- May 26, 2020
New Orleans news outlets were set to argue Thursday for an open hearing on the confidentiality of emails between Catholic officials and the city’s NFL franchise concerning clergy sex-abuse scandals.
Why would an NFL team, even one called the Saints, strike a behind-the-scenes alliance with the Catholic Church on an issue as emotionally fraught as clergy sex abuse? It’s a question even die-hard Saints fans in this heavily Catholic city are asking.
The owner of the New Orleans Saints said Monday that the NFL team played no role in determining which priests would be named in the list of “credibly accused” clergy published by the area’s Catholic Church.
A judge ruled Friday that The Associated Press may be heard in a court dispute over whether to release hundreds of confidential emails that detail the New Orleans Saints’ behind-the-scenes public relations work to help area Catholic leaders deal with a sexual abuse crisis.
The New Orleans Saints maintain their behind-the-scenes public relations work on the area’s Catholic sexual abuse crisis was “minimal,” but attorneys suing the church allege hundreds of confidential Saints emails show the team actively helping to shape a list of credibly accused clergy that appears to be an undercount.
The Archdiocese of New Orleans said in a Jan. 24 statement that it has never called on any outside organization, like the New Orleans Saints, to help cover up information on abuse allegations.