Lincoln Bishop Reassigns Priests Accused Of Misconduct

LINCOLN, Neb. (AP) — The Lincoln Diocese has reassigned and placed restrictions on a pair of priests after an investigation into misconduct claims.

The reassigned priests are Scott Courtney, who faced allegations that he had sexual contact with a woman, and Thomas Dunavan, who was accused of sexual misconduct that dated back 20 years, The Lincoln Journal-Star reports.

Neither priest has been charged with a crime. But Courtney has been out of active ministry since September 2018, and Dunavan was placed on administrative leave in March 2019.

Bishop James Conley announced this month in a statement that Courtney was assigned to minister to prisons, nursing and retirement homes, and provide administrative assistance to the chancery, effective early next January, Courtney was last with the Sacred Heart parish in Roseland and the Assumption parish in Juniata.

Dunavan was assigned to provide administrative assistance to the chancery and help retired priests, effective Nov. 8.

Dunavan was ordained in 1998 and has spent his career in the Lincoln Diocese, serving at St. Mary’s and the Newman Center in Lincoln and later in Tecumseh, before moving to Falls City in 2015, where he was administrator at Sacred Heart Catholic School and pastor of Sts. Peter and Paul Church.