Sixteen years ago, Ricky Monsour spoke up for the first time about how he was groomed and molested in his boyhood by a priest the Catholic Church eventually acknowledged was almost certainly a child predator. But it was only recently that he decided to speak out about the details of the $106,000 payment that the church later gave him to quietly settle his claims of abuse at the hands of Carl Davidson.Asked about Monsour’s recollections, archdiocesan officials revealed new details about the church’s handling of accusations against Davidson — including that he was sent to psychological treatment 31 years ago, when church leaders first were told he had molested another boy, an aspiring priest.
That happened after New Orleans’ current archbishop, Gregory Aymond, took that abuse report and notified his then-boss, Archbishop Francis Schulte.
Until now, the church had never disclosed that sidelining, after which the now-dead Davidson was allowed to continue serving as a priest for at least another 13 years. It wasn’t until the clergy abuse scandal that erupted in Boston in 2002 that the church permanently removed Davidson from the ministry, and it took until 2004 — when Monsour went public — for the archdiocese to admit his removal stemmed from molestation accusations.
In a statement Thursday, Aymond said he would have acted differently now, given transparency policies that American bishops adopted following the Boston crisis. But he said the way the archdiocese handled Davidson for years was appropriate under the protocols in place before Boston changed everything.