MN--Victims applaud ruling on predator priest
For immediate release: Wednesday, June 24
We applaud Minnesota’s highest court for re-instating the conviction of a predator priest. Now, it’s up to the new head of the Twin Cities archdiocese to seek out and help others hurt by this criminal.
Fr. Christopher Wenthe preys on vulnerable, devout women who have been raised since birth to respect and revere allegedly celibate priests who posture as Christ’s representatives on earth. That’s why it’s illegal in Minnesota and other states for clerics to sexually exploit congregants. We’re grateful the Minnesota Supreme Court recognizes this fact.
Bishop Bernard Hebda is essentially a “caretaker.” He can’t initiate radical changes in the archdiocese. He can, however, use church resources to reach out to others who saw, suspected or suffered Fr. Wenthe’s crimes. And if he wants us to believe he’s a better shepherd than his predecessor, that’s precisely what he’ll do. Parish bulletins, pulpit announcements, church websites, news releases – these are a few of the many ways Hebda could prod others with information or suspicions about Fr. Wenthe’s crimes to step forward.
We challenge Hebda to do this immediately and to personally go to each place where Fr. Wenthe worked spreading this message.
(SNAP, the Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests, is the world’s oldest and largest support group for clergy abuse victims. SNAP was founded in 1988 and has more than 20,000 members. Despite the word “priest” in our title, we have members who were molested by religious figures of all denominations, including nuns, rabbis, bishops, and Protestant ministers. Our website is SNAPnetwork.org)
Contact - David Clohessy (314-566-9790 cell, SNAPclohessy@aol.com), Barbara Dorris (314-503-0003 cell, bdorris@SNAPnetwork.org), Barbara Blaine (312-399-4747, firstname.lastname@example.org), Verne Wagner of Duluth, Northeast MN SNAP director (218- 340-1277, email@example.com)
St. Paul priest's sex misconduct conviction reinstated
Associated Press POSTED: 06/24/2015
The Minnesota Supreme Court has reinstated a sexual misconduct conviction for a St. Paul priest accused of having sex with a woman who was seeking his spiritual advice.
Christopher Wenthe was convicted in 2011 of third-degree criminal sexual conduct for incidents dating back to 2003 while he was working at Nativity of Our Lord church in St. Paul. Last year, the Minnesota Court of Appeals reversed his conviction and ordered a new trial, but on Wednesday the Supreme Court . . .
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.