IL--Statement by victim of Chicago's Fr. Wellems
Statement Eric Johnson of Colorado, repeatedly sexually abused as a child by Fr. Bruce Wellems
Although Wellems has publicly admitted to sexually abusing me as 7 year old boy when he was 15, he remains active as a suspended priest, and as an influence with At-Risk Youth. Although his faculties in the Archdiocese have been temporarily suspended; as a Claretian, he is allowed to appear as a leader and have contact with kids.
By the time I found the courage to tell my Mother about Wellem's sexual abuse, I was well past the Stature of Limitations. Guilt, Confusion, Depression and Shame eat at you to a point so low that you have a choice; Continue to be self destructive and die, or share your story.
It took me decades to begin to heal and share my abuse. And when I did share, it was too late to hold him accountable. I remember vividly how Wellems used me for blow jobs, hand jobs, ejaculations, and other reprehensible acts for his own pleasure. He was in High School, I was in 2nd grade. Picture it. However, because of the short Statute of Limitations, I had no recourse. I had no route to regain my self-respect and dignity.
SNAP will be Representing Clergy Abuse Survivors in Rome!
We are taking the fight to Rome and are standing up for all survivors on a world stage! From February 19-25, Board President Tim Lennon, Seattle Leader Mary Dispenza, Los Angeles Leader Esther Hatfield Miller and Austin Leader Carol Midboe will be traveling to Rome for Pope Francis' Papal Abuse Summit.
If you are a member of the media and looking to get in touch with these survivors while in Rome, click here for our media advisory and contact information. If you are interested in connecting with a survivor in the US from your area of coverage, please contact one of the SNAP leaders in the US listed below:
- East Coast/DC: Becky Ianni (SNAPvirginia@cox.net, 703-801-6044)
- Midwest/Chicago: Zach Hiner (email@example.com, 517-974-9009)
- Midwest/St. Louis: David Clohessy (firstname.lastname@example.org, 314314-566-9790)
- West Coast / San Francisco: Melanie Sakoda (email@example.com, 925-708-6175)
If you are looking to help spread the word about the importance of this summit and for survivors to be heard, add your voice to the conversation on social media using the hashtag #PBC2019. Be sure to follow SNAP on twitter and Facebook and share our posts, add your comments, and let the world know that we are watching!Learn More