09-25-2013, 02:09 PM #1
MN - Report: archdiocese knew of priest's sexual misbehavior yet kept him in ministry
Archdiocese knew of priest's sexual misbehavior, yet kept him in ministry. (minnesota.publicradio.org)
Curtis Wehmeyer kept his white 2006 camper parked outside Blessed Sacrament Church in St. Paul where he served for six years, three of them as pastor.
With the shades drawn, Wehmeyer could avoid the obligations of priestly life. He got drunk, smoked pot and looked at child pornography. He also lured to the camper two boys whose mother worked at the parish, plied them with alcohol, turned on pornography and told them to touch themselves. Several times, he touched one of the boys, according to police records.
The family trusted "Father Curt." As a priest, he had special powers. He could anoint the sick and baptize the young. Maybe, the mother hoped, he could inspire one of her sons to become a priest.
That hope died last summer when one of the boys told his aunt what happened in the camper.
The message from the archdiocese was clear – this wouldn't be like the many horrific clergy sex abuse cases that rocked the Roman Catholic Church a decade ago. Times had changed. The safety of children mattered more than the career of a predator priest.
The reality was far different. This wasn't the first time Wehmeyer had been in trouble. Top archdiocese leaders knew of Wehmeyer's sexual compulsions for nearly a decade but kept him in ministry and failed to warn parishioners.
09-25-2013, 03:15 PM #2
The only thing I don't like about this - makes me very uneasy, really - is that this guy's solicitation of sex from adult men was seen as some sort of "warning sign", and as something the cop felt the need to report to the church. Adult homosexual sex might be forbidden by Catholic teaching, but is not forbidden by law. I really feel like the cop overstepped his job there. We can't have authorities reporting adults to their bosses for consensensual encounters with other adults. Then they are policing morality, and not law.
That said, I think the diocese did the right thing UP UNTIL the '09/'10 reports of odd behavior with children at the campground. THAT is when the police report should have been made, any shuffling or covering up stopped, and a suspension of duties happened. Prior to that, his treatment for sex addiction, and his orientation were not cause for report (either to the public, or authorities) or suspension (there is no bar to homosexual men being priests - they are, like heterosexual priests, required to be celibate, but orientation is not a disqualifier). But as soon as even a whiff of the child abuse arose, that is when it should have all been shut down.
I LOATHE what the church continues to do with the priest shuffling, covering up, etc. but at the same time, I do not want to see a witch hunt against gay priests, priests who slip and break their celibacy (hetero or homosexual), or suffer an addiction to alcohol or drugs or sex (that means treatment, not punishment, so long as their activities are otherwise legal). I have know several wonderful priests who are gay, and itis painful to hear or read about people saying that the abuse problem is due to gay men in the priesthood. That is wrong. We cannot look at homosexuality as some sort of "warning sign", as it seemed to me more than one person mentioned in this article seemed to think. If the priest, homo or hetero breaks his celibacy with an adult, then fine, discipline him, counsel him spiritually, whatever, but that should not be an indicator of whether one is a predator of children. Totally different things. We need to protect children better - but we cannot witch hunt.
Awful. My heart goes out to these kids and the family.“Peace is not the product of terror or fear. Peace is not the silence of cemeteries. Peace is not the silent result of violent repression. Peace is the generous, tranquil contribution of all to the good of all." -Abp Oscar Romero
09-25-2013, 10:33 PM #3Former Member
- Join Date
- Jun 2010
My guess is there was even more information about this priest that no one could prove yet, and this was just one situation where he happened to get caught.
The Catholic church's dealings with celibacy, homosexuality, and pedophelia, are shameful.
The Catholic church's dealings with pedophelia are criminal. This is just one of many examples of Minnesota Priests who were/are shuffled around and whispered about while they go about their merry was abusing children--knowing in all likelihood their superiors will look the other way.
Read Behind the Pine Curtain.
Last edited by Hejlena; 09-25-2013 at 10:35 PM. Reason: Eta Gardenlady--I can still taste the bitter in my post. That bitter is not directed at you.
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