And at first, it seemed like that might happen.
More than 450 clergy abuse victims filed claims by a March 2021 deadline.
In June 2022, a committee of abuse survivors was about to sit down with archdiocese officials, including Archbishop Aymond, to begin mediation in hopes of negotiating a settlement. But two hours before that first meeting, U.S. Bankruptcy Judge Meredith Grabill stopped it and announced that most of the survivors, including Adams, would be removed from the committee because their attorney, Richard Trahant, had disclosed confidential information from the case.
It later came out in court records that Trahant had tipped off his cousin, the principal of Brother Martin High School, that the school’s chaplain, the Rev. Paul Hart, had admitted in church files to having had sexual contact with a 16-year-old girl. The Times-Picayune reported the Archdiocese hadn’t considered Hart’s actions to be child sexual abuse because church law at the time still considered 16-year-olds adults.
That conflicted with state law at the time and the church law was later changed, after the Boston Globe “Spotlight” investigation in 2002 exposed rampant abuse and coverups in the Boston Archdiocese and started a nationwide reckoning for the church.