Phil Lawler at Catholic Culture exposes the episcopal shell game going on in West Virginia:
Archbishop Willian Lori of Baltimore led the investigation into Bransfield’s misdeeds, and might have emerged as a hero in the case, except that he tried to conceal the list of prelates who were recipients of Bransfield’s largesse, and his own name turned up on that list. Instead of resolving questions about the West Virginia diocese, the Lori investigation raised troubling new questions about the “envelope culture” in which bishops make gifts to their colleagues and superiors out of diocesan coffers.
Bishop Bransfield was a protégé of the disgraced Theodore McCarrick. Before his assignment to Wheeling, he had served in Washington, DC, under McCarrick, as rector of the National Shrine. He succeeded McCarrick as president of the Papal Foundation: an organization that is also the focus of sharp questioning about cozy relationships and financial improprieties. At the Papal Foundation—and previously at the National Shrine—he also worked with Cardinal Donald Wuerl, who succeeded McCarrick as Archbishop of Washington. Cardinal Wuerl, too, has subsequently resigned under a cloud.
So to recap:
- American Catholics were angered by revelations of financial misconduct in the Wheeling diocese.
- The culprit (Bransfield) had a history of cronyism, and had given large cash gifts to Lori, McCarrick, and Wuerl—thereby creating the impression (accurate or not) that they were all involved in the same network of cronies.
Under the circumstances, it would have made sense to appoint a new bishop of Wheeling who had absolutely no ties to any of the figures involved in the situation of that troubled dioceses. Bring in a priest of unquestioned integrity, from some distant part of the country. Pull a monk out of his cloister somewhere. Find a new broom to sweep clean.
Instead the Vatican chose Bishop Brennan, who is closely connected with all of the players named above. He is reportedly a favorite of Cardinal Wuerl; in Baltimore he has been a deputy of Archbishop Lori. Earlier he served as a priest in Washington, under McCarrick and alongside Bransfield. He knows them all well. Maybe he can be impartial; I hope so. But at this point he can’t possibly look impartial.
Go here to read the rest. The Church is led by gangsters who have only contempt for the Laity.