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A little more than a year ago, Church Militant hosted a New Orleans sex abuse victim here in the studio and interviewed him about his tragic story. Local media outlets, as well as documentary makers, provided extensive coverage of his case in the archdiocese of New Orleans.
During our interview, recorded at Church Militant in November of 2021, Richard Windmann dropped a bomb.
We sat on this interview for more than a year while we checked it out. Immediately after hearing this information from Richard Windmann, we directly texted Abp. Aymond with the following text:
"Hello, Archbishop. This is Michael Voris from Church Militant, and we have received some reports that you personally sexually abused a man who was a former seminarian, and another case where you abused a minor male. Do you have any comment for us?"
We sent that text at 7:34 p.m. ET on Nov. 2. That was 6:34 Abp. Aymond's time. We received no response from him. But the next morning, we received a call from his communications director, who immediately asked me if we could talk off the record. I told her no. Reporters should never give away their right to report, because they would enter into an agreement without knowing the terms.
I asked her point-blank if the archbishop denies the charges, and she became evasive. It struck me as really weird that an archbishop gets a text out of the blue from a media outlet asking if he sexually abused someone personally, and he doesn't immediately deny it.
That he would send his communications director on a hunt for information on what we knew was even more strange. At some point, the facts of how he handles this become problematic. What man would not immediately deny an accusation that he molested both an adult and a minor if he had, in fact, not? Then, what man sends his communications person to gather background information on what we know?
Based on what we were learning quickly and continually, I texted Aymond a second time about a week later:
Good morning, Your Excellency. As you may know, we have delayed publication of our story regarding accusations against you, owing to a growing number of individuals being in touch with us with what we might term "more information." The story, as they say, is "developing," with reports that you are on a "witch hunt" to discover who is talking to Church Militant. That issue aside, we have a question for you based on these "developments." Question: Have you ever had sex or sexual activity with any priest under your charge in the archdiocese? We would appreciate an answer from you directly instead of your communicating many hours later through a communications director. A reporter's duty is to get as close to the source as possible. In this case, you are the source who can best answer the question, which, frankly, doesn't need a lot of thought. You can answer me directly in one second. Additionally, I don't know if it was communicated to you that, having scored a righteous victory over the city (and the USCCB operating behind the scenes), Church Militant will be in Baltimore and warmly invites you to do an on-camera interview with us while there. If there is no truth to any of this, we will happily provide you the opportunity to utterly deny it, as well as share with us your own private investigation results as to why these accusations are arising. Thanks, Archbishop. God bless.
Well, it took a year, but, at last, the news broke last week and was, in fact, the lead story on Church Militant Evening News one week ago.
The specific charge, which Church Militant sat on for more than a year as we vetted it ourselves, involves a former seminarian of Aymond. He alleges that Aymond, as rector of the seminary, groped and touched him and made a pass at him after he went to him to complain of fellow seminarians coming on to him.
Notre Dame seminary has, for years, had a notorious reputation for being a homosexual hotbed, earning it the nickname "Notre Flame." Aymond was rector during some of those years.
Earlier this year, Aymond declared his archdiocese, the second oldest in the country, bankrupt — unable to bear up under the weight of enormous lawsuits, all alleging homosexual predation on the part of multiple members of the clergy protected by a gay chancery.
Church Militant will keep you updated on this story as it develops, but we can tell you that it was only because of the bankruptcy that this case came to light, as the archdiocese's records were turned over for inspection. It's likely, given the volume of cases, that much more will be coming to light.
In the meantime, to give you a sense of how the New Orleans archdiocese conducted itself for many years, we'd like you to watch the full interview we did with Richard Windmann. You can watch that by clicking on the provided link.