NE--Victims push Lincoln bishop to act on 3 accused clerics
For immediate release: Wednesday, July 29
Statement by David Clohessy of St. Louis, Director of SNAP, the Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests (314 566 9790, firstname.lastname@example.org)
A Catholic cleric who spent time in Nebraska is being publicly accused for the first time of molesting a child. Two other Catholic clerics, who also worked in Nebraska, are being accused as well.
We call on Lincoln Bishop James Conley to aggressively reach out to others who may have been hurt by the three predators. We strongly suspect that there are several Nebraska adults who were assaulted as kids by these clerics and who are still suffering in shame, silence and self-blame.
A Minnesota man filed a civil lawsuit yesterday charging that he was sexually assaulted by the three clerics - Brother Roman Lawrence Fleischhacker, Brother Gabriel Guerrero and Fr. Gerald Allen Funcheon from about 1979 to 1981 when he was 15 to 17 years old.
Fleischhacker is being named publicly as a predator for the first time. Funcheon and Guerrero have been publicly accused before. (Funcheon has admitted abusing “numerous children.”)
Fleischhacker joined the Crosiers religious order in Hastings in 1949. Funcheon worked in Hastings in 1959 and 1960. Guerrero worked in Hastings in 1957 and 1958.
Bishop Conley and his colleagues will duck and dodge, pointing out that these clerics belong to a religious order. That’s a distinction without a difference. Bishop Conley’s job is to protect and help every Catholic in his diocese, no matter what type of priest, nun, brother, bishop or seminarian they were assaulted by and no matter what type of Catholic institution signs the predator’s pay check.
Bishop Conley and his staff should use their vast resources – parish bulletins, church websites and pulpit announcements – to aggressively seek out and help anyone who may have been molested by any of these clerics.
Fleischhacker passed away in 2013. The other accused clerics are still alive. More information about these clerics (and photos of two of them) can be found at AndersonAdvocates.com and BishopAccountability.org
(SNAP, the Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests, is the world’s oldest and largest support group for clergy abuse victims. SNAP was founded in 1988 and has more than 20,000 members. Despite the word “priest” in our title, we have members who were molested by religious figures of all denominations, including nuns, rabbis, bishops, and Protestant ministers. Our website is SNAPnetwork.org)
50 State AG Call for Grand Jury
Any investigation must be:
- independent of and separate from the church
- must have subpoena powers and ability to compel testimony under oath
Anything short of these criteria is a sham and whitewash.
In addition, write letters to the editor, make phone calls to politicians as they can apply pressure to keep them responsive to our demand. We need to make efforts to ensure that they follow up on what the state is doing to investigate these crimes.
The Attorneys General of forty states have inquired about the grand jury process in Pennsylvania. Let's get statewide investigations going in fifty states.
Note to Letter Writers
Use your own words and style of writing. Cut and paste from the templates as you wish. Include your experiences, whether as a survivor or as a member of the community. And relate your letter to the state you were abused in or state now living in.