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Investigation clears priest in Spokane, says bishop
The Seattle Times /The Associated Press ^ | Sunday, February 23, 2003 - 12:00 a.m. Pacific | John K. Wiley

Posted on 02/24/2003 10:25:26 AM PST by Remedy

SPOKANE — A Roman Catholic priest has been reinstated to the ministry after investigators concluded an allegation of sexual misconduct with a minor was unfounded.

The Rev. Daniel Wetzler was reinstated after the investigation sponsored by the Catholic Diocese of Spokane determined he did not molest a youth many years ago, Bishop William Skylstad said Friday.

Wetzler, who retired in July 2002, was removed from priestly ministry in November pending the investigation.

Wetzler, 65, denied the accusation and cooperated with the investigation by a former police detective, Skylstad said.

Wetzler voluntarily took and passed a polygraph test administered by a former State Patrol polygraph expert, the bishop said.

Results of the investigation were given to Skylstad, who decided the allegation against Wetzler was unfounded.

An independent board established to review allegations of sexual abuse by priests concurred with the bishop's decision.

"I have come to a deeper awareness of the power of prayer ... and am ever so grateful to all who have supported me in this most devastating time of my priestly life," Wetzler said in a statement released by the diocese.

"I know I join Father Wetzler's many friends in welcoming his return to the priestly ministry," Skylstad said.

The bishop said suspending Wetzler was a difficult decision but necessary "to assure parents that we are doing everything possible to protect their children."

The alleged victim requested anonymity. The diocese agreed to protect the person's identity.

TOPICS: Culture/Society; News/Current Events; US: Washington
KEYWORDS: catholiclist
 Ongoing Reflections on Priest

...The media, however, has made the actions of a few pedophile priests the main problem. Bad as it is, the main problem of errant priestly crimes is not in the area of pedophilia, which is strictly defined as an adult having sexual relations with someone below the age of puberty (12), but rather in the phenomena of priests with homosexual inclinations seeking out vulnerable youth. The secular press refuses to recognize that these priests are actively homosexual, not pedophiles.... Although one priest involved in sexual relations with teenage boys is one priest too many, still it should be stressed that the number of priests who have seduced teenage boys is a very small percentage of the 47,000 odd priests in the U.S.A. One report said that 177 priests throughout the USA have been removed from ministry. This of course is the source of serious scandal, which is made even greater by the anger of Catholic laity, who hold that our bishops have covered up these situations, and have made immense payments to settle law suits made by victims and their families. But one may ask whether our bishops as a body have been judged too harshly by both the media and our Catholic laity.

The archbishop said that the Catholic laity demand that any complaint against a priest concerning sexual abuse should be turned over to the D.A.'s office. Were he not to do so, he could be accused of covering up. This disclosure of individuals could lead to unsubstantiated charges against a priest, and, once published, this would do irreparable damage to the good reputation of the priest. He would be removed from his work, and not allowed to minister to the faithful until it is proven that the charges are false. In other words, priests are vulnerable to false accusations with no adequate defense.

But from the statistics on various dioceses - covering 30 or 40 years concerning priests' involvement with teenage boys - it is clear that the percentage of such crimes among priests is very low indeed. When recently in New York, Allentown, and Philadelphia, records of such sexual misbehaviour were submitted to District Attorney's offices, it was noted in the media that most of the cases were beyond the statute of limitations; however, throughout the country, one notes practically everyday one old case or another is brought to light. Unfortunately, this conveys the impression that such crimes are increasing, and the Church in America has been inept in taking care of victims, and in exercising necessary discipline of the accused priests.

Such views of 'designated Catholics' like Sullivan are put forth as expert moral opinion. But this is only a pose, leading up to the real message "which is that the Church will have to abandon its commitment to preserving the moral order in the sexual realm." The political purpose of the current crisis is "to break whatever hold the Catholic Church still has on morals, because morals, especially sexual morals, are the only thing which stands between the nations' beleagured individuals and families and the globalists control of culture through appetite..." (Jones, Culture Wars, April 2002).

New York Gay Legislator Advocatesdiscrimination Against Catholic Priests Thomas Duane, a gay state senator from New York, declared yesterday that all Catholic priests should be barred from leading a prayer in the legislature.

The Poisoned Stream. "Gay" Influence in Human History. Volume One. Germany 1890-1945.

The fact is that homosexuals were never murdered "en masse" or "ruthlessly eliminated" by the Nazis. Yet many homosexuals were jailed and some did die in Nazi work camps. What is the truth about Nazi persecution of homosexuals?

The law against homosexual conduct had existed in Germany for many years prior to the Nazi regime as Paragraph 175 of the Reich Criminal Code, to wit: "A male who indulges in criminally indecent activity with another male, or who allows himself to participate in such activity, will be punished with imprisonment" (Burleigh and Wipperman:188). When Hitler came to power he used this law as a means of tracking down and punishing those homosexuals who, in the words of one victim, "had defended the Weimar Republic, and who had tried to forestall the Nazi threat" (ibid.:183). Later he expanded the law and used it as a convenient tool to detain other enemies of the regime.

… "Hitler," admit Oosterhuis and Kennedy, "employed the charge of homosexuality primarily as a means to eliminate political opponents, both inside his party and out" (Oosterhuis and Kennedy:248).

The masculine homosexuals in the Nazi leadership selectively enforced this policy only against their enemies and not against all homosexuals.

In 1935, Paragraph 175 was amended with Paragraph 175a which criminalized any type of behavior that could be construed as indicating a homosexual inclination or desire (Burleigh and Wipperman:190). (Interestingly, the new criminal code addressing homosexuality deleted the word "unnatural" from the definition — Reisman, 1994:3). This new law provided the Nazis with an especially potent legal weapon against their enemies. It will never be known how many non-homosexuals were charged under this law but it is indisputable that the Nazis used false accusations of homosexuality to justify the detainment and imprisonment of many of their opponents. "The law was so loosely formulated," writes Steakley, "that it could be, and was, applied against heterosexuals that the Nazis wanted to eliminate...the law was also used repeatedly against Catholic clergymen" (Steakley:111). Kogon writes that "The Gestapo readily had recourse to the charge of homosexuality if it was unable to find any pretext for proceeding against Catholic priests or irksome critics" (Kogon:44).

The charge of homosexuality was convenient for the Nazis to use against their political enemies because it was so difficult to defend against and so easy to justify to the populace. Since long before the Nazis, homosexuals had generally lived clandestine lives, so it was not unusual for revelations of their conduct to come as a surprise to their communities when it became a police matter. This is not to say that actual homosexuals were not prosecuted under the law. Many were. But the law was used selectively against the "Femmes." And even when they were threatened, many effeminate homosexuals, especially those in the arts community, were given protection by certain Nazi leaders (Oosterhuis and Kennedy:248). Plant writes,

There is one additional reason why the Nazis arrested homosexuals and raided even the homes of their supporters. They were looking for incriminating evidence against themselves (the Nazi leaders).

Gay Nazis: the Role of Homosexuality in Nazism & Hitler's Rise to ... Thus butch hypermasculinity, visibility for homosexuals, and organization were the three necessary ingredients in the mix which allowed the SA leaders to make their unique and essential contribution to the rise of Nazism. Another important consideration is that visibility is enabled when homosexuality assumes a political voice. In this way, the politicization of homosexuality, which supported gays in the process of socially identifying themselves as such, was a necessary condition for Hitler's success.

Homosexual Manifestos Finally, we will in all likelihood want to expunge a number of passages from your Scriptures and rewrite others, eliminating preferential treatment of marriage and using words that will allow for homosexual interpretations of passages describing biblical lovers such as Ruth and Boaz or Solomon and the Queen of Sheba. Warning: If all these things do not come to pass quickly, we will subject Orthodox Jews and Christians to the most sustained hatred and vilification in recent memory. We have captured the liberal establishment and the press. We have already beaten you on a number of battlefields. ... You have neither the faith nor the strength to fight us, so you might as well surrender now."

Homosexuality and the Nazi Party These men were viciously anti-Jew and anti-Christian because of the injunctions against homosexuality inherent in the Judeo-Christian sexual ethic.

"The Nazi Master Plan: The Persecution of the Christian Churches"

1 posted on 02/24/2003 10:25:26 AM PST by Remedy
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To:; Coleus; Polycarp
2 posted on 05/03/2003 8:46:08 AM PDT by Remedy
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To: Remedy; Coleus; Polycarp; nickcarraway; Victoria Delsoul

Thanks for the PING.

As a cradle Catholic, and one who’s been serious since going to Medjegorje in 1988, I have some comments.

The Catholic Church in America has CANCER.

Yes that is a serious thing to say, but it is true, and I say it as a Catholic who deeply loves his Church.

I can only pray that the scourge of the pedophiles is TRULY being handled. On the surface it does appear to be.

My focus here is on these main points:

The “Catholics” who tolerate sodomites in the priesthood.

Please see Also, Goodbye! Good Men by editor Michael S. Rose. It is THE authoritative book on sodomites in the priesthood.

The “Catholics” who sit idly by while sick liberal garbage replaces AUTHENTIC Catholicism.

Please see The Wanderer The Wanderer has been providing its readers with news and commentary from an orthodox Catholic perspective for over 135 years. From vital issues affecting the Catholic Church to the political events which threaten our Catholic faith. The Wanderer is at the forefront every week with its timely coverage and its cutting edge editorials.

3 posted on 05/03/2003 1:42:03 PM PDT by (“My people are destroyed from lack of knowledge.” Hosea 4:6)
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To:; GatorGirl; maryz; *Catholic_list; afraidfortherepublic; Antoninus; Aquinasfan; ...
This is not just a cancer on the Church, but on our society.


A Trust Betrayed:
Sexual Abuse by Teachers

This three-part series on child sex abuse by school employees is the result of a six-month project by Education Week involving scores of interviews with state and local education and law-enforcement officials, other experts, teachers, principals, parents, and victims, as well as an extensive review of court documents, journal articles, and public-policy records.
(Read more "About This Series.")

* Part Three: "'Zero Tolerance' of Sex Abuse Proves Elusive," Dec. 16, 1998. It's all but impossible to find an educator, politician, or parent who thinks sex between school staff members and students is a good idea. Yet in 20 states, sex between a student and an adult employee is perfectly legal, as long as the young person is at least 16. And if the student is 17, add three more states to the list.

* "Principals Face a Delicate Balancing Act in Handling Allegations of Misconduct," Dec. 16, 1998. When it comes to probing sexual impropriety involving school employees and students, many experts say principals are better off calling in professional investigators than trying to put the pieces together by themselves. By trying to go it alone, many scholars and law-enforcement officials say, administrators risk violating their state's child-abuse reporting laws, jeopardizing the chances that justice will be done, or simply getting in way over their heads.

* "At One California School, a 'Never-Ending Nightmare,'" Dec. 16, 1998. A Los Angeles County teacher who had worked with inner-city gang members and taught children with severe emotional problems found his life turned upside-down when allegations surfaced that he and another school employee were having improper sexual contact with 13- and 14-year-old female students.

* "On College Campuses, a Gradual Move Toward Addressing Faculty-Student Sex," Dec. 16, 1998. While many officials and academics are concerned about the ethical implications of faculty-student dating, others fear an invasion of privacy if they try to restrict such relationships between adults. Due to this, some campuses have either vague policy or no policy on student-faculty relationships while other schools have banned them alltogether.

Part Two:
* "Cost Is High When Schools Ignore Abuse," Dec. 9, 1998. If there's anything worse than a school employee who sexually abuses students, it's a school that doesn't care. That's the consensus of an alarming number of students who are as bitter and angry at their schools as they are at the staff members who mistreated them. Convinced that they have been made victims a second time by a system that ranks adult interests above their own, many of these children and their families are taking their anger to court.

* "'Passing the Trash' by School Districts Frees Sexual Predators To Hunt Again," Dec. 9, 1998. Sexual abuse of students is rarely a passing fancy, and for some schoolhouse predators, it becomes a way of life. Left unchecked, they may leave a trail of molestation that stretches across many years and countless students' lives.

* "Shifting Legal Ground on Harassment Has Made It Harder for Victims To Win," Dec. 9, 1998. A 1992 U.S. Supreme Court ruling established that students could recover money damages in student-teacher sexual abuse cases under Title IX of the Education Amendments of 1972. However, the decision failed to settle crucial questions about the circumstances under which a district could be held liable.

* "Living Through a Teacher's Nightmare: False Accusation," Dec. 9, 1998. This article chronicles the one teacher's ordeal of being publicly accused of sex crimes by a student whose account is later discredited. Although these situations do occur, it is actually quite rare.

Part One:
* "Sex With Students: When Employees Cross the Line," Dec. 2, 1998. Although it may start with an act as benign as a hug or a ride home from a tutoring session after school, far more often than many people think, those friendly moments mask the first steps by a teacher or coach down the road that leads to sexual relations with their young charges.

* "Abuse by Women Raises Its Own Set of Problems," Dec. 2, 1998. Cases in which female educators are cast in the culturally unfamiliar role of sexual predator, pose special challenges for schools, courts, and communities alike. With emotional dynamics that are often notably different from those involving men, such cases challenge any number of social stereotypes: Women are victims, not predators; boys who have sex with older women should consider themselves lucky; and love justifies even the most unlikely of matches.

* "Labels Like Pedophile Don't Explain the Many Faces of Child Sexual Abuse," Dec. 2, 1998. Pedophilia, the term popularly associated with the sexual abuse of children, does not apply in many cases of misconduct involving students and school employees, experts say.

* "In Youth's Tender Emotions, Abusers Find Easy Pickings," Dec. 2, 1998. Some adults are drawn to adolescents and younger children, experts in the field say, because they are so easy to manipulate. And while there is no single profile of a teacher who sexually abuses students, an ability to take advantage of their young targets' immaturity is a common trait.

4 posted on 05/03/2003 1:44:29 PM PDT by narses (Christe Eleison)
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Results of the investigation were given to Skylstad, who decided the allegation against Wetzler was unfounded.

The alleged victim requested anonymity. The diocese agreed to protect the person's identity.

Is there any deterrence for people making unfounded and baseless allegations?

5 posted on 05/03/2003 2:16:00 PM PDT by Victoria Delsoul
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To: Victoria Delsoul
Lawsuits for libel / slander ?
6 posted on 05/03/2003 2:36:18 PM PDT by (“My people are destroyed from lack of knowledge.” Hosea 4:6)
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Yes, but it takes time and money going through the process. Unfortunately, once someone's reputation is destroyed it's very difficult to get it back and sometimes, impossible.
7 posted on 05/03/2003 2:43:22 PM PDT by Victoria Delsoul
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To: Victoria Delsoul
You are right of course. The whole damn thing stinks! I hate to see innocent priests (or anyone) hurt like this.

Do you have any alternate ideas?
8 posted on 05/03/2003 2:49:40 PM PDT by (“My people are destroyed from lack of knowledge.” Hosea 4:6)
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Tarred and feathered? LOL.

Be back later.

9 posted on 05/03/2003 3:18:50 PM PDT by Victoria Delsoul
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To: eastsider
This is the bishop I was trying to remember,he replaced Welch,who seems to have been a real rogue as was bishop Rausch. They were ordained as bishops the same year. Rausches'successor had to continue covering and I bet a similar situation exists in Spokane. Because of my apprehensions about this bishop,I would not doubt that there is just as much of a chance that this priest was not innocent as innocent. Look what these rotten bishops have done to good priests. They established a history of secrecy and cover-up and now they have no credibility.In the end this hurts good priests more than it hurts them

If they had any integrity they would ask to be relieved of their duties and enter a monastery and pray.

10 posted on 05/05/2003 5:42:37 PM PDT by saradippity
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To: ninenot
11 posted on 05/27/2003 7:00:36 AM PDT by Remedy
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To: saradippity
Spokane's Ordinary before Skylstad was a certain (now-Cardinal) George. But George inherited (for a VERY brief time) a Diocese with a few (not a lot) problems.
12 posted on 05/27/2003 10:53:58 AM PDT by ninenot (Joe McCarthy was RIGHT, but Drank Too Much)
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To: Remedy
Gratias, amigo. So happens that a VERY good friend of mine lived in Spokane Diocese (and died there, RIP, a couple of years ago.) He got to meet/greet Bp. George and was absolutely thrilled with what George had to say.
13 posted on 05/27/2003 10:55:43 AM PDT by ninenot (Joe McCarthy was RIGHT, but Drank Too Much)
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