The newspaper jpegs above prove that the slightly built Donald Wuerl
Category Archives: Diocese of Pittsburgh
Reflecting on the human cost of abuse and its prevention By Archbishop Charles J. Chaput, O.F.M. Cap.
Reflecting on the human cost of abuse and its prevention
EDITORS NOTE: In July 2012 when Archbishop Chaput’s investigation cleared one accused priest, SNAP reacted with sharp criticism of Chaput’s procedure, saying decisions were “held in secrecy for months or weeks until the archbishop and his public relations staffers deem it’s most advantageous to disclose them. Chaput continues to act recklessly and selfishly … with little or no regard for children’s safety.” At the same time, SNAP also called “again” on Archbishop Chaput to proceed to defrock Lynn after his conviction; and for “eliminating Pennsylvania’s archaic, arbitrary, predator-friendly statutes of limitations”. In January 2014, the archdiocese, prominently defended by Chaput, posted bail for Lynn. In April 2015 the state supreme court upheld the initial conviction and revoked Lynn’s bail. He was returned to serve the balance of his 3-to-6 year term. PLEASE read the Editors Notes following the end of the story.
The hypocrisy of Archbishop Charles J. Chaput in the following story is incredibly revealing.
Now from Archbishop Charles J. Chaput’s own hypocritical words:
Throughout the weeks of April, our Commonwealth, along with the rest of the country, has been focused on National Child Abuse Prevention and Awareness Month.
Here in Pennsylvania, our people have come through a very difficult decade on this issue. But the abuse problem is much wider than any one state, profession or demographic group. It cuts through every level of society. Child abuse is an ugly crime; abusing children sexually compounds the evil. Every year we see many thousands of cases of child sexual abuse across the country in a full range of institutions, public and private, religious and secular.
In response, Pennsylvania legislators have passed 20 new laws aimed at preventing child abuse and providing better support for survivors. In doing so, they’ve offered a model for the nation. We owe them our gratitude for their good work. And it’s important to stress that as a Catholic community, we too are committed — just as everyone should be — to ensuring safe environments for children and young people.
The Archdiocese of Philadelphia has a zero tolerance policy for clergy, lay employees and volunteers who engage in sexual misconduct with children. If an accusation of this nature is made, we take immediate action by reporting the matter to law enforcement and cooperating with authorities fully in the course of their work.
We’re committed to educating all those who work with children, as well as the children in our schools and parish religious education programs, so they can recognize signs of abuse and make a report.
As we come to the end of April, it’s worth highlighting some key archdiocesan statistics:
* More than 280 designated Safe Environment Coordinators are now working in our parishes, schools and youth ministries to ensure compliance with state laws and archdiocesan safety policies.
* More than 92,000 adults have received training to recognize, respond and report child abuse since 2003.
* Nearly 30,000 adults have received mandatory reporter training.
* More than 100,000 children have received age-appropriate abuse prevention education.
* The archdiocese has invested more than $2.4 million in education and training aimed at preventing and reporting sexual abuse since 2006.
In addition, the archdiocesan Victim Assistance Program offers compassionate and substantial assistance to individuals and families every year. During the 2013-14 fiscal year alone, the Church in Philadelphia dedicated more than $1.6 million to various modes of assistance including counseling, medication, and vocational support for survivors and their families.
To put it simply: The Philadelphia Catholic community is, and will remain, fully committed to helping survivors of childhood sexual abuse and their families heal, no matter who committed the crime against them or when the crime occurred.
Evil actions in the past can’t be erased and shouldn’t be forgotten. Over the decades sexual abuse has wounded hundreds of innocent lives, both within and outside the Church in Pennsylvania. But the sins of the past need not determine the present or future.
The Catholic Church in the Greater Philadelphia region is dedicated to protecting our young people and families from sexual predators and the suffering they cause — now and always.
EDITORS NOTE: The Archdiocese of Philadelphia did NOT dedicate itself to protecting young people from sexual predators, nor did they do anything about the suffering of the victims. This is extremely well documented.
Cardinals John Krol and Anthony Bevilacqua covered up for their pedophile priests.
Bishop Joseph Cistone also participated in the cover ups, including silencing a nun who tried to alert parishioners at St. Gabriels parish of an abusive priest. Cistone also covered up for other priests and showed himself he was more concerned with the public relations than the sexual abuse of children.
Bishop William Lynn, who was eventually convicted in his part for covering up for “Father” James J. Brennan among others. “According to a scathing grand jury report, Lynn, as secretary of clergy for the archdiocese, concealed the crimes of accused priests and put them in positions in which they could harm more children.
Lynn figured prominently in a scathing 2005 grand jury report that found 63 priests in the archdiocese had been credibly accused of child sexual assault over several decades while local church officials turned a blind eye..
Some of the pedophile priests they covered up for were:
1. “Father” John McDevitt, a religion teacher at Father Judge High School for Boys, abused Richard Green for six months in 1990 and 1991. At the time, the victim’s uncle, Cardinal John Joseph O’Conner served as Archbishop of New York.
2. “Father” Edward Avery, 69, known for his moonlighting work as a disc jockey, pleaded guilty to involuntary deviate sexual intercourse and conspiracy to endanger the welfare of a child. He was immediately sentenced to 2½ to five years in prison. The charges stem from Avery’s abuse of an altar boy at St. Jerome’s Parish in northeast Pennsylvania in 1999, when Avery was 57 and the boy 10. Avery was at St. Jerome’s despite a credible 1992 complaint that led him to undergo psychological testing at an archdiocesan-run psychiatric hospital, according to a 2005 grand jury report. He was pulled from his parish, put on a so-called “health leave” and then reassigned in 1993, the report said.”
3. “Father” James J. Brennan: Brennan is accused of the 1996 rape of a 14-year-old boy.
The Diocese of Allenstown PA had 22 pedophile priests: Thomas J. Bender, Luis A. Bonilla Margarito, Bernard A. Flanagan, Stephen Forish, Francis (Frank) J. Fromholzer, James F. Gaffney, Edward R. Graff, Richard Gulliani, Leo Houseknecht, William E. Jones, Michael S. Lawrence, James J. McHale, Francis J. McNelis, James J. Mihalak, Gabriel M. Patil, Joseph A. Rock, John Paul Sabas, William J. Shields, David Soderland, A. Gregory Uhrig, Andrew A. Ulincy, Ronald J. Yarrosh.
The Diocese of Altoona-Johnstown PA had 27 pedophile priests: Joseph J. Bender, Harold N. Biller, John J. Boyle, Martin A. Brady, James F. Bunn, Andrew Campbell, Thomas M. Carroll, Athanasius C. Cherry, Dennis E. Coleman, Alvin T. Downey, Elwood F. Figurelle, Joseph Gaborek, Bernard V. Grattan, Leonard Inman, Robert J. Kelly, George D. Koharchik, William Kovach, Thomas M. Lemmon, Anthony B. Little, Francis E. Luddy, Thomas K. Mabon, Joseph D. Maurizzo, Francis Mcaa, Martin D. McCamley, William A. Rosensteel, James F. Skupien, Joseph J. Strittmatter.
The Diocese of of Erie PA had 11 pedophile priests: Michael G. Barletta, Donald Bolton, Robert F. Bower, Chester J. Gawronski, H. Desmond McGee Jr., William F. Presley, Samuel B. Slocum, Thomas E. Smith, Daniel J. Taylor, and two un-named priests.
The Diocese of Greenburg PA had 6 pedophile priests: Dennis Dellamalva, Mark F. X. Gruber, Francis M. Lesniak, Gregory F. Premoshis, Roger A. Sinclair, Roger J. Trott.
The Diocese of Harrisburg PA had 7 pedophile priests: John G. Allen, John R. Bostwick Jr., Augustine Giella, David M. (H?) Luck, Guy D. Marsico, Joseph M. Pease, Patrick J. Shannon.
The Diocese of Philadelphia had 133 pedophile priests: Edward V. Avery, William G. Ayers, Phillip R. Barr, James J. Behan, Michael C. Bolesta, John F. Bowe, H. Cornell Bradley, Michael J. Bransfield, James J. Brennan, Robert L. Brennan, Leonard W. Broughan, Craig F. Brugger, James A. Brzyski, George B. Cadwallader, Raymond J. Cahill, Hugh P. Campbell, John A. Cannon, Paul A. Castellani, Pasquale R. Catullo, Gerard W. Chambers, Michael A. Chapman, Arthur B. Chappell, John A. Close, Richard J. Cochrane, James J. Collins, Michael F. Conroy, James J. Coonan, George A. Costigan, Nicholas V. Cudemo, John J. Delli Carpini, Edward M. DePaoli, Joseph L. DiGregorio, Richard D. Dolan, Michael J. Donofrio, John C. Dougherty, William J. Dougherty, Phillip J. Dowling, Peter J. Dunne, Ernest A. Durante, Thomas J. Durkin, James M. Dux, Charles F. Engelhardt, Francis S. Feret, Mark E. Fernandez, Leonard F. Furmanski, Robert W. Gaghan, Francis J. Gallagher, Joseph J. Gallagher, Joseph P. Gallagher, Stanley M. Gana, Stephen M. Garrity, Mark S. Gaspar, Joseph P. Gausch, Francis A. Giliberti, John E. Gillespie, Charles Ginn Jr., David W. Givey, Joseph M. Glatts, Thomas J. Grumm, David I. Hagen, Steven Harris, James T. Henry, Robert J. Hermley, Gerard J. Hoffman, Daniel J. Hoy, John F. Hummell, James M. Iannarella, Stanley Janowski, Richard G. Jones, William T. Joseph, William N. Killian, John Kline, Thomas M. Kohler, Matthew J. Kornacki, Albert T. Kostelnick, Edward P. Kuczynski, Dexter A. Lancetot, David T. Lawlor, Raymond O. Leneweaver, John R. Liggio, Joseph L. Logrip, Joseph E. Macanga, Nilo C. Martins, George J. Mazzota, Joseph F. McCafferty, Michael J. McCarthy, John F. McCole, Charles P. McColgan, Andrew D. McCormick, James J. McGinness III, Joseph M. McKenzie, Richard J. McLoughlin, Donald J. Mills, Joseph R. Monahan, John H. Mulholland, John J. Murray, Michael G. Murtha, Zachary Navit, Henry “Harry” J. Nawn, Charles Newman, John P. Paul, Stephen B. Perzan, Leonard Peterson, Terrance Pinkowski, Ted (Theodore) Podson, Robert Povish, Richard T. Powers, John D. Reardon, Francis P. Rogers, Thomas Rooney, Gerald J. Royer, Joseph F. Sabadish, William L. Santry, Martin J. Satchell, Charles J. Schaeflein, John P. Schmeer, Thomas F. Shea, David C. Sicoli, Charles J. Siegle, Edward J. Smith, Thomas J. Smith, DePaul Sobotka, Louis M. Steingraber, Michael W. Swierzy, Peter Talocci, Carmen F. Taraborelli, Joseph W. Thomas, Francis X. Trauger, Alyosius M. Vath, David E. Walls, Sylwester Wiejata, Thomas J. Wisniewiski.
The Diocese of Pittsburgh PA had 42 pedophile priests: Alvin J. Adams, Jerome Binder, Robert J. Castelucci, Mauro J. Cautela, Charles J. Chatt, Anthony J. Cipolla, M. Eric Diskin, Jason R. Dolan, Richard J. Dorsch, David F. Dzermejko, Ralph J. Esposito, John P. (Jack) Fitzgerald, Richard Ginder, James G. Ginder, James G. Graham, Bernard Joseph Hartman, William Charles Hildebrand, John (Jack) S. Hoehl, Edward G. Huff, Joseph G. Karabin, John Keegan, William Kiefer, James Kline, Henry R. Krawcyzk, John Lukasik, Julius F. May, William J. McCashin, Francis Meder, Ralph Mrvanitz, Lawrence O’Connell, George J. Parme, Francis Pucci, Edward Smith, James E. Somma Jr., Bartley A. Sorenson, Andrew J. Suran, Daniel J. Tisak, Alberta Veri (nun), John W. Wellinger, Joseph Wichmanowski, George Wilt, Robert G. Wolk, Richard “Sade” Zulu.
The Diocese of Scranton PA had 23 pedophile priests: Phillip A. Altavilla, Robert J. Brague, Francis Brennan, Robert N. Caparelli, Christopher Clay, J. Peter Crynes, Eric Ensey, Robert J. Gibson, Unkown First Name Hazzouri, Albert M. Liberatore Jr., James M McAuliffe, Neil P. McLaughlin, Russell E. Motsay, Father Ned, W. (William) Jeffery Paulish, Edward J. Shoback, Thomas P. Shoback, Thomas D. Skotek, Virgil Bradley Tetherow, Robert M. Timchak, Carlos Urrutigoity, Lawrence P. Weniger, Steven J. Wolpert.
Priest interrogated shooting victim shortly after surgery, instead of letting him rest.
From Patrick Pontillo’s blog from the following link: http://www.donaldwuerl.com/2012/02/priest-interrogated-shooting-victim.html
by guest writer Mike Ference, in continuation of his narration of
Donald Wuerl’s disregard for the trauma that the Ference family endured, shortly after and long after the attempted murder of a young Adam Ference on Pittsburgh diocesan school grounds.
On December 5, 1989, my son was the victim of handgun bullet wound
in the back of his head. The gun was held inches from his skull before
the shooter pulled the trigger. The shooter then turned the gun on him-
self and successfully committed suicide.
The prime witness in this event was now dead. Believe or not, this was
not the worst of it. What would happen over the next few days, the next
few months, the next few years, and would continue for almost two de-
cades tells the story of just how corrupt and uncivilized the Common-
wealth of Pennsylvania has become.
Teenage suicides, sexual molestation, and attempted murders proved to
be nothing more than inconvenience for the Pennsylvania power mongers
who were present when the exploitation of the political/judicial system
was occurring – of a system they continue to maintain for the benefit of
a few well-placed and well-networked persons who don’t have the com-
mon good in mind.
After undergoing six or seven hours of emergency neurosurgery, my son
was admitted to the intensive care unit and his vital signs would be closely
monitored for the next several days. That night, my wife would begin her
14-day vigil, almost never being more than a few feet from our son’s bed-
side. Meanwhile, the Pittsburgh Diocese would begin its 20 year vigil of
covering up accusations leveled against people employed by the church;
not only Pittsburgh Diocesan personnel, but personnel from the Archdio-
cese of Boston, as well.
The Red Flag Incident
On the night of Adam’s shooting, Serra Catholic High School
Headmaster Sysol (now deceased) ventured into Presbyterian
Hospital (now the Univ of Pittsburgh Medical Center). Sysol
would ask my wife if he could visit with our son. It was close
to midnight and it had been the toughest day ever for my son
and our close-knit family. When Headmaster Sysol asked to
visit with my son, my wife thought that she would be going in
with him. No such luck.
The Questions as to the Headmaster’s Intentions
Was Sysol on a mission? Was Sysol on a clandestine operation, to find
out what, if anything, Adam knew about the shooter who befriended a
Fr. John Wellinger a few years earlier, at St. Clare of Assisi Parish in
Clairton? Sysol would conveniently be in a position to also check and
see if my son, Adam, knew anything about Brother Kenneth Ghastin, a
teacher at Serra High School who was accused of molesting two teen-
age brothers in 1974, during a time when he taught at the now-defunct
Christopher Columbus High School, in Boston’s North End. This is ac-
cording to an article published by the Framingham Metro West Daily
As far as goes any concern for my son, Sysol had none that I could de-
tect. He would question my son for almost three relentless hours, ask-
ing the same questions of a kid still dazed by a shotgun blast to the head
and still trying to recover from seven hours of intensive neurosurgery.
Let me repeat: At Serra Catholic High School, in the Diocese of Pitts-
burgh, at the time when my son was the target of an attempted murder,
there was a member of the Boston Archdiocese stationed there who
was accused of molestation and who had close access to the school’s
male youths. No one warned us of this. Instead, they covered up their
It wouldn’t be until the middle 1990s that the Archdiocese of Boston
would finally reach a financial settlement with the families, concerning
that teacher. The settlement would include a $30,000 payment to one
of the brothers. Sadly, according to the paper, one of the brothers who
had a history of drug misuse would die in 1994. Church files would re-
gard it as a suicide, as if he intended to die from that occasion of drug
misuse, and even though he apparently had no intention to die from drug
use at any time prior. That is to say, the archdiocese did not mark the
death as an accidental one resulting from long-term emotional trauma.
For now, that’s the rest of the story. But plenty of questions still need
to be answered. Did Donald Wuerl cooperate with the Archdiocese of
Boston and permit known pedophiles to remain in the Pittsburgh Diocese?
If so, were other pedophiles admitted to Serra Catholic High School and
other Catholic institutions without us knowing it? Was it the assignment
of Headmaster Sysol to keep an eye on Brother Kenneth Ghastin and
possibly other abusive clergy transferred from Boston? Knowing what
we know now about the Archdiocese of Boston abuse scandal, anything
Little wonder that Father Ron Lengwin allegedly badgered the police of
McKeesport to quash the case of the attempted murder of my son, with
little investigative effort on the part of McKeesport police … and with no
cooperation with Pennsylvania State Police. No wonder Serra Catholic
High School administrators would not permit McKeesport police to in-
vestigate the crime scene, according to the police report, and so done
against Lengwin’s judgment. Incidentally, McKeesport police were not
permitted on Serra Catholic High School property for over 24 hours af-
ter the shooting of my son and the suicide of his shooter.
It is becoming clear as to why the Pittsburgh Diocese went to such great
lengths to cover up the accusations leveled against not merely one alleged
predator, but at least two, namely John Wellinger and Kenneth Ghastin.
No wonder why current St. Vincent Archabbot Douglas Nowicki would
have motive to offer me what I construed was a de facto bribe, in his be-
ing willing to admitting my son Adam to St. Vincent College, while saying
it in such a way that I interpreted the offer as having strings attached to it.
No wonder why Cardinal Bernard Law would visit that same Latrobe in-
stitution before his final and most shameful departure for Rome.
A telephone call to Serra Catholic High School in McKeesport, PA re-
sulted in the principal refusing to give his last name and almost begging
for advice on how to handle this latest development. I advised the man
to do the right thing. He did not know how to respond or what I even
meant. So much for the training and all the zero-tolerance policies.
I had hoped to speak with Barbara Thorp of the Archdiocese of Boston
as soon as was possible. Likewise, New York Franciscan administrators
Father Patrick Boyle and Father Robert Campagna seemed prepared to
cooperate and provide the necessary information needed to finally get to
the truth. But, that hope was sparked in 2009. It’s now the Year 2012,
and I have gotten no results. Incidentally, Brother Ghastin asserted his
innocence, at last count.
A sunrise broken by gunfire on a school bus. An investigation as to the root cause of the gunfire suffocated. Wuerl let it be suffocated.
A sunrise broken by gunfire on a school bus. An investigation as to the root cause of the gunfire suffocated. Wuerl let it be suffocated.
By Patrick Pontillo
by guest writer Mike Ference, detailing the experience of having
a son get shot in the back of the head and then to be treated as
an impediment to Wuerl’s rise to power. Edited as to its syntax.
Diplomatically abridged as to its contents.
The sodomizing of youth by Catholic clergy members and then covered
up by church hierarchs was something seldom discussed. It was seldom
discussed until the media broke open the seals of secrecy that were once
glazed over Cardinal Bernard Law’s disgraced Boston Archdiocese.
It was twenty-three years ago when I was forced to begin investigating
similar things in the county where sits Pittsburgh Pennsylvania. This
was because a fifteen year old youth allegedly preoccupied with the
Occult, Satanism, and devil-worship attempted to murder my son,
Adam, on a school bus. The same youth then killed himself.
My investigation began in December of 1989. This means that I was
forced to start my work thirteen calendar years before veteran journal-
ists of the Boston Globe exposed Catholic Church red hatter Bernie
Law for having habitually covered the criminal actions of priests. Ten
years after having begun my investigations, the Philadelphia district at-
torney’s office put to bed the prosecution of every Philadelphia area
cleric accused of the same old crimes and the same old cover ups.
Being a molester in Pennsylvania was a lucrative pastime, at the time.
The attack on my son took place on the morning of December 5, 1989,
around 8:00 am. A bus carrying Serra Catholic High School students
began its approach toward the school’s entrance doors. A bus loaded
with dozens of teenagers was beginning to cross onto Serra Catholic
school grounds when the would-be assassin pulled out a loaded hand-
gun and blasted a shot into the back of my son’s head. He next placed
the gun to his temple and fired the second shot.
Two ambulances transferred my son and the shooter to the McKeesport
Hospital. Both young men were admitted to the same emergency room,
separated by the curtains surrounding their beds. A telephone call from
Brother Chuck, the guidance counselor of Serra Catholic, served notice
to our family to get to the McKeesport Hospital Emergency Room as
soon as possible.
Ironically, my wife, my eldest son, and I arrived at the hospital before
the ambulances did. While a paramedic was pushing a gurney through
a hallway, I shouted to the man, “If that’s Adam Ference, tell him his
parents are here.” The body was completely covered. Deep-down in-
side, and without saying a word, I hoped and I prayed it wasn’t Adam.
Seconds later came another gurney, being pushed through the hallway.
It was Adam, sitting up. He was conscious, but I wasn’t sure how
alert he was.
A nurse came to escort me back to where my son was. I still didn’t
know what happened. A disheveled detective from the McKeesport
Police Department approached my wife and I. He recklessly pulled a
gun from a brown paper bag and asked if we had ever seen the wea-
pon before. Confused and bewildered, we shook our heads sideways,
quietly saying no. A teacher would then pull the detective to the side
and tell him that we weren’t the parents he needed to talk to.
I watched an ER room’s bed sheets get saturated with blood as the
shooter lay dead, no doubt from the 32-caliber self-inflicted gunshot
wound. It was a shot taken seconds after the shooter blasted my
son’s skull with his first shot, done while my son sat directly in front
of him, half asleep.
Minutes later, a nurse called me into the emergency room, to see my
son. I tried to reassure him that everything would be alright, as he
seemed to daze in and out of consciousness. I caught myself glanc-
ing back and forth from the wound in the back of my son’s head to
the blood-stained sheets of the shooter in the bed next to my son.
It were as if I was watching a tennis match or a ping pong game.
I prayed and promised God that I would do whatever I could to make
things right, not knowing what that meant, and still not knowing what
exactly happened. Now, I knew that Adam could never intentionally
harm anyone with a gun. But, I figured that he might have accidental-
ly tripped someone, resulting in multiple gun shots being unleashed from
a loaded weapon. So, I kept promising God that I would do whatever
it took to make things right. Sadly, I heard a father crying; weeping
over his son’s dead body. All but for the grace of God, the father in
anguish could have been me.
Twenty-three years later, I’m still trying to keep the promise I made
in the McKeesport ER. Needless to say, Donald Wuerl has been a
ruthless antagonist, preventing the truth from being uncovered. This
Wuerl keeps us in the dark, in so many diabolical ways.
Several weeks after the shooting, my son was well on his way to re-
covery. Several weeks after the shooting, a seasoned law enforce-
ment officer who actively participated in the investigation, ended up
sitting in my living room, alleging to my wife and I that the investiga-
tion of my son’s attempted murder was deliberately quashed by the
McKeesport Police Chief (Thomas Brletic) and his investigating of-
ficers. The man who alleged this to me was and is William Scully.
At the time, Scully was the Public Safety Officer of Clairton. At the
time, Clairton no longer had a police force, due to the economic woes
which followed the demolition of the Pittsburgh steel industry. Prior
to being Clairton’s public safety director, Scully was assistant chief
of police for the same town of Clairton and served several years as
a police officer there.
To compensate for the case being allegedly quashed, Scully provid-
ed me with specific notes and details about the shooter. He alleged
that the shooter was sexually abused by Fr. John Wellinger, a parish
priest at Holy Spirit Church in West Mifflin, PA. Prior to Wellinger’s
assignment at Holy Spirit, he was an assistant pastor of Saint Clare
of Assisi Church, in Clairton. The shooter served as an altar boy for
Fr. Wellinger at St. Clare’s.
According to several sources, the shooter was often an after-school
guest of Wellinger, at the parish rectory house, along with other boys.
It was a parish house equipped with a pool table, pinball machines
and other facilities which keeps young boys amused for hours.
Scully also provided specific information about Wellinger allegedly
harming a teenager from Holy Spirit Church in West Mifflin. This
harming allegedly occurred circa 1987 or 1988. I even received an
email from the alleged victim in 2011 that suffices as evidence that
easily confirms my allegations on the topic.
As time progressed, I would eventually speak with several sources.
The sources included a retired police chief of West Mifflin, as well
as a police officer of the same West Mifflin whose son was alleged-
ly molested by the same John Wellinger. My sources also included
several ladies who worked along side Wellinger at Holy Spirit Parish.
There was even the matter of a woman who may have known John
Wellinger intimately. Added to the list is the former Pittsburgh Post
Gazette investigative reporter who alleged that Wellinger once made
a homosexual pass at him. An additional source included a Florida
man who once visited Wellinger at Holy Spirit Parish, and alleged
that Wellinger wanted to perform an unnatural act on his person.
Plus, there was the teenager to whom Wellinger allegedly supplied
a spiked alcoholic beverage which knocked the youth out for hours.
Concerning the youth, he eventually returned to consciousness and
dialed 911. He then allegedly staggered down apartments stairs, to
meet an awaiting ambulance which allegedly took the youth to then
Presbyterian University Hospital (now part of the University of Pitts-
burgh Medical Center).
According to the allegations, he and his family were victimized yet
again, in the alleged cover-up that followed. It’s sad that it has taken
over 23 years for me to release my information with just a scant hope
of justice finally being served. Tragically speaking, as I have tried to
draw attention to the various crimes and cover ups, I can only imagine
how many more victimscould have been saved from being victimized,
if only Wuerl and government officials would have applied an element
of human decency and did what needed to have been done.
Michael Unglo is one person who immediately comes to mind. Mike
committed suicide shortly after the Diocese of Pittsburgh, under Bish-
op David Zubik, stopped financing his psychiatric treatment. Now, the
Pittsburgh diocese had already payed $300,000 in psychiatric bills for
Michael. But, Mike suffered from flashbacks, due to the alleged mo-
lestations of the defrocked Richard Dorsch who receives a thousand
dollar a month stipend (pension) from the diocese.
Meanwhile, homosexual con artist Fr James Torquato immediately
canceled all business contracts with his accuser’s uncle, and Wuerl
ratified Fr. Torquato’s act of economic terrorism, as if Wuerl were
performing the terrorism himself. Basically, James Torquato black-
mailed his accuser’s uncle. The uncle was to get Torquato’s accus-
er to retract his accusations against Torquato or else lose significant
I would like to point out something about my son’s attempted murder.
The shooter was not sitting is his regular seat that day, nor did he get
on at his regular stop. My son did sit in his regular seat, close to the
window. The shooter was allegedly in the aisle seat behind him. This
means that he was originally catty-corner to Adam. Well, he alleged-
ly switched seated and was now exactly behind Adam.
The exact conjecture as to what was transpiring during the attempted
murder of my son was thwarted by parents not allowing their children
to be interviewed by law enforcement investigators. Depositions exist
which can be supplied as proof of a community-wide cover up.
Concerning Adam’s case, I had sought help from many people in gov-
ernment. I was referred to an Allegheny County detective by form-
er a PA State Trooper, named Robert Griffin. Griffin was brought
into the case in 1989 and investigated the Satanic and Occult inter-
ests of my son’s shooter and the shooter’s friends. The detective to
whom I was referred simply stated that the Diocese of Pittsburgh
was covering up crimes for years. The offending priests would be
shuffled from one parish to another, the detective alleged. He made
it sound as if there was nothing he could do about it.
There is a long list of state troopers who did absolutely nothing. Like-
wise, the same nothing came from former Pennsylvania Senator and
Catholic Church lobbyist, Rick Santorum. Senator Arlen Spector al-
so chose to ignore my case, as did Congressman Mike Doyle. Plus,
Carol Burke, Chief of Staff for State Rep David Levdansky, simply
advised me to get over it.
An FBI agent did exist who was well-aware of Wellinger’s alleged
sexual shenanigans, but the agent was preoccupied with the investi-
gation into a drug raid gone bad which resulted in a fellow agent be-
ing killed. So, the Pittsburgh diocese has been getting a free pass,
ever since the tenure of Anthony Bevilacqua. Include Wuerl’s ten-
ure also, especially in light of the fact that Wuelr paid no price for
his alleged absence of cooperativeness during an investigation that
resulted in the arrests of Wolk, Zula, and Pucci. Wuerl also paid
no price thus far, for ratifying the Torquato retaliations.
Allegheny County’s Courthouse is located on Grant Street, in down-
town Pittsburgh. Supposedly, justice is served there. Sadly enough,
some of the PA judges were bought and sold like stolen merchandise
at outdoor flea markets. I cite the infamous Luzerne County “Cash
for Kids” scandal that sent two greed-infested Pennsylvania judges to
federal prisons, after years of locking up children in private juvenile de-
tention centers for things as petty as summary offenses.
The detention centers are owned by Gregory Zappala, son of former
Pennsylvania Supreme Court Chief Justice Stephen Zappala, Sr and
brother of Allegheny County District Attorney Stephen Zappala, Jr.
Sadly enough, one of the victims of this barbaric practice would end
up committing suicide after two incarcerations. His death would take
place on the 10th of June, 2010, the same day when Allegheny County
District Attorney Stephen Zappala was sworn in as a member of the
board that oversees clergy sex abuse allegation, under the auspices
of the United States Bishop’s Conference.
It’s pertinent to point out that the attempted murder of my son took
place in McKeesport, PA. It’s a section of the Mon Valley jokingly
referred to as Mob Valley. It’s the last place one expects to find any
semblance of justice. McKeesport is filled with case after case of
systematic and deliberate cover ups of criminal behavior, most often
alleging McKeesport police and democratic officials as being at the
center of the alleged cover ups.
Some allegations involved: 1] a dead teenage girl whose body was
found in a McKeesport cemetery, 2] a woman held captive for al-
most a decade by a McKeesport School district security guard, and
3] the Cornell Elementary School scandal which allegedly involved
two McKeesport teachers doing their best to imitate dogs in heat,
while two other teachers allegedly did their best to act like watch-
dogs. All actions were either well concealed or never happened.
None the less, the allegation that Fr. John Wellinger molested the
shooter of my son, as well as had drugged-up the drink of another
youth, were things stated in Scully’s notes. Thus, these allegations
came from someone who had official status.
I’ve also met and talked with yet, another accuser of former Pitts-
burgh clergy member, John Wellinger. This accuser was one of the
plaintiffs in a class action lawsuit against the Diocese of Pittsburgh.
His parents were parishioners of Holy Spirit Church in West Mifflin.
For now, I want to caution people from outside of Pennsylvania that,
if you’re contemplating moving here, you would do better to just stay
put. Jim Potts, founder of Democracy Rising and advocate for hon-
est government in Pennsylvania, opined on a Pittsburgh radio station
that “Pennsylvania may be the most corrupt state in America.”
I agree with Potts. However, I would extend his opinion to include
most third world countries.
Consider the following before you plan a visit to Pennsylvania, or
worse yet, to move to this commonwealth: 1] the Cash for Kids
Scandal; 2] the Jerry Sandusky and Penn State scandal; 3] the
grand jury investigations into the rape and sodomizing of innocent
children in the Philadelphia Archdiocese; 4] the Tanya Kash case
involving a McKeesport School District security guard allegedly
holding a teenager captive for almost ten years; 5] Cardinal Don-
ald Wuerl’s proven triple cover-up of Wolk, Zula, and Pucci, by
which he ignored the Child Protective Services Act and was ac-
cused of having been uncooperative during the criminal investiga-
tion of the three priests he tried to conceal … followed by Wuerl
facing zero accountability for his evil commissions and equally
All of these cases allege police and government officials being all
too willing to delay or hamper investigations involving children in
harm’s way. In a Philadelphia archdiocesan case, a ten-year-old
boy was alleged to have been sodomized by his teacher in a park.
When the teacher had satisfied his barbaric cravings, the alleged-
ly victimized youth was forced to make his way home on his own,
bleeding from his rectum.
Pennsylvania is a pro-pedophile state, in my opinion. My opinion,
of course, comes from personal experience and a lot of investigat-
ing, done free of charge. So, you can either take my word for it or
risk your own children’s lives to prove me wrong. In Pennsylvania,
even adults were the victims of power abuse. Concerning this, you
can either take my word for it or else risk your own future to prove
Wuerl’s violation of the Child Protective Services Act and his claim that his cover-up of Wolk was not the act of covering-up
Wuerl’s violation of the Child Protective Services Act and his claim that his cover-up of Wolk was not the act of covering-up
“To say he will not be reassigned is a devastating thing,” said Wuerl to the
press shortly after he was caught performing his triple cover-up which was
headlined with Father Robert Wolk’s indictment. The same Donald Wuerl
also said to the media, “It is NOT covering up to embrace a man who is
suffering. Add to this the fact that Wuerl already reassigned the notorious
John Hoehl months prior, and had no intention of getting rid of him until the
indictment of Wolk. You now see how far away from zero tolerance Wuerl
was. After all, he made a criminal sound like a victim.
Now, in the Year 2002, when Wuerl was being made out to be the holiest saint
on Earth … next to the molester Maciel … you would have been lauding the guy
if you had known about this triple cover-up and Wuerl’s public excuse for hav-
ing covered-up the crimes of three priests, followed by Wuerl publicly denying
that it was the act of covering-up that he was doing? Or would you have cate-
gorized him with Bernard Law and Roger Mahoney?
Wuerl was headlined as the bishop who fought the Vatican to remove “a
molester priest,” when the fact is that he only attempted to have the priest
removed from ministry for what was later called a misdiagnosis of Depress-
ion and Suicidal Tendencies. The priest was never arrested, yet Wuerl let
the papers claim that the priest was. In fact, that priest, Anthony Cipolla,
received a favorable Pennsylvania State Police background check security
clearance in the Summer of 2014, where within it was stated that Cipolla
has NO ARREST RECORD in the State of Pennsylvania.
This also shows Wuerl’s motive in letting Anthony Cipolla be the public
scapegoat whose reputation was completely annihilated, despite the over-
whelming evidence of Cipolla being the opposite of the media smear
campaign launched against him.
Wuerl was in a law enforcement spotlight, This meant that Wuerl needed
a smokescreen, to deceive the public into thinking that he was a holy and
all so caring saint. Wuerl did nothing more than masquerade himself as
an angel of light, at the expense of others such as an Anthony Cipolla who,
unlike the effeminate Donald Wuerl, was found to have zero nexus with the
homosexual subculture. Wuerl, on the other hand, had a definitive nexus
with the neo-Sodomite world.
and direct falsehoods.
In addition, don’t forget that he rode the coattails of John Cardinal Wright,
and without the help of the allegedly homosexual John Wright, the Donald
Wuerl who accommodated banned Dignity Masses for eight consecutive
years would have been nothing more than a faceless attendant of the Dig-
nity Mass, sitting in the middle row, if and only if the allegations of Wuerl’s
personal life conveyed to me between 1999 and 2002, as well as between
2009 and 2012 are true. If those allegations are not true, then Wuerl would
have been nothing more than commoner frequenting other venues. With-
out Wright, Wuerl would have risen to power.
It was the court system that prompted Wuerl to strike the pose of a strict
disciplinarian. It was all a fraud to have claimed that Wuerl would come
to the rescue of the victims of predatory priests such as the Edward Huff
whom he kept hiding out in mental institutions and the Father James Tor-
quato whom he sent to Rome while federal court papers had Torquato’s
name mentioned throughout them. Wuerl’s artificial pose did not occur
until three simultaneous indictments of three Pittsburgh priests occured
under Wuerl’s watch, coupled with a DA John Pettit’s public accusation
that Wuerl’s diocese performed uncooperative conduct with police inves-
Keep in mind that there was no criminal investigation of Wolk, Zula,
and Pucci until an attorney friend-of-the-family of the two young play
toys reported the matter to the police. The attorney did not do so until
after Wuerl visited the family and still refused to report Wolk, Zula, and
Pucci to the police, as was required in the Child Protective Services Act..
In addition, Wuerl only went to the home of the traumatized family af-
ter their parish pastor was told by them that they were going to report
the three molester priests to law enforcement authorities. The pastor
then informed Wuerl, as the same Donald Wuerl let the criminal priests
go about their ways. Even though Fr. Zula was sure to never return to
ministry, on account of his sadistic actions, Wolk and Pucci were in a
position to eventually ease back into ministry, in the spirit of John
Hoehl and Edward Huff. Thus, Wuerl was doing everything possible
to have Wolk and Pucci fly under the radar and return to ministry.
Do not be deceived. Ann Rodgers made it sound as if Wuerl were a
strict disciplinarian who ousted Hoehl, as soon as he learned of him.
No, Wuerl placed Hoehl into chaplaincy ministry, as he did with Huff.
Wuerl did NOT read Hoehl the riot act until Wolk, Zula, and Pucci
were criminally indicted. Then, Hoehl became a hot potato. Wuerl
got rid of Hoehl, so that Wuerl would not get into trouble. There was
no loving and caring bishop involved. I tell you solemnly, Wuerl was
absolutely vicious and heartless while in Pittsburgh. He was the per-
sonification of lies and retaliation.
As a three-sentence review, so that it will be clearly understood:
Now, Pgh Post Gazette reporter Ann Rodgers claimed that Wuerl had
an epiphany while visiting the traumatized family and then became the
“model of zero tolerance” thereafter. This claim is easily proven false
by the fact that District Attorney John Pettit publicly announced that
Wuerl’s then Diocese of Pittsburgh did NOT provide the cooperation
that the district attorney sought during the criminal investigation. It
was a criminal investigation which didn’t commence until someone
other than Wuerl notified the police.
If Donald Wuerl were the model of zero tolerance, he would have been
the one who reported Wolk, Zula, and Pucci. Plus, Wuerl would NOT
have allowed the ‘foot dragging’ that a Western Pennsylvanian DA said
was being committed by Wuerl’s diocese. That which was told to you
by Ann Rodgers and FoxNews are proven falsehoods.
Trick or Treat Bishop David Zubik
I sent this press release out in 2013 around Halloween. It’s time to repost. I met a woman who was friends with the victim who I have described in the press release. I’m hoping to interview her soon. She talked to the victim the night that Father John Wellinger drugged him. That’s right a witness is stepping forward to tell us what the victim went through the night that Father John Wellinger drugged him.
It’s a shame that Donald Wuerl, David Zubik and all the other Roman Coward clerics who covered up crimes in the Pittsburgh Diocese don’t simply come forward and tell the truth and really help survivors heal.
For Immediate Release
Contact: Mike Ference
Pittsburgh, PA – October 29, 2013 — If ever there was cleric gone wild who should be dredged up on devil’s night, Father John Wellinger is that evil spirit. As an advocate for clergy sex abuse victims for almost a quarter of a century I’m convinced that the Pittsburgh Diocese concealed Wellinger’s criminal activities with the help of law enforcement authorities, the university and medical community, elected officials at all levels of government, legal community and of course plenty of hierarchy from the Roman Catholic Church.
How could this to happen? We now know that protecting predator priests, clerics and the institutional church trumps God’s most precious commodity – innocent children. It’s the standard method of operation in every diocese and in every country.
On Thursday, October 31, 2013, in downtown Pittsburgh on the Boulevard of the Allies in front of the Pittsburgh Diocesan headquarters I’ll pass out literature outlining who knew what, where, when and why about the devastation caused by one predator priest Father John Wellinger and how everything was covered up.
Here are some of the details.
Sometime in 1987, possibly March, while Anthony Bevilacqua was serving as bishop of the Pittsburgh Diocese; Wellinger allegedly drugged and possibly raped and sodomized a University of Pittsburgh student. The alleged crime took place in the student’s apartment that was shared with his brother, also enrolled at the University of Pittsburgh. According to the victim, who I interviewed, he was knocked out for hours. Awakening, he intuitively called 911. Sadly, that’s when his real nightmare began.
Running down the stairs and into the street to meet the Pittsburgh paramedics, the teenager would be whisked away to Presbyterian Hospital emergency room (now University of Pittsburgh Medical Center). According to the victim, he was admitted, but never examined by a doctor. Keep in mind this young man was given a drug that knocked him out, administered by a lay person with very bad intentions. Wellinger also provided alcohol, yet no doctor wanted to be bothered by this case.
Could it be that the call to 911, answered by Pittsburgh paramedics, was the first step in alerting Pittsburgh Diocesan officials that one of their own had harmed another, again? Would diocesan officials then alert hospital officials to avoid contact with the patient?
Or, is it more reasonable to assume that medical personnel, sworn to care for and help others in need, would just say no to a young man drugged and possibly raped and sodomized by a Catholic priest? I don’t think so. An emergency room doctor, spending so much money on medical school and with so much to lose, would never make that call.
Was this normal protocol during the Bevilacqua years as bishop when priest after priest was charged with molesting minors? Bevilacqua even welcomed known predator priests into the Pittsburgh Diocese, Father John P. Connor being one of them. It’s called passing the trash from one diocese to the next. This year I spoke to a victim of Connor from the north hills section of Pittsburgh. How many other victims of Connor, just like Wellinger, are still suffering.
We now know how badly the Bevilacqua regime treated children in the Philadelphia Archdiocese since two separate and distinguished district attorneys from Philadelphia had the courage to protect children over dysfunctional, super sex freaks. Is it more reasonable to think Bevilacqua would protect sexual perverts only on the eastern side of Pennsylvania or that his criminal behavior would be congruent and consistent across the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania?
Sadly, Allegheny County district attorneys have done more to protect video poker parlors than children abused by grown men in priestly garb. If I’m wrong, please let the current or a past district attorney of Allegheny County or, any elected official for that matter, stand and sing your praise.
According to the victim, Wellinger trailed him to the emergency room, the victim alerted the attending nurse on duty that he, Wellinger was the priest who drugged him. Still nothing was done. Security was not alerted, police were not called. The teenager would simply leave with his parents for a long ride home.
My interview with the victim was not the first time I was made aware of this event. As early as January of 1990, former Clairton Public Safety Director William Scully, a seasoned law enforcement officer, would sit down with my wife and me, in our own living room and tell us firsthand his knowledge of this alleged crime. Scully even provided me with details, notes and instructions to contact the victim’s parents to get all the facts.
There’s much more to this story, sadly, the victim’s mother was also traumatized by Wellinger. Just one more reason the crime and the priest were able to blackmail all parties concerned, so charges would never be made and Wellinger would never be held accountable.
Looks like this Trick or Treat season, Bishop David Zubik has two choices; fess up or continue to flip the bird to victims of ruthless, sexual predators.
What the church documents reveal
But those aren’t the only stories revealed in some 6,000 pages of documents the church had kept confidential for decades. The documents also shed light on issues pedophile priests were dealing with both before and after they abused children. They include letters to priests from archbishops who failed to face the issue of child abuse head on. And they reveal the anguish of the victims and the victims’ parents.
The documents, which were released July 1 as part of the church’s bankruptcy case, reveal the human side of the scandal.
Some of the priests said they had been sexually abused as children. The victims were often insecure and searching for guidance. And archbishops, in addition to trying to protect the church, felt a pastoral responsibility to priests who were abusers.
Only a few of the accused priests were criminally charged; many denied they did anything wrong. Most left the priesthood with severance pay or were allowed to retire with a pension, health benefits and a place to live. Of the dozen priests included in this story, three are still alive but have been stripped of their priestly ministry: Franklyn Becker, Michael Krejci and Thomas Trepanier, according to archdiocese records.
This story is based on a close review of the pedophile priest files, which include candid letters exchanged between accused priests and archbishops; sexual abuse intake reports; psychological assessments; letters from archbishops to the Vatican seeking counsel or formal action against priests; and letters from victims and their parents.
The pedophile priests
The documents show that many of the priests did not consider themselves criminals, but victims. Some were addicted to alcohol or pornography. They did good work in the church and helped many people. But they also had a dark side they either struggled to control or did not acknowledge.
Many did not express guilt or remorse; they couldn’t understand why they were treated severely after they had accepted counseling and done everything the archdiocese asked of them. Some acknowledged conflicted sexual orientation, loneliness, self-loathing, an inability to form healthy adult relationships. Psychologists concluded that at least one priest’s emotional development was stunted.
Father Eugene Kreuzer confessed to members of an unidentified parish in an undated letter:
“…There were allegations of my sexual abuse of minors some 30 years ago in a different parish. I express remorse and repent of these actions. However, for the good of the community I have decided that my continued presence at the parish is not helpful. I have been fully cooperative with the restrictions placed upon me. I do not exercise anyministry and am living out my life in a spirit of prayer and penance.This is a strong and loving parish community and I know you will respond to thisannouncement in the manner that is most appropriate, by praying for all those involved….”
Father Andrew Doyle sought a financial settlement in a letter to then-Archbishop Rembert Weakland:
” …you had indicated that you would grant me an unspecified amount of money as a severance. Because I have regular bills and a house payment, I ask that if it becomes necessary for a release from my orders, at that time you would consider an amount of $30,000 … I have tried to cooperate with the Archdiocese…I regret any pain I have caused you; I also have been in much myself.”
A letter from then-Archbishop Dolan to then-Cardinal Joseph Ratzinger at the Vatican offered his impressions of Father Franklyn Becker, who Dolan said refused to voluntarily give up his ministry rights as a sign of repentance:
“Father Becker has admitted that a number of these acts of sexual assault occurred… While he attempts to present a defense based on cooperation and need for sustenance, in interviews with him, there is little display of repentance. His sorrow is not over what effect his immoral and abusive behaviors had on others, so much as it is remorse that he has lost a sense of status…”
Several priests were referred for intensive treatment of alcoholism and psycho-sexual issues. A treatment progress report for Father Michael Krejci concluded, among other things:
“…Normal inhibiting mechanisms, such as guilt or remorse, do not appear to impede Michael’s problematic sexual behavior…”
Each archbishop had his own way of addressing accused priests.
Archbishop William Cousins wrote terse, formal letters to inform priests they were being transferred, which occurred frequently and quietly during his tenure from 1959 to 1977. Cousins did not document much, reflecting a time when sex abuse accusations against priests were not openly discussed.
Weakland, archbishop from 1977 to 2002, consistently expressed concern for the priests’ well-being and told them he was doing what was best for them and the church. He also exchanged letters with victims, acknowledging the bad effects of what had happened and encouraging them to forgive because “forgiveness brings spiritual growth.”
Weakland resigned in 2002 amid revelations that he had used church money to pay a $450,000 settlement to a man with whom he had had a sexual relationship years earlier.
Archbishop Timothy Dolan, whose tenure from 2002 to 2007 coincided with a change in direction by the Vatican in dealing with sex abuse cases, wrote stern letters to priests about their actions, while expressing concern for their well-being. In his letters to victims, Dolan apologized for their pain and offered them counseling services.
One internal exchange at the archdiocese was especially frank. This excerpt of a 2006 letter from Archdiocese Chancellor Barbara Anne Cusack to Dolan was about Father Michael Benham:
“Although Michael has apparently expressed remorse to you, I have not seen that remorse translate into action. The victim in this case requested a token amount of money as a gesture of recognition of the harm he had caused; Michael has consistently and adamantly refused to do so…This was not a one-time incident of indiscretion.
“There have to be consequences to actions. I do not doubt that an all-merciful God has forgiven Michael but an all-just God will also probably require some purgation for these actions…Michael’s life of solitude is made possible because we are paying his subsidy and could be doing so for the next 10 years until he is eligible for pension…I am not sure how we can justify this as ‘good stewardship’ of the resources people have entrusted to us… How do I honestly look a victim-survivor in the face in mediation and say we are acting consistently with Pope John Paul II’s statement that ‘there is no place in the priesthood for those who would harm a child?'”
A letter Dolan wrote in December 2002 to parishioners at an unspecified church about Father Thomas Trepanier acknowledged the need for accountability.
“We forgive those priests who have been guilty of this crime and sin, once they admit it — as most do, painfully and admirably — ask for mercy and repent. We know God forgives them; we must forgive them too; and I hope they can forgive themselves.
“Forgiveness, however, does not eliminate the need for those accused to take responsibility, to be held accountable for their behavior.”
One month before Dolan wrote to parishioners about forgiveness for Trepanier, he wrote to Trepanier:
“…While we await clearer resolution from the Holy See and the United States Catholic Conference of Bishops, I just wanted you to know that I have not forgotten about you, and that you have my love, concern, and prayerful solidarity…”
Dolan added a handwritten note in the margin: “Thanks for the green tea! I’ll be in touch soon.”
Seven years earlier, in 1995, a letter from Weakland to Father Eldred Lesniewski reflected a much different tone:
“…Every time you appear in public this way at the altar, Eldred, you risk stirring up people who have brought allegations. The network of such victims is enormous and very aggressive. You risk much unfortunate bad publicity against yourself, the priesthood and the Diocese…”
They were altar boys. Kids in need of a friend or a counselor. Boys and girls who for whatever reason caught the eye of the priest at school or in church. Perhaps the priest initially made them feel special with gifts or extra attention — a sleepover or a vacation on a Caribbean cruise. One priest invited boys to go up north on a camping trip in a hearse.
A man who said he was molested as a boy by Father Lawrence Murphy at St. John’s School for the Deaf finally confronted the priest decades later in a letter copied to Archbishop Weakland and Pope John Paul II:.
“…I cannot keep our secret about your life as a terrible molester at our school…You made us hate the Catholic church because we couldn’t understand how you could be such a hypocrite of a priest who taught us about God while you were the secret molester…
“I would lie awake every night shaking in fear that this would be a night you would touch me …Jesus on the cross on the wall saw you coming every night to molest us. He must have been shocked and grieved every time. I hope he cried like we did, because we were innocent children… The depth of your destruction is like a deep, dark, bottomless pit that has no end…The very least you could do is be sorry, but you aren’t…
“God lets no one into heaven who is not deeply, truly, and shamefully sorry for his sins — in your case, atrocities…My shame and my dirty secret are back where they belong, with you, their creator.”
The mother of one of Father Franklyn Becker’s victims wrote to Weakland in 1994, after accusations about pedophile priests began being reported by newspapers. Her son was abused by Becker at the Holy Family parish in Whitefish Bay in the 1970s, she said.
“As I later found out, this priest had a record in his previous parish and after leaving Whitefish Bay, continued on his merry way in parish after parish, both here and out of state….
“At the time that his offense against my son occurred, I was (redacted) very vulnerable and very committed to seeing that my children be educated in Catholic schools. That’s how he came to know my sons; we took him into our hearts and into our family…
“At no time did it ever occur to me to sue the Archdiocese or the priest… Money could never heal the scars left by one priest’s indiscretion. However, Archbishop Weakland, don’t for a minute smugly think that the only cases of clergy abuse out there are the ones that sue/or run to the media. All I really wanted over the past years was an acknowledgment by you and the Archdiocese that this problem existed and the seriousness of it….
“In addition to a deep sense of guilt for allowing, or even encouraging this to happen to my son some years ago, I have in the past few years experienced a loss of faith, an indifference to the church I was brought up in and now a real bitterness that this particular priest had been ‘rewarded’ with early retirement for a lifetime of botched assignments due to his fondness for the altar boys.”
Father George Nuedling gained sympathy from in-the-dark parishioners one day for an injury he sustained after molesting a victim, according to this letter the victim wrote to the archdiocese:
“…I fought as hard as I could for what seemed an eternity, and fortunately when he lost his grip on me I was able to run away. He tried to give chase but must have pulled something in his calf or hamstring area and fell to the ground (Jesus must have been with me).
“The next day in church it just galled me to hear other parishioners express their concern over Father Nuedling’s ‘bad limp’ and how it must have hurt…I just wonder how many other little boys this evil man harmed?”
Father George Etzel sent a Christmas card in 1992 to a victim, who by then was an adult. “I’m sad and sorry, and I wonder why,” he wrote.
The victim responded: “Thank you for the card and thoughts at Christmas… By the tone of your note…I see that you are also reflecting on your past life…and you know exactly what I am talking about.As I stated earlier, it is a time for forgiveness and hope. I forgive you for the things you have done to me. I hope you can make peace with your god…”
When it was time for his first confession, a 9-year-old victim thought he could anonymously tell a trusted adult about Father Siegfried Widera. But something stopped him, according to a letter he wrote as an adult on Aug. 1, 2002:
“…As I entered that booth, I was determined to end this. It was only to my horror that I entered the confessional and heard that voice that could belong to only one man. I can still to this day feel the devastation that entered me that day and the thought that it was a sign from God to keep my mouth shut. I went home that night and cried. A memory that burns in me to this day.
“A sense of relief only came after I found out he was gone. No explanation to the students and none that I can remember hearing about to the adults… I already know that this man was transferred to another church and he did it again. I live with the thought that I could have stopped this if only I had come forward sooner. And now I know that this man is on the run…
“I only wish I believed enough in prayer to pray for any child he comes across.”
Less than a year after the letter was written, Widera leaped to his death from a hotel balcony in Mexico as officials closed in to arrest him. He had been on the run for more than a year, and authorities considered him one of the most wanted sex-crime fugitives in the Western Hemisphere.
The Catholic church should be outlawed forthwith
JohnB on outlawing the Catholic church today
From the link: http://www.molestedcatholics.com/
Talking whilst driving with my son today and I began to relate to him some details about a foot injury I had as a child. He had come home and shown me a blister on his foot; I told him he had not spent enough time in bare feet – that was the prompt, my topic could be my right foot or how long/harmful/life distorting the repression of the day to day Catholic cover up are – its part of the healing journey and a son who smiled today when he listened to me about this – its the story of how I had to cover up the injury even though I had to have ongoing medical attention and purpose made boots it was always done in the name of something else – my injured foot which had left me with a distinct limp because I walked with my foot turned in as it had been injured seriously when the car door was repeatedly slammed on my foot on the day the priest raped me at a little church in the beautiful hills of Central Victoria – its about how every Catholic knew what the cause was and every Catholic knew I was not permitted to speak about it – they were able to assist me with my pigeon toed-ness but they were not able to help me with my injured foot due to being slammed in the lock of the car door as that was a lie that would send me to hell – that’s why other kids parents were permitted to beat you if they heard you speak about it being what it in fact was. This was a conscious campaign by every catholic in that town, nuns and priests, knights of the Southern Cross, bishops, the local Catholic Policeman, the Editor of the local newspaper included – they all knew and participated – that to me is what the cover up was and the to me is what the cover up is today – that is what Catholic parishes across the world participate in still today – that is the Catholic cover up in action. It is bigger and stronger than just the Catholic hierarchy because so many have built their careers and their fortunes on.
The part skepticism plays in helping to clarify those truths and facts of your life – you realize that your own brothers and sisters were blackmailed in the same way over this and over dozens of other crimes that had occurred and were covered up – there was a regular murmurous uproar as another instances of sexual abuse was gossiped and whispered about and some kid bullied into fear of their life until the rules of secrecy were instilled (rather this repression was the enforcement of denial into the entire catholic population.
If society does not turn away from the path of the Catholic church and if it does not freeze its assets, its businesses then the vast majority of the real crime in our society will never be addressed and the world will never have had a real chance to raise our children in a peaceful, loving and truthful environment. Lets make 2011 the year we all come together to unite in the single cause of demanding our government ceases to trade with and Catholic or religious entity until democracy is restored in our country.
There is no precedent that permits a sector of society to enact genocide on its followers on the basis of religion. That is what we have today and what we have today is insidious and at the core of the ability of society to progress in the areas of human rights, dignity, respect, individuality, freedom of expression of thought and the freedom of speech.
While ever the Catholic church continues to exist and to be able to function as an organized religion it will be in the process of enacting the genocidal practices of the religion against some portion of society and it will continue to enable wars just as any organized religion can and repeatedly to the detriment of society does. The Catholic church is our most obvious example. We can either help the Catholic church to prevail or we can help our children to prevail. For every person on the planet the real choice they have to make is whether they will support the Catholic church or will they support the children.
2011 must be the year when those of us across the world who have an understanding of this and for us to collectively demand our governments brings it to a halt and never permits it to occur again. That is a part of their moral obligation to society. Any politician who today stands in support of the Catholic church should be collectively condemned through our united and collective voices.
Make 2011 the year when you connect up with a proactive survivor who speaks clearly and directly about the needs and the means of providing the safety and the protection our children and our society need.
The Catholic church and those who follow it today need to stand back and permit reason and justice to prevail, to permit each and every person within the boundaries of their country to live with the legitimate right to live in a free and democratic country free of repression and child abuse.
The Catholic church stands condemned as a psychopathic pariah and must be rejected in all forms wherever it is not regulated and policed.
The Church’s Errant Shepherds
By FRANK BRUNI Published: July 6, 2013
BOSTON, Philadelphia, Los Angeles. The archdioceses change but the overarching story line doesn’t, and last week Milwaukee had a turn in the spotlight, with the release of roughly 6,000 pages of records detailing decades of child sexual abuse by Roman Catholic priests there, a sweeping, searing encyclopedia of crime and insufficient punishment.
But the words I keep marveling at aren’t from that wretched trove. They’re from an open letter that Jerome Listecki, the archbishop of Milwaukee, wrote to Catholics just before the documents came out.
“Prepare to be shocked,” he said.
What a quaint warning, and what a clueless one.
Quaint because at this grim point in 2013, a quarter-century since child sexual abuse in the Catholic Church first captured serious public attention, few if any Catholics are still surprised by a priest’s predations.
Clueless because Listecki was referring to the rapes and molestations themselves, not to what has ultimately eroded many Catholics’ faith and what continues to be even more galling than the evil that a man — any man, including one in a cassock or collar — can do. I mean the evil that an entire institution can do, though it supposedly dedicates itself to good.
I mean the way that a religious organization can behave almost precisely as a corporation does, with fudged words, twisted logic and a transcendent instinct for self-protection that frequently trump the principled handling of a specific grievance or a particular victim.
The Milwaukee documents underscore this, especially in the person of Cardinal Timothy Dolan, now the archbishop of New York, previously the archbishop of Milwaukee from 2002 to 2009 and thus one of the characters in the story that the documents tell. Last week’s headlines rightly focused on his part, because he typifies the slippery ways of too many Catholic leaders.
The documents show that in 2007, as the Milwaukee archdiocese grappled with sex-abuse lawsuits and seemingly pondered bankruptcy, Dolan sought and got permission from the Vatican to transfer $57 million into a trust for Catholic cemetery maintenance, where it might be better protected, as he wrote, “from any legal claim and liability.”
Several church officials have said that the money had been previously flagged for cemetery care, and that Dolan was merely formalizing that.
But even if that’s so, his letter contradicts his strenuous insistence before its emergence that he never sought to shield church funds. He did precisely that, no matter the nuances of the motivation.
He’s expert at drafting and dwelling in gray areas. Back in Milwaukee he selectively released the names of sexually abusive priests in the archdiocese, declining to identify those affiliated with, and answerable to, particular religious orders — Jesuits, say, or Franciscans. He said that he was bound by canon law to take that exact approach.
But bishops elsewhere took a different one, identifying priests from orders, and in a 2010 article on Dolan in The Times, Serge F. Kovaleski wrote that a half-dozen experts on canon law said that it did not specifically address the situation that Dolan claimed it did.
Dolan has quibbled disingenuously over whether the $20,000 given to each abusive priest in Milwaukee who agreed to be defrocked can be characterized as a payoff, and he has blasted the main national group representing victims of priests as having “no credibility whatsoever.” Some of the group’s members have surely engaged in crude, provocative tactics, but let’s have a reality check: the group exists because of widespread crimes and a persistent cover-up in the church, because child after child was raped and priest after priest evaded accountability. I’m not sure there’s any ceiling on the patience that Dolan and other church leaders should be expected to muster, especially because they hold themselves up as models and messengers of love, charity and integrity.
That’s the thing. That’s what church leaders and church defenders who routinely question the amount of attention lavished on the church’s child sexual abuse crisis still don’t fully get.
Yes, as they point out, there are molesters in all walks of life. Yes, we can’t say with certainty that the priesthood harbors a disproportionate number of them.
But over the last few decades we’ve watched an organization that claims a special moral authority in the world pursue many of the same legal and public-relations strategies — shuttling around money, looking for loopholes, tarring accusers, massaging the truth — that are employed by organizations devoted to nothing more than the bottom line.
In San Diego, diocesan leaders who filed for bankruptcy were rebuked by a judge for misrepresenting the local church’s financial situation to parishioners being asked to help pay for sex-abuse settlements.
In St. Louis church leaders claimed not to be liable for an abusive priest because while he had gotten to know a victim on church property, the abuse itself happened elsewhere.
In Kansas City, Mo., Rebecca Randles, a lawyer who has represented abuse victims, says that the church floods the courtroom with attorneys who in turn drown her in paperwork. In one case, she recently told me, “the motion-to-dismiss pile is higher than my head — I’m 5-foot-4.”
Also in Kansas City, Bishop Robert Finn still inhabits his post as the head of the diocese despite his conviction last September for failing to report a priest suspected of child sexual abuse to the police. This is how the church is in fact unlike a corporation. It coddles its own at the expense of its image.
As for Dolan, he is by many accounts and appearances one of the good guys, or at least one of the better ones. He has often demonstrated a necessary vigor in ridding the priesthood of abusers. He has given many victims a voice.
But look at the language in this 2005 letter he wrote to the Vatican, which was among the documents released last week. Arguing for the speedier dismissal of an abusive priest, he noted, in cool legalese, “The liability for the archdiocese is great as is the potential for scandal if it appears that no definitive action has been taken.”
His attention to appearances, his focus on liability: he could be steering an oil company through a spill, a pharmaceutical giant through a drug recall.
As for “the potential for scandal,” that’s as poignantly optimistic a line as Listecki’s assumption that the newly released Milwaukee documents would shock Catholics. By 2005 the scandal that Dolan mentions wasn’t looming but already full blown, and by last week the only shocker left was that some Catholic leaders don’t grasp its greatest component: their evasions and machinations.