“I didn’t do enough.”

That’s how one of the most heroic whistleblowers in Catholic history describes her efforts to expose predators and protect kids.

“I didn’t do enough.”

What haunting words. That must send a chill up the spine of anyone who works – or worked - for any Catholic entity in Minnesota. 

That’s what Jennifer Haselberger told the Associated Press the other day.


Haselberger was, for years, a high ranking archdiocesan chancery office staffer in the Twin Cities.

When she saw that her church colleagues and supervisors were ignoring or hiding evidence of possible crimes by predatory priests (including Fr. Jon Shelley and Fr. Curtis Wehmeyer), she spoke up and stepped down.

She’s done more to expose continuing clergy sex cirmes and cover ups than perhaps any Catholic employee since Fr. Thomas Doyle.

Even so, she now feels like she “didn’t do enough.”

Imagine how her former peers – in the chancery office, in parishes, in parochial schools – will feel years from now when the teacher or seminarian or nun or priest or brother who they suspected might have acted inappropriately with a child is arrested for child sex crimes (like Fr. Wehmeyer was) or for adult sex crimes (like Fr. Mark Huberty was) or found guilty in court (like Fr. Robert Kapoun was) or suspended (like Fr. Michael Keating was).

You get the point: there are lots of Catholic employees in the Twin Cities who have hurt kids and adults. Lots of other Catholic employees have hunches or information or suspicions about them. Most, however, stay silent. Few find the courage to do what Haselberger did.

And many, maybe right now or more likely later in life, will come to regret their inaction. They’ll end up guilt-ridden, because they “didn’t do enough” to ameliorate the suffering of those already hurt and “didn’t do enough” to prevent the suffering of those who were hurt AFTER they chose to stay comfortable in their silence.

Showing 5 comments

  • Barbara Dorris
    followed this page 2013-11-12 12:55:36 -0600
  • Mike Skiendzielewski
    commented 2013-10-26 17:44:51 -0500
    “….He (McDonough) told the archbishop and Eisenzimmer that he had spoken with a nun who had expressed concerns about Keating over the years.

    The “bottom line” to that conversation, McDonough wrote, was that she was certain Keating had never committed a sexual act with any underage girl before or after his ordination.

    “On the other hand, she expressed a great deal of concern about a longstanding pattern of behavior that she knows to have influenced several women, including herself,” McDonough wrote.

    “I proposed to her the phrase ‘inattentive seductiveness’ and she said that she thought that was very accurate,” he wrote…."

    Okay, you make the call…….which of the two is more professional and ethical?………Archdiocesan “investigative skills” or their “child protection skills”? Forget both items, where the hell is the LOGIC?

    In Philadelphia, our leadership uses the phrase “boundary violations” in place of your “inattentive seductiveness”. The rest of the US Catholic faithful understand such conduct as “sexual abuse”.

    Michael Skiendzielewski
  • Annette Kissell Nestler
    commented 2013-10-25 12:42:47 -0500
    Thanks for the words of wisdom, Barbara Dorris. And, Mike Ference, you go!!!
  • Michael Ference
    commented 2013-10-25 11:47:34 -0500
    I feel your pain Ms. Haselberger. On Halloween I will try one more time to expose the truth. I will pass out an Open Letter to Bishop David Zubik of the Pittsburgh Diocese naming the victims. Zubik will have one more chance to do the right thing. When law enforcement chooses to protect the guilty little if anything can be done. DA Stephen Zappala Jr. sits on the US Biships Conference board for clergy abuse cases. He was appointed on June 1, 2010. His father, former PA Supreme Court Chief Justice Stephen Zappala Sr. sits on the Pittsburgh Diocesan review board for clergy sex abuse cases.

    In Allegheny County the deck is stacked against victims of clergy abuse.

    Contact: Mike Ference
    [email protected]

    Trick or Treat Bishop David Zubik

    Pittsburgh , PA – October 31, 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 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 so much 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 was alleged to have 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 a University of Pittsburgh student. According to the victim, who I interviewed, he was knocked out for hours. He intuitively called 911. Sadly, that’s when his real nightmare began.

    Running down the stairs and into the street to meet the 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 some sort of drug, administered by a lay person with very bad intentions. The teenager was also given some 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 the Pittsburgh Diocese that one of their own had harmed another? 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?

    We now know how badly the Bevilacqua regime streated 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 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 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 provide 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 ped
  • Barbara Dorris
    @ tweeted this page. 2013-10-25 10:08:26 -0500
    Read the new blog entry by @SNAPdorris “I didn’t do enough.” http://www.snapnetwork.org/_i_didn_t_do_enough?recruiter_id=21019

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