The Diocese of Jefferson City

A Case Study of Clergy Sexual Abuse

Tuesday, September 22, 2015

Childproof 57: Capping a 25-Year Struggle, David Clohessy Finally Makes Bishop Gaydos Cry “Uncle”


 

Page 57

 
Dear Bishop Gaydos:

We were more than pleased to learn September 4 that you would reimburse the survivor of a pedophile priest a meager portion of the medical expenses accrued over a period of nearly 25 years.
Even more important, we discovered that the survivor also wrangled
an acknowledgment from your pen that the childhood sexual molestation allegations may, in fact, be true.
 
Undoubtedly you believe that you are making amends for the victimization of a child entrusted to the care of one of your employees.  Unfortunately this is not the case.

You have devoted 18-year tenure as member of Roman Catholic hierarchy to browbeating each and every victim of a pedophile priest who has brought the crime to your attention.  In addition, you have made any number forays to prevent the disclosure of child molestation by priests working for the Diocese of Jefferson City.  For example:


§       In 1999, you admitted to the media that you
orchestrated the cover-up Bishop Anthony J.
O’Connell’s sex crimes at St. Thomas Aquinas
Seminary in Hannibal so that O’Connell could
be promoted as bishop of the Diocese of Palm
Beach, Fla
.
 
§    You then compared O’Connell’s victims to
gangrene in a November 2002 opinion piece
published in the St. Louis Post-Dispatch.  You
recommended that the diseased flesh should
be cut away from the healthy, using a painful
medical procedure called debriding
.

§    You  remained silent about the 2010 stealth
campaign to bankrupt a Jefferson City artisan
blacksmith who helped establish a local chapter
of the Survivors Network of those Abused by
Priests (SNAP).  The scale of cancelled contracts
and commissions nearly force the business owner
to close shop
.

§     In May 2013, you directed your staff threatened
those attending a press conference at the Cathedral
of St. Joseph with criminal trespass and arrest.

Their crime:  announcing the results of a study
about the Jefferson City clergy molestation
scandal entitled
Thy Child’s Face
.

§    And, Bishop Gaydos, you continue to rebuff
O’Connell victims request for medical
reimbursement support. 

The father of one victim continues to do battle
for his son, and has lost his standing as an
ordained deacon of the church.  A second victim,
who is one of my classmates at St. Thomas, is
homeless in Las Vegas. 

Five O’Connell victims receive full disability
support from the Federal Government:  
for some their situation is critical — a
subsistence livelihood due to so many
years of being unable to work.

Our report has compiled and documented the stories of scores of these victimized children.  A partial tally, alone, details 54 cases of children harmed by predatory priests:  O’Connell, 16; John J. Whiteley, 6; John H. Fischer, 2; Manus P. Daly, 2; David G. Buescher, 2; Gary W. Pool, 2; Robert G. Scobee, 1; Kevin Clohessy, 2; Frank D. Westhoff; 3; Gerald J. Howard/Carmine Sita, 3; James P. McNally, 1; James J. Mahon, 3; Donald L. Wallace, 1; Stephen L. Faletti, 1; Hugh F. Behan, 2; Msgr. Charles H. Patterson, 1; John B. DeAngelis, 1; Thomas Seifner, 1; John Degnan, 1; John J. Schutty, 1; and Sean Smythe, 1. 

You have not denied the findings of Thy Child’s Face.  In fact, your only comment has been that the pedophile priests whom we have identified either are retired or deceased and no longer a threat to children.

You have not denied the findings of Thy Child’s Face.  In fact, your only comment has been that the pedophile priests whom we have identified either are retired or deceased and no longer a threat to children.

Bishop Gaydos, you deserve no plaudit for this feeble mea culpa.  Your decision is a flimsy public relations venture in anticipation Pope Francis’ visit to the United State.

But the man who wrested your latest admission of deceit  David Clohessy deserves three hurrahs.

An icon among those addressing the victimization of children by members of clergy, Clohessy has not wavered in what has become his life’s work as a co-founder of SNAP.  Clohessy and those who continue to battle the international cover-up and worldwide scandal remain strong despite the challenge of the monolithic organization they face.
 
But the man who wrested from you an admission of guilt – David Clohessy – deserves three hurrahs.
 
An icon among those addressing the victimization of children by members of clergy, Mr. Clohessy has not wavered in what has become his life’s work as a co-founder of SNAP.  Mr. Clohessy and those who continue to battle the international cover-up and worldwide scandal remain strong despite the challenge of the monolithic organization they face.

Mr. Clohessy forced you to the ground and, then, made you  “Uncle.”   And the total sum of us, again, cheer him on for that, because we know there’s nothing we can do about the past, but we always have today and the ability to hug those we love. 
 
The rest of us now wait for our apology. 

We wait for the Diocese of Jefferson City to open its books for all to see what has happened. 

We wait for Gaydos to practice true leadership:  the leadership of transparency and justice for all.
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

Sunday, June 1, 2014

Childproof 54: Nienstedt and the Church Mouse

 
 
 
Page 54
 

Dear Bishop Gaydos:

John R. Gaydos
Bishop — Jefferson City, Mo.

 
In every congregation of every religious
denomination we find a Church Mouse
Network:  a cadre of unobtrusive,
powerless observers (and the occasional
mean-spirited busybody) with actual
insight and information about the in-
bred institutional management that
they serve.  The primary reason for
this benevolent, and sometimes divisive,
demeanor is that church leaders tend
to believe that thy are always correct
in their facts due to Divine Intervention;
and this attitude is nurtured among
those admitted to a casual, but
designated order of servitude.


Within the Archdiocese of St. Paul-Minneapolis this Church Mouse Network is busy deciphering and broadcasting the antics of your pal, the archbishop.  And one of the unspoken aspects of the
sorry saga of John Clayton Nienstedt is the circuitous route this clergyman has taken to arrive at this point in the fourth decade
of the child sexual molestation scandal of the Twin Cities
. 

John C. Nienstedt
Archbishop
St. Paul-Minneapolis
c. 1982
Nienstedt, a member of the notorious Purple Gang of Detroit, trained at the knee of three Cardinal-Archbishops. 
He is a self-assured operative who
seemed predestined to return home
as the leader of the Michigan church
after his journey in the wilderness of
New Ulm.  Unfortunately for Nienstedt,
the Michigan archdiocese is now
run by another Detroit alumnus:
Allen H. Vigneron.


Nienstedt began his career in 1977 as
secretary to John Francis Cardinal
Dearden. 
Edmund Cardinal Szoka
employed Nienstedt as vicar general (1979-1980) and acquiesced two years later to a Vatican request to transfer the Twin Cities church leader to the office of Secretary of State (1980-1987).  Within a decade, Adam Joseph Cardinal Maida (1990-2009), promoted Nienstedt to become an auxiliary bishop for Detroit
(12 June 1996), marked by the approval Szoka, who participated
in his protégé’s consecration at the Cathedral of the Blessed Sacrament in midtown-Detroit.  Six months later Vigneron joined the Purple Gang management team, also consecrated by Maida
and Szoka.

When Nienstedt was transferred to the Diocese of New Ulm (2001-2007) he promoted the Tridentine Mass with vigor.  As a crony of Raymond Cardinal Burke and the New Liturgical Movement, he marches in time with a Prima Donna’s fancy:  the “very pink of perfection,” as Oliver Goldsmith writes in She Stoops to ConquerHe also engaged in the strident real politicks of anti-abortion issues, even defending the nonsensical reactionaries who shanghaied
the Terri Schiavo family.


In 2007, Nienstedt was promoted to run the Twin Cities as
co-adjutor and successor to Harry J. Flynn.  He continued
to be a man consumed by the same self-interests of his New Ulm salad days. 
But now he is an unindicted co-conspirator in the child molestation cover-up that has infested the Minnesota branch of the Roman Catholic Church.

Criminal Minds:  Harry J. Flynn and John C. Clayton, in reality, have been
exposed as crime bosses as details of their actions to abort justice and protect
pedophile priests continue to dribble into the public domain.

Buried beneath this scandal is the fact that he was well aware of transfer pedophile priests from New Ulm — Diocese of New Ulm:
44 percent of the parishes were served by sexual offenders — to the Twin Cities.  Working in concert with Archbishop Flynn and his Vicar General, Kevin McDonough, this trio of clergymen worked extremely hard to protect New Ulm child predators like Robert P. Clark and Anthony N. Plathe.

And, with his like-minded pal in Kansas City, Mo. — Robert W.
Finn — Nienstedt began a
campaign to stigmatize segments
of the community — from women who work to the Gay-Lesbian-Bisexual-Transgender community.  His politicization of the church also led to budgeting hundreds of thousands of dollars to defeat marriage equality, harass the state legislature, and compromise
the police in any number of the criminal sexual conduct cases involving the pedophile priests he employs.

 
Allen H. Vigneron
Archbishop — Detroit, Mich.
Bishop
Oakland, Calif.
2003-2009
Nonethelesswith Detroit and Maida
ever in his line of sightwhen the time
came for the promotion Nienstedt sought,
the Priest Senate in Detroit archdiocese
canvassed its membership, who declined
the approval of their former comrade.
The Vatican, in turn, tapped Vigneron,
who took over the leadership on 5 January
2009, following his own contentious tenure
in Oakland, Calif.:  political action against
marriage equality and other measures that
he personally finds offensive rather than
prayer and good counsel to support
the commonweal.


Allen H. Vigneron also likes to party, hosting the annual Archbishop’s Gala in much the same way that Bishop Anthony J. O’Connell liked to showboat in Palm Beach with his annual
golf tournament known as the Bishop’s Cup.   Vigneron also
likes to dress up in satin and lace just like his buddy Burke.
A harbinger of Nienstedts fate to come or a just another Marie Antoinette fantasy?

And so the Minnesota phase of Nienstedt’s career shifted in focus
in 2009 to Chicago as successor to Francis Cardinal George, according to a number of insiders with ties to the Minneapolis-
St. Paul church.

 
Detroit’s Purple Gang 20114:  Adam Joseph Cardinal Maida, Edmund Casimir
Cardinal Szoka , and Archbishop Allen H. Vigneron gathered together to
host the 14th Annual Archbishop’s Gala, 8 June 2011.

“When I was [affiliated with a prominent Detroit church], the opinion of the Chancery staff was that Nienstedt expected to return to his home diocese,” according to a source with knowledge of the inner-workings of bother archdioceses.  “Because the clergy would not accept him as archbishop, he set his cap for Chicago,” the source says.

It would appear that the Detroit clergymen are correct in their opposition to the non-existent leadership skills of Nienstedt.
We can only wonder if Bishop Thomas Gumbleton played a role in this turn of events despite the disadvantage to the Minnesota church.  And, yet, the Detroit clergymen may now recognize their mistake in thinking was Vigneron is the better choice due to the fact that he operates in the same political sphere at Nienstedt, Burke, and Co.



Mirror, Mirror:  Vigneron and Nienstedt basked in the glow of a self-congratulatory moment at Sacred Heart Seminary, Detroit.  Vigneron engineered an honorary doctorate of “Christian Letters” for presentation the 28 April 2012 commencement ceremony and to mark his tenure as rector (1988-1994) of the Michigan school of theology.
 
One example of Nienstedt’s ridiculous opinion of his ability as a so-called shepherd of the faithful is the event that culminated in what we’ve chosen to call the Easter Cycle Falderal in April.
 
Palm Sunday morning, 15 minutes before the service was to begin, Nienstedt over-ruled his liturgical team by ordering the choir to leave the cathedral gallery and perform in the sanctuary.  The musicians and singers objected to the move due to acoustical parameters and rehearsals for the liturgical extravaganza.  This fit of pique proved to be a disaster by, compromising the artistry of the event.

Nienstedt may want to
review the career of
Birgit Nilsson before
attacking another
church choir.
The next day, Nienstedt issued a stinging memorandum to the choir director chastising the fact that members wore casual dress beneath their robes and many performed in sneakers.  The response from the artists
was just as bitter:  no one advised them in advance that they would be seen in public
and appropriate shoes are necessary for
the three-hour affair.

Birgit Nilsson, the unparalleled artist and
a lovely, down-to-earth woman, believed
in the power of comfortable shoes.  A
Wagnerian singer needs a voice that will
carry over a large orchestra, stamina to sing for four hours at a stretch, and an understanding of the complexities of Wagner’s music, according to Nilsson had these and so much more. 

She also was one of the greatest exponents of the title role in Puccini’s Turandot and was praised for her performances of Richard Strauss’ work.  She herself, on a recording of Fledermaus, sang “I Could Have Danced All Night” from My Fair Lady, so she was certainly game for a joke.

Rev. John Ubel, rector, Cathedral of St. Paul (back row, fourth from left),
specializes in the satin and lace liturgy espoused by Cardinal Burke and his
cronies.  Convinced with the vim and vigor of a Civil War re-enactor, this
brand of clergyman believes that dressing up in antique altar garb will
convince the faithful to remain silent to criminal activity with the church
and increase financial support despite their failed leadership.

On repeated occasions, she remarked that the most important
thing for singing Wagner was a pair of comfortable shoes, and in a performance of Siegfried, she wore a “Do Not Disturb” sign when Siegfried goes to wake her from her magic sleep.  One of my favorite quotes of hers was when someone commented how down-to-earth she was, to which she replied it was so that “when you
fall down, it won’t hurt so much.”

One would think that Nienstedt would have an appreciation of these elements of performance.  But, apparently, he has designs on a boy choir to replicate the sound of music at St. Agnes Church in St. Paul’s Frogtown neighborhood.

Two years prior to the Easter Cycle Falderal in Nienstedt altered the liturgical leadership for the archdiocese, again to suit his personal preferences and temperamental leadership skills:  the 2010 resignations of James Biery as Director of Music, organist, and principle liturgist, and Marilyn Biery, as associate music director.  Biery also resigned as chairman of the Cathedral Restoration Fund, which was established to raise
$2.5 million to refurbish the pipe organ
of the mother church.

Within the Church Mouse Network the common opinion for the couple’s departure is church-related politics.  Members of the Minnesota Chapter of the American Guild of Organists (AGO) and professional church singers consider the situation a matter of ecclesiastical insecurity on Nienstedt’s part.
 
According to one well-placed AGO source in the Twin Cities, Nienstedt either does not like the idea of the idea of the laity supervising liturgical policy or else working with a married couple was a distasteful task. 

“He did not appreciate Jim or Marilyn, despite their stature as composers and liturgists,” one source says, referring to Biery’s 14-year tenure at the cathedral (1996-2010).

Rev. John L. Ubel
James Biery is the recipient three consecutive American Society of Composers, Authors, and Publishers (ASCAP) Plus Award annually for his compositions:  2006, 2007, 2008.  In 1986, he was the prize-winner for the highest score on the FAGO exam administered by the American Guild of Organists.  The winner of several organ competitions, he was named Second Prize Winner in the 1980 AGO National Open Competition in Organ Playing.

Marilyn Perkins Biery is an organist, conductor, composer and hymn writer, currently on the music faculty at Wayne State University. Since relocating to Michigan in 2010 she has served as Minister of Music at Royal Oak First United Methodist Church and Metropolitan United Methodist Church in Detroit.  Ms. Biery holds Bachelor and Master of Music degrees in organ performance from Northwestern University, and a doctorate of musical arts in organ performance from the University of Minnesota.

James and Marilyn Biery now reside in Grosse Pointe Farms, Michigan, where he is Minister of Music at Grosse Pointe Memorial Church (Presbyterian) in Grosse Pointe Farms, Michigan.
 

Pretty in Pick:  As pastor of St. Agnes, Rev. John Ubel, rector, Cathedral of
St. Paul, espoused shades of rose and lavender for antique altar garb, based on
liturgical rubrics. Unfortunately this level of attention to detail has not
carried over to management and child welfare disciplines of the church
s
standards and best practices infrastructure.

Since the Bierys departure, Nienstedt has tried to rebuild what he destroyed due to his own liturgical self-interest.  He has not been happy with changes he has wrought.

Lawrence W. Lawyer, a competent organist, is now trodding the peddles on Sunday morning at the cathedral as acting director of sacred music.  Sean Vogt is the new choirmaster, who, according to some music critics, is learning on the job.
 
Rev. Joseph R. Johnson
Raymond Cardinal Burke, as bishop of La Crosse, Wisc. (1995-2003), gave Lawyer his first big break in church music circles, appointing the musician as organist of the Cathedral of Saint Joseph the Workman. Burke is a now as much of a disgraced prelate as Nienstedt.

In addition to replacing Biery as director of music, Nienstedt also reorganized the organ restoration committee without former liturgical chief.
 
Nienstedt removed the Rev. Joseph R. Johnson as Rector of the St. Paul Cathedral and president of the Cathedral Foundation in 2012.  Johnson was transferred to Holy Family Church, St. Louis Park, after six years at the Cathedral.  The Rev. John L. Ubel, pastor of St.  Agnes Church, was brought in as successor. 

At first glance one might assume that politics is a factor:  a new broom sweeping clean.

Ubel and St. Agnes Church champion the Tridentine Mass and the lacey frocks worn Sunday morning ritual.  St.  Agnes also is known as a priest hole for pedophile clergymen on the lam.
 
But one well-placed AGO member suggests financial issues caused the change in staffing.

“One impression is that the archbishop believed the organ fund is undervalued,” the source says.  “Not that financial irregularities are in play, or money is missing, or fund raising is ineffective,
but that the bookkeeping and account balance are off.”

According to published reports, the $2.5 million is dedicated to the restoration of the Skinner pipe organ.  Whatever the issues surrounding the funding, we can
safely say that money always trumps
the safety of children where church
leadership is concerned. 

And as Nienstedt continues to rewind his clock backwards and remake the Twin Cities according to his fashion as the Church Mouse Network continues to muse and observe.


 

 


 

 

Wednesday, April 2, 2014

Childproof 53: John Vomastek, Father of Six, Helps Child Molester Escape



 

Page 53

 
Dear Bishop Gaydos:

John C. Nienstedt
Archbishop
Minneapolis, Minn.
Perhaps the most significant horror story
(in addition to each tale of victimization)
to emerge from the pedophile priest crisis
in the Archdiocese of St. Paul-Minneapolis,
Minn., is the role played by the Rev. Mr.
John Vomastek.

Vomastek, a retired police officer
a senior commander with the City of
St. Paul Police Department, no less
is now known as the man who drives
the get-away car for Archbishop
John C. Nienstedt.

Nienstedt, the chairman of the organization
we have christened Nienstedt, Flynn, and Co.,
has made great strides as archbishop to protect
serial predators.  Indeed, he and his predecessor,
Harry J. Flynn despite solemn oaths and public
relations promises to the contrary have exerted
their influence beyond obstruction and intimidation
to conceal the evidence and history of these crimes.

What is incredibly important is how they have been able to
drag their lay employees in to this criminal morass as accessories and inculcate their beliefs with the pedophile mindset as the logical conclusion for the faithful within the Roman Catholic
Church in America.  As with the Peoples Temple Agricultural Project (i.e. the Rev. Jim Jones and Jonestown), Scientology’s
Sea Org and other cult groups, we’ve seen this shift in reasoning as a disintegrated construct that ultimately attacks the core beliefs of young people.

Robert J. Carlson
Archbishop
St. Louis, Mo.
Carlson, McDonough:  No Pang, No Qualm
But why would some church employees,
like Vomastek, accept this premise?


Robert J. Carlson, the archbishop of
St. Louis, agreed to perform the dirty
work for Archbishop John Roach.  But,
then, he is a careerist. 
As vicar general
his finger prints are all over the many
documents locked away in Nienstedt’s
vault.  He has no qualms about looting
a child’s innocence.

The Rev. Kevin McDonough followed
Carlson’s vocation strategy for both
Flynn and Nienstedt.  The former Twin Cities vicar general
thought he could build his career on the backs of the victims of child molesters and the vulnerable.  But Flynn and Nienstedt have failed to make good on McDonough’s option on a cathedral throne.

Instead, the nature of the current phase of this Twin Cities
catastrophe forced Flynn from the University of St. Thomas
board of trustees, which is as it should be.  Academia, after all, relies to a certain degree on moral character and the ability
to tell the truth. 
McDonough resigned from the St. Thomas board in October 2013.

A non-profit organizations operate on the same principle:  the imperative to maintain a pristine reputation is critical to successful outreach and fundraising (as the Susan G. Koman Foundation discovered in 2013).  And, yet, McDonough is still a member of
the Northwest Area Foundation board of directors. 

Why is that?


Northwest Area Foundation Board of Directors
Back row, left to right: Jim Laducer, Natalie Camacho Mendoza, William
Thorndike, Jr., Louis F. Hill, Elsie Meeks, Rodney Jordan, Sally Pederson,
Nicholas Walrod, Linda Hoeschler, Terrence W Glarner. 
Front row, left
to right:
Darrell Robes Kipp (deceased), the Rev. Kevin McDonough, Lynda
Bourque Moss. 
Not Pictured: Sarah Vogel, Nicholas Slade, M. Lorena
Gonzalez, Hyeok Kim.  Why is McDonough still a member of this group?.

 
Perhaps the time has come for Northwest Area board members
to consider McDonough’s presence.  Perhaps this process should begin Linda L. Hoeschler, a respected advocate for the arts and underprivileged; Sally Pedersen, the former lieutenant governor of Iowa; and Louis F. Hill, scion of the James J. Hill family.

Shame and Resignation
The Rev. Peter J. Laird was an immediate failure as vicar general.  Courtroom testimony forced his resignation by disclosing the level of activity used to thwart the police. 


Prisoner 240097:  Rev. Curtis Wehmeyer is serving a 5-year prison sentence
at the Minnesota Correctional Facility, Lino, Lakes.  Wehmeyer pled guilty
5 February 2013 to 20 counts
related to child sex abuse and child pornography.
In November 2012, Wehmeyer admitted to one count of second-degree
criminal sexual conduct, punishable by up to 25 years in prison and a possible
$35,000 fine, as well as two counts of fifth-degree criminal sexual conduct,
and 17 counts of possessing child pornography. 
Each of the 17 child porn
counts is punishable by up to five years in prison, a fine of up to $5,000, or
both.  Wehmeyer also was ordered to provide a DNA sample for registration
as a predatory sex offender, and he will be on conditional release for 10 years
after prison. The archdiocese of St. Paul-Minneapolis has asked the Vatican
to laicize Wehmeyer.


 
Nor did Andrew J. Eisenzimmer escape into retirement as the vice chancellor for civil affairs.  An attorney and layman, he is well aware of the evidence and conceit involved to keep the authorities at bay.  When he relinquished his duties to Joseph Kueppers, another lawyer and layman, he merely passed the baton to the next crisis manager. 
 
We have to wonder why men like Eisenzimmer and Kueppers
agree to participate in the level of corruption as implied their
job descriptions.  Representing their client is one thing; failure to meet the minimum ethical standards is something else.  Carlson, McDonough, and Laird, as clergyman have a vested interested in the criminal enterprise, but it’s remarkable that layman continue to work as consigliere.

 
John Vomastek: An American Horror Story
Andrew Eisenzimmer
Vice Chancellor
Civic Affairs
2005-2013
We also question the appropriateness of keeping Vomastek on the job. 

Vomastek is particularly problematic in
this current display of criminal activity
by the archdiocese leadership.  A trained
police office with the City of St. Paul
Police Department
a retired senior
commander, no less
Vomastek is
employed as director of clergy services
within the
Office of the Life and Ministry
of Priests. 


Criminal conspiracy, crisis management,
and personnel difficulties are not the
duties of a training manager or 
continuing
education coordinator. 

In fact, Vomastek’s participation in the cover up of criminal activity by known pedophile priests; lying to investigators; and scrubbing the crime scene for one or more crime scenes, is not within his purview at all.  But Nienstedt must value  Vomastek’s
20-plus-year career with City of St. Paul Police Department in
this crime drama.


Establishing an Alibi
A few days before the 23 June 2012 arrest of the Rev. Curtis Wehmeyer, McDonough began to build an alibi that could be
used to defend himself and the archdiocese.  As the so-called “delegate  for safe environments,” McDonough and Vomastek met with a group of senior Chancery staff — Jennifer Haselberger, vice chancellor for canonical affairs; then-vicar general Peter Laird, and Andrew Eisenzimmer, vice chancellor of civil affairs — to advise them “that the police had been notified and [he and Vomastek] could proceed” to the rectory of Blessed Sacrament Church to tell Wehmeyer that he had been accused of abusing children and must leave the premises. 

Vomastek’s role in this caper is that of the sidekick cop.  Armed with McDonough’s deniability cover, Vomateck is secure in the knowledge that his employment is not compromised. 


The Rev. Mr. John Vomastek and his wife, Cathy, are
the parents of six children.  Vomastek, a permanent
deacon with the Archdiocese of St. Paul-Minneapolis,
Minn., has engaged in questionable behavior ranging
from obstruction of justice to evidence tampering
in the 2012 arrest of the Rev. Curtis Wehmeyer.
Vomastek continues to work for the archdiocese,
but others associated with the case have resigned:
the perfect role for a retired policman.

 
Wehmeyer was pastor of Blessed Sacrament despite supervision for sexual misconduct:  he molested a 12-year-old boy in the summer of 2010.  In 2009, he pled guilty to a drunk driving and sentenced to 90 days in jail and 2 years supervised probation. 

McDonough and Vomastek rang the doorbell on 21 June 2012 on entering Wehmeyr's rectory.  A parish employee at the scene said they took Wehmeyer into a closed office. A short time later, according to the employee and police accounts, McDonough and Vomastek left the building, and Wehmeyer was left on his own to pack up and move out. 

Wehmeyer was free for the next 28 hours, when police arrested him.  He received a 5-year prison sentence in Feburary 2013 as a result of pleading guilty to 20 counts of child molestation incident and possession of child pornography.

Scrubbing the Crime Scene
According to media reports, McDonough and Vomastek confiscated Wehmeyer’s computer and a gun.

Law enforcement documents would later show that by the time police got to Blessed Sacrament, Wehmeyer was no longer on church property.  McDonough had taken Wehmeyer’s work computer to the chancery and church officials had interviewed
the child who first came forward to allege abuse.

The Minneapolis Star Tribune notes that in the full police report indicates that the first notification by the archdiocese is an e-mail from Vomastek to the head of the sex crimes unit dated, 20 June 2012, 5:58 p.m.  The police record also indicates that on 19 June 2012 a church employee (later identified as Greta Sawyer) “conducted a full interview of [the boy] and made an audio recording of it,” police records said. 

John Vomastek:
Permanent Deacon
Ordained 2010.
A rogue cop caught up
in the pedophile priest
culture of the Roman
Catholic Church.
Vomastek followed up with an e-mail
message to Cmdr. Axel Henry with a
suspect’s name and the name of the
victim’s mother.  The message reads:
“Can you let me know if you have the
original case of a few weeks ago when
I called and if you need any help from
our end?  The person we talked about
will be relieved of duties tomorrow.”
 

“We have NO reports with the names
provided,” Henry responded on the
morning 21 June 2012.
 

“It could be possible that the family
made the report and never gave a
suspect name,” Henry’s note continues.
“If you have the original victim(s) names
that would confirm this.  Otherwise we
will need to go to plan B because we
have no report.”

 
According the archdiocese, Wehmeyer’s name was not mentioned in the original message from Vomastek, but the deacon told Henry that Wehmeyer was the suspect in a telephone conversation before sending the message. 

Church Lady Twaddle
The archdiocese also contends that Vomastek telephoned the police en route to Blessed Sacrament to dismiss Wehmeyer.  Nonetheless, the police file shows that on 21 June 2012, at
11 a.m., while McDonough and Vomastek were reportedly with Wehmeyer, a police detective at the department received “preliminary information” about the abuse.
 

The timeline is important because state law requires “immediate” reporting of suspected child abuse to civil authorities by teachers, clergy members and other “mandated reporters.” Under extenuating circumstances, reports are required “as soon as possible but in no event longer than 24 hours,” according to Minnesota statute. 

The archdiocese contends that the timeline in the police documents is inaccurate and that Chancery staff worked closely with the police. 

Standard Operating Procedures
Rev. Joseph W. Starmann
Diocese of Jefferson City
We’ve seen this type of resolution
management before.  In fact, it’s
standard operating procedure for
the American hierarchy.

We’ve seen this intervention in
the Diocese of Jefferson City, the
Diocese of St. Cloud, and elsewhere.
Obstructing a police investigation is
standard operating procedure for
the United States Conference of
Catholic Bishops. 

Tampering with evidence is another
typical ploy of bishops and those with
career aspirations.  Imposing gag orders
to settle cases and silence witnesses
is a prime victimization tactic.


Jerome G. Hanus, O.S.B., the retired archbishop of Dubuque,
Iowa, intervened in similar cases throughout his tenure as bishop
of St. Cloud, Minn., and worked in concert with the Abbot Jerome
Theisen of St. John’s Abbey, Collegeville, Minn., to protect
predatory Benedictine monks.  He is still a party to multiple
civil suits regarding crimes against children and vulnerable
adults despite the fact that in August 2013 he negotiated reparations with 26 victims (22 males and four females) in the Dubuque archdiocese for $5.2 million.


The Rev. Bede Parry, O.S.B. (center) is one of many sexual predators Jerome
Hanus, O.S.B., archbishop of Dubuque, Iowa, (right) and Gregory J. Polan,
O.S.B., the current abbot of Conception Seminary, have protected.  Parry,
also known as James McKinley, molested members of the boy choir and
students in his care at Conception Abbey and Seminary.  He admitted his
actions to Hanus,  who was the abbot (1973-1979)  of the Nodaway County,
Mo., religious foundation and educational institution.  Parry also confided
that he molested a student in 1981 at St. John University, Collegeville,
Minn., during Hanus’ tenure as bishop of St. Cloud.  It appears that
protecting child predators has served the interests of Archbishop Hanus
throughout his career:  abbot, Conception Abbey (1977-1979); bishop,
St. Cloud, Minn. (1987-1994); and archbishop, Dubuque, Iowa (1995-2013).
 
Hanus is the former abbot (1977-1987) of Conception Abbey, near Kansas City, Mo., as well.  In that capacity, Hanus has protected one monk named, Bede (James McKinley) Parry, since 1981, with the support of his successor, Abbot Gregory J. Polan, O.S.B..  Parry targeted members of the abbey's boy choir and students at the abbey seminary. 

A civil suit filed in 2011 alleged that Hanus supervised Parry at Conception 1973-1979.  Parry told Hanus in 1981 that he had been involved in three inappropriate sexual relationships.  The suit also alleges he admitted a relationship with a student in 1981 while he was at St. John’s.  Parry admitted that incident of sexual misconduct to Theisen and two other monks at St. John’s, the lawsuit claims.

The attorney for two of Parry victims at Conception Abbey deposed Hanus on 25 April 2013 in preparation for trial.  Hanus resigned in 2013, citing ill health.

The Rev. Bede Parry, O.S.B. (third row, far left) Gregory J. Polan, O.S.B. (third
row, second from right), the current leader of Conception Abbey, with members
of the Abbey Boy Choir, c. 1987.  Polan shared Parry's secret with no one;
and
the pedophile monk, also known as James McKinley, continued to molest children
at will
.

Parry, a self-admitted sexual predator, was ordained in 1983 and was accepted as a priest in the Episcopal Church, U.S.A., in 2004.  He resigned his position with the Episcopal Diocese of Nevada in 2011 when his past became public knowledge.

For the record, Hanus settled nine additional cases in March 2007 (seven mails and two females) for $2.6 million.  The reparations are related to sexual molestation involving six priests: Patrick McElliot who served at St. Patrick, Ryan; William Schwartz, Columbus High School, Waterloo; John Brickle and Joseph Patnode, St. Patrick, Nevada; Timothy Devenney, St. Columkille, Dubuque; and Allen Schmitt, Sacred Heart, Waterloo. 

In March 2008, Hanus settled settled 18 cases for $4.7 million.  In February 2006, Hanus settled more sexual abuse claims by paying $5 million to 20 more victims.

The Father Mohan Incident
Msgr. Gerold J. Kaiser
Diocese of Jefferson City
‘Ultimate Company Man’
1916-1987
Michael F. McAuliffe, bishop of
Jefferson City (1969-1997), your
immediate predecessor, engaged
in similar capers with his own
chancellor and vicar general,
Msgr. Gerold J. Kaiser (1916-1987).


As we have described in Childproof 6,
t
he Rev. James J. Mohan, an Irish
native, is known to have molested a
number of youngsters during his last
assignment in 1973 as pastor of
Visitation Church, Vienna, Mo.,
nestled in the foothills of the Ozarks.
He also molested at least one other
youngster at Immaculate Conception
Church in Montgomery City.
 
According to the Rev. Joseph W. Starmann (d. 14 December 2011), in an e-mail message dated 17 November 2004, Mohan disappeared from his Vienna rectory on or about
1 September 1973. 

Kaiser, who shared confidences with Starmann as a close friend, said that he arrived at the parish rectory at midnight, “scooped Mohan up and drove him to Lambert Airport in St. Louis, where [he was] put on a plane for London, England.”  Before boarding, Kaiser also “stuffed” $15,000 in Mohan’s pocket and told the sexual predator not to return the United States.

According to Starmann:
 
“It seems the sheriff of Maries County had a
warrant for Mohan’s arrest, charging him with
the sexual molestation of a couple of teenage
boys.  Though I’m not a lawyer, this smelled to

me of obstruction of justice.”

According to the 2003-2004 Official Directory of the Diocese of Jefferson City, Mohan died 17 March 1990, St. Patrick’s Day.
Kaiser also was involved in a number of other cases such as that of the Rev. James L. Gummersbach. When the Diocese of Jefferson City was created in 1954, Gummersbach Kaiser’s assistant at St. Patrick Church, Rolla, until 1956.  Gummersbach was transferred back to St. Louis in 1963.  In 1999, a jury awarded a Gummersbach victim $1.2 million, but the verdict was reversed on appeal due to Missouri’s restrictive statute of limitations provision.  Gummersbach was not laicized until 2006.

Starmann describe his relationship with Kaiser: 

Kaiser and I were the best of friends (he left me his library in his will) but also the best of enemies.  We fought over just about everything over the years.  We went on vacations together and argued the whole time.  He was an ultra, arch, reactionary, hide-bound conservative; and he was convinced that I was a screaming liberal. 

“He was also the ultimate company man, and sometimes he shocked me with his loyalties:  when Jim Mohan [was] accused in [the] warrant with having molested two teenage boys . . . I accused Kaiser of being a criminal himself, for aiding a fugitive from justice, and he told me in no uncertain terms that he had to do everything possible to protect the Church.  (Sound familiar?)”


McDonough:  Playing Dumb
Rev. Kevin McDonough
Vicar General
Archdiocese
St. Paul-Minneapolis
1991-2008
That’s why it is surprising that McDonough
and Vomastek claim they had permission
from the police to visit Wehmeyer —
permission Vomastek says he received
by telephone from a representative of
the St. Paul police.

McDonough also expects us to believe
that he took the computer because he
wanted to preserve the chain of evidence.
And as the principle authority of the
archdiocese, we do not understand why
McDonough would delegate his job to a
subordinate like Vomastek.  After all,
what’s a little more dirt on those
consecrated hands?

McDonough certainly is practiced art of rationalization, attributing criminal activity to sex addiction and sexual orientation:

“Nothing, nothing, nothing in this man’s behavior known to us would have convinced any reasonable person that he was likely to harm kids.”

McDonough says he has no regrets about his decision making process, but his response to the Wehmeyer case is as inflammatory as his statements are misleading.

Jim Accurso, who said the timeline in the police documents is inaccurate and the archdiocese worked closely with police. “We did not put the police at a disadvantage because they were notified throughout the entire time,’’ he said.

A Fine Bit of Witchcraft
Whatever McDonough proposes to the public, the police, or the prosecutor, we can only say that gthe ability to scare, intimidate, rankle, and inflict psychology damage on the victims of sexual predators is a fine bit of witchcraft . 

We point to the case of the Rev. Richard H. Jeub and McDonough’s role in the cover-up and continued victimization of those attacked by this sexual predator. 

McDonough had been vicar for nearly one year, when Jeub was accused in 1992 of molesting a 15-year-old girl in 1969.  at Our Lady of Grace in Edina, Minnesota Jeub denied allegation. 

Then another woman apprised McDonough that Jeub molested her when she was an adolescent 1967-1970.  She turned down a settlement offer.

Jeub was found in a civil trial not to have engaged in abusive behavior.  Nonetheless, McDonough sent Jeub to St. Luke's Institute, a church-owned organization Silver Springs, Maryland, for evaluation and treatment and the use of psychiatry to care for, protect, and/or “cure” predatory priests. The church operates multiple venues for this purpose such as the Institute of Living, Hartford, Conn.

The archdiocese noted in Jeub’s personnel file that he had a history of exploitative sexual relations with adult women.  According to a psychiatric evaluation, one Jeub’s victims included
a nun he was counseling, a blind woman he was caring for, and
the wife of a patient in a hospital where he worked as chaplain,
among others.


Jeub was removed from full-time parish work 1990-2001, working on special assignment at the Chancery.  He then was allowed to resume his duties, serving at St. Rose of Lima in Roseville, Minn., 1999-2002. He resigned from parish ministry in June 2002 due to the publicity about past accusations.
 
McDonough:  Victims Compromised Again
We believe the observations of others: Ramsey County Attorney John J. Choi and the St. Paul police were not aggressive in pursuing evidence and filing charges.  No search was executed, not files or other evidence was seized, and no one among the archdiocesan staff was deposed or provided testimony under oath.

We believe that a number of disturbing actions are in play:

§  The Rev. Kevin McDonough, then the “delegate
for safe environment” and a former vicar general,
went with Deacon John Vomastek, a retired St. Paul
police senior commander, to “tip off” Wehmeyer
that he was about to be arrested
giving Wehmeyer
a day to potentially destroy evidence and move his
camper to storage in Oakdale.
 

§  McDonough and Vomastek collected from Wehmeyer
his laptop computer and a gun he owned.  They did
not turn over the computer to police until four
days later.
 

§  After archdiocese officials were made aware of
the allegation against Wehmeyer, Nienstedt
directed archdiocese victim advocate Greta
Sawyer to interview the child, instead of
turning the case over to police.

Quid pro Quo:  Obstruction of Justice
John Vomastek
Retired Police Officer
And so we are interested in the reward(s)
Nienstedt and/or McDonough offered
Vomastek for his role
in this 2012
obstruction of justice involving Wehmeyer.

Perhaps Nienstedt promised Vomastek
an aristocratic title from the Vatican:
the cachet of the Roman nobility created
by the papacy over the centuries still
attracts adherents.  “Count” Vomastek
is a temptation that is as imaginative
as it is attractive.

McDonough (and Nienstedt) also could
have promised a papal knighthood
as compensation. 

Membership in the Sovereign Military Hospitaller Order of Saint
John of Jerusalem of Rhodes and of Malta
is probably too grand
for a St. Paul policeman (the hierarchy is over-populated with

social climbers trying to escape their humble origins; the snobbery
of Raymond Cardinal Burke and Roger Cardinal Mahony would
not allow access to such an outsider).  In actuality, Vomastek

may have been offered the Equestrian Order of the Holy Sepulchre
of Jerusalem
, which is readily available to most wealthy donors
in every diocese in the United States (we know of two from
Moberly, Mo).

Ultimately is difficult to reconcile the actions of the family
with the criminal profile and scenario of the Wehmeyer. 

Vomastek is the father of six children.  His 18-year-old daughter
is the youngest member of the family.

We only asked the same question again:  Why are you protecting child molesters, Mr. Vomastek?  Why are you still working for Nienstedt?