Statement Regarding Questions Related to Wehmeyer Case
By Jim Accurso
Roman Catholic Archdiocese of St. Paul
January 30, 2014
In response to questions seeking clarity regarding the Weymeyer case, we affirm the finding of law enforcement that we complied with the requirements of mandated reporting. We have continuously made ourselves available to law enforcement to address any outstanding questions they may have on the matter and we know, based on the body of facts of the case, that the findings announced yesterday by civil authorities are accurate.
With respect to the timeline associated with our reporting in June 2012, the earliest that any representative of the archdiocese became aware of the specific allegations of sexual abuse of a minor by Wehmeyer was on the morning of June 19, 2012. However, that information was provided to a priest of the archdiocese in the context of a pastoral relationship, which is considered privileged communication under Minnesota law. The archdiocese sought the waiver of the privilege so that we could report the matter to the police. The privilege was waived by the mother of the victim, the only person who could waive the privilege, on the afternoon of June 20. This then allowed the archdiocese to make a formal report to police the same afternoon regarding the allegations shared within the pastoral relationship. Undeniably, the report was made immediately thereafter.
We have provided a detailed timeline to law enforcement with clear supporting documentation and stand ready to provide any additional information they may need.
With respect to the decree document that states the archdiocese received a complaint regarding Wehmeyer on June 18, the following information is important to know: first, the decree was written by the former Chancellor for Canonical Affairs and provided to Archbishop John Nienstedt to sign, and so reflects her perception of the timeline; second, the date reference is inaccurate, based on all of the detailed and substantial information and documentation we have provided to the police; and third, the decree, which is a canonical document, was filed with other documents submitted to the Holy See and not included in the priest file.