- Category : 1941-births
- Type : ME
- Profile : 4/6 - Opportunistic / Role Model
- Definition : Single
- Incarnation Cross : RAX Rulership 3
American ecclesiastic, a Roman Catholic Bishop whose conduct shattered the serenity of California Catholics when his sex-and-lawsuit scandal scorched local parishes. He resigned on 7/22/1999 as head of the Santa Rosa Diocese, California after admitting to having a consensual sexual relationship with a priest who is suing him and the diocese. However the Bishop denies sexually assaulting the priest, Father Jorge Hume Salas, as the lawsuit alleges. The bishop also denies the accusation of "defamation and other violations." Hume, a 41-year-old Costa Rica native was recruited in 1992 by Ziemann to serve the diocese's Latino community. He said that the bishop demanded sex over a two-year period ending in August 1998 in exchange for his silence about Hume's theft from a church in Ukiah, CA. Hume was removed from the Ukiah church in 1996 after he admitted stealing church money. Hume charged that in 1997 he contacted a venereal disease from the bishop. He is seeking damages of some $8 million.
Ziemann, leader of the 140,000-member Diocese is the North Coast's most prominent spiritual leader. He is seeking an independent church investigation into the allegations in the hope that his name will be cleared.
After graduating from St. John's Seminary in Camarillo, Ziemann was ordained into the priesthood on 4/29/1967. He was ordained to Episcopacy on 2/23/1987,the Auxiliary Bishop of Los Angeles, CA. On 7/14/1992 he was appointed the Bishop of Santa Rosa. His seven-year tenure has been dominated by sexual scandals and financial controversies that overshadowed his efforts to promote diversity and inspire youngsters in the Roman Catholic Church. Well-liked, always jovial and often informal, appearing in a sweat suit to run in charity fund-raisers, he took teaching stints at parish schools and mingled with farm workers and immigrants, comfortable with fluent Spanish. He established one of the largest youth ministry programs in the nation with a 12-person staff working with teens and young adults.
However, barely a year after arriving from Santa Barbara, Ziemann was confronted with allegations that one of his priests had been preying on teen-age boys at a church camp. Four more priests - and finally Ziemann himself - became entangled in sex scandals that cost the church at least $1.3 million in legal settlements and untold damage to its reputation.
Early in 1998, Ziemann's troubles spread through 1999, Hume's theft became public and accusations were exchanged that eventually prompted the bishop's sudden resignation.
Ziemann died on 22 October 2009.