Catholic Diocese of Spokane, Washington
Official News Magazine of the Diocese of Spokane
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Bishop Skylstad removes Brewster, Twisp deacon from ministry
the Inland Register
(From the July 31, 2003 edition of the Inland Register)
Bishop William Skylstad announced July 22 he has accepted the July 18 recommendation of the Diocesan Review Board. The bishop has ordered the immediate removal of Deacon Wynn Webster (right), 56, pastoral associate at Sacred Heart Parish in Brewster and St. Genevieve in Twisp, from the ministry for a non-criminal violation of the diocesan norms for ministerial relationships.
“All ministers of the church know the absolute imperative we have to protect children and vulnerable adults not only from actual instances of abuse, but also from any appearance of impropriety that could be misconstrued by others or lead to the potential for abuse,” the bishop said.
The incident was reported to and investigated by the police in Twisp. Upon completion of that investigation, the police determined that no charges would be filed. After their investigation was completed, the diocese was informed. The diocese immediately reported the incident to Child Protective Services, in keeping with diocesan policy for dealing with such matters.
“While no laws were broken and this particular incident was immediately reported to the authorities, nonetheless, after the matter was brought before the Diocesan Review Board and a preliminary investigation conducted, it was determined that a violation of the norms providing guidelines for proper conduct had indeed been violated,” said Bishop Skylstad.
Bishop Skylstad said the incident involved a teenage woman. State laws regarding privacy and the rights of minors prohibit the person’s name being released, the bishop said.
Deacon Webster was ordained June 11, 1999. Prior to and after ordination he worked in parish ministry in Brewster in various capacities, including youth ministry.