The whistleblower who went public with allegations that the Archdiocese of St. Paul and Minneapolis did not take steps to remove priests suspected of sexual misconduct told the Associated Press that she regrets she didn't do more.
In a lengthy interview with the AP, the former archdiocese canon lawyer Jennifer Haselberger says church leaders did not act on information she brought them over several years about the priest Curtis Wehmeyer, who later molested two boys in his camper. Wehmeyer is now serving a prison sentence.
That "hangs incredibly heavy on me," Haselberger told The Associated Press. "I didn't do enough."
Haselberger resigned her position with the archdiocese in April, and went public with her allegations. As part of the fallout, MPR News assembled a special investigation into how the archdiocese handled sexual misconduct allegations.
The Star Tribune also featured Haselberger in a lengthy profile earlier this month. One theme that arises in the features is that Haselberger deeply loves the church.
The archdiocese has been under fire for several alleged scandals. Among them:
– That the archdiocese gave a generous retirement benefits package to the Rev. Robert Kapoun, accused of sexually abusing boys.
– That archdiocese leaders privately debated what to do about "borderline" child porn found on a priest's computer. Ultimately, they did not take the matter to police. Haselberger spoke at length to MPR News about the case.
In other news, the Rev. Harry Flynn, the former archbishop of the Archdiocese of St. Paul and Minneapolis, late last week became the second University of St. Thomas Board of Trustees member to resign in the wake of allegations about prominent priest and St. Thomas instructor Michael Keating, who has taken a leave of absence. Keating's lawyer strongly disputes the allegation that Keating had sexual contact with a teenage girl in the 1990s.