Thursday, February 17, 2011

I don't know what to say!



I know this priest!
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Please pray for Chris Wenthe.  Story here.

31 comments:

  1. I'm sorry. I read that earlier.

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  2. I just heard it on the 10 o'clock news - I'm totally blown away - totally shocked. I'm so angry. So angry. So angry.

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  3. Not a pretty story coming from my old parish of 17 years.

    It really gets so tiresome...

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  5. Anonymous11:25 PM

    deep breath and let's say what we're all thinking, "at least it was..."

    prayers for those involved.

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  7. Prayers for him.

    And for all of you who know him.

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  8. Do your this priest personally Terry?

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  9. The issue of clergy and sexual abuse is one thing. What the Archdiocese does when the acts are reported is the greater sin.

    In Louisville a priest was conficted of sexual abuse in the 1960's. The abuse was brought forward he was tried and convicted in the mid-2000's and given probation. Last year a church employee brought to the pastor's attention that she was aware the man was living at the rectory and interacting with children!

    She was fired. The pastor went so far as to take their positions with the school bingo away when she filed suit.

    As one parishner said to the Archdiocese, keep the wolf away from the flock!

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  10. Anonymous9:25 AM

    I am from the Archdiocese of St. Paul and Mpls. I feel totally sucker punched by this one. I am at a loss...

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  11. We need real men to be priests. Men who understand that moral courage means fighting temptation.

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  12. Anonymous9:47 AM

    KSJ- you are right. However, I think those of us who are from this Archdiocese are at a loss precisely because Fr. Wenthe was known to be a priest with such courage. He was known to be a wonderful, faithful priest.

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  13. Anonymous10:19 AM

    I think there is a difference between having moral courage to fight temptation and having predatory behavior. Having only read the article, it sounds like this wasn't merely a man not fighting sexual temptation, rather, a man who has/had a predatory nature. I am wondering if the archdiocese thought it was the former and was not aware that it was predatory abuse and that is why they felt it okay to make him a pastor?? Did they just think it was an "inappropriate relationship?"

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  15. Also - my apologies for the initial bad language in this post. I edited down to what you see now.

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  16. You're entitled to use naughty words when it's appropriate; betrayal of this magnitude warrants it.

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  17. Anonymous9:08 PM

    How long, o Lord, how long? When will this ever end?

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  18. Terry, you are on dangerous territory. There are things you obviously do not know about him and to publicly tout that he is a "holy man" shows the ignorance of Catholics who want to keep their heads buried in the sand. Going to adoration does not automatically cause someone to be "holy". How can he go to adoration one moment and have sex in the sacristy another moment. How dare you defend him Terry. How dare you! Falling is ONCE not re-peatedly. There is more.... you need to stop singing his praises. It is NEVER EVER EVER EVER the victim's fault. He was in a position of authority and took advantage of a vulnerable woman. "Consensual" is a bunch of b.s. When one person has power over another, the consensual part of sex ceases to exist. A priest is always a priest. It is so sick and wrong for him to say that they were friends and that he wasn't acting as a priest. Well he certainly wasn't ACTING as a priest should! But the priesthood is one's very life. You can't take off your priest hat and put on your boyfriend hat and have sex with the woman whose confession you heard.

    He ADMITTED it happened Terry. These aren't allegations. They are true. Do NOT spit in this poor woman's face by defending this bastard of a priest. He has desecrated the priesthood.

    Shame on you for belittling it!!!!! Imagine what that victim would think if she read the b.s. on here!!!!! She would feel so betrayed by the members of the Body of Christ who are supposed to reach out to her, pick her up and carry her through the healing process.

    I would never expect this from you Terry. I love you a lot, but this is completely ridiculous and wrong and the wording needs to change. There is a woman out there who was converting to our amazing Catholic faith and a priest who new better---used her. How will that effect her view of the Catholic Faith? How will that effect her view of Jesus and God the Father? She didn't even get the chance to enter into the time of innocent love for the Church and Jesus. She was robbed of that by a man driven my his male organs rather than the spirit of God. There is no excuse for this. NONE.

    If there's one, there's more and you and I both know it.

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  19. Anonymous8:02 AM

    I agree with gb.

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  20. I also agree with gb...this is not a good man, let alone priest. I have also had my trust betrayed by someone I thought was the holiest of priests, a spiritual director to Mother Teresa!, and considered a good man. I will pray...

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  21. Thanks GB. My apologies. I wish you would call me or email me - my active email is: tj.nelson@hotmail.com
    I stopped Facebook and lost contact with you. I'm sorry.

    I was going to write about how easy it is for me to slip into denial these days, and how incredibly naive I can be. Not sure if I can do it yet.

    You really nailed it - thanks again.

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  22. Austringer10:37 AM

    Aren't there desk jobs available at the chancery for priests who have these problems? Why was this guy assigned to a parish, when the Archdiocese knew of his behavior?

    The lawyers are no doubt salivating at this one...

    This is so depressing....I knew Father Wenthe only slightly, but have friends who knew him -- or thought they knew him -- quite well. My former pastor was quite contemptuous of him -- did he and other priests know all of this?

    By the way, the story in the paper went into far, far more graphic detail than is typical for such stories. The press LOVES to beat up the Catholic Church whenever possible -- why do we have to provide them with such ammunition?

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  23. Hi Austringer - how's it going? Miss you. I didn't know Fr. did not like Chris. I'm glad I never got to close to your old pastor.

    The story was indeed too graphic.

    As for the other - they used to give desk jobs to offenders like this. There is supposedly at least one priest who became a dad working at one right now.

    Shit happens.

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  24. Austringer11:36 AM

    Hi Terry,

    All is well here....we're missing the beauty of the liturgy that we had at our former parish, but it could be worse. It's still the Mass...

    Father was contemptous of most other priests, so I don't know if his contempt of Fr. Wenthe was general, or based on knowledge of Fr. Wenthe's past.

    I wish I had never gotten close to my former pastor! I learned far more than I needed to, and in retrospect I don't think it's at all prudent for a pastor to be so open and frank in his assessemtns of others. It's like a hidden, secret life: this is what I say from the pulpit, but at lunch I'll tell you what I think about so-and-so's foibles and faults. But -- and this reminds me of your most recent post -- there I sat, smiling away while my pastor and his mother held court and denigrated other priests and parishioners. Did I say anything? NO. Did I ever say, "Father, you ought not to talk like that", or stand up for the people who were being criticized? NO. I sat there, just happy to be in his "inner circle" (as he once called it), one of the privilged few. I disgust myself....and I see my role more clearly now that I'm no longer at that parish.

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  25. i am so sorry to hear that your priest friend is involved in a scandal.

    I wish so much that priests would PLEASE follow the old protocols of never ever ever being alone with a woman (and these days, this should go for men too); always buddy up with another priest to go everwhere. And ONLY DO spiritual direction in the church with a confessional screen between you and the penitent. This would protect any potential victimization, as well as protect the priest from any false accusations.

    Everyone poopoos this advice off as impractical or whatever, but that's exactly the same response we get from the world when we speak out that abstinence is the safest and only effective method of birth control. It is true. It works. The only way to stop any more scandals is to employ this method immediately.

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  26. Austringer12:10 PM

    Georgette,

    Unfortunately, most parishes are staffed with women. Our priests are often working alone with women much of the time. Do unhealthy relationships develop from this? They can, as I saw in my former parish. But how does one protect against that? The priest needs to discuss a matter with his Religious Ed. director -- does he have to call in another staff member? It's just not practical.

    Holiness is the only sure answer, for priests and the rest of us...

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  27. Hey Terry,

    I know my words were strong, but I knew you could take it. :)

    We, as faithful Catholics, who love Jesus above all things need to be His hands, heart and voice for his little ones who get wounded in His Name.

    This woman now finds herself at odds with the Catholic Church when she should actually be in the very heart of the Church enveloped by the love of its members. She should know of our support and be consoled by our outrage at the injustice she experienced. If our priests and hierarchy aren't going to imitate the anger of Jesus in the Temple, we need to be the ones to set the example. How Jesus must weep for her and feel just and holy anger toward wenthe.

    Every Catholic should be enraged. I couldn't be happier when I see this stuff exposed by the media. Why? Because it is cleansing the Church. It is purifying the Church. It is shedding light where there is darkness. All this stuff needs to come to the light. The media is not the evil player here. People in the Church are the evil players in these cases: members who cover it up and/or make excuses. Anyone who defends the sins of any member of our faith is a pawn in Satan's hands.

    I loved it when Pope Ben said that the evil in these cases are not from the outside, but from within. He hit the bullseye with that statement.

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  28. I can already imagine so many Catholics saying, "We need to pray and fast for our priests." Yes, we do! BUT how many Catholics are saying, "We need to pray and fast for this woman"? That's what I would encourage everyone here to do. Pray and fast for this woman who has a long, ugly road ahead of her -- in her personal road to healing, but also in working with a legal system that is ruthless to victims and often times "re-victimizes" them. Let us go before the Lord and beg Him for mercy upon her wounded soul.

    "What you do for the least of these, you do unto Me."

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  29. GB - Like I said - you are right on the mark. So email me. I need to ask you something.

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  30. Austringer,
    Well, traditional order priests manage to do it (i.e. Priestly Fraternity of St Peter), and I imagine that if bishops would get serious and really prioritize this, then the secular priests could, too. They could work out the particulars as priests are doubled-up, for instance, some parishes might have to go to missionary status, as is the case in several parts of the country.

    Holiness is always to be strived for, and has always been strived for in the old days, but reality is reality and people knew how to deal with it better back then. We have so much more temptation in our oversexualized world than ever before, how can we possibly think that even the holy can't or won't fall?

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