Parishioners of St. Wenceslaus, one of the largest Catholic parishes in Nebraska, demanded changes in how the church handles sex abuse allegations during a meeting called to address the removal of the Rev. Francis Nigli.
Archbishop George Lucas apologized to parishioners Thursday night, saying he made a mistake by placing Nigli in St. Wenceslaus after the priest had been accused of sexually assaulting an 18-year-old man in O’Neill in 2013. Nigli is now 58. No criminal charges have been filed.
The meeting called by Lucas drew a packed audience.
Those in attendance wanted to know why they weren’t told about Nigli’s past before he was assigned to the parish in 2015. A similar charge in May led to his dismissal in June.
The Omaha World-Herald reported details of the offense.
Lucas says the assignment of Nigli to St. Wenceslaus had been carefully considered, but failed.
Lucas said he is working to establish a clear code of conduct for priests. He also is considering changes to the Archdiocesan Review Board, which has jurisdiction over sexual abuse claims.