Mother of priest’s victims reveals family pain

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[Webmaster’s Note: A powerful article regarding the tragic ripple effects of abuse, especially when combined with deception and lies from the church.]

More painful than the abuse, the mother said, is the knowledge that top church officials could have prevented it. MPR News reported in September that leaders in the archdiocese kept secret Wehmeyer’s risky sexual behavior when Archbishop John Nienstedt appointed him pastor in 2009 of Blessed Sacrament and St. Thomas the Apostle, two St. Paul parishes that later merged. Today, they’re blaming her.

Mother of priest’s victims reveals family pain

The mother of the boys abused by the Rev. Curtis Wehmeyer no longer ends her days with a silent prayer. Memories and flashbacks surface too easily in those quiet moments. Instead, she plays solitaire on her cell phone until sleep.

It’s been nearly two years since she learned that two of her sons were abused by Wehmeyer and that one of the boys, in turn, sexually abused his 5-year-old twin sisters. Last year, a third son told her that he, too, had been abused by the priest. One of the boys, she also learned, abused an additional sibling. In all, six of her nine children have been sexually abused either by Wehmeyer or each other, she said.

Wehmeyer pleaded guilty in 2012 to sexually abusing two of the boys, ages 12 and 14, and possessing child pornography.

The family’s life is now a blur of therapy appointments and psychiatric hospitalizations. It is, the mother said, “a war zone.” She once hoped that some of her sons would become priests. Now she hopes that none commit suicide.

The mother, who asked that her name not be used to protect her children’s privacy, spoke at length about the abuse — and the Archdiocese of St. Paul and Minneapolis’ response — for the first time in an interview last week with MPR News and another news organization. Victims’ attorney Jeff Anderson has filed a lawsuit against the archdiocese on behalf of one of the boys.

More painful than the abuse, the mother said, is the knowledge that top church officials could have prevented it. MPR News reported in September that leaders in the archdiocese kept secret Wehmeyer’s risky sexual behavior when Archbishop John Nienstedt appointed him pastor in 2009 of Blessed Sacrament and St. Thomas the Apostle, two St. Paul parishes that later merged.

Today, they’re blaming her.

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Mother of priest’s victims reveals family pain, more abuse and church’s rebuke
MPR
News & Features
Madeleine Baran
St. Paul, Minn
Feb 25, 2014

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