Saints going to court to protect emails related to Archdiocese of New Orleans

John Hendrix

The New Orleans Saints are in the news, and it appears it's not for the right reasons. Per an Associated Press article by Jim Mustian on Friday morning, the team is reportedly going to court to keep hundreds of emails from the public that allegedly show public relations damage control for the area's Roman Catholic archdiocese.

From the article, court filings from the attorneys from about two dozen men that are suing the church have 276 documents showing that the Saints aided the Archdiocese of New Orleans in an alleged attempt to conceal its crimes.

“Obviously, the Saints should not be in the business of assisting the Archdiocese, and the Saints’ public relations team is not in the business of managing the public relations of criminals engaged in pedophilia,” the attorneys wrote in a court filing. “The Saints realize that if the documents at issue are made public, this professional sports organization also will be smearing itself.”

The attorneys for the men suing the church allege that multiple team personnel, which included Senior Vice President of Communications Greg Bensel, used their email accounts to advise the church on messaging to use that would have softened the impact of the archdiocese's release of a list of clergy members accused of sexual abuse.

“The information at issue bears a relationship to these crimes because it is a continuation of the Archdiocese’s pattern and practice of concealing its crimes so that the public does not discover its criminal behavior,” the plaintiffs’ attorneys wrote. “And the Saints joined in.”

Attorney Edward Dirk Wegmann stated that the plaintiffs only want the Saints emails released to give them to the media in attempt to "unfairly try to tar and feather the archdiocese."

The team released an update shortly after noon with a statement, emphasizing that, “The advice was simple and never wavering. Be direct, open and fully transparent, while making sure that all law enforcement agencies were alerted.”