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MINNEAPOLIS, June 5, 2015 (ChurchMilitant.com) - The archdiocese of Minneapolis-St. Paul will soon be facing criminal charges from the Ramsey County Prosecutor's office.
That word came down this afternoon at a press conference where prosecutor John Choi said he is "very comfortable" in handing down the indictments. The charge is a "failure to protect children" and stems from a 2010 incident when a priest, who became aware of a situation, made an official report of abuse to archdiocesan leaders and they failed to act sufficiently.
The former priest, Curtis Wehmeyer, is now serving a prison term for abusing two boys while he was pastor of Blessed Sacrament Church in St. Paul. The concerned priest reported to Auxiliary Bishop Lee Piché that Wehmeyer had slept in the same bed on a camping trip with one of the victims.
Choi said once the archdiocese knew this, the facts were then "ignored, minimized or not shared." The prosecuor said the Church itself failed to act in accordance with its own guidelines for protecting children.
This marks the first time an entire archdiocese as an institution has been criminally charged.