Criminal Charges Filed Against Minnesota Catholic Archdiocese Over Mishandling of Sex Abuse Claims


Twin Cities (Minnesota) Archbishop John Nienstedt (below) spent years arguing against LGBT rights. In 2007, he wrote that “those who actively encourage or promote homosexual acts… formally cooperate in a grave evil and, if they do so knowingly and willingly, are guilty of mortal sin.” He condemned Brokeback Mountain when it came out. And he spent $650,000 of the Church’s money trying to convince Minnesota voters to pass an amendment banning same-sex marriage — an amendment that ultimately failed.


Cover it up, Archbishop… cover it up

It’s hardly surprisingly, then, that Nienstedt was under investigation for having sex with other priests. More importantly, he retaliated against anyone who didn’t respond in kind or questioned what he was doing. He denies all of these allegations, of course.

But there was another aspect to the story that was even more disturbing: One of the men promoted by Nienstedt to become a pastor, Curtis Wehmeyer, ended up molesting kids while in that role. If Nienstedt and his colleagues knew about it and didn’t put a stop to it, they deserve to be punished.Wehmeyer, Curtis Carl

That’s why we’re seeing government officials come down on the Roman Catholic Archdiocese today:

Prosecutors in Minnesota filed criminal charges on Friday against the Roman Catholic Archdiocese of St. Paul and Minneapolis, accusing church leaders of mishandling repeated complaints of sexual abuse by a priest.

Though there have been several allegations of sexual abuse over the years by priests in the archdiocese of St. Paul and Minneapolis, Friday’s charges focus on the church’s handling of “numerous and repeated reports of troubling conduct” by Curtis Wehmeyer, who was dismissed as a priest in March.

Mr. Wehmeyer, 50, was sentenced in 2013 for criminal sexual conduct and possession of child pornography. He is in prison in Minnesota, and he has been charged with sex crimes in Wisconsin.

In a statement in March announcing Mr. Wehmeyer’s dismissal from the priesthood, Archbishop John C. Nienstedt expressed support for sex abuse victims.

“I am deeply saddened and have been profoundly affected by the stories I continue to hear from victims/survivors of clergy sexual abuse,” the archbishop said in March. “My focus, and the focus of the Archdiocese, is to do all we can to keep children safe while offering resources for help and healing.”

They’ve done a horrible job of it so far and their irresponsibility may finally be catching up to them.

For the sake of the victims, let’s hope justice prevails if the Church leaders are guilty of the allegations against them.
Complete Article HERE!

Same-sex marriage: Catholic bishop warns marriage equality could see children of gay couples become ‘next Stolen Generation’

By Natalie Whiting

A Catholic bishop has issued a warning about legalising same-sex marriage, saying children of gay couples will see themselves as another Stolen Generation because they have been denied a mother and a father.

South Australian Bishop of Port Pirie Greg O’Kelly is one of a number of clergy who have spoken out against same-sex marriage in response to recent moves to legalise it in Australia.

bishop Greg O'KellyBishop O’Kelly wrote to his parishioners saying that comparing same-sex and heterosexual relationships was like comparing apples and pears.

“The nature of a marriage between two same-sex people and the marriage between a man and a woman open to life … are two very different things,” he wrote.

“A pear is not an apple, no matter what you say, even if you start to redefine the term from its traditional one, it doesn’t alter the reality.”

Bishop O’Kelly’s letter said that children of homosexual couples would feel like a Stolen Generation.

“Can’t you imagine a situation that when there’s a falling-out between a child and a parent, as can happen, that’ll be one of the lines they use?” he wrote.

“You deliberately intervened so that I would not have a father present in my upbringing, or not have a mother present in my upbringing.

I don’t think that our children are in any way disadvantaged or struggling as a result of not having a father.

Amanda Pickering, homosexual parent of two

“And that was a deliberate intervention by you, it wasn’t an accident, it wasn’t illness or anything like that.”

Advocates for marriage equality like Rodney Croome from Australian Marriage Equality say the remarks are offensive.

“Many same-sex couples and their children will be deeply offended by the Catholic bishop’s drawing a link between their loving families and the Stolen Generation, such a traumatic episode in Australian history,” he said.

South Australian couple Jodie McRae and Amanda Pickering have been together for 13 years and have two children.

Ms Pickering said they would support the children if they wanted to meet their donor father in the future.

“I don’t think that our children are in any way disadvantaged or struggling as a result of not having a father,” she said.

We have to remind ourselves that the Marriage Act does not require marrying heterosexual partners to want to have children, or to be able to have children.

Rodney Croome, Australian Marriage Equality

“We have a very large extended family with grandfathers and uncles and cousins and a community at school that’s very supportive.

“I don’t think they’re missing out.”

Bishop O’Kelly told 891 ABC Adelaide procreation is a key part of marriage.

“There’s two elements to marriage: one is the love between a man and a woman, the other one is the procreative thing, the openness to birth and life,” he said.

But Mr Croome disagrees with that statement.

“We have to remind ourselves that the Marriage Act does not require marrying heterosexual partners to want to have children, or to be able to have children,” Mr Croome said.

“There is no legal link between marriage and children. But I understand that in many people’s mind there is a cultural link.

“Marriage can be good for children, because it provides them with a greater sense of security and stability in their lives.

“If that is the case, then why would we deny the children being raised by same-sex couples the opportunity to have married parents?”

Countries most similar to ours have marriage equality: Croome

Mr Croome has also spoken out against Bishop O’Kelly’s position that same-sex marriage is unique to the West and not an issue in Middle Eastern, Asian or African countries.

“The standards we need to judge ourselves by are the standards set in countries most similar to ours, and the countries in the world most similar to ours all have marriage equality,” he said.

New Zealand, Canada, the United States and Britain have all legalised same-sex marriage and Ireland was the most recent country to make the change.

“I don’t think we should be judging our human rights standards according to those set in the Middle East or parts of Asia where homosexuals not only aren’t allowed to marry, but are put to death,” Mr Croome said.

Ms McRae said she and her partner would like to get married at some point.

“I say that this is a society that’s moved far beyond the idea that the sanctity of marriage is some sort of Christian construct,” she said.

“Just as I pay taxes, I vote, I do all the things, abide by in terms of the law, I think I have the right as an individual to have that.”

The House of Representatives has voted to adjourn debate on Federal Opposition Leader Bill Shorten’s private members bill to legalise same-sex marriage.

Cardinal Pell’s response to victims “almost sociopathic,” says member of pope’s sexual-abuse commission.

By Grant Gallicho

During the May 31 broadcast of Australia’s 60 Minutes, a member of Pope Francis’s sexual-abuse commission described Cardinal George Pell’s treatment of victims as “almost sociopathic.” The 60 Minutes segment focused on Pell’s response to abuse allegations while he ministered in Australia, including testimony alleging that the cardinal tried to buy a victim’s silence, and that he was involved in the decision to move the nation’s most notorious abuser priest, Gerald Ridsdale, between parishes—claims the cardinal denies. Pell, former archbishop of Sydney, was criticized for appearing with Ridsdale at his first trial in 1993 (Ridsdale was eventually convicted of more than one hundred counts of assault). The cardinal has a “catalogue of denials…a catalogue of denigrating people, of acting with callousness,” according to Peter Saunders, selected by Francis to serve on the Pontifical Commission for the Protection of Minors. Saunders explained that he based his judgments on conversations with Australian victims. The cardinal’s position as prefect of the Secretariat for the Economy—the office created by Francis to oversee the Vatican’s finances—is “untenable,” Saunders said. “I would go as far to say,” he continued, “that I consider him to be quite a dangerous individual.”Cardinal Pell

Responses from Pell and from the Vatican spokesman came quickly. Before the program had even aired (after the network released promotional material), Pell issued statements calling Saunders’s comments “false” and “outrageous”—and suggested he might take legal action. (Saunders defended his remarks on June 1, saying they were “not slanderous.”)  While acknowledging “the important work Mr. Saunders has done as a survivor of abuse to assist victims, including the establishment of a victims survivors group in the United Kingdom,” the cardinal suggested that Saunders had overstepped his role as a member of the pope’s sexual-abuse commission. The statutes of that body “make it clear that the Commission’s role does not include commenting on individual cases,” according to Pell, “nor does the commission have the capacity to investigate individual cases.”

Fr. Federico Lombardi, spokesman for the Holy See, made the same point in his June 1 statement. But he went further, stating that Pell’s responses to the Australian government’s investigation of child abuse have “always” been careful and thorough. The cardinal’s recent statements about 60 Minutes “must be considered reliable and worthy of respect and attention,” according to Lombardi. No doubt the cardinal’s statements about his role in the scandal deserve both respect and attention, but have they always been reliable? An episode from the recent past suggests not.

In 1982, according to Anthony Jones, he was sexually assaulted by Fr. Terence Goodall twice in one day. Jones was twenty-eight at the time. He says that he complained to church authorities the next day, but that they failed to mention the accusation to Goodall. Two decades later, Jones wrote a letter to the Archdiocese of Sydney detailing the alleged assault. (He was suing for $3.5 million.) The archdiocese launched an internal investigation. And on February 14, 2003, Pell wrote to Jones to tell him two things: that the investigator could not substantiate the allegation, and that there were no other complaints against Goodall—neither of which was true. (In 2005, Goodall would plead guilty to indecent assault, under old statutes that outlawed homosexual sex.)

In fact, as reported by the Australian Broadcasting Corporation in 2008, the investigator’s report—which of course Pell read—did substantiate Jones’s allegation, along with another man’s accusation that Goodall had molested him when he was an altar boy. Pell wrote a letter to the other victim to inform him that his accusation had been substantiated—on the same day he wrote to Jones denying his claim. What’s more, documents obtained by ABC show church investigators were aware of several accusations against Goodall. Pell later admitted that his letter to Jones was “poorly put,” explaining that he had confused Jones’s allegation of assault with rape. “I was attempting to inform him that there was no other allegation of rape,” he said. But in another letter to Jones, also reported by ABC, Pell expanded on his reason for refusing to substantiate the allegation. “What cannot be determined by me, however, is whether it was a matter of sexual assault as you state, or homosexual behavior between two consenting adults as maintained by Fr. Goodall,” Pell wrote. “In the end it is a matter of your word against his.” Yet a police wiretap revealed that Goodall admitted to Jones that he never told the church investigator that their encounters were consensual. “I certainly did not say it was consensual, I don’t know where they got that from,” Goodall said.

“I acted to the best of my knowledge,” Pell told ABC when presented with news of the recording. “My judgment was vindicated when the prosecutors never alleged rape.” The cardinal acknowledged that he had met with Goodall to discuss the case. “I’m the superior of the priest,” he explained. “I’ve always got to be open to speak with the priest, especially if I’m telling him that it’s likely his time as a priest is over.” But he did not meet with Jones. He only sent him those two letters that misstated the findings of the investigation he had commissioned. “I don’t know who was lying,” Pell conceded, Goodall or Jones. “It’s very, very difficult to find out the truth in these situations.”
Complete Article HERE!