“What was done to our mother wasn’t just unethical, it was abandonment,” says the brother of a Baltimore Catholic girls high school student who recently received $50,000 and an apology from AOB officials, after reporting that she was raped by two Baltimore priests. Adds Emmitsburg, Md., dentist Dr. Michael T. Hargadon, while describing the destructive impact of priestly sexual abuse first on his sister, Jean, and then on his parents and nine siblings:
“My mother had been a faithful Catholic all her life . . . and when she was told her daughter had been abused by priests, she was devastated. She became depressed and was in agony. We begged our parents’ pastor and other Church [officials] to comfort her and help her through her crisis of faith. But they turned away and did nothing, and she suffered terribly. She stood in her kitchen crying at the walls for a year.”
By Tom Nugent
May, 2018 – One year after a shocking Netflix documentary series blew the lid off widespread sexual abuse of Baltimore schoolchildren, a second story about the devastating results of that abuse is just beginning to come to light.
It’s the story of how the Archdiocese of Baltimore has all too often failed to provide spiritual guidance and comfort to the Catholic families of those who were abused, according to numerous interviews with affected family members in recent months.
That failure has been especially painful for a former Catholic parishioner – Jean Hargadon Wehner, now 64 – who says that she and her nine siblings went through a “shattering crisis of faith” after both their parents’ pastor and the high-ranking clergy who run the Archdiocese of Baltimore declined to provide spiritual guidance to their “devastated and suffering” mother in the wake of the abuse scandal, which began to unfold in the early 1990s in Baltimore.
“Soon after I made my formal statement to the Archdiocese [in late 1992] that I had been raped by two priests at Archbishop Keough High School,” says Wehner, “I became aware that my mom was having a hard time. It was horrendous. She had been an incredibly devoted and faithful Catholic all her life – and now she had to confront the fact that her daughter had been sexually abused by these people of good faith.
“She didn’t know where to turn, and she was suffering greatly. And we tried to help with that. We took her to her pastor, [the Reverend] Paschal Morlino [O.S.B.], at the [Baltimore] church, St. Benedict, where she had been a loyal parishioner for many years and had even worked as a receptionist and secretary in the parish office.”
According to Wehner, who became a key figure in the recent Netflix documentary (The Keepers) after alleging that her priest-abuser at her Catholic high school, Father Joseph Maskell, had shown her the body of a murdered whistle-blowing Keough nun, Pastor Morlino declined to help her devastated mother deal with her spiritual crisis.
“I was hopeful after meeting with Pastor Morlino that he would make an effort to help my mom,” she remembers. “She was one of his parishioners and in great need. Instead, he seemed to disappear.”
Mrs. Ethel Hargadon eventually left St. Benedict, never to return, and then suffered through continuing bouts of severe depression and spiritual anguish for many years.
Wehner’s sister, Kassy Hargadon-Zester (today a licensed marriage and family therapist in the Baltimore area), said that she and her siblings struggled hard to provide their devastated mother with “alternative spiritual [guidance] to help her fill the void. By the early 2000’s, she had managed to find a spiritual home at a neighborhood Bible study group led by a Mennonite neighbor, and also as a member of the Byzantine Catholic Church in Arbutus – which is not affiliated with the Archdiocese of Baltimore.
“I think she found a renewed spiritual life outside of what she had known. But Mom carried the pain of her betrayal by her lifelong Catholic church in Baltimore until she finally died of heart failure in 2016.”
According to several members of the Hargadon family, Pastor Morlino, the spiritual leader at their original family’s longtime Catholic Church – St. Benedict, located on Wilkens Avenue in southwest Baltimore – later apologized to them for his failure to counsel their mother during her “hour of need”.
“It was really hard on her,” said Jean’s brother Michael, today a practicing dentist in Emmitsburg, Md. “At one point she was really suffering with all of it, so I went to the pastor and asked him, ‘Can’t you see that she’s stopped coming to [St. Benedict] on Sunday? Can’t you do something to help her?’
“I requested that he meet with Jean and my mom, which he did. Later, however, I learned that he’d told some of my siblings that he was told to stay out of the family struggle – and he did. The family consensus was that the Archdiocese had told him not to become involved, and he chose to follow their orders.”
Pastor Morlino, who has been serving as the pastor of St. Benedict Parish for more than 30 years, confirmed that officials at the Archdiocese of Baltimore had told him “you stay out of it,” after he brought the problem of Ethel Hargadon’s spiritual dilemma over her daughter’s alleged abuse to their attention in the early 1990s.
“I stayed out,” the pastor told Inside Baltimore. But he went on to point out that he’d been advised to send Mrs. Hargadon and other troubled family members to then-Auxiliary AOB Bishop John H. Ricard, S.S.J., who would provide spiritual counseling.
Pastor Morlino also confirmed that he had later apologized to members of the Hargadon family, while noting that “I told them, ‘I’m sorry. . . .’ I didn’t know what to do about it [the spiritual problems that Ethel Hargadon and other family members were experiencing], so I went and spoke to the bishop about it, and they [Archdiocesan officials] said for her [Ethel] to come and see the bishop.”
(Wehner says the message about having her mother “come and see the bishop” was never conveyed to her, however.)
Another Hargadon family member – Jean’s brother Don, who at the time was an active member of St. Benedict Parish (today he’s a practicing fiduciary in the Baltimore area) – also says he tried and failed to get Pastor Morlino to help his mother.
“I had a one-on-one meeting with him in 1994, as I remember, and I asked him why he wasn’t doing anything. That’s when he told me the AOB had told him not to get involved with the family or the situation. I said a few choice words and told him I hoped he understood [the impact of] his decision – and not to expect to see me or my wife Laural again.
“But it should also be noted that I talked to him years later at a family member’s funeral and forgave him. It is on him and the Church now.”
Responding to these complaints by Jean Hargadon’s brothers, Pastor Morlino said: “I never refused to see any of them, and when the brother came to see me I was very kind to him and informed him just as I had informed them – the mother and daughter – that I was told to have them contact the auxiliary bishop John Ricard of Baltimore, and he would provide them counseling.
“I was most sympathetic and caring to the whole family. In fact, I met with Ethel, the mother, more than once after that. I had personally conveyed the message to her in her home about setting up an appointment with Bishop John Ricard and gave her his personal phone number. My hands were tied as to what I was able to do for them.”
Jean Wehner, meanwhile, was careful to note that she blames the Archdiocese of Baltimore far more for the failure to counsel her mother than she blames Pastor Morlino – while pointing out that “it isn’t so much about what Father Paschal did or didn’t do. It’s about a hierarchy that can dictate the actions of the spiritual leader of a congregation.”
Jean’s brother Michael also expressed disappointment at what he described as the Archdiocesan failure to comfort and counsel his mother. “I have never missed an opportunity to complain about my family’s treatment by the AOB,” said Michael Hargadon, who was a parishioner at Holy Family Catholic Church in Randallstown and a Grand Knight in the Knights of Columbus Council during his mother’s spiritual struggle in the 1990s.
He went on to say that the AOB’s failure to help caused his family great consternation – and that he tried to enlist the aid of the Archdiocese by contacting Father Ed Bayer, then the pastor at Holy Family Church. Responding, Father Bayer “wrote a letter to Cardinal [Wiliam] Keeler asking for [help in] healing the rift,” he said.
In his letter to Cardinal Keeler, Father Bayer reportedly said that “Maskell may be out of sight in Ireland, but this family is not. . . . There are an increasing number of people who know about it [the abuse and the neglect of the Hargadons by the AOB] and . . . consider themselves rightly scandalized by it.”
As a result of the Bayer letter, said Michael Hargadon, “Pastor Morlino was instructed to pay a visit to my parents – four years after being told to ‘stay out of it.’”
While the Hargadon Family was Losing its Faith,
Jean Was Being “Attacked” by the AOB’s Lawyers
Jean Hargadon Wehner and her siblings are also quick to point out that watching the Catholic Church fail to comfort their mother and father – who were struggling with the brutal impact of hearing that their daughter had been raped by both Catholic priests and police officers – wasn’t the only injury they received from AOB officials during the 1990s.
According to Wehner, Catholic Church lawyers also did everything they could to besmirch her reputation and destroy her credibility, while requiring her to submit to 21 grueling hours of interrogatories . . . after she filed a 1994 “Jane Doe” lawsuit (along with another plaintiff) in which she contended that she’d been raped by a Catholic priest, Father A. Joseph Maskell, while attending Archbishop Keough High School in southwest Baltimore.
During that lawsuit – which was ultimately dismissed on a technicality when a Baltimore judge ruled that the statute of limitations for filing the case had expired – “Jane Doe” told the Baltimore Sun that Maskell (then the Keough chaplain) had taken her to see the decaying body of Sister Catherine Ann Cesnik, which was later discovered (Jan. 3, 1970), on a patch of waste ground in the Baltimore suburb of Lansdowne, Md.
Still unsolved after thousands of hours of investigation by Maryland police and the FBI, the shocking case made national headlines recently, when retired Baltimore-area homicide detectives told Huffington Post that the Catholic Church had used its powerful influence to impede their investigation of the Cesnik murder (http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2015/05/14/cesnik-nun-murder-maskell_n_7267532.html).
The HuffPost’s reports of Church interference in the investigations were further substantiated last year by the Emmy-nominated Netflix documentary The Keepers (https://www.netflix.com/title/80122179), which quoted more than half a dozen abuse victims and other witnesses to that effect.
Although the Church recently awarded Wehner $50,000 and an apology for the “injuries” she received at the hands of Maskell, AOB officials have continued to this day to insist that they knew nothing of the abuse by the Keough chaplain until long after the mid-1990s lawsuit.
But that assertion has been challenged by several other alleged victims who say they reached out to the AOB to report abuse by Maskell – starting as far back as the late 1960s.
During the 1990s lawsuit, says Wehner, attorneys for Maskell, the AOB and the School Sisters of Notre Dame (the teaching order of nuns that operated Archbishop Keough High School) spent many hours contending that she was an unstable, dubious witness whose memories of abuse at the hands of Maskell could not be trusted.
“The Church lawyers deposed me for 21 hours,” Wehner told Inside Baltimore in a recent interview, “and it was deeply traumatic. They were condescending, patronizing, insulting and degrading. I was being subjected to this relentless and painful questioning by their lawyers, while the Church was quietly refusing to provide any spiritual guidance to me, my parents or my family.
“The worst part of all was when they decided to call my prayer journals ‘diaries’ – and then to go through them with a fine-toothed comb. They then proceeded to interrogate me about my prayer and my soul-searching experiences, asking me about passages meant only for me and God.
“I honestly think they saw how fragile I was and hoped I would break. They violated my inner sacred space. This experience has affected me ever since.”
Another 1960s Maskell Abuse Victim, Dr. Charles Franz, Says Family
Was Angered by AOB’s Decades-Long Refusal to Help Them Cope
Like Jean Wehner, now retired Baltimore-area dentist Dr. Charles Franz says his family was deeply affected by the AOB’s failure to help him – and them – after his mother reported that her son was being abused by Maskell in the late 1960s.
“I told my mother what he was doing to me, and she went down to Archdiocesan headquarters and complained,” says Dr. Franz, whose painful story was documented in detail in The Keepers.
“But they did nothing to help her cope with the situation. They soon transferred Maskell [in 1967] from [serving as assistant pastor at] St. Clement Parish [in Lansdowne] to the chaplain’s office at Archbishop Keough High School – but he continued to live in the St. Clement rectory and he went on to stalk me throughout all four years of high school.”
Dr. Franz says his mother was deeply affected by the “betrayal” of the decision-makers at the Catholic Center in Baltimore. “She had grown up as a faithful Catholic,” he recalled during a recent interview, “and she trusted these people completely. And when they let her down, there was nothing she could do.
“She didn’t dare tell my father, because he was a pipe-fitter and a very tough guy – and she was afraid that if she told him, he might go and kill the priest. So she kept it within, and dealt with it alone, and I’m sure that was terribly difficult for her.”
Desperate to get help, the youthful Charles Franz explained his plight to another priest, who was then the pastor at St. Clement [during the late 1960s], Father (later Monsignor) Jack C. Collopy, who he says expressed sympathy for his plight as an abused teenager but declined to confront his clerical superiors over the matter.
Years later, says Dr. Franz, he got to know Monsignor Collopy very well, after the latter became his dental patient.
“He said that he was terribly sorry, but that when he tried to alert his superiors at the AOB that Maskell was abusing students, they responded by threatening to take his pension away if he didn’t remain silent about the abuse.
“I really felt bad for him,” said Dr. Franz, after noting that the priest had died in 2015. “He told me, ‘Charles, I apologize for the way I failed you, but I didn’t have any other [professional] skills to rely on, and I would have had no way to survive financially if I lost my pension.’
“I forgave him, of course, and got on with my life. But the whole thing made me sad – sad about what happened to my mother, and to a lot of other Catholic families as well. And it also made me really cynical – not about the spiritual aspects of Catholicism, but rather the business of the Catholic Church.”
Reacting to Dr. Franz’ description of his mother’s reported complaint about the abuse of her son by Maskell to the AOB in the late 1960s, Jean Wehner pointed out that AOB officials have often insisted that they “knew nothing” about any complaints of sexual abuse by Joseph Maskell until the early 1990s, as the lawsuit against him was gradually taking shape.
“From my very first meeting in the summer of 1992 with AOB representative Father Richard Woy,” said Wehner, “I was told – along with my husband Mike Wehner and my sister Kassy Hargadon-Zester – that I was the first to voice a complaint of this type about Joseph Maskell.
“We then met Charles [Franz] through The Keepers and knew differently. My family immediately wanted to do something to support Charles and thank him for courageously speaking his truth.”
TO LEAVE A COMMENT:
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We all need to consider very seriously the impact that the abuse of our friends has had on their families. The ripple effect is deep and painful. The Hargadon and Franz families have suffered way too long. There is no excuse for the AOB to continue this charade. Thanks Tom Nugent for continuing to champion the survivors and their families. Only the truth and authentic accountability by the church is going to set anyone free
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Great job Tom
Keep at them Tom. God bless you.
Absolutely heartbreaking but, must be told. Thank you to Jean and her family for once again speaking out as painful as it is.
We are survivors.You can never bury us Archdiocese of Baltimore. We are the strong seeds you stomped on as children.
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Thank you Tom
After the brutality of the rapes & abuse follows the legal assault. Thanks Tom Nugent for continuing to press for the truth & accountability. Great report!
So sorry that Mrs. Hargadon had to be put through such anguish due to the AOB negligence and callous indifference.
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Thank you for your latest article, Mr. Nugent.
My husbands’ family belonged to St. Clements parish, as did mine. Fr. Collopy appeared to be very close to our Aunt Babe. Under the circumstances, the fact that his “pension” was more important than his morals, is particularly upsetting to me. I am furious.
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Thank you Tom.Another known to me character in this story was Father Collopy.As a man who vowed poverty, I reject his pension theory, for an excuse to let Maskells rein of terror exsist. My abuse could have been a hero. I hope he enjoyed his pension as we struugel with the effects of trauma and futrure pensions, due to childhood sex trafficking promoted by the Archdioces of Baltimore. I hope Caime enjoys his pension as he is a long time player in this tragedy. These men show no faith.Why are things not being handeled? Support victims with actions, not two faced words.
Families along all of our generation ties have been ripped aprt. This to me is sadder than my abuse. This is another crown of thorns that I did not ask for laid on my head by the Archdioces of Baltimore.
Trying to be bright Tom you deserve a crown of Glory for your hard work.
Thank you Tom
Thank you Tom for telling the truth. I do not believe it is coincidence that my wife and I have ten children and the same thing is happening to us. Everyone says to move on with your life, it is impossible. You live the horror of what has happened to your children, your wife and your family every day, as there is no justice or accountability by the church that this has happened. The reality of what the church will do to bury these issues is beyond the realm of belief, but you have experienced it and you now know the truth. You study and investigate and record everything, and you know more of the truth. You stop being a “sheep” and just following along as they have trained you over the years with there doctrines, manipulation, decrees that have no meaning and all the lies you have been told. You are guided by good priests and deacons who are ashamed to be associated with this false church of greed and corruption. If you are lucky you will discover that God does exist outside of their corruption. We have no relationship with some of our children because of this predator and more than once I have seen my wife crying at the kitchen sink over her loss. She is a great mother and wife. Her children are dead to her, but live outside there somewhere. The more truth we discovered and reported to the Archdiocese, the more they distanced themselves from us. The auxiliary Bishop along with many others employed by the Archdiocese are no longer allowed to talk to us. Members of the review board were not notified of this situation. We contacted the Vatican Nuncio Archbishop Carlo Vigano, nothing. Contacted Cardinal Dinardo’s office, Cardinal Wuerl’s office, the USCCB, Archdiocese of Boston, always the same, we cannot help you. We have no control over an individual Archdiocese. I cannot begin to cover the full truth what has happened and continues to happen in this situation. My wife and I pray everyday for the victims of this church and especially for those who have committed suicide. Let God not judge them by their last act, but take them safely to peace in heaven with him. They have suffered their “Hell” on this earth. This may be rambling, but it is the best I can do today.Pray for the victims and pray for their families. The hardest part, all you hear from the Catholic Church is what has happened in the past, it has changed and will not happen again. With the knowledge we have today it is unfathomable that it could happen today. The fact that it has not changed and is still happening makes it that much worse. Our story begins in 2007 when this priest came to our parish, the Archdiocese was informed in July 2014. Chancellor Father Steve Angi told my wife and I on April 17, 2015 the Archdiocese would not meet with us, go take care of our own family problems. Welcome to Cincinnati.
Please pray for healing in our family and the safety of our children who are not with us.
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I am sorry. I feel your pain, and your family will be in our prayers. I am grateful to Tom for helping us get my mom’s story into the ‘public’ record. It was the hardest thing to watch, and in some ways, co-experience. And, many of those who have assumed spiritual leadership, are very weak and self centered, if not evil. But there are good and holy religious, like our daughter, Father Bayer, and many more. The more we expose this abandonment, the louder the scandal becomes, and they don’t like that. Peace.
Thank you and your family for your prayers, we must not loose faith. Through prayer and belief in the True Catholic Church we continue to survive and hopefully grow closer to God. I must admit that I had not read the entire article when leaving my earlier reply, your family’s story was to close to the one we are now living. After your reply I finished reading the article and it reinforces my belief that the leaders of the church must have a Playbook to guide them in shutting down and covering up these cases of predator priests. Following the guidelines of the Decree on Child Protection, this priest should have been removed and isolated from our family when first reported, instead they left him continue in his position. Auxiliary Bishop Joseph Binzer had us write a letter informing him that he could no longer talk to our minor daughter. During this time, as we were trying to save our daughter’s life, the priest violated the letter and continued to communicate with our daughter. He also worked to turn our family from us. He told them I had a vendetta against him and was writing lies about him to the Archdiocese. He asked them to pray for him and write letters to the Archdiocese defending him. Some of our children did that and Father Angi referenced one of those letters when telling us to go away and deal with our own problems. Earlier on January 23, 2015, we had a meeting with Bishop Binzer, the priest and our psychologist. In the meeting the priest admitted violating the letter written the previous August. The priest stayed and Bishop Binzer was no longer allowed to talk to us. We have a Deacon friend who tried to help our family, he received a letter from Archbishop Dennis Schnurr telling him to stay out of this matter or his faculties as a Deacon would be pulled. During this period of time the priest was doing his most destructive abuse to another young woman, he was finally pulled 15 months after being first reported. He was removed for “Medical Reasons”, none of the parishes he was involved in were informed of the truth. As in your case, the full details of what has happened and continues to happen cannot be fully revealed in this article. A priest friend of ours told us it was paramount the Archdiocese contact our family and explain what was wrong in this situation to help heal our family, that has never happened. It is interesting to note, ten days after first reporting this priest, a large meeting was held in the Archdiocese working on plans for a $130 million pledge campaign for the Archdiocese. We requested a meeting with Bishop Binzer on December 20, 2014 concerning further violations against the Decree and Virtus. We could not get a meeting before January 23, 2015, the same day the fund drive was made public. Coincidence? Thank you again for responding. We have friends in Hershey we are planning on visiting, I will contact you and see if we could visit. I think it would help us both.
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Please excuse the curtness of this reply. I think if a
Mother has too many children, (like 10). She might be too overwhelmed NOT to notice her daughter is being sexually abused. I truly believe she needs more counseling than a Priest is able to give. She needs Psychiatric help.
Crying for help to the group that abused her daughter is just plain dumb.
I had a total Helicopter Mom. She would have noticed. I am a Jew and this kind of Blind Alligence to everyday people is just being a sheep. The mother could hire a Catholic Counselor.
I mean you have to be some kind of STUPID not to notice Sperm, Blood, and other liquids on your child’s underwear. I hate to break it to you, but these fluids stain and smell.
Getting a Priest to say something bad about another Priest, dream on.
It’s like having an injury and going to a Dr. and asking them to testify for you. They won’t do it.
As one of the the Greatest Performers, I was blessed to see perform, The Late Great James Brown sang,
“This Is A Mans World”.
The Catholic Church is a Boys Club you will never get. Any sympathy from.
great article, well done!
Thank you Tom. Great article!
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Please share the link to support tyre survivors receiving professional help.
I feel relieved to have what happened to my mom and family, in the mist of a horrific situation, made public. The family hoped the telling of this “abandonment” would be a support to other families who have or are going through this themselves.
After meeting Charles in The Keepers we also wanted to support him and his family and say, “Thanks Charles!”
Because of Charles we now know that in 1967 the AOB picked a serial sex abuser up out of Charle’s path and plunked him down in mine, a freshman at Keough high.
Because of Charles I know the AOB representative’s 1992 statement that I was the first to voice a complaint of this type about Maskell was not true. (The rep. actually held up a folder with maybe 3 papers in it as if it were Maskell’s records when he said this.) That statement put all of the responsibility for proving what I was remembering on mine, and in turn my whole family’s shoulders.
In my opinion the AOB, by harboring serial sex abusers in 1967 and not being truthful about it in 1992, are responsible for the suffering me, my parents and family endured during that most painful time of our lives.
Thanks again Tom for helping all of us take this next step in a painful yet healing process!
Jean, you are a hero. By sharing your experiences publicly, you’ve given courage and hope to many. I am overwhelmed with admiration for you and wish you all the good things. ❤
Thank you! Great job. Terrible what these families have been through.
Hope you are feeling well. Love to all!
Sent from my iPhone
well written Tom…. and so very important to put all this out there, so everyone understands the “ripple” effect of abuse, Shame on the AOB once again for letting these families in need down, but it is great people like Tom, and Jean, and Abby , and Gemma and Charles who restore your “faith” in humanity, much love to all<3…. I am a sex abuse survivor and I stand with you all, ALWAYS!!!!
I was attending AKHS from 1968-1970 and was saddened to hear about the abuse that took place while I was attending classes there. I thank Gemma, Abbie, Charles and Ted who helped tell the survivor’s stories. What brave people they are to come forward and tell their stories. I find that I have difficulty looking at the Catholic Church in the same way. Not to say that I don’t believe in God, just saying I have a very distorted view of the Catholic Church as an organization. I had many priests in my Mother’s family and my Father’s Family, along with Sisters and I know that there is good anyd bad everywhere. I am so glad that I was not aware of what was going on while I attended school there. I pray for these victims every day and hope that the Church can redeem itself.
Thank you Tom!
Well done, Mr. Nugent! Once again, I’m grateful for journalists and a free press, though stories like this have, no doubt, been spiked in newspapers many times due to the power of the Catholic Church. The damage often reported about in print doesn’t cover something as profound to a person as the loss of their faith, their religion. No way was the AOB going to help the victims or their families. I don’t know how the abused and their loved ones manage to forgive, I truly don’t, or how they continue to believe in any god, but I do admire them so much and can see how much healthier that would make them feel. I confess I have none of that ability, personally, and I loathe the church, and my attitude towards a supreme being or a hereafter now comes down to “surprise me.” When I leave this world, I expect I’ll know. Maybe not.
Meanwhile, the survivors of these heinous crimes have my love, respect and hopes for peace in their lives, and I’m so glad to know Mr. Nugent, Gemma, Abby and others continue to be voices for them.
This is an excellent article. Thanks again to Jean and Charles for continuing to speak out and tell their stories and to shed light on the evil darkness of sexual abuse. I have nothing to say about the Archdiocese of Baltimore other than I despise them and what they’ve done in the name of religion. They have turned people away from God and that is a terrible abuse of power. They are even worse than the pedophile Priests and cops from these stories because they know better and did not do better. Shameful.
Despite this injustice, these survivors remain and inspiration to all.
Tom, please contact me. There is more to Morlino….
I see that you have been busy during the past 40 years.
I realize I’m late to this but after just recently watching the documentary, I wondered how Jean and Teresa’s fathers reacted to the news that their daughters had been raped. I believe Jean’s was a cop. How did he react to the discovery that police participated? Did he ever try to find out who was involved?And, Teresa’s effectively enabled the rapes and irrevocably altered the path of her life. I’m not sure I could come back from that.
I just watched the documentary and I am sorry to say that I am not surprised. My father-in-law went to church every morning and gave enormous sums in tithe. He was not a nice man but that’s not really the point: when he was on his deathbed, his parish priest refused to show up and suggested that the hospital priest could be there instead. He died being ministered to by a stranger. At his funeral, there was no mention of him or his life, only a sermon about all of us who weren’t Catholic are going to hell. Years earlier, quite a few people disclosed their childhoodo sexual abuse to me, and it often happened in a church or church-like context. I never let my kids go near a church or clergy…just too dangerous.
I am terribly sorry that this happened to all of you. I hope you find peace, joy and safety. ❤
Hi from Jean Wehner to Tom’s readers!
I can’t believe how time seems to fly the older I get. I’m letting everyone know that I recently completed a three year project of writing my memoir Walking with Aletheia, published by Logosophia Books. My book is about how I survived horrible abuse, with a closer look at my healing and integration process. I hope other trauma survivors, their families and support systems will feel not only supported by my story, but also less alone.
I’m especially excited to share that my publisher agreed to do a special promotion in honor of Sister Cathy Cesnik. Cathy’s body was found on Jan. 3rd, 1970, so they will try to get all pre-ordered books, available on Logosophia Books or my website jeanwehnercoach.com, out by then. This will be a month earlier then the Feb. 2nd, 2022 publication date.
If you go to my website you will be able to read Tom’s review of my memoir found in the list under Book Reviews.
I have appreciated everyone’s prayers and good wishes. I’m glad to say, as I continue my inner work which writing my book was a big part of, I find I feel more and more grounded and at peace!
As I watched this documentary, I was saddened by what happened to Jean and Jane Doe. (And the many others) As the story began to unfold, in regards to the police etc, local business owners, my first thoughts came to how easily it would be to manipulate and blackmail others if you knew their sins from the confessional.
Playing priest as a child with white Necco candies (yeah, that’s normal)
And despite all of it, why do people like Maskell think that God can not see what they are doing?
Keep up the good work. God Bless
Thanks Claudia for taking the time to add your comment to this site! It means a lot to me, and all who participated in The Keepers, that people are still watching and learning about what went on then, and can still be going on now, when it comes to clergy child sexual abuse. We have to speak up to support others and to demand change. Gratefully, Jean