Second Priest Removed from Archdiocese of Omaha in One Week
For the second time in a week, an Omaha priest has been accused of sexual misdeeds. Now, Nebraska Catholic officials should go further and actively seek out anyone who may have additional information concerning the allegations against these two clerics.
Yesterday, Archbishop George Lucas "permanently removed Fr. Donald Cleary from public ministry after the retired priest refused to contest an allegation that he sexually abused a minor in the mid-1980s."
Last week, the Archdiocese of Omaha removed Father Francis Nigli after he had been accused of sexually assaulting a 21-year-old man in May. This was the second allegation against the priest.
Suspension or removal of suspected wrongdoers is only the first step. Now, Archbishop Lucas and his staff must work hard to determine if there are additional victims, witnesses and whistleblowers, and urge those they find to contact law enforcement. The Archbishop should use parish bulletins, pulpit announcements and church websites to beg anyone with information to come forward.
We urge anyone with knowledge of or suspicions about these clerics to call independent, unbiased professionals for help, like therapists, police, or prosecutors, and reach out to groups like ours for peer support.
CONTACT: Zach Hiner, Executive Director (firstname.lastname@example.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)
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.