New Orleans police have received a formal report of allegations of sexual abuse by a former deacon decades ago at a local church, the Archdiocese of New Orleans said Friday night.
George Brignac, 83, is accused of the abuse while serving as a deacon at Our Lady of the Rosary Parish from 1979 through the early 1980s. He was removed from ministry in 1988.
“From the time this victim came forward to us, we have pledged our cooperation and support to him and in any law enforcement investigation,” Archbishop Gregory Aymond said in a statement. “Today I reiterate that pledge of continued full support and cooperation of the Archdiocese of New Orleans as authorities investigate.”
The New Orleans Advocate has reported that the defrocked Brignac remained a rector at St. Mary Magdalen Catholic Church as recently as last month, despite years of sexual abuse allegations that spurred his removal from the ministry.
He also remained in that role after the Archdiocese of New Orleans quietly paid more than $500,000 this spring to settle claims that he repeatedly raped an 8-year-old altar boy at Holy Rosary School more than three decades ago, The Advocate reported.
“No one should suffer abuse, especially by someone in ministry,” Aymond’s statement said. “For those abused by a church leader, in the name of the church, I am sorry for the pain you have suffered. I invite those who have experienced abuse to come forward, so that we can walk with you towards healing.”