19:48 GMT +316 June 2019
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    In 2013, Pope Francis urged all dioceses to have at least one trained exorcist to ensure they are in compliance with Catholic law.

    Minnesota Archdiocese Accused of Failing to Protect Children from Sex Abuse

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    The Roman Catholic Archdiocese of St. Paul and Minnesota is facing criminal charges for failing to protect children connected to a priest who pleaded guilty to sexual abuse in 2012.

    Prosecutors on Friday directed the charges and Ramsey County Attorney John Choi said they are investigating "a disturbing institutional and systemic pattern of behavior over the course of decades at the highest level of leadership in the archdiocese."

    Curtis Wehmeyer
    Minnesota Corrections
    Curtis Wehmeyer
    Choi said the archdiocese failed to properly respond to "numerous and repeated reports" of troubling conduct by priest Curtis Wehmeyer that spanned from his entry into seminary in 1997 until his formal dismissal as a priest in March 2015.

    An investigation was launched into Wehmeyer in March involving more than 2014 50 witnesses and 170,000 pages of documents.

    Wehmeyer, 50, was sentenced in 2013 to five years for criminal sexual conduct and possession of child pornography. He is serving his time in Minnesota and he has been charged with sex crimes in Wisconsin.

    Related:

    Italian Priest Commits Suicide after Pedophilia Accusation: Reports
    Vatican Trial for Pedophile Catholic Archbishop May Set Precedent
    Tags:
    child sexual abuse, catholics, church, Roman Catholic Church, John Choisay, Minnesota
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