Three more priests added to Alexandria Diocese sexual abuse list

Two served for many years in Avoyelles, one assisted at several local churches

Three more Catholic Church priests who served in Avoyelles Parish churches have been added to a list of clergy with “credible allegations of sexual abuse,” the Diocese of Alexandria announced last week.

Allegations against Revs. Adrian Molenschot, Yves Robitaille and Nino Viviano were made following an article in February concerning a list of priests -- many with links to Avoyelles -- with credible allegations of sexual misconduct/ abuse.

“The Diocese of Alexandria pledges to provide updates to the list of credibly accused clergy as new information becomes available and as reported by authorities,” a news release on the additional listing noted. “We hope these updates provide healing and closure and show our commitment to transparency and accountability.”

MOLENSCHOT

Perhaps the name that caused the most shock in this parish is that of Molenschot.

Molenschot, a native of Holland, was pastor of St. Martin of Tours in Belledeau for several decades and was named an honorary “Avoyellean of the Year” for 1968 for his work in the community as a priest, choir director and Boy Scout leader.

In its report released June 21, the diocese said it received allegations of sexual misconduct and abuse of male minors by Molenschot dating back to the 1960s. Those allegations were reported in February 2019.

The evidence was presented to the Permanent Review Board in May and the allegations were deemed credible.

Molenschot died in December 1994 at the age of 89. He is buried in St. Martin’s cemetery.

Among his achievements while pastor of St. Martin was designing and overseeing the construction of the current sanctuary.

Molenschot designed the building in the shape of a Greek cross. It was dedicated by Bishop Charles P. Greco on Aug. 21, 1966.

Architects Barron, Heinberg and Brocato used Molenschot’s design for the $72,000 project, which was constructed by Lemoine Brothers of Cottonport.

ROBITAILLE

Robitaille served at St. Joseph Catholic Church in Marksville for about 10 years in the 1950s and 1960s and for awhile at St. Paul in Mansura in the late 1960s. He retired in May 1990 and died in July 1998 at the age of 72.

In March, the Diocese received an allegation of sexual misconduct and abuse of a male minor by Robitaille dating back to the mid-1950s.

In June the evidence was presented to the Permanent Review Board, which found the allegation to be credible.

VIVIANO

Viviano assisted with services at Mater Dolorosa Catholic Church in Plaucheville in the 1960s.

Viviano, 91, retired in 1998. He has advanced dementia and lives in a Florida nursing home.

The Diocese received an allegation in February 2019 that Viviano had committed sexual misconduct and abuse of a female minor in the early 1960s.

The evidence was presented to the Permanent Review Board in May and the allegation was deemed credible.

Due to his dementia, Viviano was unable to participate in the review of this recent allegation.

The entire list of Diocesan clergy with “credible” allegations of sexual misconduct can be found on the diocesan website at https://www.diocesealex.org/ongoing-clergy-sexual-abuse-page/diocese.

The previous 27 names of priests, deacons and clergy include: Raymond Jones, Donald Rogers, Victor Sepsi, Frederick Lyons, Edward Terry Allen, John Wesley Andries, William Allison, William Cody Bressler, Paul Conway, Francis O. Couvillion, Francis Patrick Donohoe, Harvey Fortier, John Franklin, Robert Friend, Edmund Gagne, Moise Richard Gremillion, Michael G. Hannon, Kenneth Mathews, H. Clinton Teacle, Joseph Tisch, Leger Tremblay, Leo Van Hoorn, Gilbert Gauthe, Charles Dekeukelare, Norman Rogge, Louis Senesac, and Antonio Valez-Lopez.

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