Omaha Archbishop Discusses Sex Abuse Controversy
Curtiss Announced Abuse Review Board
January 3, 2003

OMAHA, Neb. -- The archbishop of Nebraska's largest Roman Catholic diocese for the first time openly accepted questions on the controversy of sexual abuse in the church Friday.


Omaha Archbishop Elden Curtiss announced 11 members of an abuse allegation review board. Such review boards were made mandatory during a national conference of bishops in June.

The mandated came in a year when at least 300 of the 46,000 American priests have been removed because of allegations of molestation.

Curtiss said Catholic church leaders have learned there are, "sick people out there that you have to deal with."

In Nebraska, three Roman Catholic priests accused of such abuse were placed on administrative dismissal last summer. That decision by Curtiss baned Anthony Petrusic, Thomas Sellentin and John Starostka from publicly offering Mass.

Another priest, the Reverend Robert Allgaier, was sentenced to 2 years of probation and fined $300 for viewing child pornography over the Internet.

Review board members include a psychiatrist, police officer, physicians, psychologist, priest, counselor, attorney, social worker and the parent of a victim. They are: Dr. Kimberly Allen, Dr. Amanda Cervantes, Alan Harms, Dr. Michael Kelley, Gene Klein, Father Owen Korte, Dr. Stephen Lazoritz, Claire L'Archevesque, Craig McGarry, Steve Miller and Iva Mueller.


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