Fr. Patrick Wattigny – Archdiocese of New Orleans

by | Nov 7, 2022 | Firm News

Patrick Wattigny Horowitz Law

Ordained: 1994

Removed: 2020

Assignment History:

  • 1994-2000: St. Peter Catholic Church (Covington, LA)
  • 2000: Our Lady (Marrero, LA) and St. Elizabeth Ann Seton (Kenner, LA)
  • 2000-2013: St. Benilde Parish and Archbishop Rummel High School (Metairie, LA)
  • 2013-2020: John Paul II High School (Slidell, LA)
  • 2013-2020: St. Luke the Evangelist Catholic Church (Slidell, LA)

 

Summary of Abuse Allegations against Father Patrick Wattigny:

Father Patrick Wattigny was a Catholic priest in the Archdiocese of New Orleans. He worked in several parishes in and around New Orleans, in fact, the archdiocese moved him seven times in 26 years. On October 25, 2022, the St. Tammany Parish Sheriff’s Office arrested Fr. Patrick Wattigny for the second time after another report was made in August by a male, claiming Wattigny sexually abused him when he was an elementary student at a Covington-area Catholic school. An arrest warrant was issued for Wattigny, and he was booked into the St. Tammany Parish Correctional Center for one count of molestation of a juvenile.

This is Father Patrick Wattigny’s Second Arrest

Exactly two years ago, Fr. Wattigny was arrested on molestation charges after he was accused of sexually abusing a minor from 2013 to 2015 while serving as pastor of St. Luke the Evangelist Catholic Church in Slidell, LA. Wattigny pleaded not guilty to one count of molestation of a juvenile in March 2021.

Wattigny, 55, was pastor at St. Luke and a chaplain at Slidell’s Pope John Paul II High School in February of 2020 when the mother of a student at the school complained that he was sending inappropriate text messages to her son. Wattigny had sent the teen 90 printed pages worth of texts. According to the Sheriff’s Office, Wattigny started grooming the alleged victim when the boy was 15. It began with a conversation that led to telephone calls, text messages, and then private visits, investigators said. Wattigny was accused of molesting the teen at least four times between Christmas Eve 2013 and New Year’s Eve 2015, including some occasions in a church rectory. The archdiocese ordered Wattigny to stop the communication, which he did. But then Wattigny allegedly resumed texting the student. He resigned as chaplain that summer at the request of the archdiocese.

After he was ordered by the archdiocese to undergo a psychological evaluation and attend a 30-day retreat, Wattigny allegedly disclosed to the archdiocese on Oct. 1, 2020, that he had abused a different boy beginning in 2013. The archdiocese contacted law enforcement, and an investigation was launched that resulted in Wattigny’s arrest at a home he owns in Georgia about three weeks later.

Wattigny was permanently removed from ministry in 2020. At the time of Wattigny’s removal from ministry, New Orleans Archbishop Gregory Aymond wrote in a statement: “Reverend Patrick Wattigny disclosed today his sexual abuse of a minor in 2013. His name will be added to the list of the Archdiocese of New Orleans Clergy Abuse Report. Law enforcement has been notified.” 

Horowitz Law is a law firm representing victims of sexual abuse in the Archdiocese of New Orleans.  The Archdiocese of New Orleans filed for federal bankruptcy protection in April 2020.  Our lawyers are now offering free legal consultations to discuss your legal options as a survivor of sexual abuse by priests and other employees of the New Orleans Archdiocese.

Very strict filing deadlines will soon be set by the Bankruptcy Court.  Most victims of abuse will never be able to recover damages if they miss this deadline, please contact our law firm at 888-283-9922 or send an e-mail to sexual abuse lawyer Adam Horowitz at [email protected] for a free consultation.