I drive past the Basilica of St. Mary at the western edge of downtown Minneapolis going to and from work every day. I often wonder how an organization with such beautiful buildings have representatives who spew forth such hatred and bigotry and protect priests that cause so much suffering.
On the one hand, I recall the priests I’ve met over the years who were wonderful men really trying to help people. Really trying to make a positive impact on the world.
Then I see Bill Donohue bloviating on Fox News representing Catholics everywhere. Or I read Archbishop John Nienstadt spewing out his homophobic bile upon Minnesota.
So it seemed a breathe of fresh air when the new Pope said The Church was too fixated on homosexuality, abortion and contraception.
Maybe it’s time that Nienstadt and et al cut back on the bigotry and hatred and address the rot:
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 the sick and baptize the young. Maybe, the mother hoped, he could inspire one of her sons to become a priest.
That hope died last summer when one of the boys told his aunt what happened in the camper. The mother went to another priest, and then to the Archdiocese of St. Paul and Minneapolis. Soon after, police arrested Wehmeyer, who pleaded guilty to sexually abusing the boys, ages 12 and 14, and possessing child pornography. A judge sentenced the priest to five years in prison.
The Church knew about this criminal but refused to do anything.