Archdiocese to cooperate with attorney general request
September 5, 2018 (OMAHA, NE) – The Archdiocese of Omaha said it intends to cooperate with the state attorney general’s request to review its investigative records. The archdiocese is in communication with the attorney general’s office to further define the scope of his request.
“We welcome accountability in our community,” said Archbishop George J. Lucas. “The truth is good for everyone. I see this as a real moment of grace.”
Archbishop Lucas received Attorney General Doug Peterson’s request in the mail on Tuesday. Peterson is asking for records that go back to January 1, 1978.
The archdiocese has had published policies for the handling of reports of sexual abuse since 2003. It annually passes an audit by an independent auditing firm retained by the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops (USCCB) for compliance with the Charter of the Protection of Young People. The audit evaluated the archdiocese’s efforts to satisfy requirements relating to effective reporting and responses to allegations of sexual abuse; promoting healing and reconciliation with survivors and those harmed by clergy sexual abuse; ensuring that archdiocesan and religious priests, deacons, educators, volunteers and other personnel are properly screened through background evaluations; and the archdiocese’s efforts to conduct safe environment training for children and adults who work with children.
“We have worked collaboratively with our law enforcement officials,” Archbishop Lucas said. “We also welcome any suggested improvements that would be helpful in making our safe environment program more effective.”
After the approval of the Charter in 2002, the Archdiocese of Omaha created a child protection office in 2003. The archdiocese’s training curriculum developed by staff and area experts is currently being used in 41 U.S. dioceses.
Last year, archdiocesan parishes and schools report that over 30,000 children were trained in the various aspects of safe environments, personal safety and abuse prevention. In addition, over 14,000 archdiocesan clergy, employees and volunteers who work with children and parents also have received background checks and safe environment training and materials.
“We remain committed in the Archdiocese of Omaha to the protection of young people and vulnerable adults, to the prevention of abuse, to healing for past victims of abuse and to cooperate with civil authorities in these matters,” said Archbishop Lucas.
Anyone concerned about the actions of a member of the clergy or any church worker should contact law enforcement or the archdiocese’s Manager of Victim Outreach and Prevention at 402-827-3798.
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