The PJ Tatler

In Minnesota, Criminal Charges Against the Catholic Archdiocese for 'Pedophile' Priest

The ex-Father Curtis Wehmeyer is not a pedophile, of course, except in the most general sense of the term; he’s a male homosexual child molester, like almost all the priests in the ongoing scandal that has seriously damaged the Catholic Church in Europe and America. Here’s the latest:

Prosecutors in Minnesota brought criminal charges on Friday against the Roman Catholic Archdiocese of St. Paul and Minneapolis, accusing it of failing to protect children from a priest who pleaded guilty in 2012 to sexual abuse. Prosecutors found “a disturbing institutional and systemic pattern of behavior” over the course of decades at the highest level of leadership in the archdiocese, Ramsey County Attorney John Choi said.

The charges against the archdiocese, which filed for bankruptcy protection in January, are the latest development in the child sexual abuse scandal involving the Catholic Church in many U.S. cities. 

The archdiocese is charged with three misdemeanor counts of contributing to the need for protection or services for the minors who were the victims of the sexual abuse and three misdemeanor counts of contributing to the minors’ status as juvenile petty offenders or delinquency. The archdiocese also faces a related civil complaint.

The charges and civil complaint seek to hold the archdiocese accountable for the victims’ needs for protective services and their delinquency resulting from the conduct, Choi said.

The charges stem from the activities of Wehmeyer, about whom you can read all you can stomach here and here.

The priest, Curtis Wehmeyer, pleaded guilty in November 2012 to three felony counts of criminal sexual conduct with two minors and 17 counts of possession of child pornography. He is serving a five-year prison sentence. He also is awaiting trial on charges bought by Wisconsin prosecutors in November 2014 accusing him of sexual assaulting a third minor. The minors told investigators Wehmeyer gave them beer and marijuana or cigarettes, showed them pornographic images and touched their genitals in a camper parked on parish grounds or while camping, according to the complaint.

According to the Star-Tribune account, the Church is likely to face only a series of fines — but that the precedent is ominous:

The archdiocese is charged with six gross misdemeanors in connection with the abuse, each carrying a maximum fine of $3,000. “This is precedent setting,” said Marci Hamilton, a law professor at Yeshiva University in New York and a national expert on clergy abuse litigation. “It sends a message that these are not cases against individual priests and individual victims, it’s systemic.”

The investigation corroborated much of what has previously been reported, namely that the archdiocese officials were aware of Wehmeyer’s problematic behavior yet ordained him and allowed him to assume greater duties in church ministry. When Wehmeyer was admitted to the seminary in 1997, “seminary officials were aware Wehmeyer had a history of abusing alcohol and marijuana, experimented with other drugs, was promiscuous with men and women, was on medication for low-level depression and was in therapy,” the 44-page complaint says.

In 2004, Wehmeyer approached two younger-looking men at a Barnes and Noble in Roseville, seeking to have sex. He was evaluated at a treatment center for troubled priests, and was later put on an archdiocese monitoring program.

You can blame this entire mess on the dwindling number of legitimate vocations to the priesthood in the wake of the monumentally stupid Vatican II “risorgiamento” and the concomitant need to open the priesthood to gay male predators who could fake religious conviction in order to get closer to the boys of the parish. No one should be surprised– but political correctness means the gay-priest crisis is the scandal that dare not speak its name.