PopeWatch: Transparency




One of the Pope’s favorite buzz words is transparency.  I wonder what he thinks of this action of one of his favorites:


The internet journalist George Neumayr related a troubling (but typical) incident that occurred today during a book-signing conducted by Cardinal Wuerl at the Basilica of the Immaculate Conception, located on the campus of Catholic University of America in Washington DC.  In his own words from his Facebook wall:

I attended the publicly advertised but sparsely populated event as a member of the press. I showed up in a suit and tie. I stood quietly near the table at which Wuerl was going to sign books. He arrived and I politely shook his hand. He gave me a serpentine grin and moved towards the table. A few moments later two police officers arrived and said to me that the Basilica bookstore was “private property” and that the Church wanted me “escorted off the property.”
Why would Cardinal Wuerl have a member of the press removed from Church property by the police during a book signing? Because I have been investigating Wuerl’s corrupt use of the faithful’s money. He has been furtively using donations to finance a multimillionaire penthouse on Embassy Row. His press secretary has denied every one of my requests for an interview and so I have sought to interview Wuerl and priests with whom he has lived at the penthouse by typical journalistic means. Outrageously, Wuerl has used my mere reporting as a pretext to call the police on me. This is the “transparent,” “accessible,” and “accountable” Church of Pope Francis? May God help us all.
In all of my years of reporting, I have never seen a churchman as deviously insular and elitist as Wuerl. On the hard-earned donations of the faithful, he has lived like a Borgia-era cardinal, indulging his affluent tastes while eschewing his flock and ignoring or abusing his priests. His exploitation of the faithful’s funds is made even more gross by his subversive heterodoxy, on display at the recent Synod on the Family and in his defense of Communion for pro-abortion pols and other checkered Catholics. He takes the faithful’s money to bankroll his ecclesiastical perks while seeking to separate those faithful from the orthodox teachings of the Church.

Go here to read the rest.  I am sure the Pope would be shock, shocked!

Or, maybe not.

More to explorer


  1. This article is another good reason for us to pray for deceased priests and religious.
    Many are in Purgatory.
    Many are happily doing things that run the risk of entering hell.

  2. Hasn’t it mostly been so?

    As a young altar server, I had the honor of meeting Cardinal Krol at his limo before my sister’s Confirmation. The Philadelphia Archbishop’s residence was (Archbishop Chaput has sold it) spectacular.

    Was it St. John Chrysostom who is reputed to have said that the road to hell is paved with the skulls of bishops?

  3. Cardinal Wuerl was the Bishop of Pittsburgh for nearly 20 years. In that cheerful time, vocations plunged and parishes closed (some of which were due to demographics). Bishop Wuerl supported John Kerry receiving Communion (the golddigger married John Heinz’ widow, who made out like a bandit). To my knowledge, Bishop Wuerl was fine with PennDOT bulldozing Holy Wisdom Parish for I-279. The parish was saved and is the home of the Pittsburgh Latin Mass.
    You can have him, Washington. Glad he ain’t here anymore.

  4. . Whether it’s liberal Wuerl’s penthouse or conservative Archbishop Meyers of Newark’ double mansion with two pools on 18 acres, all of these people are preaching contraception unwittingly ….by their spatial example. They are telling young couples who see it in the papers that we all need 3000 or more square feet each to live in. Ergo….don’t have too many kids. I say unwittingly because I’m sure they don’t analyze enough to know what they are doing. But choices of leaders are in fact discourse to the young. I don’t like Francis on diverse scores….but his living space is actually preaching the opposite of contraception for the first time at the apex of the Church.

  5. Well, we are beyond being able to be surprised these days. When the opportunistic Wuerl was appointed to “oversee” Abp. Raymond Hunthausen in Seattle in 1985 (yes, that very phrase is pregnant with how bad our situation is, and remains so, in the Catholic Church), a very dedicated friend who worked in the chancery at the time warned me about Wuerl’s deviously ambitious ways. I was shocked: I thought there would be a “thorough housecleaning.” Ha.

    It was not that Hunthausen was hardly an innocent: but, well, let’s just note Neumayr’s description of his “serpentine” ways.

  6. As I earlier alluded to, Cardinal Wuerl, a Pittsburgh native, was bishop here for 20 years. I came back here in 1995.

    Given that Pittsburgh is not an archdiocese, there is quite a number of bishops from Pittsburgh running dioceses. Other than +Wuerl, there are Cardinal DiNardo of Houston, Bishop Tobin of Providence, Bishop Zubik of Pittsburgh, Bishop Bradley of Kalamazoo, and Archbishop Hebda , who is stuck splitting his time between St. Paul and Newark.

    +Tobin and +DiNardo are decidedly more orthodox than +Wuerl. +Zubik is much more friendly to traditional Catholics. +Bradley was the Administrator in Pittsburgh after +Wuerl got promoted.

    Looking back, +Wuerl was a very smooth operator and very tough on priests accused of abuse. He got along well with the local media. What did not happen was a fair amount of vocations to the priesthood. I came back here after being in the Diocese of Arlington, Virginia, and I was amazed at how few parishes here had Adoration or Saturday morning Masses. Given the thoroughly Catholic character of the mill towns that dot the Allegheny, Beaver and Monongahela Valleys (which are NOT what they used to be) as well as the Catholic ethnic neighborhoods of Pittsburgh, one would think there would be more vocations here despite the population losses that occurred during the 1980s….but no. Church attendance has dropped, vocations aren’t sufficient to replace the aging priests who are nearing or at retirement age and parishes and Catholic schools have continued to close. All this in a diocese that has not been clobbered into bankruptcy by clergy sex abuse lawsuits.

    Potomac Fever often infects people who move to the DC area. Catholic prelates are no exception.

  7. To be fair, some of the bishops’ mansion residences may have been donations from wealthy Catholics in the last 2 centuries. For example, the main bldg of Salve Regina College, Newport RI was given to the nuns, and Hemsley Palace in NYC was the the cardinal’s residence. Of course the church doesn’t pay taxes, but the upkeep has got to be tough. I’m fine with that as long as they use Catholic workman or Catholic owned businesses.

  8. We don’t need saints to run dioceses. We need administrators with a business head BUT they must be orthodox Catholics.
    To give Communion to pro-abort pols is giving scandal to the Church. One never knows the state of grace of a person is in, but it’s a horrible example for them to receive.

  9. CAM.
    While your at it, what about Canon 915?
    Why not clear this up, starting with a strong consensus that all Bishop’s in the US impose 915 on so-called Catholic Politicians?

    Pipe dreaming agian… I know.

  10. CAM,
    Isaiah 5:8.
    “Woe to you who add house to house and join field to field till no space is left and you live alone in the land..”
    Read and look….for an elderly man who is supposed to be leaving this world not enlarging it’s pleasures…

    $19,000 a year property taxes which are not exempt but paid by the laity. I went to make out a check for the Diocesan social programs for the poor and the site said to make it out to the diocese. No separation of money.
    No check. I gave copiously to a women’s shelter run by nuns, and to two poor in my parish. Myer’s mansion…a sermon on ” we each need much space.”

  11. William Donohue thought Wuerl a capable administrator at one point (re sexual misconduct by priests). A traditionalist priest insisted to me that was tommyrot. “Nasty guy”. He insisted Wuerl had bribed officials at the Holy See to ensure a tribunal would sustain one of his questionable decisions. With that in mind, I was less than surprised when he tried to undermine Cdl. Burke.

  12. bill bannon, I was speaking of donated houses usually next to or near the bishop’s cathedral. From the article you linked: this is egregious! No monies in parish envelopes or any diocesan monies should go to his personal retirement home. If some wealthy Catholics want to foot the bill, let them. Sounds like being a Prince of the Church to his head. Most dioceses are building retirement homes for priests and they are usually modest, but I doubt this one would be interested.

  13. Art,
    Donohue’s opinion on Wuerl on sex abuse was probably based on this article in the NY Times…1st several paragraphs only but I think they also did a full length piece on the same incident. And you’ll notice Catholic critics of the NY Times read it more often than normal…like Fr.Z. Wierl did well on Fr. Cipolla.


  14. William Donohue got to know then Bishop Wuerl when Wuerl returned to Pittsburgh from Seattle in the mid eighties. Donohue was here, I think he was working at a small North Hills Catholic college.
    I do not know what Donohue thinks of Wuerl today. Don’t much care, either, as Wuerl has gone native, much like the career politicians who build big houses for themselves in the D.C. burbs and use their parents’ house or apartment as a home address in their states or districts.
    D.C. can have him. We are better off since he was kicked upstairs.

  15. Retired clerics commonly live in group quarters and most retired people make do with the house they’ve paid for in installments or one-bedroom apartments until such time as infirmity forces other arrangements. Quite apart from what one can afford, the decay in one’s faculties and condition induce people to reduce their quantum of chattels and real property. The retirement estate just makes no sense.

  16. Looking up the address of the mansion on Google Maps, you can see that the penthouse is a real “deluxe apartment in the sky.” Located on the fourth floor, it nearly overlooks a couple of the buildings around it — if you look in a certain direction. The mansion itself is pretty swanky too — housing a parish that caters to an immigrant population. And so as to continue the cover-up, the parish’s website is in Spanish!

    And that property valuation?? Wow. It is an outrage that an archdiocese should acquire a property decades ago and have it appreciate because the properties around it have gone up.

    Neumayr has done a great service. Now we can go to Google and see all that ugliness for ourselves – living in a fourth floor apartment atop a Latino immigrant parish in a building acquired long ago. Awful.

    Again, Neumayr has done a great job. He ought to go work for the New York Times or the Washington Post or maybe even MSNBC. How he has presented the facts is exactly the same way they would.

  17. We go to a small, struggling-financially parish. Were we Latin Rite, it would have been closed long ago. Hmm, I am certain it would not have been allowed to be open. Consequently, we are rather generous with the families money. In my estimation, there is little wasted or used for corrupt ends.
    If we went to a Latin Rite parish, I would never consent to giving more than $10 a week, far, far less than what we give now. No apologies. The Latin Rite Church is far too wealthy if Weurl and his brothers live like this. This will continue of course until parishioners continue to give as they do. No one coerces the people of D.C. or Philly.

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