OMAHA, Neb. -- The Archdiocese of Omaha has submitted information to the Nebraska Attorney General pertaining to church personnel accused of criminal sexual misconduct since 1978.
The documents include information on 24 priests with substantial allegations of abuse of minors.
The documentation shows the alleged abuse goes as far back as 1956, but was reported to the archdiocese between 1978-2018.
“We acknowledge this report with sorrow, and know that it will cause a great deal of pain,” said Archbishop George Lucas. “We’re deeply saddened so many innocent minors and young adults were harmed by the church’s ministers. To victims and their families, I am sorry for the pain, betrayal and suffering you have experienced in the church.”
According to a press release from the Archdiosece, of the 38 clergy with substantiated allegations of sexual abuse of minors or misconduct with minors since 1978:
• 34 offended before 2002 and the establishment of the Charter for the Protection of Children and Young People;
• 24 were archdiocesan priests;
• 10 were priests from another state/country/religious order ministering in the archdiocese;
• four were deacons.
The complete list of clergy is available online at report.archomaha.org.
The Lincoln Diocese also released a statement on the matter:
In light of the recent publication of a list of clergy from the Archdiocese of Omaha who have had substantiated allegations of the abuse of minors or misconduct with minors, the Diocese of Lincoln takes this opportunity to provide an update on the actions taken to ensure that our institutions provide safe environments.
As announced on November 2, 2018, Bishop James Conley commissioned in October an independent task force of lay men and women to conduct an outside review of: (1) diocesan safe environment procedures; (2) all prior allegations of sexual misconduct or abuse of minors or adults made against clergy and other diocesan personnel; and (3) the handling of those allegations by the Diocese. This task force operates independent of diocesan staff. After the task force completes its review, the task force will provide the Bishop guidance regarding appropriate actions and specific reforms to ensure the Diocese is using best practices for safe environments within its institutions and promote healing.
The Diocese has fully cooperated with the Nebraska Attorney General’s state-wide investigation of all three Catholic dioceses in Nebraska and will continue to do so. The Diocese values the efforts of law enforcement in holding those that have committed crimes accountable.
It would be premature to publish any information regarding clergy and diocesan personnel while the independent task force is in the midst of its review. The Diocese encourages all victims of abuse to report their abuse to the Attorney General, local law enforcement or the Nebraska Department of Health & Human Services Adult & Child Abuse & Neglect Hotline at 1-800-652-1999.