of Fr. John Wellinger's former parish. The secretary alleged that she informed
Pittsburgh diocesan spokesman, Fr. Ron Lengwin, about Wellinger in the late
1980s. In contrast, Lengwin publicly stated that Wellinger was not reported to
the diocese until 1995. This means that someone is lying about a Father John
Wellinger who walked away from ministry on his own accord; either Lengwin
or the secretary of the late John Wellinger.
Now, the red flag about the Wellinger case is that he left ministry via "personal
leave." There was no strong disciplinarian enforcing administrative leave on
him. In addition, since 1999, I have never heard anything honorable about the
very tall Ron Lengwin, by any of my sources. He was repeatedly alleged to be
Donald Wuerl's attacking pit bull. A bully ... allegedly.
And yes, I surprised to see how tall he was, as we passed by each other in a dio-
cesan building hallway, during the Torquato Retaliations. Incidentally, when
he did say hello to me, he did so with slightly gritted teeth and an ornery facial
expression. I kept walking.
The transcript is preceded by an introduction, written the Mike Ference who
is no stranger to diocesan intimidation tactics ... allegedly.
In the Ference case, the Ferences had the right to know the motivating force
behind Bobby Butler pulling the trigger of a lethal weapon twice on a school
bus of unarmed teenagers. Add to the Serra Catholic equation, the previous-
ly accused Kenneth Ghastin who was stationed there when the shooting oc-
curred. Include the accused Fr Michael LeDoux who would be assigned to
Serra after the Adam Ference shooting. There is something of substance in
the Ference case, in as far as goes the motivating force in sweeping the en-
tire matter under a carpet.
Incidentally, all that is posted herein is presented to you as 'alleged,'
concerning the contents. Now for guest writer Mike Ference:
This is part of a taped interview with Marta P******* which I had got-
ten transcribed. It's her describing her attempts to inform the Pittsburgh
diocese of possible sexual abuse, along with drug and alcohol abuse, di-
rected toward Pittsburgh-area youths by late Catholic priest, Father John
Wellinger. For a description of Father John Wellinger’s alleged crimes
visit either www.bishopaccountability.org or www.post-gazette.com.
out of court with 31 other alleged victims of clergy abuse. He's Chris
Mathews, and if you would like to contact Chris, let me know and I'll
pass your phone number or email address to him.
The Diocese of Pittsburgh could have prevented some tragedy, perhaps.
policy of disregarding people, Chris Mathews wouldn't have been sexually
abused by John Wellinger, as was alleged. Bobby Butler, Jr. may not have
attempted to murder my son. As importantly, Bobby may still be alive to-
today also, depending if he too were molested by Wellinger. However, the
Pittsburgh diocese didn't seem to care.
Editor's Note: Keep in mind that, during the deposition of a Clairton law
enforcement man, the Ference attorney asked him if he new anything about
John Wellinger molesting youth in the Clairton area. The diocesan attorney
then banged on the table and starting employing intimidating speech which
under oath. This makes the Diocese of Pittsburgh (under Donald Wuerl at
Had the Diocese of Pittsburgh done the prudent thing, then John Wellinger’s
ed before he began to sexually abuse youth. Even Archbishop Bevilacqua
may have been prevented from causing so much pain and agony in the Phil-
adelphia Archdiocese, as was described in the scathing report of the grand
jury investigation that transpired through the Philadelphia District Attorney’s
Respectfully, Mike Ference
is that correct?
en name, if I may ask?
we’re talking to Marta?” You know what I mean, if that’s okay with
you? If not, that’s okay. You do not have to give that.
for a number of years, since at least 1980 or 81?
had a position with the church if I am not mistaken. What position was
upon a couple of things that were occurring. Is that correct?
name of (*********). Is that correct?
drugs to this young man, and was taken to the hospital.
not mistaken. Is that correct?
sometime in 1987?
ed abuse that took place with a young boy by the name of (Chris
Mathews) sometime in 1989. Is that correct?
thing like that.
age, do you think?
Wellinger or performing church duties. Things like that. Is that
I believe initially you may have said so. Did you say it was (****
*********) who told you this happened?
inger may have given drugs and alcohol to a boy by the name of
(**** *********) sometime in the year of 1987. The boy was
certainly under the age of eighteen (18), and was a minor to the
best of your recollection.
I believe back in August, that you had gone to the Pittsburgh
Catholic Diocese to talk about some of your concerns about
John Wellinger. Is that correct?
Marta: Yeah, I think so. Although, this was before I resigned.
signed your duties from the church?
thing like that?
I could look that up.
idea who you might have met with at the diocese?
Bishop Bevilacqua that bishop at the time?
anything that you can say for sure other than “you know what,
I knew that when I went down there Bishop Bevilacqua was the
bishop, simply because he was the bishop”. Maybe that is suf-
Lengwin). Do you recall some of the things you told him.
boy living at the rectory at the time?
Mike: Did you tell that to Father Lengwin?
Mike: Do you recall what else you told to Father (Lengwin)?
Marta: Oh. Probably that a young couple spent the night at the rectory.
They were trying to sneak out the next morning, and I just hap-
pen to come by the stairs when they were trying to get out.
Mike: When you say young couple, do you mean young boy and girl?
Marta: I would say in their early twenties. They were friends of his.
Mike: Do you know who they were?
Mike: Was that the type of behavior you might have experienced or at
least heard about on a regular basis, or was this something new?
Marta: As far as the young couple, this only happened the one time that
I am aware of.
Marta: I did tell Father (Wellinger) that I saw them there, and He said it
was only a few friends of his that stayed there.
Mike: Okay. You felt there was much more to it than just people staying
Marta: Well, I don’t know. I did not think it was proper for them to stay all
night at the rectory, and then try to sneak out.
Marta: If they had been proper guests there, then why would they be
hiding? Why wouldn't they just come out in the open?
Mike: What makes you think they were actually sneaking out?
Marta: Because, there were people in the dining room. That is where
we would meet to have our staff meetings, and I came to my
office through the living room to the dining room. In that hall
between the rooms is the stairs . As I came around the bend, the
two were coming down the steps. They were trying to be real quiet.
Mike: Do they know that you saw them?
Mike: You were startled, and they were probably startled, I guess. They
were also kind of embarrassed, too? I am guessing. And then they
just kind of …
Marta: ... left
Mike: They shuffled out without saying hello, goodbye, or anything?
Mike: Now, what did Father (Lengwin) say about this?
Marta: You know, I really do not recall. I think he was just trying to write
things down, not really making any comments about it.
Mike: And you also told him about the young fellow that was living there
for a time. Do you have any idea on about who he was, or how old
Marta: I do not know who he was. I would say he could have been around
seventeen or eighteen.
Marta: The only reason I knew, because I did not realize there was anybody
up there, was the telephone bill came in, and I questioned Father
(Wellinger) about it. It was a big, long list. I called the telephone
company about this one number, but I am not sure what number it
Mike: Was it like a 900 number, or something similar?
Marta: This is the only way I knew, and he said “Oh, that’s ( ).” I am not
certain of what name he gave. He then said “he has been staying up
there, and that would be him. In fact, I think (Maria C******) hap-
pened to pick up the phone, and heard him on the phone.” Although,
nothing was apparently ever said or done, because we got the tele-
phone bill listing all those calls.
Mike: So you told Father (Lengwin) about the boy living up there. Was
there any reaction from Father (Lengwin)?
Marta: Not that I can recall.
Mike: After, was there anything else that you may have told Father (Lengwin)?
Marta: Umm, I am trying to think.
Mike: Did you tell him about the (W********) boy?
Marta: I don’t think I knew that at the time.
Mike: To make along story short, or to paraphrase it, you went to Father
(Lengwin) with concerns about John (Wellinger) because of inap-
propriate behavior. Did you think at the time that it could have
been some type of sexual behavior that may not have been accep-
table for a Priest?
Marta: No, not at that time.
Mike: No, OK. Not at that time. Basically, you were reporting behavior
that in your mind was suspicious.
Mike: Now, so you left the diocese. How did the diocese react to your
Marta: Well, they ... um ... Let’s see: I know that I had put another call in
to them, or they called me. I can’t remember.
Mike: That’s OK
Marta: They said it sounds like people inform you of things, and they made
me feel like I was a busybody or something.
Mike: Like you were sticking your nose into somebody else’s business
where it did not belong, maybe?
Marta: Because people would tell me things. I was they’re secretary, and
people would tell me things. I don’t know. They would express
concerns or thoughts.
Mike: So, people would come to you because they had confidence in you.
Probably also because of the fact that maybe you had been privy to
something, and maybe they felt like they were helping in some way
by putting some of the pieces together by giving you additional in-
Marta: Or they were curious and wanted to know.
Mike: They may have come to you and said, what do you think? And
people were coming to you about his behavior, showing concern.
As a result of this, you went to whom we think is Father (Lengwin)
and, said, "Hey, I’m not sure if anything is going on, but here is what
we have so far.
Mike: Father (Lengwin) or whomever you spoke with, said “quit being such
a busybody, and mind your own business.” Now, did they send you
any type of a letter or anything at all?
Marta: Oh, yes. They sent me a letter, and asked me if they questioned
(Wellinger) about anything that I said, would I want my name
Marta: I said no, because I think at that time I was still working.
Mike: Okay, you were still working.
Mike: Did they state anything else in that letter that you can recall?
By the way, do you still have that letter?
Marta: I don’t know. I would have to look.
Mike: Okay, you would have to look. Do you recall anything else in that
letter that may have been stated, or who the letter may have come
Marta: I know it came from the diocese.
Mike: Okay. Have you ever told anybody else about this, such as law en-
forcement officials or anybody else that may have been able to help
in this situation? I think you did as much as you could with as much
information as you had. Is that a reasonable assumption on my part?
I mean, you don’t have the authority to arrest anybody. For you to
question (Wellinger), that really doesn’t do any good, although you
may have questioned him, or put him on the spot at times.
Mike: That doesn’t mean he’s going to tell you the truth or anything like that.
Marta: Yeah, I know.
Mike: Did you ever talk to anybody else about this that may have been in a
position to get some things done?
Marta: I’m not sure. At one time, I think I did talk to one of the parish
Mike: And who would that have been?
Marta: That would have been (Rick M**********), but it would not have
been about this. It would have been more about how the money was
Mike: I see.
Marta: This would have involved with the parish share money.
Mike: Okay. Now when you are talking about money, are you talking about
inappropriate expenditures in any way, or question about where some
of the money was? Was it something like that?
Marta: Well, yeah. The parish share money wasn’t necessarily going to that.
I didn’t know where it was going, you know.
Mike: Okay. Did anybody ever look into that?
Marta: I don’t think so.
Marta: You know. Nothing ever came back to me.
Mike: Okay. And what was that gentleman’s name again that was on the
Marta: That was (Rick Manischevic).
Mike: Is he still a member of the parish council?
Mike: Okay. Is he still involved in the church in any way?
Marta: yes. I believe he trains the ultra service.
Mike: Were there any people who may have covered for John (Wellinger)
if he did anything wrong that the church?
Marta: Oh, sure.
Mike: Who do you think some of those people might have been?
Marta: Well, (Marie Capana), would have been one.
Marta: (Marina C*******) I think too, and there may be one more,
although I’m not sure.
Mike: Okay. Mike: Do you mean (Marina Cataro)?
Mike: I tried talking to her, and she wouldn’t talk to me.
Marta: No, she wouldn’t.
Mike: Do you think she may know something?
Marta: I am sure, yes, she would know something. I am sure somebody
would have said something to her.
Mike: Okay. Did you ever discuss anything like this with (Gretchen
Mike: She is the sister of mercy, I believe?
Marta: Right. Mike: I think (Gretchen W*****) had some suspicions con-
Marta: Oh Yeah.
Mike: Do you know if she ever went someone at the diocese to say, "Hey,
something is amiss here?"
Marta: I don’t know that. I kind of think not, but I don’t know.
Mike: Okay. Any idea what she may have known?
Marta: Umm, Well...
Mike: Did she know about the (W********) boy?
Marta: I believe she did.
Marta: All I remember her telling him was that she was not going to fight
his demons. That’s all I can remember.
Mike: I see. I’m trying to think if there’s anything else. Somewhere around
1988 or 1989, you resigned as the parish secretary, but you still stayed
on as a member. No one was going to keep you out of a church you be-
long to and helped build, and all that kind of stuff. Somewhere around
1991 is when (Wellinger) left, is that correct?
Marta: I believe so.
Mike: Do you remember anything surrounding when he left? Usually when
a priest leaves, there is some type of formal announcement like in a
month I’ll be leaving. Do you recall anything like this with ...
Marta: No, I don’t recall that. All I recall at that time is that Bishop (Boal)
came to our church or some type of function, maybe for confirmation,
although I am not sure, and within like two weeks (Wellinger) was
gone. I just thought, well, somebody with some type of clout may
have sent the bishop here.
Mike: Okay, but you’re not completely sure.
Mike: You do, however, know where he stayed when he left Holy Spirit
Marta: Right. Mike: Where did he stay? I think he first went to Allentown.
Mike: But you said ...
Marta: I think he did stay with … but then he went to Allentown as a priest.
Marta: After that, I think he went to St. Francis with Father (Dorsch).
Mike: When you say he went to Allentown, he left Holy Spirit Church
Mike: And, was immediately assigned to a church in Allentown?
Was that the way it went?
Mike: If I’m not mistaken, Allentown may be a separate borough,
but it is also part of Pittsburgh, near Carrick and that area.
Mike: And then from there, he may have stayed just for a short time.
Now, how do you know? Did he just go down to St. Francis on
his own, or was he like an assistant pastor there? Do you have
Marta: I don’t’ know. I think he was just staying there. I got a copy of
a letter that he wrote, although I’m not sure where I got to copy
from or who I got the copy from, to some friends. In his letter
he was just complaining about what he had been through over the
past year or so. It was written on stationery from St. Francis.
Mike: Okay. The reason why you are familiar with St. Francis, which is
the Church in the McKees Rocks area, you were a parishioner there
at one time?
Mike: So you’re very familiar. You are assuming that, if you received a
letter or saw a letter from St Francis, he had some connection there?
That’s where he was staying there as a result, or did he mention in
the letter that he was staying there?
Marta: I believe he did mention it
Mike: Okay. He wouldn’t have sent a copy of that letter to you right?
Marta: Oh no.
Mike: Any idea who he sent that letter to?
Marta: I’m not sure. It might’ve been Marina or it could have been ... I really
Marta: All I know is that it was a copy. Somebody had made a copy of
Mike: Okay. So we are assuming that, from this letter, he stayed with
Father (Dorsch) at St. Francis in McKees Rocks. Father (Dorsch)
was the head pastor there for some time.
Mike: This would’ve been around 1991 maybe 1992 correct?
Marta: I think so
Mike: Are you aware that Father (Dorsch) was eventually convicted of
Marta: I am aware now yes. I was unaware of it then.
Mike: Do you know who made you aware of that?
Marta: I believe you did. Mike: Okay.
Mike: Do you know if Father (Dorsch) was a regular visitor from time to
time with John (Wellinger)?
Marta: Yeah, I think he did visit sometimes.
Mike: Okay. Did he ever mention where he met Father (Dorsch)?
Mike: No, okay. At this point, is there anything you would like to add
to our conversation that you can think of?
Marta: I don’t know. I just know that I did not have a good feeling from
the time he came there, and when he was instilled as pastor, I re-
member him mentioning that I think he came from Clairton to
Marta: He also mentioned that his friends gave him different gifts, and
some more drugs.
Mike: He indicated that his friends had given him drugs as a kind of
going away gift?
Mike: He didn’t mention that those friends were?
Marta: No, Just that they were friends from Clairton.
Mike: Do you think he was serious?
Marta: Well yeah.
Mike: In other words he talked about this in such a fashion, that if I were
to say to you even though I don’t know you that well, “Oh. I just
left my old job, and those folks were kind enough, they gave me a
bottle of wine, they gave me watch,” it was that carefree?
Mike: And the way I describe it to you, it’s even believable, so that even
though he is … ? For someone of our age, for someone to say, "Oh
they gave me drugs, …"
Marta: I don’t think he said drugs, I think he said goodies from my runner.
Mike: So he even describe it is marijuana?
Mike: So he didn’t leave it as drugs, he said marijuana?
Mike: Do you think he abused drugs on a regular basis, or some type of
Marta: Alcohol, as far as I know.
Mike: What do you think his relationship was with Maria (C******)?
Marta: Well, I don’t know. I guess I always thought they were a twosome.
I mean, she practically lived there.
Marta: I believe there was another woman, although I cant’ remember her
Mike: Was it Virginia (Voytech)?
Marta: Yes, She always hung around there too. She was a nurse. She would
come to the rectory, and stay there all day.
Marta:She was also there sometimes after I left.
Mike: Just a few more things. You knew (Marinell), which was
Mike: And that’s where complete name Marinell?
Marta: M-A-R-I-N-E-L-L, that’s it.
Mike: Do you recall an outburst, or know anything about a public out-
burst, in the church after or during Mass by I believe it was Bob
Marta: That wasn’t in the church, it was in the parking lot.
Mike: Okay Who was this outburst aimed at, (Wellinger) himself?
Marta: Oh yeah.
Mike: Okay. Were there people around, who could’ve heard this?
Marta: Oh yes, we were having a staff meeting that morning.
Marta: And his wife, Ann, was of course at the staff meeting.
Marta: And he was yelling. As a matter of fact, he came into the
rectory, grabbed her, and pulled her out. He had been drink-
ing. I think he may have had a gun, or someone mentioned
that he had a gun.
Marta: I think it was Maria or someone who took (Wellinger) out the
Marta: And then they said that we should leave too.
Mike: Okay, did Bob (W********) explain to anybody what was going
on? Why he was angry, why he had a gun, or why he wanted to
talk to (Wellinger)?
Marta: No, except I guess that Ann was kind of taken with him. I don’t
Marta: I guess they would like to have lunch together, or do things
Mike: Was this before or after his son ended up in Shadyside hospital?
Marta: I think it was after.
Mike: So, if it was after, he was also angry because of what happened
to his son, and angry because his wife was still involved with
Mike: It seems to me that one of the things that (Wellinger) used was
women to help disguise his other bad habits.
Mike: I would go so far as to say that, if I were a betting man and I’m
not sure which way I would bet if someone were to say to me.
Do you think John (Wellinger) and Ann (*********) had an
affair? I would not know which way to bet, but even if you
flipped a coin, you could win. Is that a fair way of analyzing
Marta: Well for some reason, I just never thought of it that way.
I thought it was more on her part than on his.
Mike: Okay. So she was truly infatuated with him much like Virginia
Marta: No. It was more like Maria.
Mike: So these women were infatuated with him, and John (Wellinger)
knew how to use that?
Mike: This included selecting **** ********* as a victim, given he
knew he had an edge. This may have helped him in some way.
Marta: I don’t know.
Mike: I, myself, can’t think like a pedophile. But, I’m guessing that
this may have played a role.
Mike: Is there anything else you would like to add?
Marta: No not that I can think of.
Mike: When Bob ********* had this outburst, was Marinell there?
Marta: Oh. No, I was still working there.
Mike: So, Marinell replaced you?
Mike: Okay very good. When Bob ********* had this outburst, even
though he didn’t say anything about his son being hospitalized,
you’re saying that everyone knew, at that point, what was going
Marta: Yeah, it had kind of gone around, you know.
Mike: Is it fair to say that it may be? ... Let’s say there are a thousand
people who are members of the Holy Spirit Church. It would
be real easy to say that for 50 of those parishioners, the (Wellin-
ger) gossip and scandal may have been common knowledge.
Mike: And the reason I asked that question is because I talked to Frank,
the former police chief, who told me that his neighbor said this
was all common knowledge.
Mike: That he was sex idiot?
Marta: There could have been. Like I said, I don’t think I heard anything
else other than what I told you.
Marta: If Frank knew, I’m not sure where he lived. Jim Matthews also
knew of this stuff at the time.
Mike: He was also a police officer.
Mike: Frank (Defazio)? Frank (DeFazio) was the chief of police at the
time, but he tells me he didn’t know anything.
Mike: I can tell you this much, or do you think he is not necessarily
telling the truth?
Marta: I don’t know. Do the policemen have to report to them if anybody
would call or anything?
Mike: Yeah, that’s right, were the policemen summoned to any of these
Marta: Yes. They did call the police when Bob ********* came to the
rectory, but also the police came to my house one night because
they were trying to get the money to (Wellinger) to get it put away
for the night, and they could not locate him. So they came here to
ask me for the keys for the rectory. I guess when Jim came back,
he gave me the keys to the rectory and told me that (Wellinger) was
Marta: I guess that was sort of hush-hush.
Mike: Do you think any police knew about the outburst that Bob *******
had at the rectory? Were any police called for that, and would any
West Mifflin police at least be aware of something like that?
Marta: I would think they would be aware of it, because I’m almost sure
we called the police.
Mike: Okay, you did call police. Who would’ve been the one to call the
Marta: It wasn’t me. I’m not sure. It could have been Maria or Virginia.
Mike: It sounds like people were legitimately scared, also because Bob
Marta: Well yeah.
Mike: Or least people thought he had a gun, or that he might’ve had a gun.
Mike: Do you know if any of this was reported diocese?
Marta: Well it must have been because, who else could have restricted him
from coming on church property?
Mike: In other words, you are aware of the fact that Bob ********* re-
ceived a letter from the lawyer for the diocese to stay away from
Marta: Well all I know is that, I was told that he was not allowed to be on
church grounds. That is all I know.
Mike: Okay, you don’t know. Who told you this? Was it (Wellinger)?
Marta: No wasn’t him. I guess it was just a rumor or common knowledge.
Mike: Okay. Sr Gretchen would have probably known about all this stuff?
Marta: Oh yeah.
Mike: Did she live there at the time?
Mike: No? Okay. She would have known about it certainly ...
Marta: If not from others, then at least from me.
Marta: I think she might’ve been there that day, as I think she was already
Mike: Okay. That’s right. She would have been there for the staff meeting.
I want to thank you again Marta. I’m not exactly sure what’s going to happen.
But again, I applaud you for your willingness to help because this has truly
been a tragedy, and I don’t like stuff like this going on, and I don’t like stuff
like this being covered up. We will see what happens. Again, Michelle ****
would be willing to help me? I have already talked to her. There are some
things now that I just want to get squared away. Anyway, I reserve the right
to give you a call back. Thank you again. Bye-bye.