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Sep 24 2013

The Catholics are still pulling this stunt

The lesson is never learned. MPR is running a local story on a St Paul parish which was afflicted with another of those perambulating pedophile priests. Curtis Wehmeyer was a known sexual predator to the Catholic church, and they sent him to St Paul and didn’t tell any of the locals.

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.

Why would anyone want their child to become a priest?

The St Paul/Minneapolis archdiocese had a “delegate for a safe environment” who actually wrote a letter concluding that he would “recommend against any disclosure in his workplace” — apparently, “safe environment” means safe for priests, because they did a remarkably good job covering for a nasty man who was exploiting the children of his parish. The coverup has been unambiguously documented in a memo posted at the link.

Thomas Doyle, a Dominican priest who was one of the earliest national whistleblowers on clergy sex abuse in the 1980s, said the memo shows that parents cannot trust the archdiocese to protect their children.

“Celibate clergy who aren’t trained in psychology are in no position to make that kind of a judgment call over someone like Wehmeyer,” he said.

Yet they all assume that their training in theology, or perhaps it is their imaginary direct line to a god, gives them the expertise to be counselors, psychologists, and therapists. It does not. These people are quacks and frauds who let a child molester have access to children for a decade — and even now they’re unapologetic about it.

28 comments

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  1. 1
    Pteryxx

    Warning… the linked story is very detailed, and awful. It’s a whole pattern of ongoing coverups, denials, and discountings at multiple points.

    Kudos to Haselberger for at least trying to get Wehmeyer removed, and to everyone who reported complaints. Unfortunately it took a lot of them (and at least that many victims…) before the stonewalling finally cracked.

    .
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    —- TW for child on child abuse —-
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    The Archdiocese of St. Paul and Minneapolis said in a statement that it immediately reported the allegations of sexual abuse by Wehmeyer to police. However, the St. Paul Police Department investigative file indicates that the archdiocese did not talk to police for several days. It also never told police about Wehmeyer’s past sexual behavior.

    The horrific secret began to unravel on May 31, 2012, according to the police report, when two young girls in the same family told their mother that one of their brothers might have sexually abused them. The mother didn’t understand how the boy could’ve learned about sex already. She asked him if he’d been watching pornography.

    Yes, the boy said. Wehmeyer showed it to him.

  2. 2
    raven

    Why would anyone want their child to become a priest?

    Child abuse?

    A very low IQ?

    Demonic possession?

  3. 3
    Alverant

    All those who are NOT surprised, raise their hand.
    *raises hand and flipping the bird to the RCC*

  4. 4
    vaiyt

    Still dreaming with the day when this racket gets dissolved once and for all.

  5. 5
    Brother Yam

    When can we start using RICO laws to stop this shit? Really, this behavior hasn’t stopped and will not without external force. Where’s that crusading Prosecutor when you need one?

  6. 6
    cervantes

    I’m coming to the conclusion that the Catholic Church is, in essence, an elaborate front organization for the purpose of giving child rapists opportunities and protection. That is actually its mission. Everything else is just a smokescreen.

  7. 7
    screechymonkey

    Earlier this week, a priest was arrested in Pennsylvania with a “pantsless” 15-year-old boy. Turns out that this priest has been reassigned 15 times and had three leaves of absence since 1988. Link.

  8. 8
    Stella

    Why would anyone want their child to become a priest?

    Within the Catholic Church a priest is a person of great value; a child is not. This idea is central to the rapes and molestations and to the cover-ups.

    This is why the first and second responses from John Paul II showed no concern for the victims. This is why the church hierarchy does not and will not get it.

    Stella

  9. 9
    David Marjanović
    “Celibate clergy who aren’t trained in psychology are in no position to make that kind of a judgment call over someone like Wehmeyer,” he said.

    But they’ve been doing it for 2000 years. They’ve been doing it long since before there was such a thing as psychology. They’ve been doing it for so long…

    They’ve been wrong all this time, and they find it very hard to admit that. Finding yourself be wrong is something that theological training doesn’t prepare you for at all.

    Turns out that this priest has been reassigned 15 times and had three leaves of absence since 1988. Link.

    Fifteen times!?! I understand being clueless and giving him a second chance to go forth and sin no more. A fifteenth chance!?!?!

    Yeah, I seriously wonder about comment 6 now.

    Unfortunately, however, the link redirects to http://www.blogspot.com/ncr/2013/09/priest-busted-with-pantless-teenage-boy.html, which doesn’t exist (error 404).

  10. 10
    David Marjanović

    A sixteenth chance. I cannot brain today, I have teh dumb.

  11. 11
    congenital cynic

    How does anyone trust a Catholic Priest these days? They are all tainted. What a pathetic and disgusting organization.

  12. 12
    Pteryxx

    Turns out that this priest has been reassigned 15 times and had three leaves of absence since 1988. Link.

    This article has a list of the priest’s assignments over the last 25 years:

    http://www.timesleader.com/news/local/848582/

    Paulish, whose address was listed as 450 Third St., Blakely, has been serving as an assistant pastor at Prince of Peace Parish in Old Forge, but in past years he was assigned to posts in Exeter, Hazleton, Wilkes-Barre and Bear Creek, according to Diocese of Scranton records.

  13. 13
    Pteryxx

    *note – that’s the Pennsylvania priest whose posts are listed in the article in my #12, not the Minnesota priest in the OP.

  14. 14
    congenital cynic

    @cervantes #6
    It’s already captured in a video

  15. 15
    Esteleth, [an error occurred while processing this directive]

    Mmpth. They’re citing a memo written in 2001, arguing that he shouldn’t have to disclose cruising or hitting on a man in a bookstore – and that news of his “sexual identity” (implied: gay) wouldn’t be news.

    I’m…hesitant on this. While the rest of the evidence is indeed damning and I’m not defending this creep or anyone else in the church, I’m hesitant to say that someone displaying a pattern of seeking same-sex adults for sex is a warning sign for pedophilia. I mean, yes. It’s a sign of poor boundary control. I’m also noting that the man he hit on in a bookstore is described as “young.” But I’m nonetheless annoyed by the seeming “gay = pedophile” bit.

  16. 16
    HappiestSadist, Repellent Little Martyr

    I know the Canadian military did it as well for some time. Someone I trust (and another person who was there at the time) told me about being assaulted for years by a sports coach on the base where she grew up. Later found out his file when he arrived said that he was not to have any access to kids. So they put him in charge of recreation. If you wanted to sign out so much as a bat and ball, you had to ask him, and he coached teams as well. Eventually, he was relocated, and the one person who tried to stop him was told she made it up by MPs.

  17. 17
    LykeX

    Why would anyone want their child to become a priest?

    I would assume it’s so you can go “…my son, the priest…” and have all the other Catholic parents ooh and aah appreciatively.

  18. 18
    anuran

    Two points:
    1)
    @2 Raven’s shortsightedness notwithstanding it was and in some places still is a good choice for someone with a high IQ but no wealth or family connections.

    People ask what value there is in being a priest. In the West, less than there used to be. But in days past there was quite a bit. Sure, you couldn’t get married or be in business for yourself. But it was a chance for education, influence and social position in a world where those were much harder to come by. Your own kids wouldn’t benefit, but your nieces and nephews and siblings would. And even though class still meant a lot there was a chance to rise on your own merits. This is still the case in parts of South and Central America, Africa and the Philippines. Even sixty years ago it was true in Ireland, Italy and New York City.

    2) Covering for baby-rapers in the Church? That’s not just a Catholic thing. It’s part of other authoritarian organizations which do not like scrutiny by outsiders. The world of ultra-Orthodox Charedi Judaism is at least as bad as Holy Mother Church. They just have a more effective Wall of Silence. And until recently they had cooperative DAs like Charlie Hynes who helped cover up the crimes in return for bloc votes at election time. It happened for decades at Penn State. The cover-up went all the way to the University President’s office. It was only because of a series of courageous survivors and fortunate circumstances that we ever heard about it.Just last week a Protestant “Youth Pastor” who had violated two underage boys got off with no jail time for trying to “rape the gay” out of the poor children.

  19. 19
    freemage

    Esteleth:

    Actually, this is one of the big things that needs to be highlighted.

    This man is not a pedophile. He doesn’t have a medical condition that distorts his sexuality to go after prepubescent children.

    Rather, he’s a predator. Specifically, he preys on young men who are sexually mature, but still emotionally and psychologically immature enough to be manipulated. He does this specifically because he seeks to hide his sexual orientation from his superiors. When he approached the legal-age young men in the bookstore, it was seriously creepy, but not illegal. To an extent, the same for cruising the truck stop (he may have been violating other laws pertaining to conduct, but simply looking for gay sex is not inherently illegal, nor should it be).

    When these actions drew attention and reprimands from his superiors (but not public exposure), he redirected his activities to younger men, boys who would still be in awe of a priest, and vulnerable to being manipulated and coerced.

    He was placed in a bad situation, and then made a reprehensible and vile decision about how to handle it. Rather than walk away from the cushy job of being a priest (so that he could simply be a free gay man), he opted to prey on innocent victims. This is the truth that hides behind those MRAs and others who insist that ‘ephebephilia’ is somehow less evil than pedophilia. In fact, it’s worse; it’s a choice, a decision to manipulate and control. The pedophile can at least legitimately say he had no choice about his attraction.

  20. 20
    Esteleth, [an error occurred while processing this directive]

    I disagree, freemage. It is entirely possible that he’s a pedophile and a predator. Granted, being a pedophile requires predatory behavior, but it’s entirely possible for someone to engage in predatory behavior towards adults and have inclinations towards children.

  21. 21
    screechymonkey

    Esteleth @15, I agree with you. The first part of that article comes a little too close to equating gay and pedophile. As you say, there’s plenty of actual red flags that come up later in the article.

  22. 22
    HappiestSadist, Repellent Little Martyr

    Vey true, Esteleth. It’s definitely possible to be both, and he seems to be.

  23. 23
    freemage

    I’m gonna withdraw the claim that he wasn’t a pedophile. From the timeline in the article from the OP:

    ” Wehmeyer claims that he is not sexually interested in prepubescent boys; rather he is attracted to teenagers and older boys because they are maturing and becoming muscular. Many of the pornographic images and video found in possession of Wehmeyer belie that claim.”

    Court records: Ramsey County

    So there’s evidence that he is, in fact, also attracted to prepubescents.

  24. 24
    =8)-DX

    Granted, being a pedophile requires predatory behavior,

    I’m not sure I agree with that. There are pedophiles who are not child-molesters, who seek hormone/drug treatment and psychiatric help to prevent themselves ever harming a child. Having these urges it must be very difficult to lead a sexless life (or a family life, in contact with children). In an ideal society such people would be identified (or would self-identify), would seek medical help and people in their environment would try to make it possible for them to continue with their lives without harming children.

  25. 25
    anuran

    Being a pedophile does not require predatory behavior. It requires desires which are unacceptable in decent society – sexual attraction to children. But not everyone who has attractions acts on them. And many who have them realize it is aberrant and wrong to want to have sex with minors. The predator wouldn’t care or would only be worried about consequences.

  26. 26
    =8)-DX

    Yes anuran – the predator has moved past a point where whatever they do, there is no “coming clean”.
    Despite it looking like another nature-over-nurture socialist propaganda piece, I really think that the best reaction to child-abuse is to identify people with these tendencies and offer them alternatives – an environment of full transparency and disclosure, would help these people to live without hurting others, and would be the best way for society to protect our children. If it would be possible for me to know reliably, who among my family or relatives has these tendencies, I could protect my daughter from harm. As it is, I don’t think anyone of her uncles is a pedophile, but if they were I would have no way of knowing, they would have no way of distancing themselves.

  27. 27
    =8)-DX

    *uncles – I’m from an all-boy family. The aunts-in-law also don’t seem dangerous ..

  28. 28
    Karen Locke

    My head accepts that these horrible priestly behaviors exist, and probably have existed for a LOOOOOONG time. But I was raised Catholic, and my gut still churns with the notion that Father X, someone I admired and looked up to, could do such a thing. And I’m a Humanist now, with absolutely no allegiance to that evil Church. (I do want to make clear that rank-and-file Catholics are seldom evil people, just misled. But their leaders…)

    (The biggest scandal in my home church, when I was a young teenager, was that Father Y quit the priesthood and got married. The middle-aged and older women of the church, in particular, were aghast. I was rooting for him. That was my first clue that Catholicism and I would part ways.)

    But my point is that I understand Catholic culture, and people with deeply rooted ties to the church (often going back generations) find it extraordinarily difficult to up and leave. Even if Father Z on the parish to the east, and Father W on the parish to the west are in trouble for pedophilia, it could never happen in Our Parish. This kind of cognitive dissonance is easy.

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