To Archbishop Nienstedt

Survivors Network of Those Abused by Priests

September 30, 2013

Dear Archbishop Nienstedt:

You and your top staff have acted recklessly, callously, deceptively and secretively in the case of Fr. Curtis Wehmeyer. These hurtful acts cannot be “un-done.” But you can – and should – act now to prevent more irresponsible and harmful behavior by your staff in the future, by

—disciplining at least three church employees over how they handled Fr. Wehmeyer and

—holding an open meeting to answer questions from parishioners and the public about this case.

In your heart of hearts, Archbishop, we believe you know that Fr. Kevin McDonough, Deacon John Vomastek and Greta Sawyer have all acted in ways that protect Fr. Wehmeyer, themselves and you, ways that were and are at best in appropriate and at worst very damaging to innocent children, wounded victims and trusting parishioners.

Fr. McDonough knew of Fr. Wehmeyer’s sexual misdeeds in 2004. Yet in 2011, he urged that the allegations against Fr. Wehmeyer be kept secret (despite years of bishops’ pledges to be “open” in clergy sex cases). And in 2012, when police knew about the accusations, before they arrived, McDonough – along with Deacon John Vomastek – took one of Fr. Wehmeyer’s computers.

We believe this could amount to tampering with evidence. But regardless of whether either man is criminally charged, you know it’s wrong for church staff to take evidence in a criminal case.

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