Nebraska Attorney General urges reporting of abuse by clergy
LINCOLN, Neb. (AP) — The Nebraska Attorney General’s Office and the Catholic Diocese of Lincoln are urging residents to report any allegations of abuse by clergy or others in authority.
Lincoln Bishop James Conley and the attorney general’s office said anyone who has experienced even an uncomfortable incident with a priest should report it to law enforcement or the diocese.
The move follows a Pennsylvania grand jury report released Tuesday accusing 300 priests of molesting more than 1,000 children. The grand jury also accused senior church officials of systematically covering up the complaints, according to the report.
The Lincoln Diocese recently announced it had investigated abuse allegations involving five priests, all of whom no longer work for the diocese. Two accused priests resigned, one was dismissed from his position, one retired and the fifth has been deceased for a decade.
Conley said the diocese is continuing to gather information on the allegations.
Conley published a column in the Lincoln Diocese’s Southern Nebraska Register newspaper Friday asking for forgiveness for not pursuing allegations more aggressively and transparently.
“I will not and we must not dismiss or rationalize any account of any person who comes forward with a concern, and we must fully investigate every report, even more strenuously than we have in the past,” Conley wrote.
The attorney general’s office suggests reporting allegations to its agency, the Nebraska Child Abuse Hotline or the Nebraska Crime Stoppers Tip Line.
“It is important that you speak up so perpetrators are brought to justice and other possible victims are protected from future harm,” the office said.