Survivor comes forward as list of accused Catholic abusers revealed
BATON ROUGE - A raw moment shocked the leader of the Diocese of Baton Rouge Thursday. During the press conference where Bishop Michael Duca revealed the list of local clergy members accused of sexual abuse over the past several decades, a survivor came forward.
Brennan Tomeny told WBRZ he wanted to be there in person as part of his healing process. He wanted to hear his abusers name on the accused list. The Bishop said they weren't planning on reading every name out, though. Instead, the church posted it online where everyone has access to it.
“It needs to be verbally spoken to get it out there,” said Tomeny. “It’s still hidden if it’s just a list. If it’s a list someone might not go find it. If it’s verbally spoken and you hear the name you can step forward and do something.”
Tomeny says he was abused in the 70s and 80s. He reported it in the 90s, claiming his abuser was Clyde Landry. Landry's name is on the list of clergymen accused of sexual abuse. He’s been waiting decades for this to come to light.
“As long as it’s public and not hidden to people, as long as the issues that are facing the church are not hidden and waiting for the next one to come along, that’s a happy time,” Tomeny said.
Tomeny says he'll never forget what happened to him, but he’s been getting help.
“It’s not easy," he said. “Sometimes it’s twice-a-week therapy, sometimes it's once-a-month therapy. But you have to keep on keeping on, and I guess I'll be in therapy my whole life.".
Part of his healing process is Catholicism. Tomeny returns to church every Sunday focusing on the good.
“I have a right to have God in my life and have salvation, and that's what I choose to do,” he said.
Tomeny's alleged abuser died in 2003. More than one person came forward about Clyde Landry while he was working in Port Allen, Baton Rouge, and St. Francisville. Landry Remained a priest until 1999.