Omaha Archbishop George Lucas Friday shut down the Association of the Hermit Intercessors of the Lamb, a contemplative, intercessory and mixed public association of hermits.
In a news release, the Omaha Archdiocese says Lucas shut down the association after a majority of lay directors of Intercessors of the Lamb impeded him from helping them accomplish necessary reforms. Those reforms were identified by a recent canonical visitation.
Lucas says the majority of the board refused his invitations to meet and even took steps to undermine his pastoral oversight. Lucas provided a bus Friday to transport 48 former members from the Ponca Hills campus to temporary housing in the Archdiocese. He is also providing food and clothing to the 48 former members.
Deacon Timothy McNeil said the group's leadership showed little regard for the members, who were in need of food and clothes. He also said the group had hundreds of thousands of dollars in unpaid bills.
The board of directors issued this statement late Friday afternoon:
"The corporation and its board of directors are extremely saddened by the recent events involving the Archdiocese of Omaha and the Association of Hermit Intercessors. The corporation has provided for the hermits for decades and has continued to do so after the Archdiocese removed Mother Nadine from her home of 30 years on the Bellwether campus two weeks ago. The Archdiocese unilaterally removed the rest of the hermits today. The board disagrees with many of the actions, statements and findings of the Archdiocese. The board will meet very soon to discuss how best to continue the corporation's mission."