“Baby-buying” seminarian rejected by 45 dioceses, orders


Joel A.Wright, second from left, was arrested at the San Diego airport on Friday. Credit U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement, via Associated Press
Joel A.Wright, second from left, was arrested at the San Diego airport on Friday. Credit U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement, via Associated Press


What made the Stubenville diocese take a potential seminarian that 45 other dioceses and religious orders had previously rejected?

Joel Wright is the 23-year-old Catholic seminarian who has been charged with attempting to adopt or purchase (for cash) a 1-year-old and a 4-year-old. He didn’t want to be a father. He wanted them for the purpose of molesting.

Yeah, that’s repugnant. But the larger story is far more pernicious.

When interviewed, Wright’s mother gave away a bombshell.

From Columbus Ohio’s Channel 10:


[Wright’s mother] said life for her son as one of roughly 15 pre-theology students at Pontifical College Josephenum wasn’t easy.  She claims his path to priesthood was a bumpy road filled with dozens of rejections because of his cataracts and glaucoma.

“I stopped counting after 45 rejections of how many diocese and religions orders that declined him for his physical disability, for his vision, for his orthopedic for his health impairment.”


If the Catholic Church in the United States refused to accept men into the priesthood due to visual impairments, they would have a big ADA complaint on their hands.

In fact, who better to help and minister to the visually impaired than someone who shares the same struggles?

The 45 rejections had nothing to do with his eyesight.

My guess? He failed the psych exams. And Wright kept applying and applying and applying until he found a place desperate (and negligent) enough to take him.

Stubenville (with its history of abuse and the destruction of secret documents) fit the bill perfectly.


8 thoughts on ““Baby-buying” seminarian rejected by 45 dioceses, orders

  1. Note that this freak admitted to not yet “going all the way” but that he almost has and has “experience”, so he has been molesting toddlers (at least one) for some time.

    Pedophiles pass the psych tests because sociopathy isn’t a mental illness. Also the psychiatrists have determined that pedophilia is not a mental illness unless the pedophile is disturbed by the fact that he’s a pedophile, and pedophiles never feel bad about being pedophiles. So sayeth the latest DSM.

    The Josephinum is also a dodgy place. If you google Josephinum with sexual abuse, you get info on how seminarians back in 1959 had to strip and stand in a circle naked. Bernard Law was there at the time, though I don’t know if it was as a student or a teacher. I’m sure the Josephinum, because it is a *Pontifical* college, drums into the heads of the seminarians that they must protect RCC Inc at all costs, no matter how many children are used as cannon fodder. The Josephinum also harbored one of the “Tokyo Rose” women, which doesn’t speak well of their morals or ethics. I have a friend who lives next door to the Josephinum, and they aren’t the best of neighbors, especially when catholic school kids make field trips there and learn that my friend’s old farm house is “haunted”, “vacant”, and that a “mass murder” took place there, which then results in kids (especially at Halloween) trespassing and harassing them. They’ve had a respite from this because of road construction making it more difficult to figure out how to get onto their property. Hubby used to manage a restaurant across the street, and the seminarians would all come in wearing their cassocks and expecting free meals because cassock! He did *not* comp their meals, not even to get brownie points with gawd for feeding a seminarian (he only comps coffee for police, fire, and highway patrol). The seminarians feel that they are entitled to everything they want because Pontifical and a lot of these boys come from wealthy families. There was a series of articles in the Columbus Dispatch a few years ago about the school, and there was lots and lots of emphasis on how the seminarians play manly sports, especially lots and lots of basketball. Not a very nice place, so it doesn’t surprise any of us here that there has been a pedophile in their midst. The TSA intends to examine *every* computer at the Josephinum, so it will be interesting to see if they uncover any other pedophiles there.

    My friend has thought that the Josephinum is on Vatican soil (because they harbored a Tokyo Rose), but even though the Vatican owns the property, it is not an embassy and does not have diplomatic immunity protections. TSA has full authority to get warrants and search the entire place if necessary.

  2. And could he have worked so hard to get accepted into the priesthood because he knew he could get away with being a child molester..?

    Steubenville and Franciscan U are desperate for attendees..no matter what their psych history..ugh

    1. I certainly hope the “psychologist” who tested and “passed” him will be asked to reexamine his data, or better, not be used again. However, since there are lots of so-called tests that are worthless and people claiming to be professionals with little or inappropriate training who certainly wouldn’t ask difficult questions, a program “desperate for attendees” can certainly find a way to insure a Pass.

      Thanks for noting the response from his mother, who in another article said she was sure he was innocent. There’s love and there’s blindness and clearly the son isn’t the only one in the family with problems with seeing.

    2. Back in college, when I was still religious, I heard all sorts of rumors about Steuby and how the guys there were perverts.

      1. I’m a 2010 female Steuby grad, and, while I can’t speak for the Josephinum, mental health care in the whole area is shoddy and backwards. They guys at the main college aren’t perverts any more than guys anywhere else, though an alarming number of them do seem to suffer from delusions of theological grandeur, which the University doesn’t seem to help.

        I suffered a mental breakdown in ’09 – ’10, and Steubenville harmed me way more than it helped. I started going to the university counseling services, and my counselor, while very sweet and supportive, didn’t seem prepared for anything more than “spiritual dryness.” I even had to define several basic psych disorders for her – she had never heard of them (note that my only psych experience before that was an elective Psych 101 course). Several years later, searching online out of curiosity, I find out that she has no counseling license at all, nor any psych background. She’s registered as a Spiritual Director. They sent a depressed suicidal cutter to a spiritual director.

        On top of that, the university’s Nurse Practitioner started me on antidepressants, which drove my downward spiral into overdrive. After one medication switch I attempted suicide. The nurse practitioner and the counselor didn’t find out until I was already out of physical danger, but instead of referring me to a psychiatrist or sending me to an inpatient ward, they just made me promise not to do it again. After some more online sleuthing I’ve recently found out that there’s a possibility that the Nurse Practitioner was not legally allowed to prescribe psych medications (need some help figuring out the legal differences between nurse types to be sure).

        Once I finally did go to an inpatient ward at Trinity Hospital, the psychiatrist there, who wasn’t connected with the University, was also a piece of work. Everyone I know from Franciscan who went to him was diagnosed Bipolar, even though our problems were drastically different. He diagnosed me Bipolar even though I’ve never been anywhere near manic, calling any good day I had “hypomania.” He put me on Abilify and kept increasing the dose to try and combat the terrible side effects. He increased my dose at least four times, until when I went home for Easter break, I drove over a median divider and almost off the road, my focus was so bad. I spent the week at home sitting on the couch, twitching, because I was too sleepy to stay awake and too twitchy to go to sleep. I had to have an emergency meeting with a psychiatrist near my parents to get approval to stop the Abilify cold turkey so I could drive back to school safely.

        Anyway, to cut short a story that could go on for hours, the state of mental health care in Steubenville as a town and as a University is abysmal, and I’m sadly not surprised to hear that a child molester was accepted at the local seminary. The town itself is in an economic slump, so you can kind of understand that resources are scarce, but having such a blatant lack of consideration for mental health care is frankly unforgivable for a private university that has enough money to renovate its entire campus and bills itself as the premiere Catholic educational institution in the US, and it’s especially unforgivable for the Josephinum, who are meant to be shaping future religious leaders who have influence over the most vulnerable in the churchgoing community.

        1. Man, that is awful! Judy Jones knows about the abuse situation in Steubenville, having relatives abused in that town going back years. I have to say that the rumors I heard were all to do with “Steuby”, so now I’m personally confused about whether the info providers were referring to the University of Steubenville or to Franciscan University. Obvi that Wright was at Franciscan and then Josephinum.

          Not sure about the nurse practitioner thing. I started going to a nurse practitioner at a gyno practice, and she handed me a depression quiz because I had expressed some negative feelings (probably written by a pharmaceutical company, the one that makes Pristiq). Women must *never* express negative feelings about anything (doesn’t matter what I expressed negative feelings about) — all women over 40 must wear pink track suits and sit in a corner with a pink teddy bear and pink blanky and just STFU. I could tell immediately that it was designed to screen *in* nearly every woman over 40 because there were two contradictory questions about weight that one could not answer consistently. Is the woman “fantasizing” about her weight being higher, or is it actually higher on the scale? Either way, you’re screwed and are depressed and need Pristiq because 99% of women gain weight during perimenopause/menopause therefore all women over 40 are depressed. We’re not depressed, we’re just pissed off! 😉 I complained to the doctor, and I see her now.

          Anyway, a Nurse Practitioner has a master’s degree in nursing. They are allowed to prescribe some meds but not all (not sure if the dividing line is controlled substances or whether psych meds are controlled). Unless their specialty is in psych nursing, they are probably not competent to diagnose and prescribe for a psych illness.

          I hope you’re now getting proper treatment/care and are feeling better! I wonder if your depressed feelings weren’t caused by your environment. When I got religion in high school, I started to feel depressed. In college, I got gaslighted by a pedopriest who wanted into my now-husband’s pants and wanted me out of the picture. I thought there was something wrong with *me*, he had me so convinced. I even went on tricyclics for a brief period, and they scrambled my thinking so much I had trouble answering questions on mid-terms. I went off of them, and I could think clearly again. And once we got away from that pedopriest (who was eventually busted for picking up child prostitutes) and I deconverted soon after, I felt 1000% better!

    3. What’s even worse is that he posted on Craigslist while he was attending Franciscan U in Steuby, advertising that he’d *pay* $150 to babysit young children. When Steuby cops were informed, they went to his residence and he wasn’t home, and *they never followed up on it*.

      WBNS and WCMH have been reporting on this daily. I heard this news just this morning. WBNS also has an interview with the tour guide informant in Tijuana.

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