Sunday, February 03, 2013

Mass Chat: Priest sentenced.

Fr. Wehmeyer did it...

News of local priest abuser, Fr. Curtis Wehmeyer's sentencing was in the paper yesterday. I didn't want to say anything about it, but since the story broke, people have alerted me - I suppose because I know who he is and I've written about him before.

What totally pisses me off about these stories is that people seem to think I rejoice in these news stories. That I indulge in a sort of schadenfreude over the take down, arrest, and prosecution of priests for sexual abuse. Are you nuts? You really think that?  This crap opens wounds, painful memories, as well as rekindles shame for what happened to me. I can't help but recall how I as a victim was regarded as the bad kid - the dirty kid - because I allowed it.  That said, how can I rejoice when Christ is mocked? How can I rejoice when the priesthood is discredited, when Cardinals and Bishops are portrayed as nothing better than pimps for problem priests?

Priests, and/or former religious priests, of all people, should know better than to try and make excuses or attempt to cover up the problem of homosexual men who are admitted to Holy Orders.  They are participnts in the same negative culture of denial and cover-up Bishops are accused of.  Frequently gay men get themselves ordained in a monastery, religious order or congregation, only to get themselves laicized and pursue incardination into a diocese of their convenience, one in need of priests. It's the oldest trick in the book. Likewise, even when someone like Wehmeyer is NOT recommended as a good candidate for seminary, the candidate is accepted by a sympathetic rector or vocation director.  You guys know this as well as I do.

I don't take delight in people like Monsignor Meth or Fr. Wehmeyer or any other pervert getting caught.  I point this crap out not to delight over the fall of a priest or even a Cardinal, but to point out there were enablers, as well as the lack of discretion in accepting and admitting to ordination homosexual men - who are easily deluded into believing they are called to priesthood.  Fr. Wehmeyer was appointed a pastor in a suburban parish - an inexperienced administrator - a man with sexual and substance abuse issues, assigned to a parish without any supervision or accountability. No assistant, no immediate pastor. The guy was on his own.  The parishioners left to the mercy of a priest who probably should never have been ordained.

This keeps happening.  

Yet there are defenders of the faith, who claim pointing out these matters  is a sin against charity, a sin of detraction and slander, or at the very least, schadenfreude.  Perhaps they protest too much.  Perhaps I do as well.


  1. Terry, I see nothing wrong with discussing what went wrong and I think you do so in a respectable manner.

    BTW - several people can read the same thing and walk away with different understandings. When I read the post discussing "schadenfreude" my thoughts turned to sources that spend most of their ink or air time to pointing the finger at others. I don't know if it was intended to encompass those who discuss reasonably the kinds of sins that cry out to heaven and the enablers.

    With the way that numbers look, a whole lot more parishes are going to have to close to get to two priests per parish. I look at two parishes near my house run by a 77 year old priest. Neither one was on the closure list of a few years ago, but they were clustered, then merged, and now one is closing. Truth be told, when I recently went to a Mass there, it was good to see it so full of people - something not seen in decades. Despite the pain half will go through, it may be what gets us back to having multiple priests in a parish and more vibrant communities rather than dwindling ones.

  2. So many urban parishes are clustered, literally; we had a set of 4 parishes, in a neighborhood overpopulated with churches, and one appealed, first to the archdiocese, then to the Vatican, to not be merged and to become the named parish. They were upset for many reasons, one of which was that they had no debt, another being that people thought the parish should remain intact for their grandchildren, who don't actually live in the parish but visit occasionally.

    19 of 21 parish mergers appealed and only one won at the archdiocese level; the guys in the chancery are from urban areas so merged two parishes that didn't make sense to the one becoming part of the other parish; the town was founded by a different ethnic group than that of the other town so asked instead to be merged with a parish in the town where they had family and did their shopping.

    Once the parishes are merged, it's up to the joint parish to determine what buildings will remain open, which is why so often parishes remain open after mergers.

  3. This crime was only two years ago...but Bill Donahue said we are now the safest place for children because defending the Church means erring hyperbolically on her behalf whenever you can...saying the ultra "faithful" thing whenever you can...flatter us whenever you can. According to wiki though...Donohue made $399,000 a year in 2009 saying things like "we are now the safest place for children". Ultra flattery of the Church brings in the money, Terry, from hundreds of thousands who might watch you with a Torquemada eye. Don't think Donohue's salary and benefits of brain surgeon level are invisible to others of the Church flattery school. The seal team six residential compound is the safest place for children...though.


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