Mn-Snap Urges Three Dioceses to Work with Police
By Bob Schwiderski
September 27, 2012
We are glad that Fr. Curtis Carl Wehmeyer has been removed from ministry following allegations of molesting one boy and exposing himself to another. However, the Archdiocese of St. Paul & Minneapolis, can and should do a lot more in this case.
According to reports, Wehmeyer's actions and the abuses with three counts of criminal sexual conduct, are alleged to have taken place in 2009 and 2010. The fact they happened so recently means it is likely that there could be more criminal charges in this matter. If the Archdiocese of St. Paul and Minneapolis wants to prove to its flock that it truly cares about protecting kids and preventing further abuse, church officials should work diligently to help law enforcement uncover the facts of this matter.
Archbishop John C. Nienstedt should use all of the resources available to him to reach out to others who may have information on Fr. Wehmeyer's alleged crimes. Nienstedt should visit each parish where Wehmeyer worked and actively seek out victims or witnesses at each location.
He should also request the Bishops of the Diocese of Duluth and the Diocese of Winona actively seek out victims or witnesses at each State Park camping trip location and other suggested 'Abuse Camper – Will Travel' camping locations.
With reported Wehmeyer statements as: "Wehmeyer stated he cannot get in trouble because he is a Catholic priest and way too many people depend on him" and the report he " told one of his victims not to tell anyone or the "parish would fall apart," The three diocesan leaders should also recognize many, many people are also depending on them and they also do not want their parishes to fall apart.
We hope that the three Minnesota dioceses will do more than the bare minimum in this case and will do their part to reach out to the harmed and to protect kids.
SNAP, the Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests, is the world's oldest and largest support group for clergy abuse victims. We've been around for 23 years and have more than 12,000 members. Despite the word "priest" in our title, we have members who were molested by religious figures of all denominations, including nuns, rabbis, bishops, and Protestant ministers. Our national website is SNAPnetwork.org. The local Minnesota website is MNSNAP.wordpress.com.