Saturday, September 22, 2012

"Whose side are you on?"

Entrusting your kids to men like Fr. Wehmeyer.

A commenter asked "Whose side are you on?" after I had posted about another priest who molested a boy he invited for a sleep over at the rectory.  I warned parents not to trust their kid alone with a priest, teacher, coach - anyone - not for sleepovers, not for camping trips, not for anything - unless there are trusted adults along who isn't buddies with the other guy - and even then I'd be wary.  I told parents not to give their kids away.

Then some one left a comment asking whose side am I on?  Really?  You had to ask?

Fr. Wehmeyer, a local priest arrested and charged with sexual abuse invited kids into his camper/trailer - parked in the Church parking lot.  He also took them camping. 

Parents - wake up.  I do not know the familial status of the two boys this guy corrupted, but there had to be some sort of vulnerability there.  I have to wonder, was the mother a single mother?  If there is a dad in the picture, was he off to war or something?  What was the entry point for this priest?  Or was it just because he is a priest that he was trusted so?  Bear with me - I'm only trying to figure it out.

As for whose side am I on?  The victim's side, of course.  That said - there are no 'sides' as far as being a Catholic or not.  I should ask the questioner the same question.  Does he or she think that a priest is above the law? 

When I was molested the first time, it happened in the man's garage.  Another man enticed me into his artist's studio-shed.  Molesters often have hideaways.  Fr. WeHmeyer had his camper.  From the Minneapolis Star Tribune:
During the summer of 2010, the Rev. Curtis Wehmeyer would bring two young brothers to his camper trailer, parked in the lot of the St. Paul church where he presided.

Inside, he showed the boys, then 12 and 14, pornographic movies and provided alcohol and marijuana as he allegedly molested one and exposed himself to the other, authorities said this week. After he was arrested in June in the rectory at the Church of the Blessed Sacrament, Wehmeyer saw the boys' mother and said, "[your son] doesn't lie. I intend to plead guilty and spare your family the embarrassment," according to charges filed Thursday in Ramsey County District Court.

Wehmeyer, 47, who was removed as the Roman Catholic church's pastor in June, faces three counts of criminal sexual conduct.

On Friday, Ramsey County Attorney John Choi was asked whether his office was reviewing other possible cases involving Wehmeyer. Choi replied, "Stay tuned." Also Friday, the Archdiocese of St. Paul and Minneapolis released a statement saying it "deeply regrets the pain caused by clergy misconduct or by others within the Church, and is offering its support and assistance to all concerned." - Finish reading here.

Art: Geoff Grabelsky Big Bad Wolf

Yeah, so Anonymous commenter, whose side do you think I'm on?  And whose side are you on?

Parents - protect your kids.  Be parents to them.  Teach them, guide them protect and nurture them.  Kids need a mom and a dad.  Yet single mothers, you especially must watch out for the men in your kid's lives, from boyfriends to priests to coaches to teachers, and on and on.

Vocation directors, seminary rectors and bishops - maybe follow the rules as far as admitting homosexuals to ordination. 

That's all.


  1. The real red flag here for a parent is the fact that this priest would even put himself in a precarious position of suspicion - supposing, of course, that the trips were innocent.

    When I was teaching RE, the teachers, all of whom were lay people, were not allowed to even ride in a car one on one with a minor. I also had a window cut into a classroom door in the downstairs of the Church so the room was visible when the door was closed. This was as much for our protection as the protection of the minors.

    1. That makes so much sense. You are correct in that it affords the adult added protection as well.


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