Monday, March 02, 2009

Info picket after the Bishop's visits

If anyone wants to join Mike F, as he passes out flyers at Holy Spirit Catholic Church in West Mifflin, PA, with the arrival of Bishop Frank Zubik of the Pittsburgh Diocese on Thursday, March 5, 2009 and/or Wednesday March 18 -- call him. He hopes to pass out flyers detailing his investigation into former Catholic priest John Wellinger who served as the parish priest at Holy Spirit in West Mifflin, PA. Wellinger also served as an assistant at Our Lady of Grace in Scott Township.

Bishop David A. Zubik will continue to lead penance services around the diocese and celebrate the Stations of the Cross at parishes during Lent, all beginning at seven p.m.

The penance services with Rite of Reconciliation are as follows:

Thursday, February 26, Saint Catherine of Sweden, Wildwood
Monday, March 2, Sacred Heart, Shadyside
Wednesday, March 4, Saint Barbara, Bridgeville
Thursday, March 5, Holy Spirit, West Mifflin
Monday, March 9, Saint Gregory, Zelienople
Tuesday, March 10, Our Lady of Joy, Holiday Park
Thursday, March 12, Our Lady of Fatima, Hopewell
Tuesday, March 17, Saint Benedict the Abbot, Peters Township
Wednesday, March 18, Our Lady of Grace, Scott Township
More in comments.


Anonymous said...

Here’s more information on ex-Catholic Priest, John Wellinger’s past.

Feeding young children alcohol and drugs was a common occurrence with Wellinger. The timing for sexual abuse or the attempt at luring a victim would vary from individual to individual. As in the case below, Wellinger didn’t try it until this man was in his late 20s.

Ken Evans the investigative reporter for the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette also identified John Wellinger as making homosexual advances to him when Ken and his wife were parishioners at a church in Wilkensburg, PA. I believe the name of the church may have been St. James. Wellinger was an assistant parish priest and knew Ken Evans and his wife from the baptism of one of their children.

Funny, that would seem to verify, at least in part, that my information was reliable back in 1990 when I first shared information with Evans about Wellinger. Yet, Ken Evans did absolutely nothing to investigate Wellinger. I’m not sure of the protocol at the Post-Gazette in those days when it comes to these types of stories. Would Evans have reviewed the information with an editor? Would Evans had just sat on the information until some type of payday? Perhaps, a journalist on my emailing list would like to speculate or at least give a general explanation of what can take place in this type of scenario.

Ironically, when I talked to the FBI agent I am working with, he too, remembered John Wellinger from his days at St. James Catholic Church in Wilkinsburg. I can’t say for sure whether both men told me the truth or if they may be thinking about another priest. I do know this, Marta Placek was aware of a boy from Wilkensburg who may have been sexually abused by John Wellinger while he was a priest in his Wilkensburg parish. I dn’t know the boys name, but according to Marta Placek, the boy came from a very large family.

I’m convinced more and more people will be stepping forward with information on John Wellinger and his extensive support system that protected Wellinger but left innocent children and their families in harms way.

Mike Ference

Anonymous said...

The rector of a seminary in the Roman Catholic Diocese of Pittsburgh will be ordained a bishop so he can take over as bishop of the Diocese of Juneau, Alaska next month.

Monsignor Edward J. Burns will be ordained a bishop Tuesday at St. Paul Cathedral in Pittsburgh by Pittsburgh Bishop David Zubik. Burns will be installed as a bishop in Alaska on April 2.

The 51-year-old Burns was ordained a priest in 1983. He replaces Bishop Michael Warfel who headed the Juneau diocese until his appointment as bishop of the diocese of Great Falls-Billings, Montana.

The Juneau diocese has about 7,300 Catholics in 11 parishes, served by nine priests, three deacons and two other male clergy.

Anonymous said...

Priest accused of abuse from 40 years ago

Thursday, March 05, 2009

By Ann Rodgers, Pittsburgh Post-Gazette

A Catholic pastor and chaplain at Bishop Canevin High School has been suspended from ministry pending investigation of an allegation that he sexually abused a minor 40 years ago.

Students at Canevin were told yesterday that the Rev. Alvin Adams was on administrative leave due to an allegation. They were given a letter to take home. All pastors and parish life collaborators were sent a similar letter, which will also be read at Ascension parish in Ingram, where Father Adams became pastor in July, said the Rev. Ronald Lengwin, spokesman for the diocese.

"Removing Father Adams from active ministry does not imply guilt. It is intended to allow time to safeguard the course of justice while preserving the rights of everyone involved, including the person against whom an allegation has been made and the person who has made the allegation," the Rev. David Bonnar, vicar for clergy, wrote to the priests.

Father Lengwin declined to detail the accusation, other than saying it occurred 40 years ago and would constitute a violation of the U.S. bishops' Charter for the Protection of Children and Young People.

The diocese had never received an allegation about Father Adams until this week, Father Lengwin said. He is forbidden to wear clerical garb or administer any sacraments, he said.

Diocesan officials intended to take the allegation to the district attorney yesterday afternoon, Father Lengwin said, although he was not certain whether that had happened. Mike Manko, a spokesman for district attorney Stephen A. Zappala Jr., said yesterday afternoon that he was unaware of the allegation.

Father Adams, 68, was ordained in 1967 and served until 1972 at the former St. Canice, Knoxville, where he was a parochial vicar when the abuse allegedly occurred. He was a parochial vicar at St. Joseph the Worker, New Castle, 1972-75, spent the summer of 1975 at St. Paul Cathedral before becoming assistant principal of the former Mon Valley Catholic High School.

He left Mon Valley in 1980 to become chaplain at Canevin, while also serving as administrator or pastor of the former St. Vincent de Paul in Esplen, St. Rita in Munhall and Resurrection in West Mifflin.

The diocese will convene its Review Board to assess the credibility of the allegation and make a recommendation to Bishop David Zubik. The Review Board consists mostly of laity with expertise in evaluating abuse cases, including the parent of a victim of child sexual abuse.

"The Review Board makes a recommendation to the bishop and they are always taken very seriously," Father Lengwin said.

Ann Rodgers can be reached at or 412-263-1416.

First published on March 5, 2009 at 12:00 am

Anonymous said...