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Mon Dec 18, 2023, 12:16 PM Dec 2023

US archbishop secretly backed bid to free priest convicted of raping child

Source: The Guardian

US archbishop secretly backed bid to free priest convicted of raping child

‘I join you in the prayer to guide those regarding your appeal,’ Gregory Aymond of New Orleans wrote to priest given life sentence

Ramon Antonio Vargas in New Orleans
Mon 18 Dec 2023 11.00 GMT

As he reached the end of his 41-year life, Kevin Portier had endured child rape at the hands of a southern Louisiana Catholic priest for whom he had served as an altar boy; a highly publicized trial that sent the clergyman to prison for the rest of his days; and the trauma associated with those experiences.

But one of Portier’s harshest ordeals came within his final two years alive. Representatives of the church that he had been raised to believe in approached him at his home, at his job and at a relative’s funeral to ask him to lend his support to efforts to secure an early release for his rapist, Robert Melancon.

“I don’t know what the real deal is,” Portier wrote in a fall 2017 email seeking answers from leaders of his local diocese, who didn’t realize until later that the people lobbying for Melancon’s release were actually church officials about 60 miles away in New Orleans. “And [it] doesn’t matter. All that matters now is I will not be lied to by the Catholic church.”

It’s unclear whether Portier, before his death in the spring of 2019, ever learned exactly who was trying to engineer an early release from prison for Melancon. But records that the Catholic archdiocese of New Orleans has fought to keep hidden show the city’s archbishop, Gregory Aymond – while not even being in charge of him – furtively sanctioned legal maneuvers that, if successful, would have prematurely freed Melancon from what Portier considered to be a just punishment.


Read more: https://archive.is/GUCmj

Original Guardian link (registration required): https://www.theguardian.com/us-news/2023/dec/18/new-orleans-archbishop-gregory-aymond-robert-melancon-catholic-church

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US archbishop secretly backed bid to free priest convicted of raping child (Original Post) Eugene Dec 2023 OP
I'm shocked! Voltaire2 Dec 2023 #1
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