Saints issue statement on involvement in New Orleans Archdiocese abuse litigation

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The Saints have issued a statement concerning their involvement in litigation related to sexual abuse in the Archdiocese of New Orleans.

Jim Mustian of the Associated Press reported that attorneys for plaintiffs in the case claim the Saints are trying to shield more than two hundred emails that show they helped the church in its “pattern and practice of concealing its crimes.” Attorneys for the team disputed those claims and the team did the same in a statement issued on Friday.

The entire text of the statement appears below:

“While there is current litigation relative to the New Orleans Archdiocese and clergy sex abuse, our comments are limited only to the scope of our involvement. The New Orleans Saints organization has always had a very strong relationship with the Archdiocese. The Archdiocese reached out to a number of community and civic minded leaders seeking counsel on handling the pending media attention that would come with the release of the clergy names in November of 2018. Greg Bensel, Senior Vice President of Communications for the New Orleans Saints, was contacted and offered input on how to work with the media.”

“The advice was simple and never wavering. Be direct, open and fully transparent, while making sure that all law enforcement agencies were alerted. The New Orleans Saints, Greg Bensel and Mrs. Gayle Benson were and remain offended, disappointed and repulsed by the actions of certain past clergy. We remain steadfast in support of the victims who have suffered and pray for their continued healing.”

“Further, the Saints have no interest in concealing information from the press or public. At the current discovery stage in the case of Doe v. Archdiocese, the Saints, through their counsel, have merely requested the court to apply the normal rules of civil discovery to the documents that the Saints produced and delivered to Mr. Doe’s counsel. Until the documents are admitted into evidence at a public trial or hearing in the context of relevant testimony by persons having knowledge of the documents and the events to which they pertain, the use of the documents should be limited to the parties to the case and their attorneys. If admitted into evidence of the case, the documents and the testimony pertaining to them will become part of the public record of the trial of the case.”

20 responses to “Saints issue statement on involvement in New Orleans Archdiocese abuse litigation

  1. The New Orleans Archdiocese reached out to a football team about this terrible scandal? The Saints have nothing to be ashamed of in all of this but the Archdiocese is another story.

  2. “Until the documents are admitted into evidence at a public trial or hearing in the context of relevant testimony by persons having knowledge of the documents and the events to which they pertain, the use of the documents should be limited to the parties to the case and their attorneys. If admitted into evidence of the case, the documents and the testimony pertaining to them will become part of the public record of the trial of the case.”

    I’m no lawyer, but that sounds like fancy lawyer talk for “We’re being so open about these emails we’re going to release them only if and when we are legally obligated to do so and not a second sooner, and that’s only happening if we can’t convince the judge they shouldn’t be admitted as evidence and therefore we’ll never have to release them..”

  3. Maybe this was a potato that was a little too hot. Regardless of how close you are to the church, when they ask you to help them with ANYTHING concerning this type of abuse, tell them “nah” and move on

  4. I really do not see this as a big deal – or any deal. We all have close connections in the community, especially a organization like a football team. If the advice really was be open and upfront, that actually supports the disgust the owner and staff claim to have…don’t BS. Come clean, and fix the problem. The Archdiocese isn’t going anywhere, but what they do moving forward makes ALL the difference to a community steeped in the Catholic religion. That said….as the first commentor said….stay out. nothing good comes from rmessing in religion.

  5. It took nearly 300 email to offer simple advice like “be direct, open and transparent”? This whole thing smells fishy: 1. Why would the church be contacting local businesses for advice on handling this scandal when they certainly already had PR professionals hired? 2. You get an email from a business contact facing a sex abuse scandal and rather than quietly distance yourself with a “good luck with that” you trade nearly 300 email with them about it? Nobody with the Saints thought it was a bad idea to get involved in this mess?

  6. “The advice was simple and never wavering. Be direct, open and fully transparent”

    Nothing says “Direct, open and fully transparent” as a legal motion to hide all emails from public consumption.

  7. thefiesty1 says:
    January 24, 2020 at 5:54 pm
    The archbishop was seen prominately in the Saints owner’s sky box at games! Humm!

    ———————————————————————————-

    You do understand we’re talking about crimes that happened 30 and 40 years ago and that the church leadership has completely turned over since then. At worst, you can accuse the current diocese of trying to soft pedal the release of the list of names. There’s nothing at all that suggests any kind of active coverup took place – exhibit A being the list of names was released to the public not long after these email conversations took place.

  8. I’m also fairly embarrassed by the cavalcade of Falcons/Panthers/Vikings fans who feign moral outrage over this so you can come crap on the Saints just because you hate the Saints.

    How dare you use horrible things done to these people as ammunition in a comment section because you don’t like a sports team. Shame on you.

  9. “mdd913 says:
    January 24, 2020 at 8:00 pm
    I’m also fairly embarrassed by the cavalcade of Falcons/Panthers/Vikings fans who feign moral outrage over this so you can come crap on the Saints just because you hate the Saints.”

    ———————

    Can’t say with any kind of certainty that I’ve seen any abundance (or any at all) of fans of these 3 teams doing anything that you’re suggesting in this comment section, outside of maybe 1 bikes fan. But we do seem to have found the triggered Saints fan!

    FYI, it isn’t up to you how someone else may feel about a situation like this. Just because your team — and only your team — seems to be involved doesn’t make fans of other teams terrible people just because they have a comment on it. People hate the Saints for many reasons. Mostly because they have fans exactly like you.

  10. As per usual, I’ll wait to reserve judgement until more facts or a pattern emerges.

    What’s the link between the football team & the Archdiocese? They are saying that Football team leadership were advising sex-abusing Priests & helping them conceal crimes, in-writing?

    Ya’ll believe that? Sounds completely ludicrous.

    Another thing, it is very common to ONLY COMPLY with the minimum requests when criminal & civil stakes are at risk. Ya’ll know, sometimes lawyers lie & make things up to litigate, right?

  11. The Saints were the first team to rush out and sign Adrian Peterson as soon as he was cleared to play, following his suspension for brutal child abuse. I guess the Saints aren’t such saints when it comes to looking out for children. It’s really creepy.

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