Catholic officials in Nebraska have not turned over all sex abuse records demanded two months ago by sweeping subpoenas, although the vast majority of Catholic institutions in the state have complied, the Nebraska Attorney General’s Office said in court Thursday.
The records not turned over, according to church attorneys, include psychiatric evaluations of perpetrators, medical records of priests and victims and confidential settlement agreements. The Archdiocese of Omaha says it is prohibited by law from releasing those records, and will only turn them over if a court orders them to do so.
“Those are the only things we have not turned over,” said Deacon Tim McNeil, chancellor of the Omaha Archdiocese.
The Attorney General’s Office issued the subpoenas in late February to Nebraska’s three Catholic dioceses and nearly 400 churches, schools and other institutions across the state.
That followed Attorney General Doug Peterson’s request that the dioceses voluntarily turn over 40 years of records of sex abuse by priests or other employees.
The dioceses of Omaha and Lincoln filed suit in Lancaster District Court in March to quash the subpoenas. The dioceses said they wanted to comply and were trying to do so, but asked the court to quash the subpoenas, saying they carried an impossible-to-meet deadline of three days, were overly broad and could potentially cost millions of dollars to fulfill.
Read more at Omaha World Herald