Police Investigating Catholic Priest for Alleged Misbehavior

(PatriotWise.com) — A former Catholic priest in southeast Louisiana, Anthony Odiong, has faced scrutiny from law enforcement following allegations of misconduct with multiple women and claims of financial improprieties. Officials reported these complaints to the sheriff’s office of St. Charles Parish after the Archdiocese of New Orleans brought them to light.

One woman who came forward in 2019 accused Odiong of sexual and financial abuse during the period he served as her spiritual advisor. Law enforcement contacted the woman’s attorney for an interview, yet she wasn’t immediately available to speak with investigators on Wednesday. The sheriff’s office stated that the events described by the woman appeared to be consensual, although no crime could be determined from the details.

Reports suggest that Odiong faced allegations of financial improprieties and misconduct from multiple women, leading to his removal as pastor of St. Anthony of Padua in Luling, among other factors. Accused of breaking his vow of celibacy, Odiong was said to have abused his position to coerce the woman into lewd acts, as claimed in an unresolved bankruptcy case initiated by the archdiocese in 2020.

Odiong’s lawyer dismissed the accusations as false, stating they lacked credibility. These allegations emerged as the New Orleans Archdiocese faced bankruptcy due to legal issues related to clerical abuse claims. The archdiocese plans to shut down several churches to address its mounting expenses.

Odiong, originally from Nigeria, served in the US under New Orleans Archbishop Gregory Aymond. Odiong’s tenure in Louisiana faced challenges, with reports of inappropriate relations and objections to the pope’s attempts to welcome the LGBTQ+ community. His departure, attributed to internal disagreements, occurred after church officials shared concerns about his ministry. Odiong claimed his removal was due to speaking out against the pope and described it as a spiritual event.

The attorney for the woman who accused Odiong refuted the claims, alleging the removal had more to do with disputes over the church’s direction than the alleged misconduct. The unfolding situation has led to a deeper crisis for the archdiocese amid ongoing legal turmoil and allegations against its former priest.

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