Victims challenge Omaha Catholic officials

Victims challenge Omaha Catholic officials

They say 4 publicly accused abusers aren’t on church list

SNAP: “More details about ALL accused are needed”

“Now, archbishop should aggressively do outreach,” group says

They want him to warn police, parents in other states & countries

WHAT

Holding signs and childhood photos at a sidewalk news conference, a support group for clergy sex abuse victims will disclose names of four publicly accused child molesting priests who spent time in the Omaha area but were left off the church’s recently-released list of clerics with "substantiated claims" of sexually abusing minors.

They’ll also urge Omaha Catholic officials to

--add the four alleged predators to the church’s list, and

--do "more aggressive outreach” to others who may have been hurt.

 They also want the archdiocese to give more details about

-- two clerics accused of “sexual misconduct” who each face more than one allegation but have not apparently been ousted from ministry.

WHEN

Wednesday, February 13 at 1:45 p.m

WHERE

On the sidewalk outside the Omaha Catholic headquarters (chancery office), 100 N. 62nd Street (402-558-3100) in Omaha

WHO

Two-three members of a nation-wide support group called SNAP, the Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests, including a St. Louis man who was the organization’s long time executive director, and is the brother of an accused priest on the Diocese of Jefferson City's list of "credibly accused" clerics

WHY

In December of last year, Omaha Archbishop George Lucas released the names of 38 clergy members with “substantiated claims" of sexual abusing minors.” But the list lacks crucial details and omits four names, SNAP says.

1) SNAP has found four priests who mostly worked elsewhere but who were also in the Omaha archdiocese and have been publicly accused of abuse. Their names and details about them will be provided at the news conference. They have been ‘outed’ elsewhere but have attracted little or no secular media attention in Nebraska. One was convicted, one admitted guilt, one had dozens of victims. Two of them are deceased and all of them were sued.

2) SNAP is also urging Archbishop Lucas to warn others and do outreach in two ways: 

-- write police, prosecutors and his church colleagues in US cities where men on Omaha’s list also worked. This includes Cleveland (Henry), Wisconsin (Kenney and Robinson), Albany and Phoenix (Finch), and

-- do the same in other countries, warning them about the publicly accused clerics who have been sent abroad. This includes India (Kulangara), Canada (Petrusic), Australia (Ho), Jamaica (Gaughan), Guatamala (Jordan), Chile, Ecuador, and Peru (McMahon).

“Parents, parishioners, police and prosecutors absolutely need and deserve to know about these men,” SNAP says. “But if kids are to be protected, it’s even more crucial that the public in these other countries know about them.”

3) Finally, SNAP is asking Church officials to provide more details about allegations against two of the accused on the list:  Fr. Francis Nigli, who was accused in 2013 of “additional misconduct with a young adult" and Fr. Andrew Syring, who was accused “multiple times” in 2013 and 2014 of “misconduct."

Despite apparently more than one allegation against them, neither was prohibited from ministry, according to the archdiocesan website.

Catholics and citizens deserve to know what ‘misconduct’ means, SNAP says, especially “given the church’s long history of using sanitizing language to minimize awful crimes.”

Church officials should also explain why neither man apparently experienced any consequences for their actions, the group believes

CONTACT: David Clohessy, Volunteer St. Louis SNAP Leader (davidgclohessy@gmail.com , 314-566-9790) Zach Hiner, SNAP 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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