Tagged: St. Paul

Archbishop John Nienstedt quits after archdiocese charged with cover-up

nienstedt

Pope Francis has started making good on his promise to not let even the most senior churchmen get away with sex abuse or cover-up.

On Monday, he accepted the resignation of the embattled archbishop of St. Paul and Minneapolis and his deputy bishop after prosecutors there charged the archdiocese with having failed to protect children from unspeakable harm from a pedophile priest who was later convicted of molesting two boys.

Separately, the Vatican indicted its own former ambassador to the Dominican Republic with sexually abusing minors in the Caribbean country — the highest-ranking Vatican official ever to stand trial for a sex crime.

The developments came days after Francis approved the creation of a new tribunal inside the Vatican to specifically hear cases of bishops accused of failing to protect minors, answering years of criticism that top-ranked churchmen have long been immune to punishment for ignoring or covering up for priests who rape and molest children

Earlier this month, prosecutors charged the Archdiocese of St. Paul and Minneapolis as a corporation of having “turned a blind eye” to repeated reports of inappropriate behavior by a priest who was later convicted of molesting two boys. No individual was named in the complaint.

The charges came two years after diocesan canon lawyer-turned-whistleblower Jennifer Haselberger alleged widespread cover-up of clergy sex misconduct in the archdiocese, saying archbishops and their top staff lied to the public and ignored the U.S. bishops’ pledge to have no tolerance of priests who abuse…

With Monday’s resignations, there have been 18 bishops who have resigned after being publicly criticized for covering up for abusers, according to Anne Barrett Doyle of the online resource BishopAccountability.org…

The criminal charges against the archdiocese stem from its handling of Curtis Wehmeyer, a former priest at Church of the Blessed Sacrament in St. Paul, who is serving a five-year prison sentence for molesting two boys and faces prosecution involving a third boy in Wisconsin.

Prosecutors say church leaders failed to respond to “numerous and repeated reports of troubling conduct” by Wehmeyer from the time he entered seminary until he was removed from the priesthood in 2015. The criminal complaint says many people — including parishioners, fellow priests and parish staff — reported issues with Wehmeyer, and many of those claims were discounted.

Another one bites the dust.

When the dust settles will the Roman Catholic Church have become a force for good, seeking progress and a better life for all their flock? Or does the opportunity still exist among reactionaries, the self-concerned still in hierarchal positions of trust and power, to outlast the term of this Pope and resume “business as usual”?

Dumb crook of the day

Minnesota police arrested a burglary suspect who apparently forgot to log out of Facebook after checking his profile during a break-in at a St. Paul home.

The homeowner came back to his house and found that credit cards, cash and a watch were missing. The thief had also left behind a pair of Nike tennis shoes, jeans and a belt that he apparently discarded because it had been raining outside.

He also left behind his information on James Wood’s computer.

“World’s dumbest criminal,” Wood told CBS Minnesota. “I don’t know. I started to panic, but then I noticed he had pulled up his Facebook profile.”

Wood began posting on Nicholas Wig’s profile and the 26-year-old eventually texted him. After they made a plan to meet up later to exchange items, Wood went for a walk. He then spotted Wig on the street and called police…

When Wig was arrested, he was wearing Wood’s watch.

Har.

Phony lawyer, phony notary, forger – and also a pimp!

The website advertising legal services from Thomas J. Lyon & Associates boasts about Lyon’s victories for clients. “We win cases all the time,” the site says. “It’s what we do…”

But Lyon is not an attorney. He’s been using another person’s Wisconsin Bar license number, that of attorney Thomas J. Lyons who has a practice in St. Paul, Minn., according to a criminal complaint. Lyon also has used the notary stamp of a dead notary public and forged the signature of court officials, the complaint says.

Prosecutors on Friday charged Lyon with practicing law without a license, theft, forgery and related charges tied to Lyon’s legal practice…

The receptionist also said she was one of several prostitutes working for the escort service “Lacuna Limited” that Lyon had set up in Milwaukee. She told an investigator that she helped to recruit new prostitutes for the escort service…

A probation agent told a detective with the Milwaukee County Sheriff’s Office that Lyon is on probation after convictions of grand larceny, stalking and false imprisonment in New York. Lyon’s probation was transferred to Wisconsin, the probation officer told the detective…

The system is better now that it has some checks, he said. But the Minnesota Lyons, the real Lyons said he was amused that the coincidence of the similar names allowed someone to trick court officials.

I don’t think it’s especially amusing that the court officials and everyone from local business folks to the police department never noticed [a] this clown wasn’t a real lawyer and [b] he was fronting a string of hookers.

Doesn’t sound like a surplus of integrity in Milwaukee.

Republicans get head start harassing convention protesters

Police raided a rental hall used by a group organizing protests at the Republican National Convention in St. Paul, Minnesota, on Friday.

The RNC Welcoming Committee, which describes itself as “anarchist/anti-authoritarian,” accused St. Paul police of trying to disrupt their protest planned for Monday, the day the GOP convention is set to begin.

While no one was arrested, the group said police temporarily detained and photographed at least 50 people who were inside the building.

St. Paul Police spokesman Tom Walsh said they were executing a search warrant. “The cause for the search warrant is not public at this time,” Walsh said.

As many as 30 police officers entered with guns drawn, according to witnesses in the building.

No bombs or infernal devices were found. Just people exercising their constitutional rights. Oh!