2013 September

Sep 26, 2013: Father Robert L. Brennan arrested on sexual abuse charges in Philadelphia

Father Robert L. Brennan was ordained in 1964 in the Archdiocese of Philadelphia and appointed pastor of St. Ignatius in Yardley, PA in 1988 by Archbishop Anthony Bevilacqua. Since then, the Archdiocese has learned of inappropriate behavior by Brennan, with more than 20 boys from four different parishes. Brennan remained in ministry despite these reports and Father Brennan remained pastor of Resurrection parish until June 2004. Brennan’s name was contained in the 1994 memo from Fr. William Lynn to the Asst. Vicar for Administration in the Archdiocese of Philadelphia and listed under “All…

Sep 26, 2013: Philadelphia priest arrested on sex-abuse charges

A Catholic priest whose alleged sexual abuse of teen and preteen boys figured prominently in last year’s trial of a Philadelphia church official was arrested Thursday on sex-abuse charges. The arrest of the Rev. Robert Brennan, 75 – confirmed by a source close to the case – is to be announced at a news conference this morning by District Attorney Seth Williams. Though Brennan was not charged as a result of the 2011 county grand jury report on clergy sex-abuse of children in the Archdiocese of Philadelphia, the source said Brennan has been accused by a man, now in his 20s, of sexually molesti…

Sep 24, 2013: In Denying Role in Clergy Sex Abuse Cover-Up, Former Pope Benedict Continues to Prevent Healing

It appears that former Pope Benedict has come out of retirement – donned another hat, as it were – as a revisionist historian. In his first published comments since resigning as pope in February, Benedict has denied that he tried to cover up the sexual abuse of children by priests. The denial grabs headlines because it comes from Benedict, but it’s really just another instance of the church hierarchy clumsily and cynically attempting to protect itself while callously hurting survivors. Benedict’s denial is part of a letter he wrote to an Italian author who wrote a book about problems in …

Sep 24, 2013: News release: Former Pope Benedict Denies Sexual Abuse Cover-up

There is an expression that states, “When you blame others, you give up the power to change.” Former Pope Benedict’s statement issued today, denying the cover-up of child sexual abuse in the Catholic Church, is both alarming and disturbing and yet another crystal-clear reflection of the Vatican, its power structure and the clerical culture that is still present today. Unfortunately, the Vatican’s cycle of blaming others and refusing to change continue…

Sep 23, 2013: Story of Archdiocese Of St. Paul and Minneapolis’ Wehmeyer Cover-up Shockingly Familiar

Today’s Minnesota Public Radio (MPR) story about the Archdiocese of St. Paul and Minneapolis’ failure to protect its parishioners from one of its predator priests, Fr. Curtis Wehmeyer, needs to be read by everyone. The headline – “Archdiocese knew of priest’s sexual misbehavior, yet kept him in ministry” – itself tells the story. From there, the details of Archdiocesan self-preservation and negligence are infuriating. In 2012, Wehmeyer was convicted of criminal sexual conduct and possessing child pornography in connection with Wehmeyer’s sexual abuse of two boys, ages 12 and 14, in a camper …

Sep 23, 2013: Archdiocese knew of priest’s sexual misbehavior, yet kept him in ministry

Curtis Wehmeyer kept his white 2006 camper parked outside Blessed Sacrament Church in St. Paul where he served for six years, three of them as pastor. With the shades drawn, Wehmeyer could avoid the obligations of priestly life. He got drunk, smoked pot and looked at child pornography. He also lured to the camper two boys whose mother worked at the parish, plied them with alcohol, turned on pornography and told them to touch themselves. Several times, he touched one of the boys, according to police records.The family trusted “Father Curt.” As a priest, he had special powers. He could anoint…

Sep 20, 2013: Police: Pennsylvania priest caught with pantless 15-year-old on college campus

(CNN) — A Catholic priest in Pennsylvania has been charged with molesting a teenage boy after police said he was found in a car on a college campus with a 15-year-old who was wearing no pants, according to a police criminal complaint filed Friday in Lackawanna County. The Rev. W. Jeffrey Paulish was charged with one felony count of involuntary deviate sexual intercourse and one felony count of unlawful contact with a minor after Dunmore police say they found him and the boy on Thursday in a car on the Worthington Scranton campus of Penn State University, according to the complaint. Paulish,…

Sep 19, 2013: Duluth youth coach convicted of sexual assault

DULUTH, Minn.- A former Duluth youth basketball coach has been convicted of sexually assaulting two preteen sisters. A jury in St. Louis County found Wendell Greene guilty of having sexual contact with the girls, ages 8 and 10 at the time of the assaults. The 37-year-old former Marine and Minnesota Air National Guard member was convicted of three of four counts of criminal sexual conduct Wednesday. The Duluth News Tribune says Greene coached for a variety of basketball programs, including middle school girls in Duluth and Hermantown. In a separate case Greene has been charged with having s…

Sep 18, 2013: ABC27: Pa. bills would lift statute in child sex abuse cases

HARRISBURG, Pa. (WHTM) – Two Pennsylvania lawmakers plan to unveil legislation that would temporarily lift the statute of limitations in child sexual abuse cases. Sen. Rob Teplitz (D-Dauphin) will introduce Senate Bill 1103 while Rep. Mark Rozzi (D-Berks) will introduce companion legislation, House Bill 238. Both measures would establish a two-year window during which the civil statute of limitations would be suspended to allow past victims of child sex abuse to access the justice system and expose guilty perpetrators, according to Rozzi. “It is not right that sexual predators are permitte…

Sep 16, 2013: Minnesota women take Catholic diocese to court over abuse

ST. PAUL — Two women who say a Catholic priest abused them as girls in Willmar said Monday that they are suing to prevent others from living through what they have endured most of their lives. “I just felt so dirty all of those years,” Lori Stoltz said as she and Kim Schmit went public with allegations that the Rev. David Roney sexually abused them in the late 1960s and early 1970s when he was a priest at St. Mary’s Catholic Church in Willmar. “It was the church that was hiding him,” said Jan Hazen, Schmit’s mother. “It is a seed that grows and grows…” Schmit said of the problems abuse c…