Priest Imprisoned in Nebraska Named in Wheeling List of Accused Priests, SNAP Pushes Nebraska Church Officials for Action

Newly-released records show that a Catholic priest was imprisoned for abusing a Nebraska child, but he has never been “outed” before, as best we can tell. Fr. Paul J. Schwarten spent 18 months in jail for “inappropriate touching of a minor,” according to the Diocese of Wheeling, WV. The disclosure was made last week when Archbishop William Lori released a list of clergy who have been credibly accused of sexual abuse of minors as it pertains to the Charter for the Protection of Children and Young People. 

Given that this disclosure shows abuse of at least one child in Nebraska ,we hope Nebraska’s bishops will now follow Archbishop Lori’s lead and post their own lists of clergy who have been credibly accused of sexual abuse of minors as it pertains to the Charter for the Protection of Children and Young People.

We also hope anyone who may have suffered or seen sexual abuse by a member of the Catholic Church, or suspected sexual abuse by a member of the Church, will end their silence and report what they know, saw or suspect to law enforcement officials. We also hope that Catholic officials in both Nebraska and West Virginia will aggressively seek out other victims, witnesses, whistle blowers – using pulpit announcements, church bulletins and diocesan websites – of Fr. Schwarten and other current or former church employees, no matter where they are from or whether they are alive or deceased.

Bishops across the US repeatedly pledge to be ‘transparent’ in clergy sex abuse and cover up cases. Here is a chance for several of them to do so.

CONTACT: Zach Hiner, Executive Director (zhiner@snapnetwork.org, 517-974-9009)

(SNAP, the Survivors Network, has been providing support for victims of sexual abuse in institutional settings for 30 years. We have more than 25,000 survivors and supporters in our network. Our website is SNAPnetwork.org)


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