Diocese of Lincoln releases list of clergy members under investigation for abuse

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LINCOLN, Neb. – The Diocese of Lincoln released a list of all living and deceased clergy members who were convicted or are under investigation for misconduct, including nine that are believed to have abused minors.

That list can be found here.

The list includes three deceased clergy members who had "substantiated allegations of childhood sexual abuse", as well as six living priests who face the same allegations.

Three clergy members are currently under investigation.

Included on that list is Rev. Charles Townsend, who recently pleaded no contest to a charge of procuring alcohol to a minor.

Townsend is scheduled to be sentenced in May.

The Diocese of Lincoln also announced that an outside investigation against a deceased clergy member was launched in March following sexual misconduct allegations in August.

The outside investigation was prompted by sexual misconduct allegations against Monsignor Leonard Kalin.

Kalin died in 2008, after serving at multiple churches in Hastings, Lincoln, Davey, and Wahoo, as well as the Newman Center at the University of Nebraska at Lincoln.

The investigation start date is listed as March 2019.

According to Bishop James Conley, accusations against Kalin were made in August 2018, claiming he “engaged in sexual misconduct and emotional and physical boundary violations with young adults.”

The incidents took place while Kalin was serving as the Diocese’s vocations director and as pastor of the Newman Center at the University of Nebraska at Lincoln.

“We do not know what this investigation will yield, but the alleged conduct constitutes a serious breach of trust and power. Given Monsignor Kalin’s prominence within the diocese during his life, it is important for the diocese to understand the scope of his conduct and the impact that may have had on many here in Lincoln, including priests and lay leaders within the Church. If there are people that are silently hurting from his actions that we can help, we will,” Conley said in a statement.

In a statement in August, Conley said allegations against Kalin also included “excessive smoking, drinking, and gambling”.

The investigation will be led by an outside investigator, and anyone with information they wish to share concerning Kalin should call the diocese’s misconduct hotline at (844) 527-0596.

The Diocese also released new "safe environment policies" on Tuesday.

Those policies can be found here here.