The archdiocese reports it has submitted documents to the Attorney General of accusations dating back to 1956.
According to the archdiocese, the documents included information on 24 archdiocesan priests with substantiated “allegations of the abuse of minors or misconduct with minors.” The archdiocese says it has submitted documentation on 38 clergy accused of abuse reaching back to 1956, but reported to the archdiocese between 1978 to this year.
“We acknowledge this report with sorrow, and know that it will cause a great deal of pain,” Archbishop George Lucas said in a written statement released on the Archdiocese of Omaha website. “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.”
Click here for a video released by the archdiocese.
Lucas says there is no one now serving in ministry – 132 active priests and 215 active deacons in the Archdiocese of Omaha – who has been accused of sexually assaulting a youth.
Attorney General Doug Peterson requested the three Nebraska Catholic dioceses to submit files of church personnel accused of criminal sexual misconduct.
The archdiocese reports 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 archdiocese pledges to update the list if need be.
“When we see these numbers that go back many decades, we can see that there was a pattern of failure – both on the part of those who misused their office to abuse minors and vulnerable adults, and on the part of those who refused to listen to victims in a compassionate, just and forthright way,” Lucas said.
Archbishop Lucas said that in recent years, the archdiocese has followed standards
“I see this as a moment of grace,” Lucas said. “The acknowledgement of this painful part of our past allows us to better experience the healing and peace that Jesus desires for the church.”