George Brignac arrested

By Clarion Herald Staff

George Brignac, who was removed from ministry as a permanent deacon in 1988, was arrested Sept. 20 by New Orleans police on recent allegations of abuse occurring approximately 40 years ago.

Brignac, 84, was released after posting bond. Brignac faces one count of first-degree rape. The archdiocese has been cooperating with the criminal investigation into these allegations against Brignac since last year.           

Upon learning of the arrest of Brignac, Archbishop Gregory Aymond issued a statement: “We, too, seek truth and justice and, as always, we pledge our full continued cooperation in the law enforcement investigation.”

Brignac was included on the list of clergy removed from ministry released by the archdiocese on Nov. 2, 2018. Previous criminal cases brought against him did not result in any criminal convictions.

The archdiocese said Brignac was ordained as a permanent deacon in 1976. Allegations of abuse which have been levied at Brignac occurred in the late 1970s to the late 1980s. Brignac has not had a pastoral assignment as a deacon or been employed in a Catholic school in the Archdiocese of New Orleans since 1988, when he was removed from ministry by Archbishop Philip Hannan. Brignac’s subsequent requests to Archbishop Francis Schulte and Archbishop Alfred Hughes for reinstatement as a deacon were rejected.  

“We understand that for a victim of abuse to come forward with an allegation, it takes a great deal of courage,” said Archbishop Aymond. “I want to publicly express our prayerful support of the victim in this case as this moves through the criminal justice system.”

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