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Volume 26 No. 207
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Saints Pulled Into Lawsuit Against Catholic Church Over PR Assistance

The Saints are "going to court to keep the public from seeing hundreds of emails that allegedly show team executives doing public relations damage control" for the New Orleans area's Roman Catholic archdiocese to "help it contain the fallout from a burgeoning sexual abuse crisis," according to Jim Mustian of the AP. Saints Owner Gayle Benson has "given millions of dollars to Catholic institutions in the New Orleans area, and the archbishop is a regular guest of hers at games and charitable events for the church." Attorneys repping men suing the church said that "'multiple' Saints personnel," including Senior VP/Communications Greg Bensel, "used their team email to advise church officials on 'messaging' and how to soften the impact of the archdiocese's release of a list of clergy members 'credibly accused' of sexual abuse." A Saints spokesperson said that team officials had "no comment" on the situation. But Saints attorneys "acknowledged in a court filing that the team assisted the archdiocese in its publishing of the credibly accused clergy list." However, the attorneys added that was an act of disclosure, the "opposite of concealment" (AP, 1/24).