Today, Kevin O'Brien helpfully provides a reality check to Catholics (like the Catholic League's Bill Donohue) who are insisting that the diocese did everything possible to protect children from this predator:
Well, there were complaints in the Wehmeyer case, as anyone reading the MPR article will see, but Donohue plays fast and loose with the facts. This is his M.O.
But he has pointed out that we should say "exactly what should be done" in cases like this.
Well, that may be a hard question, but let me try to answer it.
In this specific case, here are the facts ...
- The molesting priest had a camper parked permanently on the lot of his parish
- Little boys were being invited into that camper alone with the priest
- The priest had been known to cruise gay hangouts looking for anonymous sex
- The priest had been hitting on teen-aged boys in public places such as bookstores
- Police had contacted the "Delegate for a Safe Environment" of the archdiocese about the priest, but the delegate had neglected to return their phone calls
- The archdiocese had a large file on this priest and his troubled sexual behavior
- The archdiocese knew that the mandated counseling the priest had undergone had been ineffective
- The "Delegate for a Safe Environment" called a mother in the parish and told her it was HER responsibility to make sure her pastor observed "safe boundaries" with her boys; it was her fault people were complaining about how this man behaved toward her boys in public
- The Chancellor of Canonical Affairs of the archdiocese insisted that this man not be made pastor of a parish because of his sexual acting out; the archbishop ignored this and apointed him pastor anyway
- A memo shows that the archdiocese deliberately decided to keep these issues hidden from parishioners and potential victims and their parentsSo, Bill Donohue, "exactly what should be done" in this case?
It is absolutely sickening that Donohue, and the Archdiocese itself, are claiming that because all of this priest's known "irregularities" involved his attempts to have sex with adult males they could not possibly have guessed that he would be a risk to younger boys. Any of his known "irregularities" would have been enough to put him on administrative leave and bar him from working in a parish--if he had been a lay Church employee or volunteer--by the Archdiocese' own Code of Conduct which all church employees and volunteers in the Archdiocese of Minneapolis/St. Paul are required to sign!
I hope that the laity of this archdiocese will make their unhappiness with this situation known. I'd be protesting at the chancery, at the very least. This is a clear double-standard, with lay people being held to one standard and ordained priests a totally different one. And it stinks to high Heaven.