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Group demands local diocese add new name to list of credibly accused abusers

Brian Highfill Clergy Abuse

Title: Group demands local diocese add new name to list of credibly accused abusers
Author: Dan Copp
Submitted by: Kevin Bourgeois
Publisher: Daily Advertiser
Date: 04SEP2020
A group that advocates for Catholic Church sex abuse victims is asking the Diocese of Houma-Thibodaux to add a new name to its list of “credibly accused” priests.

On Aug. 18, Archbishop Gregory P. Aymond added the Rev. Henry Brian Highfill to the Archdiocese of New Orleans’ list of priests with credible accusations of child sexual abuse.

Now, the Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests, or SNAP, is asking local Bishop Shelton Fabre to do the same.

Highfill, who now lives in Las Vegas, served at St. Frances de Sales in Houma in 1975, according to New Orleans SNAP leader Kevin Bourgeois. The 78-year-old priest has been accused of abusing children from 1975 to 1981.

“It is well-documented that the vast majority of child predators abuse multiple children, multiple times,” Bourgeois said in a letter addressed to Fabre on Tuesday. “We urge Bishop Fabre to notify the good people in the Houma-Thibodaux diocese of the allegations against Fr. Highfill. If there were innocent children who fell victim to him, SNAP is here to support and validate their years of anguish. We stand with all survivors of clergy sex crimes and their families.”

Fabre could not be reached for comment at press time.

The Diocese of Las Vegas also added Highfill to its list of credibly accused abusers. Church officials in Las Vegas said Highfill’s name was added to the list based on allegations brought forward in other dioceses and that it received no complaints against Highfill during his time in Nevada.

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