Diocese of Lafayette issues statement concerning lawsuit against itself, Father Michael Guidry

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The Diocese of Lafayette has released a statement concerning a lawsuit filed in St. Landry filed against them and Father Micheal Guidry.

The suit, filed by a male victim and his parents alleges that Guidry sexually abused the victim was about 11 years old and again at 16 years old.

In regards to the matter, the Diocese says:

The Diocese of Lafayette received notice today that a lawsuit seeking compensation for damages has been filed by the family of a victim of sexual abuse by Father Michael Guidry.  
 Upon first hearing of the abuse complaints this past June, Bishop Douglas Deshotel immediately removed Father Guidry from ministry and the Diocese fully cooperated with law enforcement authorities during the subsequent criminal investigation.  All protocols of the Diocese’s Safe Environment program, which mandates zero tolerance of  abuse of any kind, were strictly followed throughout the entire process.  We respect the victim’s courage in coming forward, in accordance with our Safe Environment policies, which encourage anyone who has information on any cases of abuse to come forward.  From the beginning, pastoral outreach and counseling has been offered to the victim and his family.  At the time of the complaint, there had been no previous claims of any abuse concerning Father Guidry during his 47 years as a priest. 
     Contrary to what may have been previously reported, the Diocese of Lafayette is not paying Father Guidry’s legal fees as the criminal case proceeds.   The Diocese of Lafayette continues to respect all parties involved and cannot comment on any allegations set forth in the ongoing litigation.

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