The Archdiocese of New Orleans said that it has never called on any outside organisation, like the New Orleans Saints, to help cover up information on abuse allegations.
It said it remains ‘steadfast in support’ of victims of sex abuse by clergy and other church workers and prays ‘for their continued healing’.
The statement was released in response to an AP story on 24th January that said the NFL team allegedly helped the archdiocese with public relations’ damage control on sex abuse claims.
Lawyers for the Saints called such claims ‘outrageous’ in court papers. The NFL team is going to court to keep the public from seeing hundreds of emails on the issue that its lawyers said were meant to be private correspondence.
The archdiocese said it contacted Greg Bensel, senior vice president of communications for the New Orleans Saints, who ‘offered input on how to work with the media’.
‘(His) advice was simple and never wavering: Be direct, open and fully transparent, while making sure that all law enforcement agencies were alerted,’ the archdiocese said. It added that the Saints ‘have no interest in concealing information from the press or public’.
Picture: A New Orleans Saints player is seen holding his helmet during the second half of a game in 2019. In a 24th January 2020 story, The Associated Press claimed the Saints’ owner, a devout Catholic, has aided the New Orleans Archdiocese in trying to shield emails related to the sex abuse crisis. The archdiocese in a statement called the story false, saying its only advice on the matter was to ‘be direct, open and fully transparent’. (CNS photo/Kim Klement-USA TODAY Sports via Reuters).