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List of priests linked to abuse, policies to end it released

Posted: 4:58 PM, Apr 02, 2019
Updated: 2019-04-03 15:44:46-04
child abuse

OMAHA, Neb. (KMTV) — The Catholic Diocese of Lincoln released the names of priests linked to sexual abuse and "three new actions in is continuing effort to address childhood sexual abuse."

They actions it is taking are:

· The adoption of comprehensive new safe environment policies;

· A list of diocesan priests against whom substantiated allegations of childhood sexual abuse have been reported; and

· An investigation into sexual misconduct by deceased priest Monsignor Leonard Kalin.

The diocese says the policies:

"Are intended to instill watchfulness and attention to the issue of sexual abuse, grooming behaviors, and keeping our parish and school communities safe environments for children. They make clear that the diocese will enforce a zero-tolerance policy when it comes to child sexual abuse by its clergy and all allegations of sexual abuse of minors will be reported to law enforcement."

The Catholic Diocese of Lincoln released the following lists of priests "against whom substantiated allegations of childhood sexual abuse have been reported:"

A.) Deceased priests against whom substantiated allegations of childhood sexual abuse have been reported.

Clarence Crowley
Ordination Date: 1937

Assignments:

St. Joseph (Beatrice); St. Cecilia (Hastings); Sacred Heart (Hebron); Holy Family (Lincoln); Cathedral of the Risen Christ (Lincoln); St. Michael (Cheney)

Conduct: Sexual abuse of minor(s).
Status: Died in 1986

Jerome Murray
Ordination Date: 1949

Assignments:

St. Joseph (Beatrice); St. Elizabeth’s Hospital; St. Michael (Fairbury); St. Joseph (Paul);Veterans Hospital; Pius X High School (Lincoln); St. Mary (Davey); St. John (Cambridge); St. Joseph (York); St. Joseph (Paul); St. Clara (Peru); St. Bernard (Julian); Lourdes High School (Nebraska City); St. Patrick (Imperial); St. John (Wauneta); St. James (Curtis); St. Joseph (Farnam)

Conduct: Sexual abuse of minor(s).
Status: Retired in 1999; faculties revoked and public ministry restricted in 2002-2005; died in 2016

Aloysius Piorkowski (not incardinated in Lincoln)
Ordination Date: 1935

Assignments:

St. Mary (Gdynia, Poland); Military Batory Vessel of the Gdynia - America Lines; Hospital (Park Ridge, Illinois); St. Pancratius (Chicago, Illinois); St. Wenceslaus (Wilber); St. James (Cortland); Lincoln Air Force Base; Boys Town (Omaha); Diocese of Rockford

Conduct: Sexual abuse of minor(s).
Status: Left the Diocese of Lincoln in 1959; died in 1978

B.) Living priests (or status unknown) against whom substantiated allegations of childhood sexual abuse have been reported.

James Benton
Ordination Date: 1973

Assignments:

Sacred Heart (Lincoln); St. Michael (Hastings); St. Mary (Dawson); St. Ann (Shubert); Sacred Heart High School (Falls City); St. Joseph (Paul); St. Clara (Peru); Lourdes High School (Nebraska City); Diocesan Director of Scouting; Immaculate Conception (Rulo); St. Mary (Arago); Sacred Heart High School (Falls City); Sts. Peter and Paul Elementary School (Falls City); Diocesan Mission (Barquisimeto, Venezuela); St. Vincent de Paul (Seward); St. Gregory the Great Seminary (Seward); St. John the Apostle (Lincoln); Our Lady of Good Counsel Retreat House; St. Mary (Wallace); Resurrection (Elsie); St. Joseph (Harvard); St. John the Baptist (Minden); Holy Family (Heartwell)

Conduct: Sexual abuse of minor(s).
Status: Placed on leave and subsequently retired in 2017; faculties revoked and public ministry restricted as of 2018

John Copenhaver
Ordination Date: 1988

Assignments:

St. John (Lincoln); Pius X High School (Lincoln); St. Michael (Fairbury); St. Mary (Alexandria); Sacred Heart (Shelby); Aquinas High School (David City); Saint Joseph (Superior); Sacred Heart (Nelson); St. Wenceslaus (Wahoo); St. Cecilia (Hastings); St. Patrick (McCook), Sacred Heart (McCook); St. Ann (Hayes Center); St. Catherine (Indianola); Nursing Homes & Prison Ministry (Lincoln)

Conduct: Sexual abuse of minor(s).
Status: Retired in 2012; faculties revoked and public ministry restricted as of 2012

Richard Deonise
Ordination Date: 1983

Assignments:

St. Wenceslaus (Wahoo); Blessed Sacrament (Lincoln); St. Patrick (Lincoln); Pius X High School (Lincoln); St. Michael (Hastings); St. Joseph (Benkelman); St. Joseph (Stratton); St. John (Prague); Saints Cyril & Methodius (Plasi); Neumann High School (Wahoo); St. Wenceslaus (Wilber); St. Joseph (Tobias)

Conduct: Sexual abuse of minor(s).
Status: Excommunicated in 1994

Robert Hrdlicka
Ordination Date: 1977

Assignments:

Cathedral of the Risen Christ (Lincoln), St. Mary (David City); St. Anthony (Steinauer); Sacred Heart (Burchard); St. Andrew’s School (Tecumseh); Chaplain in the U.S. Navy

Conduct: Sexual abuse of minor(s).
Status: Removed from public ministry and criminally charged in 1993; laicized in 2005; current status unknown

Paul Margand
Ordination Date: 1985

Assignments:

St. Teresa (Lincoln); Pius X High School (Lincoln); Holy Spirit (Plattsmouth)

Conduct: Sexual abuse of minor(s).
Status: Removed from public ministry and criminally charged in 1987; laicized in 2004; current status unknown

Sean Redmond
Ordination Date: 1990

Assignments:

St. Mary (Lincoln); Pius X High School (Lincoln); Cathedral of the Risen Christ (Lincoln); St. Wenceslaus (Wahoo); Bishop Neumann High School (Wahoo); St. Joseph (Nebraska City, Paul); St. Bernard (Julian); Lourdes Catholic Schools (Nebraska City); St. Joseph (Benkelman); St. Joseph (Stratton)

Conduct: Sexual abuse of minor(s).
Status: Removed from public ministry in 2009; laicized in 2010; current status unknown

C.) Investigations - Priests on administrative leave pending disposition or under investigation for misconduct involving minors or young adults.*

Thomas Dunavan
Ordination Date: 1998

Assignments:

St. Mary (Lincoln); Pius X High School (Lincoln); St. Thomas Aquinas (Lincoln);

St. Wenceslaus (Wahoo); Bishop Neumann Jr./Sr. High School; Immaculate Conception (Rulo); St. Mary (Arago); Sacred Heart School (Falls City); St. Andrew (Tecumseh); St. Mary (St. Mary); Saints Peter and Paul (Falls City); Sacred Heart School (Falls City)

Conduct: Alleged sexual misconduct/grooming
Status: Placed on administrative leave in 2019; disposition pending

Leonard Kalin
Ordination Date: 1956

Assignments:

St. Cecilia (Hastings); Blessed Sacrament (Lincoln); St. Mary (Davey); Neumann High School (Wahoo); Chaplain of the Lincoln Job Corps Center; Diocesan Director of Vocations; Student Parish of St. Thomas Aquinas (Lincoln); Newman Center (Lincoln)

Conduct: Alleged sexual misconduct/grooming
Status: Died in 2008; outside investigation into misconduct initiated March 2019

Charles Townsend
Ordination Date: 1991

Assignments:

St. Cecilia (Hastings); St. Joseph (Lincoln); Saints Peter and Paul (Falls City); St. Michael (Hastings); St. Cecilia Middle/High School (Hastings); St. Joseph (Lincoln); Pius X High School (Lincoln); St. James (Mead); Bishop Neumann Jr./Sr. High School (Wahoo); St. Wenceslaus School (Wahoo); St. Peter (Lincoln)

Conduct: Alleged misconduct/grooming, including procuring alcohol for a person under 21 years old
Status: Placed on administrative leave in 2018; pleaded no contest to criminal charges in March 2019; disposition pending

* This does not include other priests of the diocese on administrative leave. Each will remain on administrative leave until it is determined the they are suitable to return to ministry.

Definitions

Laicized: This means to be permanently removed from the clerical state by the authority of the Holy See. A priest can voluntarily petition for laicization or a bishop can petition to the Holy See against the will of the priest. A laicized priest does not retain any affiliation with the diocese.

Faculties revoked and public ministry restricted: A diocesan priest is typically granted many faculties, including administration of the Eucharist and Penance. While not removed from the clerical state - which can only be done with authority from the Holy See - the bishop may revoke a priests's faculties and preclude him from engaging in any ministry to the public. A priest who has had his faculties revoked and public ministry restricted may only celebrate Mass in private, and may not publicly represent himself as a priest.

Excommunicated: Is a formal act of censure under Canon law that a bishop may impose for grave delicts. Excommunication forbids a person from celebrating the sacraments (or from receiving the sacraments), and from exercising any ministry whatsoever. With respect to a priest, it formally suspends his right to serve as a pastor.

Victims of abuse are urged to contact the diocese by phone at 402-613-2488 or email at VictimAssistance@lincolndiocese.org

You can read the diocese's full Safe Environment Policies of the Diocese of Lincoln here: DIOCESE OF LINCOLN SAFE ENVIRONMENT POLICIES

THE LINCOLN POLICE DEPARTMENT HAS RELEASED THE FOLLOWING STATMENT IN REGARDS TO THE RELEASE BY THE DIOCESE OF LINCOLN

On April 2nd, 2019, the Catholic Diocese of Lincoln released the names of nine priests identified during their internal investigative process. These names had previously been received by the Lincoln Police Department through our cooperative efforts with the Lincoln Diocese, the Lancaster County Attorney, and the Nebraska Attorney General. We continue to investigate all criminal allegations involving diocesan staff. The Lincoln Police Department is committed to providing a voice to all victims in our community and strongly encourages anyone with information to contact LPD Investigator Cockle at 402.441.8980 or Sergeant Mark Unvert at 402.441.6967.