Skip to main content

Defrocked: Pope Francis removes convicted sexual abuser from priesthood

  • Author:
  • Updated:

Curtis Wehmeyer, who was convicted of abusing children while he was pastor at Blessed Sacrament Catholic Church in St. Paul, has been permanently removed from the priesthood.

Pope Francis took the action, according to a statement from the Archdiocese of St. Paul and Minneapolis, three years after Wehmeyer was arrested on charges of sexually abusing two brothers, then age 12 and 14, on numerous occasions.

Some of the abuse occurred in a camper that Wehmeyer had parked on church grounds.

"Wehmeyer has been permanently and definitively barred from presenting himself as a priest or exercising priestly ministry," the archdiocese said. "He is also prohibited from exercising a teaching or leadership role in any Catholic institution."

Wehmeyer had been removed from ministry – not allowed to perform the duties of priest – in 2012. The archdiocese said the Pope's action is the "final resolution of Wehmeyer’s status as a priest," and added that Wehmeyer has been informed of the action.

Wehmeyer, 50, is serving a five-year sentence at the state prison in St. Cloud after pleading guilty in November 2012 to three sexual assault charges and 17 counts of possessing child pornography. He was sentenced in February 2013.

Wehmeyer also is accused of additional crimes in Wisconsin. Prosecutors in Chippewa County charged him in November with second-degree sexual assault, after a 21-year-old man told police last year that Wehmeyer assaulted him while they were on camping trip together in 2011. The man was 16 at the time of the alleged abuse. The case is still pending.

An MPR News investigation of the archdiocese's handling of clergy sexual abuse claims disclosed that top local church officials were aware of Wehmeyer's sexual compulsions for nearly a decade before he was charged, but they kept him in ministry and did not warn parishioners.

Next Up

Anthony Edwards

Ant's injury clouds Timberwolves' victory over the Nets

The Timberwolves star was injured in the final minutes on Sunday night.

Akoya Lee

Byron native Ayoka Lee sets NCAA record for points in a game

The Kansas State forward broke a record shared by former Gopher Rachel Banham.

cold, wind chill, freezing

It's going to be stupid cold again Tuesday and Wednesday

They'll almost certainly be the 10th and 11th days with subzero temps this month.

Williams Uptown Pub

Williams Uptown Pub & Peanut Bar closes indefinitely after shooting

Reports say police have arrested two suspects in the incident.

Alex Rodríguez

A-Rod wears a Packers hat, Minnesotans lose their minds

The Timberwolves co-owner didn't endear himself to his fan base on Saturday night.

Flickr - Minneapolis police squad - Chad Davis

Police: Man shoots into crowd at funeral reception in Minneapolis

The shooting happened at a reception following a funeral on Saturday afternoon.

Screen Shot 2022-01-23 at 8.37.27 AM

Watch: Jimmy Garoppolo says 'F*** the Packers' after playoff win

The 49ers quarterback congratulated Robbie Gould in spectacular fashion.

Aaron Rodgers

America dunks on Aaron Rodgers after loss to 49ers

The Packers quarterback was destroyed on social media on Saturday night.

Marcus Foligno

Foligno's OT winner gives Wild fans a happy Hockey Day

A slow start gave way to the Wild's fifth win in the past six games.