SNAP Reacts as Nebraska Diocese Issues Update on Monsignor Kalin Case
Earlier this week Archbishop George Lucas, apostolic administrator of the Diocese of Lincoln, issued a self-serving explanation and letter regarding an accused Catholic abuser who was in a senior position of power for a number of years.
According to the statement, Monsignor Leonard Kalin is accused of making sexual advances towards college students and Catholic seminarians, using the University of Nebraska-Lincoln Newman Center as his platform. We cannot help but notice parallels in this situation to that of disgraced Cardinal Theodore McCarrick.
Among other things, we fear a man who would approach college students also would approach younger victims. It is hard to believe that Msgr. Kalin was discriminating in his attempts.
Lincoln is a diocese that has never fully complied with the Dallas Charter and has not consistently contributed to the updates for the USCCB’s John Jay Study. That study identified thousands of priests who abused tens of thousands of victims. The study ended before men like Msgr. Kalin could be include in its aggregated findings.
According to our research, the Diocese of Lincoln has about 100,000 parishioners. A diocese of that size likely has 30 - 50 abusive priests, brothers, nuns and lay employees based on SNAP's analytics. To us, this means that their released list of 12 abusers is woefully short.
The excuse making evident in Archbishop Lucas’ statement is indicative of a culture of denial within the diocese, a culture that only places children and vulnerable adults at risk. The only way policies can be improved is if the complete truth is told about the abusers and the system that enabled them. This truth is best uncovered by independent and secular professionals in law enforcement.
Strikingly, in Lincoln, according to Bishop-Accountability, 3 out of the 12 acknowledged abusers were convicted in criminal court, a full 25% of those named. Out of the 6,700 known Catholic perpetrators in the United States, less than 400 have been arrested and convicted of criminal offenses, a ratio of 1 in 17. So, the 1 in 4 at Lincoln means one of two things, neither good for families and their children.
The first possibility is that the high arrest rate means the criminality with Lincoln is exceedingly high. If that is the case, law enforcement should be investigating the diocese.
The second possibility is that Lincoln is under reporting the number of priests and employees who have abused. If under reporting is the case, as our analytics also suggests, the Nebraska Attorney General should get involved, using the subpoena power of its office to force the disclosure of all the secret files about all abuse in the diocese.
(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)