Educating To End Abuse

Emails from an aquaintance of Fr. Nicholas Voelker

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The following are emails from an acquaintance of "Fr." Nicholas Voelker and my responses.  Names have been changed.  I felt it extremely important to publish these emails because they are a prime example of the general public's attitude toward the subject of adult clergy sexual abuse.  These are the people we must educate and as you can read from her emails - her emails started as attacks and softened into almost sympathetic and compassionate.  After a few days her emails stopped and I haven't heard anything since.  I wonder if what  I was telling her was sinking in just a bit - if things were beginning to make more sense and it was so unpleasant she didn't want to know anymore.  I don't know why she stopped communicating with me, I can only speculate.  When discussing this terribly misunderstood topic, one must be vigilant to not go on the defense and start attacking and judging these lay people.  Not many years ago I had her same way of thinking.  I believe I was brainwashed and it was only through educating myself with the help of others that I was able to see the RCC for what it is really worth and change my way of thinking.  I ask advocates and survivors to reach out to those that truly need this education and be patient.  Continually preaching to the choir is going to get us nowhere. 
*I omitted her email of her list of names of "priests of integrity" that she mentions. 

May 7, 2007

Dear Peggy,
I have read your accounts of your claims against Fr. Voelker.  They are very
disturbing, however, there were so many signs before it got to that point. 
Why didn't you turn him in earlier?  Surely you know how human attraction
works.  Being a woman myself, I have women's intuition to know when
something makes me feel uncomfortable.  Were you afraid that your husband
would leave you if he knew you let this go on for so long and that is why
you are saying that you were "naive"?  Priests are men - regular people. 
They get tempted just like everyone else.  I understand if you don't want
anything to do with Fr. Voelker, but that was an isolated incident.  Why
bring down the whole Catholic Church because of it?
Jane Doe

Dear Jane,
>You ask why didn't I turn Voelker in earlier - there were many disturbing
>signs but they all happened within a relatively short period of time - less
>than 2 months.  Prior to him "going off the deep end", as I stated in my
>story things were seemingly "normal" for 1 1/2 years.  We trust him, we
>grew to love him, he was our spiritual Father, as we are taught from birth
>as cradle Catholics.
>I wasn't afraid that my husband would leave me, my husband knew what was
>going on, he knew of the kisses when Voelker would greet and leave me.  My
>husband was standing right there.  And when Voelker told me that he was
>getting aroused by me and was going to do something to me.  (This was the
>beginning of his really disturbing behavior, two months prior to me turning
>him in, keep in mind that second month he had moved to a different
>assignment and so saw him only a couple of times that second month before
>we went on the family vacation from hell, which as I stated in my story, we
>asked him not to go)  I told my husband.  Voelker admitted what he said to
>my husband but reassured us that he really didn't mean what he said and
>that in fact he would never do anything to harm me. I called his spiritual
>director and he, a priest, reassured me that Voelker didn't mean what he
>said and that he wouldn't harm me, that he loved me and wouldn't hurt me
>but when Voelker did say those disturbing things to me that I should ask
>Voelker to "clarify" what he meant.   Later that  week I told Voelker I
>didn't want him to come over for Easter.
>I tried many times during those last 2 months to get him out of our lives
>but he was incredibly persistent and at the time I was a sheep.  A sheep
>that followed, a sheep that rarely thought for herself.  A sheep that
>believed everything these "called" men of God told her.
>If you would read Brent's story on my website
>you would see that he was drawn into Voelker's web of lies and deceit
>almost just as much as I was.
>In the diocese of Wichita, we are taught that priests are not "regular"
>people.  They are called by our Lord.  They are chosen men of God.  That
>God has given them this incredible gift of celibacy.  The children at the
>Catholic School where my children went to school and where I was a member
>since I was 13 yrs.old are taught, you call a priest Father because they
>"are the closest thing to God here on Earth".  This diocese is so ultra
>conservative, women that practiced NFP were looked down upon because you
>should be willing to take all the gifts of children that God is going to
>bestow on you.
>It sound like something out of pre vatican II but I am not exaggerating.
>The Catholic Church is the 3rd largest employer here in Wichita, their
>influence is immense.
>For Voelker this was not an "isolated incident".  My therapist told me
>early on "A predator doesn't get this good the first time around"  And he
>himself told me he "hurt a girl in high school and a family member so
>deeply he knew he was going to pay for it for the rest of his life and in
>the life to come."
>I for one can not say that about myself.  Scary stuff.
>I am not trying to bring "down the whole Catholic Church".  I am just
>trying to bring justice to victims of clergy abuse, actually victims of all
>sexual abuse by trying to get the statute of limitations lengthened in
>Kansas.  I invite you to watch my show Educating To End Abuse on May 17th,
>7:00 pm central time where our subject for that evening will
>be lengthening the statute of limitations.  The group that is pushing the
>bill in not affected by clergy sexual abuse but is affected predominately
>by incest.
>As far as the church I want them to help victims to heal and the way
>victims heal is through therapy and medications and hospital stays
>etc...those things cost money.  The Catholic Church has billions of
>dollars, surely they can give a portion to children that were raped by
>priests in their dioceses. I would encourage you to talk to a child victim.
>  Don't just read their story.  Reach out and talk to them.  The damage
>that the sexual abuse has done to them is horrific, not only psychological
>but physically - still even into adulthood.
>I also want to dispel the myths regarding adult clergy sexual abuse.
>Adults clergy abuse victim's minds regarding the Catholic Church are still
>very much child like.  I never once looked outside of the box of my beloved
>church that I attended daily.  I couldn't get enough of the mass and of our
>Lord.  The Church was everything to me, so why would I believe for an
>instant that it was not everything I believed, that it could possibly be
>cruel, and deceitful and perverted never crossed my mind.  That "stuff"
>happened on the East Coast, not in my backyard.
>Jane, I would encourage you to contact Bishop Jackels in the Wichita
>Diocese and let him know how disturbing Voelker's actions/words are to you.
>  A "priest" like Nicholas Voelker should not be ministering to the needy
>and the vulnerable.  And who goes to a priest?  The vulnerable, whether it
>be because of a loss of a loved one, or child sexual abuse or a failing
>marriage.  These are the people of God that Voelker is ministering to and
>they are in danger and Bishop Jackels is allowing it to happen.
>I will never understand how the church can continue to sacrifice families
>and children's lives for what-, a man, a man's job, power, control, money?
>Nothing is worth the live of a child.  A child's life is destroyed when
>they are sexually assaulted.  They may be able to function into adulthood
>but it is rare.  The Catholic Church is responsible for their priests and
>the actions of their priest and they should be held accountable by helping
>victims heal.
>Thank you for your email.
>To me it is all about educating, Lord knows this has been a learning
>experience for me.
>Please email again with any other questions or comments.
>Take care,
>Peggy Warren
>Wichita, KS

I was raised here is Wichita too.  What you are saying...most of it is
false.  I am really sorry you have a different understanding of the Catholic
faith.  I know Fr. Voelker personally.  He knew my sister before he even
entered the seminary.  I ran into him one time when I was pregnant with my
first child.  He asked me to call him when I had my baby so that he could
come and see the baby.  I barely knew him.  I knew who he was, but that
wasn't something I felt comfortable with.  My intuition made me feel that
way.  I think he is messed up in some ways from his childhood.  I just think
there were other ways to handle it.  To me, it just looks like you wanted
the money and publicity.  Kissing on the mouth is NEVER appropriate.  I
don't think taking a vacation with a family is appropriate for a priest
either.  I just think they should keep it even with every family.  A
priest's life is very loney.  That is why they have to turn to God in those
times of lonliness, not parishoners.  I think you know deep down that you
have some responsibility in what happened.  You are covering it up by
lashing out at the Catholic Church.  I agree that there are true victims out
there.  I just don't think you are one of them.  I will pray for you.

>What exactly did I state about Wichita that was false?  Most of the ideas
>about the Church are the ideas that I got when I was educated  at St.
>Elizabeth Ann Seton.  Maybe I shouldn't blanket those ideas over the entire
>diocese.  I know many Catholics from many other parishes throughout the
>diocese and SEAS does seem to be more conservative than most.  But if you
>disagree with the influences that the Catholic Church has on this community
>let me remind you, if you read my story, that when I went to file the
>Protection From Abuse Order, the judge told me he was unsure whether he
>should sign it or not because his judgeship was an elected position.  A
>judge was afraid of loosing his job because of the influence of the
>Catholic Church.  That is huge.
>Also, when the DA has her own press conference saying "After a full
>investigation" we have found no crime was committed, if that isn't corrupt
>influence I don't know what is.  I never once talked to the DA, never gave
>a statement, nothing.  She worked for the diocesan law firm before she
>became DA.  Convenient for the diocese.
>" I am really sorry you have a different understanding of the Catholic
>Dont' be sorry, I'm not.
>"I knew who he was, but that
>>wasn't something I felt comfortable with.  My intuition made me feel that
>You should feel lucky that you have better intuition than what I did.
>" I think he is messed up in some ways from his childhood"
>Did he tell your sister that he was molested by that priest that was always
>around when he was younger, the one that drove him to Conception Abbey, his
>first day of seminary, too?
>"To me, it just looks like you wanted
>>the money and publicity."
>If you knew me at all that would be a humorous statement.  First of all let
>me address "wanting publicity" from a woman who before all this would have
>never lectored, never would have spoken in public or in large groups,..both
>my husband and myself were very private people.  Because of all of this
>crap, my personality has changed immensely.  Through intense therapy I have
>learned to speak out and say No and have learned to set appropriate
>boundaries.  "Boundaries" was a foreign word to me before all of this.  You
>should feel very blessed that you were raised with an inner strength and a
>knowledge of appropriate boundaries.  I knew by going public, the bishop
>was going to come back and say that the relationship was "consensual",
>therefore I was going to come off looking like an adulteress whore but  I
>DIDN'T CARE because if I could save just one person from going through the
>hell my husband and I and our children have went through, it would be worth
>it.  I wouldn't wish this nightmare on my worst enemy.  Although now I can
>say I'm glad that it all happened, I am glad I am away from the church, I
>am glad my children are safe and will never be raped by one of them, I am
>glad that I am finally able to make decisions for myself.  I am stronger
>and happier than I have ever been.  My Lord has led me on a path that I
>never would have dreamed of, but I am now grateful. Since "going public" my
>phone hasn't stopped ringing.  If thousands of children have been molested
>by these men of God, millions of adults have been abused by them.  I get
>calls on a weekly basis from a new adult victim, male and female.  Their
>sexuality is so suppressed which is so unnatural and then they go after
>adults and they know in the majority of states it is not criminal.  It
>gives me strength to minister to both child and adult victims, Lord knows
>the Catholic Church isn't doing it.
>Now wanting money - I want for nothing, I never have wanted for anything
>because everything I have ever wanted has been given to me.  Maybe that is
>where part of the problem on my end lies.  I don't know...My parents last
>names are Doe/Doe.  If you were raised in Wichita, "Doe" should be a
>familiar name to you.  Most Does are not in need to say the least.  And
>my mother was fortunate enough to be a child of one of the Does that
>owned much of west Wichita and have subsequently sold the farm land over
>the years resulting in millions of dollars in profit.  My parents paid for
>my double major at Newman University, my parents paid for our first home. 
>My parents have given me more than double than what I got from the diocese
>on a few occasions as just because we love you gifts and that goes for my
>other 13 older siblings.  Oh yeh and I was the baby so I was really spoiled
>and still am not only by my parents but by my incredibly loving generous
>husband, who also comes from a upper middle class family.  When my husband
>and I and Fr. Billinger met with the bishop and he said that he could give
>me money for therapy out of "charity", I started laughing.  Charity, yeh
>ok, I give to charities.  I am not a charity.
>"Kissing on the mouth never appropriate"
>I grew up in a very loving family.  I kiss a brother and a brother-in-law
>and a nephew on the lips in greeting, although I see them only a few times
>a year.  When Voelker started kissing me on the lips in front of people at
>his birthday party, I thought it was innocent.  Why wouldn't it be coming
>from a man of God?  My God I was so naive.  Anyway.  Voelker would kiss me
>on the lips at church, always in front of people, again why wouldn't I
>think it was ok?  It was in front of people.  Now of course I know that it
>is not appropriate for a priest to kiss a woman on the lips but why the
>hell should have I known that it was dangerous.  I remember telling him at
>one time, "I know you would never do anything to hurt me because you are
>Good God, yes I take responsibility in being so damn dumb in believing
>everything the church taught me.  I believed it all, hook, line and sinker.
>Fr. Billinger went on vacations with parishioners all the time, in fact
>again if you live in Wichita, you should remember when Janice Doe 
>died, that is when he was on vacation with her and her family.
>Voelker had his summer vacation planned with us and his winter vacation
>planned with John and Janet Doe, his Sunday night couple.
>"I just think they should keep it even with every family"
>I couldn't agree more!!  but they don't, none of them do.  or if you do
>know one, maybe he is actually a priest with integrity, pass his name on to
>me because, my slate of names of good priests is blank.
>The only good one the diocese had was John Francis from St.Francis, and
>Jackels got rid of him because he was helping  sexual abuse victims.
>"I agree that there are true victims out
>>there.  I just don't think you are one of them"
>Any woman that is "hit on" or sexually assaulted, even though not
>violently, by a Catholic priest is a victim.  Their entire world is turned
>upside down. I didn't know what to believe any more.  If priests are really
>just men and the priesthood is just another profession and if celibacy is a
>farce, damn what else have they told me over the last 33 yrs that isn't
>true.  The power differential between a priest and a parishioner is just too
>great for a sexual advance to be anything but abuse.  It is no different
>than a therapist and patient,or student and teacher.  That is why in 17
>states it is a CRIME.  What Voelker did to me was not only abuse and I was
>a victim but it is a CRIME in 17 states under Fiduciary Duty Laws where
>other professionals are listed that have an incredible power differential
>over those they counsel.  I am working with my state Rep. Nile Dillmore to
>get clergy added to the Kansas Fiduciary Duty Laws, HB2261.  go to
> and read more on the issue of professional's fiduciary
>"I will pray for you"
>Please don't pray for me, pray for yourself and for the Catholic Church and
>the Catholic Bishops and all of the pedophiles that they continue to harbor
>and protect.  Read up on Chicago and Cardinal George.  Good God, they are
>still raping kids in 2006, the Dallas Charter means nothing.  Read up on
>San Diego and Bishop Brom.  The Church does not care about the children
>they have raped.
>It is the children that is my main motivation for my advocacy now.  I want
>to let the child victims know that someone gives a damn, they are all so
>broken.  Please pray for the victims that you believe are "true" victims.
>There are too many "true" victims out there.
>I know I can not change your way of thinking, the Catholic Church's
>brainwashing is so strong that it is almost unimpenitrable unless you have
>been personally affected by the demons within the church.
>Good luck to you on your journey of life.  I think it is great that you are
>asking questions, keep asking them and maybe you will find the answers you
>are looking for but right now I don't think I am giving you the answers you
>want to hear.
>Take care and best to you and your family,
>Peggy Warren
>Wichita, KS

May 8, 2007

Dear Peggy,
I see your points.  If you were not raised knowing normal bounderies, than I
can see how you could not have know, maybe that this was not appropriate.  I
never agreed with priests going on vacations with families.  I think they
should take their own vacations, maybe with their own families or fellow
priests.  I knew Janice very well.  She was my aunt.  That was the
most devasting time in my life.  I never agreed with how much time Fr.
Billinger spent with their family.  I hope he realized now that it was a
mistake.  I am not going to turn on the Curch because of it, though.  The
Catholic Church is not perfect.  The Bishop is not perfect.  No one in the
Church expects them to be.  They make mistakes, just like everyone else.  My
sister didn't tell me specifics about Fr. Voelker's childhood, that is just
what I have heard.  I am not brainwashed, and you weren't either.  Just
focus on the victims and try not to Catholic bash.  We are not all bad.  By
the way, Nola Foulston's ex-husband from more than fifteen years ago is the
owner.  I don't think they are very friendsly anymore.  So, it's not "a
conspiracy" like you think.  I will pray for myself, but I'd like to also
pray for you to let go of this anger.  All I've learned about anger is it
consumes you.  Thank you for taking the time to write back.  If you ever
need to talk, I'm here.

Something about what you said earlier, is that your children were being
taught that priests are the closest thing to God here on earth.  That is
false.  They are the leaders of the Church, but they are human.  Why would
they need confession if they were perfect?  The are weak to sin just like
us.  That is why I don't think anyone should hold their hand, kiss them even
on the cheek, etc. because it is too much of a temptation.  Humans can go
without sex.  We are not animals.  We have control over our actions.  Just
wanted to add that.

>"is that your children were being
>>taught that priests are the closest thing to God here on earth.  That is
>Fr. Johnson said those exact words at a school mass one morning while
>my girls, then ages 7and 9 still went to SEAS.
>He knew what had happened and he said those words. My girls were
>devastated. My 7yr old started crying in mass, my oldest comforted her.
>Brent and I and the two girls later met with him, and he apologized. 
>Johnson was the first priest we went to, He was the first one to refer
>to Voelker as "dangerous", in my child like mind, even though I knew what
>he did to me was wrong, my brain could not wrap around the idea that a
>priest could be dangerous.  Good grief.  Johnson went on to say "I am
>going to tell the chancery and he needs to be sent away for this."  I
>started hyperventilating.  He went on to say "What he did was illegal, I am
>not telling you to sue but you could."  We had no intention of suing ,
>getting an attorney, nothing remotely along those lines.  Can you believe
>after what he did to me, Brent and my first priority was to get Voelker
>help?  At the time though I didn't realize the psychological harm that
>actions and words did to me.  I can describe it as when you are really sick
>and you don't realize how sick you really were until you start feeling
>better.  It was like that and my life went down a spiral pit of hell from
>there for several months.  I couldn't get out of bed, I couldn't take care
>of my children. The act of what he did to me, kissing more than just the
>usual peck and then pulling me to him and feeling his erection poke into my
>stomach and him gyrating on me, kept playing over and over in my head.  I
>learned that is what happens when you experience something traumatic, it is
>like a movie reel in your head which plays over and over.  resulting in
>PTSD, Post Traumatic Stress Disorder, it doesn't just happen to veterans,
>PTSD can happen to anyone who has experienced an extreme trauma in their
>lives.  It is hell here on earth.  I can't describe it any better than
>that.  What made the entire situation even worse, like it could get any
>worse, but it did, our daughter who was 7 at the time, witness what he did
>to me and she also saw ME PUSH HIM AWAY.  In her 7 yr old mind she thought
>he had physically hurt me.
>The are weak to sin just like
>>us.  That is why I don't think anyone should hold their hand, kiss them
>>even on the cheek, etc. because it is too much of a temptation
>Now I know.  A parishioner at SEAS told Voelker just that, the end of April.
>He was infuriated.  He called her Judas, he thought how dare she question
>his priesthood.  That was the first time it occurred to me that I might be a
>temptation.  I thought I would go straight to hell for even being a
>temptation to a priest.  It was the most horrible thing I had ever heard in
>my life up until that time.  I asked him if I was a temptation, if him
>kissing me was contrary to his celibacy.  He assured me it wasn't, that
>"our love was a gift from God"  That is was an innocent sign of his
>affection for me.  I asked him to talk to his spiritual adviser about it
>and talk to his brother priests.  He later told me he did talk with them
>and they told him, it was ok , just "watch himself"  Whatever that means. 
>I later called, Fr. Jones, who said that Voelker did talk to him about
>him kissing me and he told Voelker to "be careful because of our
>approximate ages."  Jones went on to tell me he kisses a woman on the lips
>who he has been very close with since high school.  Scary.  I then asked
>Fr. Joe, I forgot his last name but he was an associate at St. Francis
>and a good friend of Voelkers.  I asked him what he told Voelker when
>Voelker talked to him about kissing me. Joe knew nothing about it. 
>Voelker never talked to him.  Voelker never said anything to Joe because
>he knew Joe would not agree with what he was doing.  But he felt
>comfortable talking to Jones because he knew Jones was doing the same thing.
>I made the mistake once again of believing his lies, that it was "ok" kiss
>me, even though in the back of my mind I was starting to question.  again
>this was all within the last two months.
>"We have control over our actions"
>Do we?  Did Voelker have control over his actions?  Your right, maybe he
>did.  All along I have thought he was out of control.  But your right, he
>did have control, he knew what he was doing, knew what he was going to do
>to me from the beginning, he assaulted me and he committed a crime.  He
>should not be a priest.
>Take care,

May 9, 2007

Dear Peggy,
I think the reason that they didn't say it was a crime is because they
didn't quite believe you.  You should have let Fr. Johnson and the
Catholic Charities counselor tell the chancery and maybe just ask them to
not mention your name.  People were trying to stop this behavior from Fr.
Voelker, but it sounds like you wouldn't let them.  I am not good in front
of people either, so I'd much rather have it handled that way than to hold a
press conference.  By the time the DA and Bishop Jackels got a hold of it,
it was your word against Fr. Voekler's.  I think they made the best
judgement with what they had.  I know several people that work at the
chancery and they handle everything the best they can.  They have a lot of
wackos calling claiming outrageous things.  They probably just thought you
were one of those wackos.  I know we can say shoulda, woulda, coulda all we
can, but you handled it the way you did and it can't be changed now.  I am
just saying that the Bishop is a very kind and loving man.  I think he just
had a hard time believing what you were saying.  He is a new Bishop, so he 
doesn't have as much experience as many would like, but I think he's doing
the best he can.  I believe you about Fr. Voelker.  He has said some things
to me and several other people I know that were just weird.  He has always
been that way, though.  After I didn't call him when I had my first, I saw
him in Mass at SEAS and he looked at me and acted like he didn't know me.  I
think he was bitter that I didn't call him.  I think maybe the Bishop should
have a big meeting and address what is appropriate showings of affection
between them and parishoners.  What did you think about my list of priests
with integrity?  Do you disagree with any of them?

Dear Jane,
>You should have let Fr. Johnson and the
>Catholic Charities counselor tell the chancery and maybe just ask them to
>not mention your name.  People were trying to stop this behavior from Fr.
>Voelker, but it sounds like you wouldn't let them.
>They did tell.  Fr.Johnson was the first to tell Msgr. Coakly, the day
>after we told him.  And I heard nothing from the chancery.  There is an
>accusation of a sexual assault and the alleged victim, me, hears NOTHING.
>How pastoral is that?  Not even a phone call to ask if I was ok, or how I
>was doing or to tell me they were going to take care of the situation.
>Nothing.  until
>a month later when I filed the Protection From Abuse Order.  I filed it the
>end of August when school started because I would have a panic attack every
>time I would have to take my girls to school and pick them up.  I was
>terrified that he would be there with Janet picking up her children
>from school.  He spent as much time with the Does as he did with us.  She
>is quite a bit older, so I don't believe he ever made any advances on her
>but I did hear through the sick grapevine that John was getting very tired
>of Voelker always being in their home.  I digress, so anyway.  I got the
>PFA so that I wouldn't have to see him but also my girls were terrified of
>possibly seeing him in the church or at the school, so I got the PFA which
>read he could not be on the grounds of SEAS and could not come near our
>home or family for a year.  At this time I still did not have an attorney,
>I filed the order by myself.  I was functioning on autopilot.  Doing what I
>needed to to survive at the time.  There were times that I would get home
>from picking the girls up from school and I wouldn't remember  a thing.  I
>wouldn't remember them getting into the vehicle, saying anything to them,
>driving home.  It was terrifying.
>I remember one time I saw Fr.Johnson and he said I saw you the other
>day in the gathering space and said hi but you just kept walking...I didn't
>even remember seeing him.  When I was in that church, that school, that I
>loved so dear, I was terrified inside so my brain would turn off.  It it
>truly amazing to me how your body and brain go auto pilot when you are in a
>trauma situation.  I remember when my brother died, I didn't eat for 3
>days. It wasn't until the funeral dinner that it occurred to me that I
>should eat. Anyway
>the first person to call us was the diocesan attorney, Karl Hesse saying
>"He'll do anything you want, anything you want just don't take this to
>court."  I told him I didn't believe a word Voelker said and that I needed
>to take this to court to make sure Voelker would leave us alone."  Hesse
>told me on the phone that day that he believed me.  He told my attorney he
>believed me.  They agreed to everything on the PFA, even though my court
>appt. attorney said the diocese wouldn't agree to him not going on the
>property of SEAS because it was a public place.      THEY AGREED.  and my
>court appt. attorney was dumbfounded.
>Coakley called me the next day saying he was sorry he hadn't called me
>earlier but he had been "too busy packing"  I know it sounds ludicrous but
>he said it at least 3 times, he was rambling and very nervous on the phone.
>This was and of August.
>It was only after their attorney contact us first!,that we got ourselves a
>personal attorney.
>If they would have acted in a pastoral manner like they should have from
>the beginning this story would have played out very differently.
>Hemberger didn't actually remove Voelker until Dec. a week after Brent and
>I and our attorneys met with him.  Hemberger believed us.  (My uncle who
>was a priest taught Hemberger in minor seminary, he knew my family, he knew
>I wasn't a "wacko", he knew it wasn't about the money, my parents have been
>very generous with their money to this diocese)  They all did.  They would
>not have given the ok for therapy within 24 hr from the time of our request
>if they did not believe us.  They not only were willing to pay for my
>therapy but for my husbands therapy and for my daughters therapy, they were
>willing to pay for hospitalization and medications if needed.  (Regarding
>quick response to the request of therapy the diocese was right on).  Our
>attorney who has been handling clergy sex abuse cases for 15 yrs has never
>seen a case where the diocese has been willing to pay for therapy for
>anyone other then the direct victim.    THEY BELIEVED US. and the next week
>he was removed.  The majority of child victims don't get that kind of
>response. They believed.
>By the time the DA and Bishop Jackels got a hold of it,
>it was your word against Fr. Voekler's.
>It was always my word against Voelker, as far as the assault goes
>I wouldn't get my 7yr old involved.
>but the other crap leading up to it (the grooming process) my husband and
>many others from church witnessed.  I gave Karl Hesse a list of 7 women
>from SEAS who were willing to talk to Hesse and tell him that Voelker tried
>kissing them, hugging them too tight and too long.  They all felt
>uncomfortable but not in danger.  JUST LIKE I FELT so they didn't feel it
>necessary to speak about it until now.  Hesse never called any of them.
>When Jackels became bishop we thought we should meet with him to clue him
>in and ask for more money for therapy (what people don't understand is
>everything that goes along with the trauma that costs money, money for
>babysitters while I and my husband were at therapy, we were there a lot
>initially and it all adds up, money for lost wages, when Brent had to come
>home to take care of me, meals out/take out, I wasn't cooking.... etc.
>etc., again in the big picture hey we didn't "need" the money but these
>were out of pocket expenses that would never have been if Voelker never
>would have infultrated our family through the Catholic Church.
>I am
>just saying that the Bishop is a very kind and loving man.
>In April Fr. Billinger, Brent and myself met with Jackels.
>This is the same Bishop that told Brent, "If it would have happened to my
>wife, I would have punched him."  told us, "I can't give you more money for
>therapy for all I know you will run off to Las Vegas" (I was 7 months
>pregnant with my 5 baby, I went into premature labor that night and almost
>lost her) he said, "Voelker is a man, he sinned, that is what we have
>confession for"  "Yes he is sexually immature but he is a good priest." "I
>have never met a man with such magical powers." "You didn't sin but you did
>break your marriage vows"  WHAT!!!!!  Nice guilt trip try but it wasn't
>working.  He told us Voelker had several more months of therapy to go.  He
>told us that he didn't want to hear from our attorneys again but if we
>would give him an "itemized list" of our needs he would consider our
>request out of charity.  (Talk about a power/control trip)  I got up a
>proceeded to walk out.  We were told we would have an hour with him, he had
>us in there for 2 1/2 hours rambling, insulting and guilt tripping us. It
>was insane.  Fr. Billinger called us the next morning at 7:00 to see if we
>were "ok", we told him were were anything but and that were would not play
>the bishops game and give him an itemized list.
>Billinger said he hadn't slept all night either.
>Our daughters never went back to SEAS with 6 weeks to go in the school
>year. I hung onto the Catholic Church until the day I met the new bishop of
>Wichita.  Up until that day we were treated with respect from Hesse,
>Hemberger, Billinger (Coakley is a different story), Jackels was a
>different ball of wax.  Total ignorance when it comes to damage control.
>I know this is a hard pill to swallow but I couldn't make this crap up is I
>tried.  Reality truly is alway stranger than fiction.  I talked with Fr.
>Billinger a few times after and he tried convincing me that the Bishop
>really did have a "good side"  and that unfortunately I wasn't able to see
>it the day we met him.  Billinger said, the bishop was willing to  meet
>with us again, I don't know why.  We didn't ask to meet with him again. 
>After the hell he put me through there was no way I was going into the
>lion's den again.
>Now I would go with another victim, to give them support and to make damn
>sure he wouldn't attack them the way he attacked us.
>Call Fr.Billinger and ask him about the meeting.  I am sure he wouldn't go
>into specifics but if you would say what you were hearing was  making you
>feel uncomfortable, maybe he would open up a little bit.
>Or better yet ask the bishop if you have contact with him, ask him "how
>could he so cruel".  That is not what Jesus would have done.
>Two weeks later our attorney gets the offer from Hesse (After the bishop
>told us no more attorneys) for 15,750 (at this point they had already paid
>approximately 8,000 in therapy.  This man of God has cost the diocese,
>actually the insurance company 24,000 for us, who knows how much for his
>therapy and who knows how much in attorney's fees, if I had to venture a
>guess it would top 60-70,000 and this guy is still on the pulpit, what a
>liability!) and we took it.  Our unborn daughter's life was not worth it.
>She was my life saver when I got pregnant with her and I was not going to
>loose her now.  ( I wasn't eating for months before I got pregnant with
>her, I lost over 50lbs.  Fr Billinger would come over and urge me to eat.
>(He would suggest ice-cream - yuk - to this day I can't eat ice-cream)  but
>all I wanted to do was to wither and die, the pain was so great.  Even now
>when I am typing this I am bawling, what horrible memories, anyway,
>Our attorneys told us over and over "You are leaving money on the table" 
>we didn't care about the money, we never did, we were done, they had won,
>they beat me down and they had won.
>We signed the settlement papers and A MONTH later he was back in Council
>Grove (after the bishop told me he had several more months of therapy)  to
>make matters worse they promote him to head pastor.  They gave him a
>promotion for rubbing his dick on me!!!  Were they grateful that he was a
>heterosexual or that he wasn't going after little boys!??  I was dumbfounded
>then to top it off, Jackels goes to Council Grove to celebrate "PRIESTHOOD
>SUNDAY" with a sexual predator and puts their picture in the Catholic
>Advance. This was in Dec.  I was ready to explode, so I held the press
>conference. The night before I called the parish in St. Louis where he
>stayed while in "intense treatment", The pastor told me Voelker said mass
>every day, went to dinner with parishoners, became friendly with a few
>families.  They were told he was a priest in "good standing" and that he
>"WAS A STUDENT AT ST.LOUIS UNIVERSITY"  They lied to them, here they have a
>priest with sexual assault allegations against him,  a PFA filed on him and
>with no diognosis and they send him to a parish with a school and no one is
>the wiser.
>To say I was livid was an understatement but let's back up.  I was still in
>therapy.  I had gotten my panic attacks somewhat under control up until
>they brought him back to Council Grove and I was so scared because no one
>really knew (the parish secretary knew, I called and told her what
>happened, Good God she knew all to well, she just got rid of one and now
>she had another on her hands.  Fr. Adult predator #1 was allowed to infiltrate 7
>families sexually assault 6 married women,  I have talked with 5 of the
>families, including an ex husband, 4 marriages I know of  ended in divorce.
>  What broke the camels back is when the secretary found her 18yr old
>"adult" daughter in the rectory late one night.  Fr. Adult Predator #1 had been grooming
>her for over a year while she was CYO president and a MINOR.  SICK SICK,
>these guys are dangerous and should be removed from their positions of
>power.  but it looks like the diocese will handle Voelker just like they
>did Fr. Adult Predator #1 - it doesn't matter how many adults he assaults but once he
>starts on kids that is where they will draw the line.      I AM NOT SAYING
>VOELKER IS A PEDOPHILE!)  I would go to therapy week after week going over
>the same thing HOW CAN I WARN OTHERS  I came up with many plans, a mass
>mailing to all parishioners in Council Grove, or just a mailing to the
>parish council or my story in the local paper or in the Manhattan paper,
>...nothing clicked until I felt like they had backed me up against a wall. 
>Here they were holding this pervert up on a pedestal and I couldn't sit
>around and do nothing I had to warn others.  All along during the civil
>proceedings Voelker admitted to what he did but said that it was consensual. 
>I don't know why a woman would want to be dry humped by her priest but ok 
>whatever, what did I expect him to say "Oh hey I really am a sexual
>predator."  So I knew that would be the bishops response to my press
>conference.  I was going to come off like an adulteress.  Who would want
>that kind of press?  NO ONE!!!!  But at the time my main concern was the
>safety of others.  ST. Louis diocese was lied to and this diocese was
>deceived by stating in the advance he was on a leave of absence for medical
>reasons.  When I talked to the secretary, she said the parishioners thought
>he was "being worked to hard"  HAHAHA what a joke.
>So that is why I did what I did, not for the "great" publicity of looking
>like a whore, not for the whopping 10,000 after attorney's fees but for the
>safety of others and yes to ease my panic attacks which were a result of no
>one really knowing the truth and believing that others were in danger.  And
>they were in danger and still are but they now know the whole story or the
>big part anyway and can do with the info what they will.  I felt like I got
>my life back that day.  For everyone else in the diocese it was a beginning
>for them to come to grips with what they just discovered but for me it was
>the ending.  Ending the horrid Voelker chapter in my life, but Lord knows I
>will be there to support his next victim and to testify against him if that
>what it takes to get her justice.
>>think he was bitter that I didn't call him
>I'm sure he was bitter, he took everything so personal, everything was an
>attack against him.  Very strange.
>I think maybe the Bishop should
>>have a big meeting and address what is appropriate showings of affection
>>between them and parishioners
>Fr. Billinger told me that last yr at the bishops / priest conference that
>they have every year around Oct at the spiritual life center, the topic of
>boundaries regarding adults was addressed and that the priest were told you
>need to be "good priests" with everyone you serve.  From what Billinger
>told me I wasn't very impressed with how it was address, be "good priests"
>ok, but what does that mean, it is obvious in Voelkers case that a lot of
>these guys don't know what it means to be a "good priest "  they don't know
>appropriate boundaries.  But Billinger told me I should be pleased- without
>me it never would have been brought up.  ooooo pleased , ok, but not really
>what would have "pleased" me is if I could have addressed them myself along
>with Brent.
>I need to get to work, I will answer the email about the priests, later,
>hopefully later today.
>Take care,

Dear Peggy,
After reading your e-mail, I was just thinking...maybe they would have you
talk if you left the Catholic-bashing out of it.  I think you would be a
good person to talk to them in a calm manner.  But, maybe since Fr. Voelker
would be there, they wouldn't want you to.  What is Fr. Billinger talking
about anyway?  Does he actually think HE follows the rules when it comes to
appropriate behavior with parishoners?  I am sorry, but ever since my aunt 
died, I have really had no respect for him.  If he hadn't been
with them, maybe she wouldn't have died. Jesse would have been driving and
there wouldn't have been as much luggage.  Their family has never been the
same since she died.  Jesse is now going through a divorce and the woman who
Billinger set Jesse up with turned his daughter against him.  Billinger has
been a matchmaker with families who lost loved ones on three occassions that
I know of.  I really don't think that is part of his job description.  I
will not let a few priests that I don't like keep me from the Catholic
Church, though.  I can list at least 5 priests in the Wichita diocese that I
don't like, but I won't let them ruin my faith in the Church.

Dear Jane,

After reading your e-mail, I was just thinking...maybe they would have you
talk if you left the Catholic-bashing out of it.  I think you would be a
good person to talk to them in a calm manner

Fall of 2005, I contacted Prior Kenneth at Conception Abbey and asked if
Brent and I could talk to the seminarians about boundaries with adults and
actually wrote, "we would speak without any Catholic bashing, not mentioning
any child abuse and just focus on adult boundaries and our story.  They
focus so much on boundaries with children, which should be everyones main
focus, but the issue of boundaries with adults must also be addressed, after
all adults are their main targets.  He said he would propose it to whomever
but I never heard back from him.

maybe since Fr. Voelker
would be there, they wouldn't want you to.

What I would  say to Voelker and what I would want to say to the other
priests are two totally different things.  It couldn't happen in the same
room although I am sure the other priests would learn something if they saw
me address Voelker.  I would probably scare them down the straight and

What is Fr. Billinger talking
about anyway?  Does he actually think HE follows the rules when it comes to
appropriate behavior with parishioners?

What are you referring to?

By the way what parish do you belong to?

After Dec 06 and I called Billinger to ask him if he would put an
announcement in the bulletin announcing a conference for clergy abuse
victims that I planned here in Wichita. He told me that I really needed to
let this all go and get beyond it but to send him the info and he would
think about it.  He was very cold and he did not sound like the Fr.
Billinger I knew.  It was so strange, especially since my last communication
with him was he sent me a card after the press conference telling me I was a
"gift from God to him." Ok.  Whatever.  Anyway I responded, "I am trying to
get beyond it but I need help.  Would you help me, Father?"  He told me
"No", that I needed to call Joyce Webb and get help from her.
Once again, socked in the gut but by this point not very surprised.  I was
getting used to it.
I never sent him the info about the conference, I knew he wouldn't put it

I had asked him several months earlier to bring in specialists/therapists,
someone, anyone to SEAS to help the other parishioners who were victimized.
It wasn't just me, this entire diocese was the secondary victim of Voelker
but especially the parishoners at SEAS, which included 2 of my brothers and
my parents.  This crap has devastated my two elderly parents, their hearts
are broken.  They are seeing that this crap is everywhere and they are
having a hard time dealing with this.  When I told my dad what happened, he
told me that my aunt was molested as a child by a priest in St. Marks.  When
I told my best friend from college, she told me she was from Boston and was
a clergy abuse child victim.  CLERGY ABUSE CASES ARE NOT ISOLATED CASES.

 I am sorry, but ever since my aunt died, I have really had no respect for him.  If he hadn't been
with them, maybe she wouldn't have died.  Jesse would have been driving and
there wouldn't have been as much luggage

I am so sorry.

Jesse is now going through a divorce and the woman who
Billinger set Jesse up with turned his daughter against him

That is horrible, I am so sorry.  And didn't they have a couple children
together.  That is so sad.  Divorce is so traumatic for children.

will not let a few priests that I don't like keep me from the Catholic
Church, though.  I can list at least 5 priests in the Wichita diocese that I
don't like, but I won't let them ruin my faith in the Church.

I am not surprised.  I wouldn't expect you to turn your back on the Church
just because you don't like some priests.
I truly believe unless it happens to you directly and you are the primary
victim, you just won't get it.  I am not saying "you" for you personally
Jane.  I am saying "you" in general terms.  I have talked to many child
victims who's parents still go to church.  Their children were raped, little
boys, ages 4 and 6 and 8, tiny little boys, they bled and couldn't walk.
One man told me his older brother had to carry him home from the rectory, he
was 6.  Another man told me he could sit down on the bus ride home from the
camp grounds when on a church outing.  They cried  STOP STOP and they
wouldn't stop, instead they would say "I am almost done." or "God will
forgive me, he knows what my needs are."  How can they do this to children?
I think about my little 45lb 6yr old little boy and I just can't wrap my
brain around it, and yes I am angry, I get angry when I think about children
getting raped and it just seems to me like lay people don't care.  This is
not something that happened decades ago, this is still happening today,
i.e.chicago/cardinal george.  There are so many victims in this diocese and
they have never once offered a "healing mass" or a mass dedicated to victims
or to those that lost their lives because of this horror.
When I asked Joyce Webb if I could got to their support group, she told me
no because I was an adult victim, "adult victims and child victims have
different issues."  yes we do have different issues but the majority are the
same.  Don't get me wrong I am not comparing what I went through with what
child victims go through.  No comparison yet both still very traumatic and
devastating.  When I asked her if she knew of a sister/nun that could help
me spiritually, she laughed.
Side note - the bishop told me that I should get counseling from a priest.
COUNSELING FROM A PRIEST  Good God, I was terrified of priests and he wanted
me to get counseling from one.  Good grief.  He told me a secular therapist
would just keep thinking up problems for me so they could just keep taking
my money.  Geeez....what can I say, this isn't the dark ages, mental health
is vital and mental health professionals are well respected and a necessity.
Although before this mess I had never been to a therapist, never on
anti-depressants, never suicidal, but now getting better, healthier,
stronger everyday.

I must go to bed, I will answer the email about the priests tomorrow.