Diocese IDs priests, bishop, laypeople in abuse probe

Photo by IV Horton/Creative Commons

(AP) — The Roman Catholic Diocese of Erie, Pennsylvania, on Friday (April 6) made public the names of 34 priests or other members of the clergy who faced credible allegations of sexual abuse or misconduct over the years, including their bishop in the 1970s, who they say failed to stop abuse that was reported to him.

In an unusual step, the diocese also identified 17 lay men and women facing similar claims, including a Catholic high school teacher who went on to become a college president.

It’s the first time the sprawling 13-county, 202,000-member diocese in the state’s northwest corner has put out a comprehensive list of those accused of abuse, which ranged from providing children with pornography to sexual assault.

“As Catholics, we believe the Lord has infinite mercy and absolution for those who are contrite and sincerely seek forgiveness,” Bishop Lawrence Persico said. “But that does not mean they are free from the ramifications of their behavior.”

The allegations reach back seven decades. Twenty-one of the priests and two of the laypeople on the list are deceased. None are now serving in any capacity with the church.

The document put out by the diocese lists where most of those named are believed to be living, and any punishment they have received, from being removed from the priesthood to being sent to prison, which was the case for a handful of the laypeople.

Bishop Alfred Watson, who led the diocese until the early 1980s, is cited for allegedly failing to act to stop abuse that was deemed to have been credibly reported to him. He died in 1990.

William Garvey, who died last year, had faced accusations he abused minors while he was a lay high school teacher and basketball coach. He would go on to become president of Mercyhurst College in Erie.

The diocese’s decision to put out the list came as the Pennsylvania Attorney General’s office is wrapping up a grand jury investigation into how the Erie diocese and five others in Pennsylvania have handled abuse and other allegations over the years.

The church said it is tightening its policies to protect children from future abuse, including increasing the clearances needed to work with youth.

Law enforcement is currently investigating three people not on the list of 51, including two priests who were identified by the diocese back in February and have either resigned or been removed from the church, the diocese said.

Diocesan spokeswoman Anne-Marie Welsh said staff had begun looking into allegations dating as far back as 1944 even before the grand jury investigation began in 2016.

She said Persico, who became bishop in 2012, invited local prosecutors to look at the diocese’s files early in his tenure but that process was suspended once the state investigation began.

The Erie diocese’s list is different from most of the other lists released by dioceses around the country because it includes the names of laypeople who worked with Catholic schools or as volunteers with churches or affiliated agencies, the bishop said.

About 35 of 145 dioceses in the U.S., or roughly 25 percent, have released names of credibly accused priests, including two others in Pennsylvania, according to the group

Terry McKiernan, its president, said naming laypeople was unusual.

“There are various ways the dioceses reduce the number on their list, so increasing the number by including laypeople is a positive step and might be unique in these lists,” McKiernan said, adding that his group has called on the dioceses to include comprehensive work histories for the accused as well.

Jeff Anderson, a St. Paul, Minnesota, lawyer whose firm only handles cases of abuse survivors, said the diocese has made a “pre-emptive minimal effort” in light of the grand jury investigation.

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  • I¡m so glad the Religion makes you moral, is the source of morality, and so on.

    I’m also grateful for Santa Claus, the Easter bunny, and all of the other saints.

  • Hmm. Interesting. The diocese is willing to ‘fess up — now, when everyone involved is dead — but somehow hadn’t been able to, when anyone was still alive and subject to prosecution?  

    It’s nice, I suppose, that they’re willing to come clean … but this is obviously too little too late, and it only fits in with the Church’s desire to protect its clergy and employees from prosecution at all costs. The time to have released this information was long ago, not 2018.  

  • Remember Ben, there is no morality without Jesus. 


    Yes, I’m aware there are many Chrishuns out there who’d say, “Yes, absolutely right!” and then just brazenly ignore revelations such as this, which fly in the face of their assertion. 

  • No. But you keep trying to blame gay men anyway. Actual understanding on this, as inso many matters, is lost on you.

    Weren’t all of the abuses done by catholic men? Yes.

    Weren’t most of these abuses of done by Catholic priests, called by god to the priesthood? yes.


    Absolutely, darling.

  • I guess you need a lesson in Christianity 101.

    We’re all sinners. You more than me.

    We’re all fallen. You more than me.

    Jesus will forgive Christians. You less than me. And if your’re not Christian, not at all.

  • Yes, according to the John Jay report. About 80 percent or so.

    But that’s not what some people wanted to hear, so some people made sure that the narrative got “adjusted”, if you will, to produce a more palatable, gay-friendly result.

    The End.

  • That doesn’t make them “homosexual”. Or do you think pedophilia is a consensual adult behavior?

  • Right, use the systemic sexual abuse of children by your priests to push your homophobic prejudice.

  • Homosexual pedophiles sexually molest children at a far greater rate compared to the percentage of homosexuals in the general population. A study in the Journal of Sex Research found, as we have noted above, that “approximately one-third of [child sex offenders] had victimized boys and two-thirds had victimized girls.” The authors then make a prescient observation: “Interestingly, this ratio differs substantially from the ratio of gynephiles (men who erotically prefer physically mature females) to androphiles (men who erotically prefer physically mature males), which is at least 20 to 1.”[17]

    In other words, although heterosexuals outnumber homosexuals by a ratio of at least 20 to 1, homosexual pedophiles commit about one-third of the total number of child sex offenses.

    Similarly, the Archives of Sexual Behavior also noted that homosexual pedophiles are significantly overrepresented in child sex offence cases:

    The best epidemiological evidence indicates that only 2 to 4 percent of men attracted to adults prefer men (ACSF Investigators, 1992; Billy et al.,1993; Fay et al.,1989; Johnson et al.,1992); in contrast, around 25 to 40 percent of men attracted to children prefer boys (Blanchard et al.,1999; Gebhard et al.,1965; Mohr et al.,1964).Thus, the rate of homosexual attraction is 6 to 20 times higher among pedophiles.”[18]

  • Quote from the article: Jeff Anderson, a St. Paul, Minnesota, lawyer whose firm only handles cases of abuse survivors, said the diocese has made a “pre-emptive minimal effort” in light of the grand jury investigation.

    There is the feel of that making a “pre-emptive minimal effort” given that the Grand jury report is expected next month. Bishop Persico has been there since 2012 and it is now 2018.

    But, dare I take hope that the hierarchy is learning a much needed lesson from this statement of Bishop Persico: “As Catholics, we believe the Lord has infinite mercy and absolution for those who are contrite and sincerely seek forgiveness. But that does not mean they are free from the ramifications of their behavior.”

    That is right. All the heavenly and priestly and hierarchical forgiveness “does not mean they are free from the ramification of their behavior.” But I would add that all those who believe in that heavenly forgiveness given through confession, all the priests and members of the hierarchy who knew or suspected, perhaps forgave those sins in confession, they, too, are not free of the duty to participate in the civil legal systems set up by their communities to protect their communities, to hold criminals accountable, and to secure justice for victims of crimes.

    That is something I would like for a bishop to say directly – that they, too, have a responsibility to the community, to the legal systems of their communities. And, in particular, they owe no greater duty to protect priests or fellow bishops than they do to protect lay people and ESPECIALLY CHILDREN.

    I don’t know if they are getting that message. Maybe Bishop Persico is on the cusp of that understanding if he can at least admit that even sexual predator priests have to face civil/legal consequences. Now, is Bishop Persico ready to admit he, too, and other bishops/hierarchs also have a responsibility?

  • READ & WEEP.

    “Victims of clergy sex abuse have long demanded reform to the state’s statute of limitations, which as currently written, bar the majority of adults who were abused decades ago as children from legal recourse to bring predators or church officials to justice. Many victims face lingering suffering from emotional pain, and many turn to substance abuse and even suicide. … ‘There’s not much more I can do with them,’ [Erie Bishop Lawrence] Persico said. ‘I know it’s very difficult but my intent in doing this was try to bring about healing. There’s many ways to bring about healing.'”

    Sources: (1) Ivey DeJesus, “Catholic bishop explains why he released names of predatory priests; confident none remain in ministry”, Penn Live, April 6, 2018. (2) Ivey DeJesus, “Six Catholic dioceses under investigation for possible child sexual abuse: The story so far”, April 6, 2018.

  • You think those underage boys were homosexual? Desiring children and boys is no more “homosexual” than the sexual abuse of little girls could be called “heterosexuality”. Your desire here is to paint ALL homosexual people as child molesters.


    MYTH # 1

    Gay men molest children at far higher rates than heterosexuals.


    Depicting gay men as a threat to children may be the single most potent weapon for stoking public fears about homosexuality — and for winning elections and referenda, as Anita Bryant found out during her successful 1977 campaign to overturn a Dade County, Fla., ordinance barring discrimination against gay people. Discredited psychologist Paul Cameron, the most ubiquitous purveyor of anti-gay junk science, has been a major promoter of this myth. Despite having been debunked repeatedly and very publicly, Cameron’s work is still widely relied upon by anti-gay organizations, although many no longer quote him by name. Others have cited a group called the American College of Pediatricians (ACPeds) to claim, as Tony Perkins of the Family Research Council did in November 2010, that “the research is overwhelming that homosexuality poses a [molestation] danger to children.” A related myth is that same-sex parents will molest their children.


    According to the American Psychological Association, children are not more likely to be molested by LGBT parents or their LGBT friends or acquaintances. Gregory Herek, a professor at the University of California, Davis, who is one of the nation’s leading researchers on prejudice against sexual minorities, reviewed a series of studies and found no evidence that gay men molest children at higher rates than heterosexual men.

    Anti-gay activists who make that claim allege that all men who molest male children should be seen as homosexual. But research by A. Nicholas Groth, a pioneer in the field of sexual abuse of children, shows that is not so. Groth found that there are two types of child molesters: fixated and regressive. The fixated child molester — the stereotypical pedophile — cannot be considered homosexual or heterosexual because “he often finds adults of either sex repulsive” and often molests children of both sexes. Regressive child molesters are generally attracted to other adults, but may “regress” to focusing on children when confronted with stressful situations. Groth found, as Herek notes, that the majority of regressed offenders were heterosexual in their adult relationships.


    Child Sexual Abuse Statistics

    The prevalence of child sexual abuse is difficult to determine because it is often not reported; experts agree that the incidence is far greater than what is reported to authorities. CSA is also not uniformly defined, so statistics may vary. Statistics below represent some of the research done on child sexual abuse.

    The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services’ Children’s Bureau report Child Maltreatment 2010 found that 9.2% of victimized children were sexually assaulted (page 24).

    Studies by David Finkelhor, Director of the Crimes Against Children Research Center, show that:

    1 in 5 girls and 1 in 20 boys is a victim of child sexual abuse;

    Self-report studies show that 20% of adult females and 5-10% of adult males recall a childhood sexual assault or sexual abuse incident;

    During a one-year period in the U.S., 16% of youth ages 14 to 17 had been sexually victimized;

    Over the course of their lifetime, 28% of U.S. youth ages 14 to 17 had been sexually victimized;

    Children are most vulnerable to CSA between the ages of 7 and 13.

  • Not necessarily. Some priests abuse girls, some abuse girls and boys. Life is more complicated than the simpleton perspective you take. 1 in 5 girls reports child sex abuse. Is that how we should sum up “heterosexuality”?

  • Careful studies indicate that cases of paedophilia occur with more frequency amongst same-sex couples than heterosexual couples. Although the homosexual community comprises a tiny minority of the population, this minority is responsible for one-third of all cases of child molestation in the US.[26] According to a Senior Fellow for cultural studies at the Family Research Council, Dr. Timothy J. Dailey, ‘the evidence indicates that both homosexuality and paedophilia are intersecting categories that include many different kinds of sexual behaviour’.[27]

    This is confirmed by a survey carried in the late 1980s by Archives of Sexual Behavior, which revealed that that 86% of the 229 criminals convicted of sexual molestation against children were homosexuals or bisexuals.[28] Further, an empirical research carried by Cameron and Cameron concluded that same-sex parents had committed 10% of all reported cases of child molestation, although they comprised only 0.3% of the random sample.[29] Such a number indicates a disproportional percentage of sexual abuse by homosexual parents, as compared to only 0.6% of children who had been molested by their heterosexual parents. It also indicates, as the researchers who carried this remarkable investigation concluded, ‘a disproportionate association between homosexuality and paedophilia [and] a correspondingly disproportionate risk of homosexual incest… for children reared by homosexuals’.[30] As a former Fellow in Child Psychiatry at Yale University, Dr Jeffrey Satinover, points out:

    [T]he greater number of heterosexual cases reflects the fact that heterosexual males outnumber homosexual males by approximately thirty-six to one… However, heterosexual child molestation cases outnumber homosexual cases by only eleven to one, implying that pedophilia is more than three times more common among homosexuals.[31]

    One of the leading academic journals of the homosexual community is called the Journal of Homosexuality. Published in 1990 there is a special double issue entitled Male Inter-Generational Intimacy. Edited by a notorious paedophile Edward Brongersma, the issue contains articles about sexual relationships between men and small boys. There instances of paedophilia are portrayed as ‘loving relationships’.[32] One of the essays even suggests that parents of sexually abused children should not regard their molesters ‘as a rival or competitor, not as theft of their property, but as a partner in the boy’s upbringing, someone to be welcomed into their home’.[33] Such essays tend to normalise paedophilia and regard the sexual molestation of children as a ‘right’ of the molested child and of the child molester. Similar, in a 1991 article by Helmut Graupner to the Journal of Homosexuality one finds the following statement: ‘Man/boy and woman/girl relations constitute, without a doubt, an aspect of gay and lesbian life’.[34]

    One of the largest homosexual publishers is the Alyson Publications. This publishing house is particularly notorious for its enthusiastic support of paedophilia. One of the most notorious books published by such publisher is entitled ‘Gay Sex: Manual for Men who Love Men’. The book provides child molesters with detailed instructions on how to avoid discovery and arrest when sexually abusing children. Among other things, the book recommends: ‘Avoid situations where a number of men are having sex with the same boy, or group of boys, over a period of time’.[35] In The Age Taboo, a book also published by Alyson Publications, its author contends: ‘Boy-lovers… are not child molesters. The child abusers are… parents who force their staid morality onto the young people in their custody’.[36]

  • When as a born-again Christian I first received the news of Catholic (male) priests molesting & raping these (male) boys, the immediate word-association coming to me were:


    That was it. Not gay sex. Not homosexuality.

    How about you? Or have you already answered that?

  • No one listens to the lies of a bigot. You’re a bigot. A goddamned bigot. Your sources are bogus, as is your morality. Furthermore, one has to be some kind of pathological, self-loathing closet case to invest this much passion into hating gay people.

  • Here’s an indisputable statistic for you: 100% of the perpetrators who raped and molested kids were YOUR priests from YOUR so-called pedophile cult of a church. You took Communion from them; you confessed your sins to them. You were complicit in protecting them and their bishop supervisors, who colluded to keep it secret, while sanctimonious sheep like you consented and blamed the victims.

  • Actually, for Chrishuns, it’s even worse than that. They’re proud to assert that “they’re not perfect, just forgiven,” so no one is permitted to criticize them or hold them accountable for anything.  

    Non-Christians, on the other hand, are always fair game for Chrishuns to go after. Because, you see, they’re not “forgiven” — thus, Chrishuns are free to rage and fume over everything they ever say or do. 

  • no one hunting them Canis – protecting people from those who admit to immorality. Christ will help them, but they need to want the help.

  • They are not following Jesus’ morality if they are abusing children, or sleeping with the same sex Psi

  • No. We’re more interested in getting them on the right track and away from satan. Thanks anyway.

  • So you say. They would insist otherwise. And really, which of you is correct? As an outside observer of Christianity, I have no way to know. 

  • What, exactly, is “the right track” if all of you Christians can’t (or won’t) even agree on what “the right track” is? There are thousands of different Christian sects; they can’t all be “the right track.” 

    What’s more, if you want others to go “away from satan,” you’re going to have to explain who and what that is. I mean, can you point “satan” out to me? Let me know, because I’m curious how you want me to stay “away from” a being I don’t even know exists and have never seen or heard. 

  • Nope. She is merely angry that her daughter told her she was gay and to get stuffed. So it is the fault of all gay people everywhere, and this hambone will have her revenge.

  • I’m not going through it on my own. I have my husband of 31 years beside me. What part of gddamned bigot don’t you understand? You’re the one who needs the help. Christ hates unrepentant bigots. Christ and I stand firmly with your gay daughter: you can get stuffed.

  • Meanwhile, all of the “thousands of different Christian sects” agree that atheism is totally, 100% false.
    ALL of them agree on this one.

    And a whole bunch of intelligent “Nones” (no organized religion), agree with them as well. Go figure.

    So maybe you could start your search for “the right track” by agreeing with them too? God exists.

  • Good answer. Some “indisputable statistics” are disputable after all.

    Meanwhile, it’s a pretty grim gig, and there’s no real answers. Even Pope Francis made a recent Big Mistake here, and now it’s back to anger, suspicion, & pain.

    Worse yet, there’s always that ever-present Third Rail of the priests’ scandal. Can’t touch that Third Rail, can’t talk about its existence nor its extent, or people will get all wild and upset.

    But the Rail still exists, all the same.

  • Re: “Meanwhile, all of the ‘thousands of different Christian sects’ agree that atheism is totally, 100% false.” 

    This fails spectacularly, given that all those different Christian sects are utterly incapable of deciding, together, what their own religion even is. They have no credibility on the nature of religions or of no religion. 

    Re: “And a whole bunch of intelligent ‘Nones’ (no organized religion), agree with them as well. Go figure.” 

    Another credibility failure. 

    Re: “So maybe you could start your search for ‘the right track’ by agreeing with them too? God exists.” 

    That’s the wrong argument to make against an agnostic like myself. I don’t deny the possibility that some deity might exist. So try again. 

  • Christ did not teach to abuse kids. They are not following Jesus’s morality if they are hurting kids.

  • Here’s another one from my “you need religion to make you moral” files.

    The BBC reports: Police at the Vatican have arrested a priest who previously worked at the Holy See’s US embassy on suspicion of possessing child pornography. Carlo Alberto Capella was taken into custody after an investigation. Monsignor Capella was recalled from the US in September 2017 after US authorities told the Vatican about a possible violation of child pornography laws

  • Who? Where? When? Point “him” out to me (whoever “he” is … I don’t happen to be clear as to “his” identity). 

  • Psi, I was short on that one, and I apologize. Hadn’t finished my morning coffee.
    One is either guided by Christ, or by satan.

  • If it were strictly a Christian problem, I would be worried, but it isn’t and that is an unfair allegation to make. I don’t see a lot of members of NAMBLA at my church. In fact – none.

  • “I don’t deny the possibility that some deity might exist.”

    Then by your own admission, you cannot deny the possibility that those “thousands of different Christian sects” who ALL agree (at minimum) that God exists, may well be correct after all.

  • I can, and do, deny that those “thousands of different Christian sects” can be right about anything. They have ZERO credibility, when they can’t even manage to agree as to what “Christianity” is. 

  • Re: “One is either guided by Christ, or by satan.”  

    I am guided by neither. I dare you to demonstrate otherwise — using compelling, objective, verifiable evidence to prove it. 

  • I’m sure you don’t, but it’s no accident that some churches, e.g. the R.C. Church, have certainly ginned up no small amount of pedophilia. That couldn’t possibly happen, if everyone staffing those churches all truly thought Jesus explicitly ordered them never to abuse kids. At some point, at least some of them must have decided differently … and then acted on that decision. 

    If they aren’t “‘Real’ Christians™” who follow “the ‘Real’ Teachings” of “the ‘Real’ Jesus,” then I invite you to do something about it. Rein them in. Teach them otherwise. Discipline them. Stand in their way if you need to. Shove Jesus’ teachings in their faces. But don’t sit back and imply that priestly pedophiles are defying Jesus’ teachings, if you — as as Christian who claims they are — won’t enforce that teaching on them. Your words to this effect are the equivalent of the famous line “Pay no attention to that man behind the curtain!” from The Wizard of Oz. It was a laughable thing for “the Wizard” to say in the movie, and it’s ridiculous for you to use it now in defense of your religion. 

  • Not my church, but, I would not stop the police from going in…..
    You can try to blame that on Christ, but you’d still lose.

  • Oh my God!

    A Catholic priest might have committed a crime!

    When I start reading news items like this on members of the LBGTQ community over at JoeMyGod I will be a lot more impressed.

  • Right, use sexual abuse by a tiny handful of priests to push your anti-Catholic homosexual agenda.

  • Re: “You can try to blame that on Christ, but you’d still lose.” 

    I never “blame[d] that on Christ.” Not once. Not ever. I have no idea why you’d say I did, but I didn’t. I can’t “blame that on Christ” because I have no way to know whether any such person ever existed or exists. It’s an impossibility. 

    What I actually said … rather than what you’d prefer I had said … is that some Christians don’t think their Jesus forbid them to abuse children. Another thing that I actually said is that it is not enough for Christians to disagree with them, merely to disagree. If Jesus had TRULY taught that child abuse is absolutely forbidden, ALL Christians would enforce this directive. They would rein in, correct, discipline, and contain any of their number who doesn’t accept that teaching. 

    That is not happening, unfortunately. Child abusers continue to lurk inside of Christianity. Some of them are clergy, who’ve granted themselves license to abuse children or to cover up their colleagues who do. The R.C. Church is most noted for this, but they’re far from alone. What all sects of Christianity have in common, is too many other Christians, mostly of the lay variety, who purposely look the other way at this phenomenon, and then get all bent out of shape when outsiders (like myself) point it out to them. 

    Stop telling me to ignore the child abuse. Get off your backside and prevent it. Stop being a lazy sniveler, and actually DO what you say your Jesus told you to do. 

  • You tried to blame Christ, ” But don’t sit back and imply that priestly pedophiles are defying Jesus’ teachings, if you — as as Christian who claims they are — won’t enforce that teaching on them.” It’s obvious you have more difficulties than I can help you with. Bye bye

  • Re: “You tried to blame Christ …” 

    No, I didn’t. Not in any way. You lie when you say I did. 

    Does your Jesus need you to lie for him? 

    Re: “It’s obvious you have more difficulties than I can help you with.” 

    … says someone who obviously struggles with basic reading comprehension. Grow up and stop projecting your own instability on me. 

  • Yes, 100% of Catholic clergy have either abused children or protected their colleagues who did abuse children. That’s your “church”.

  • I did. None of my words “blamed Christ.” Not in any way. Again, and to repeat, you lie when you say I “blamed Christ.” I did not. If you have any integrity — which seems to be out of vogue in your religion, but I suppose you could surprise me — you would admit that, and move on already. 

  • Always possible very improbable. The Bible is the best proof that the Abrahamic religions are wrong. The majority of humans agree with this statement. Listen to them Floydlee.

  • FEAR, SHAME and GUILT and COVER IT ALL UP, a standard response across the board with the “walking with god clerics” now forever walking with the common man–

    Obviously ordination in any religion is not assurance of good behavior !!!!!

    Neither is coronation!!! e.g. Henry VIII, King David.

    Neither is marriage as 50% of those men convicted of pedophilia are married.

    Neither is being elected president of the USA!! e.g. Billy “I did not have sex with that girl” Clinton, John “Marilyn Monroe” Kennedy” and now Trump.

    Neither is possessing super athletic skill!!! e.g. Tiger “I am so sorry for getting caught” Woods.

    Neither is being an atheist or pagan or football coach since pedophilia is present in all walks of life.

    If someone is guilty of a crime in this litany of “neithers” they should or should have been penalized as the law dictates to include jail terms for pedophiliacs (priests, rabbis, evangelicals, boy scout leaders, married men/women, football coaches), divorce for adultery (Clinton, Kennedy, Woods, Trump), jail terms for obstruction of justice (Paterno et al Clinton, Cardinal Law, Trump?) or child endangerment (Paterno in abstentia, Sandusky et al, Lynn) and the death penalty or life in prison for murder (“Kings David and Henry VIII).

  • Well, I think he is at least as credible as most bishops, cardinals, and the prior popes when it comes to dealing with clerical child sex abuse. The bishops and hierarchs did nothing for decades and Anderson has been seeking justice for victims and protection for those who could be abused long before the hierarchs would even admit there was a problem.

    Would be better, Bob, if you encouraged every bishop to do what Erie Bishop Persico has finally done only one month before civil authorities were going to make it public anyway. The bishop who cares does not have to wait for civil authorities to investigate to open their hidden records and expose for investigation those who have been accused of abusing children.

    Who has a better record of helping victims, Bob?

  • You meant to write, I’m sure…


    Just an oversight, I’m sure.

  • And while we’re on the usbject of morality, the Catholic Church, and being religious makes you moral…

    The Rev. Jon Wehrle, who is proud of his prowess as a builder, constructed his masterpiece on the rural outskirts of this central Michigan town. The two-story, stone-façade house has eight bedrooms, 12 bathrooms, a
    library, wine cellar, indoor swimming pool and wood-paneled elevator. The 11,300-square-foot home boasts granite counter tops, limestone fireplaces, walnut hardwood floors, crystal chandeliers and stained-glass windows.

    Wehrle, 67, who was pastor of St. Martha Church in Okemos, lived in the mansion, which a contractor said was worth $3 million to $4 million. Wehrle was charged with six counts of embezzlement last year and forced to resign. His trial is scheduled for April 9 in Ingham County Circuit Court.

  • The Catholic church was a flawed abomination of an organization from it’s inception. They have never taken responsibility for the !00+ million Christian, Jewish, and Islamic martyrs they caused and inflicted on the world in their 1260 (AD538-1798)(42mos) year reign of the western world! An the deadly wound inflicted on them 1798(by French general Berthier) is fast quickly healing (Revelation 13:3). The Vatican has an evil agenda for the world and especially those who love and obey Jesus

  • Re: “At least own up to it.” 

    I refuse to “own up” to something I didn’t do. YOU are the one who said that I “blamed Jesus.” That means YOU must quote the exact words I used to that effect. I’ve previously asked you this before, but you’ve petulantly and childishly refused to. I will assume your continued bald assertions — with zero evidence to back them up — means you’ve manufactured your claim about me “blaming Jesus” out of whole cloth, and I further assume you’ve done so because you can’t tolerate someone like myself who refuses to bow to the altar of your faith. 

    The thing is, if all you can do in order to deflect what I’ve said is to lie about me, then you can’t really have anything of value to say at all, and your religion truly is as morally dead as I’ve known it to be for the last few decades. The proof of that, of course, is in the very fact that you felt the need to lie about me in its defense. A morally and ethically upstanding religion would never force its followers to sink that low. 

    So thank you for having proven me right, all these years. QED. I remain a proud Christian apostate (as both a former Roman Catholic and former evangelical Protestant fundamentalist). I can’t thank you enough for having done me this favor! 🙂 

  • Heterosexuals are responsible for the widespread sexual abuse of girls and young women. And older women, for that matter. Thus, we must conclude that heterosexuality is inherently immoral.

  • Children have better odds with Catholic priests than with public school teachers.

    But, facts are really not your area of interest.

  • Your agenda is to attack “Christianists” who stand in the way of your fun, pervert.

  • No you didn’t quote me “blaming Jesus.” Stop lying for him. If he exists, he doesn’t need you to … he can tell all the lies he wants, on his own, without your help.

  • Another sup[er dupwer Christian denouncing other Christians for not being the right sort of Christian.

    Quelle suprise! Sort of like the pot calling the kettle a negro.

  • Your viewpoint is only your viewpoint. He has credibility with millions of others, especially the thousands of victims of clerical sex abuse, their families, and other families who hope to see the bishops act to protect children and provide justice for those abused. He has been instrumental in exposing the coverup. Why don’t you condemn bishops who covered up sex abuse as vehemently as you want to condemn those who exposed the bishops who covered up abuse?

  • Yes, my viewpoint is my viewpoint in the sense that the earth is a spheroid is a viewpoint. That’s why I provided two citations. I can provide another four dozen citations.

    He does not have credibility with the victims who wound up with 10 cents on the dollar while he wound up with 30 to 90 cents on the dollar in settlements.

    He’s an ambulance chaser, an extortionist. If he was interested in the victims, he’d take $100k a year to live well and give the rest to the victims.

    If you see me condoning a bishop involved in a cover-up, let me know.

    On the other hand, I haven’t jumped over the fence with you to suggest there was a vast conscious conspiracy.

  • No one has ever stood in the way of my fun. We don’t allow such perverts in our bedroom.