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.
50 State AG Call for Grand Jury
Any investigation must be:
- independent of and separate from the church
- must have subpoena powers and ability to compel testimony under oath
Anything short of these criteria is a sham and whitewash.
In addition, write letters to the editor, make phone calls to politicians as they can apply pressure to keep them responsive to our demand. We need to make efforts to ensure that they follow up on what the state is doing to investigate these crimes.
The Attorneys General of forty states have inquired about the grand jury process in Pennsylvania. Let's get statewide investigations going in fifty states.
Note to Letter Writers
Use your own words and style of writing. Cut and paste from the templates as you wish. Include your experiences, whether as a survivor or as a member of the community. And relate your letter to the state you were abused in or state now living in.