Bernadette in Houma, Saint Bridget in Schriever, Saint
  • Joseph in Thibodaux, and Saint Thomas Aquinas in Thibodaux

DALE GUIDRY

  • Ordained in 1982
  • Pled guilty to online solicitation of a minor and accused of molestation of a minor
  • All priestly faculties permanently removed within the Diocese
  • Died October 20, 2013
  • Served at Holy Cross in Morgan City and Saint Joseph in Galliano

PATRICK KUJAWA

  • Ordained in 1996
  • Pled guilty to possession of child pornography
  • Convicted and currently incarcerated
  • All priestly faculties permanently removed by the Diocese
  • Served at Holy Cross in Morgan City and Saint Francis de Sales in Houma

ROBERT MELANCON

  • Ordained in 1962
  • Convicted of aggravated rape of a minor
  • All priestly faculties permanently removed by the Diocese
  • Died November 5, 2018
  • Served at Annunziata in Houma, Sacred Heart in Cut Off, and Saint Genevieve in Thibodaux

CARLOS MELENDEZ

  • Priest of the Missionaries of Christ Crucified in El Salvador
  • Accused of inappropriate physical contact with a minor and pled guilty to misdemeanor battery
  • against a minor
  • All priestly faculties permanently removed within the Diocese
  • United States Immigration returned him to his native El Salvador
  • Current status or location unknown
  • Served in Diocesan Hispanic Ministry

The following priests are the subject of credible allegations of sexual molestation of a minor that were the subject of civil litigation:

ETIENNE LEBLANC

  • Ordained in 1971
  • All priestly faculties permanently removed by the Diocese
  • Served at Annunziata in Houma, Holy Cross in Morgan City, Holy Family in Dulac, Saint Eloi in
  • Theriot, Sacred Heart in Cut Off, Saint Hilary in Mathews, and Saint Thomas Aquinas in Thibodaux

GERALD PRINZ

  • Ordained in 1968
  • All priestly faculties permanently removed by the Diocese
  • Served at Saint Francis de Sales in Houma, Saint Gregory in Houma, and Saint Louis in Bayou Blue

BERNARD SCHMALTZ

  • Ordained in 1973
  • Died February 5, 2010
  • All priestly faculties permanently removed within the Diocese
  • Served at Annunziata in Houma

The following priests are the subject of credible allegations of serious and unacceptable conduct with minors, ranging from inappropriate physical contact of a minor to molestation of a minor:

CLAUDE BOUDREAUX

  • Jesuit priest who offered weekend assistance in the Diocese of Houma-Thibodaux
  • Ordained in 1955
  • All priestly faculties permanently removed within the Diocese
  • Died August 5, 2016

GERARD KINANE

  • Priest of the Archdiocese of New Orleans
  • Ordained in 1973
  • All priestly faculties permanently removed by the Diocese
  • Served at Saint Hilary in Mathews

RAMON LUCE

  • Priest of the Diocese of San Pablo in the Philippines
  • Ordained in 1995
  • All priestly faculties permanently removed within the Diocese
  • Voluntarily left the priesthood
  • Served at Holy Savior in Lockport

DAC NGUYEN

  • Priest of the Society of Domus Dei
  • Ordained in 1988
  • All priestly faculties permanently removed within the Diocese
  • Current status or location unknown
  • Served at Thanh Gia (Holy Family) in Amelia

DANIEL POCHE

  • Ordained in 1978
  • All priestly faculties permanently removed by the Diocese
  • Served at Holy Cross in Morgan City, Sacred Heart in Cut Off, Saint Bernadette in Houma, Saint
  • Francis de Sales in Houma, Saint Hilary in Mathews, and Saint Joseph in Chauvin

Fabre said that he made the decision to give the Diocesan Lay Review Board the authority to determine whether the allegations had evidence of credibility and were substantiated. 

Fabre wrote that victims who have been abused by a priest are invited to come forward and speak to the Diocese’s victim’s assistance coordinator and licensed professional psychologist, Sister Carmelita Centanni. She can be reached at 985.850.3172 or by email at ccentanni@htdiocese.org.

“We are committed, now more than ever, to walking with you toward healing,” Fabre wrote in part.

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