Skip to comments.Sex scandal death knell for Church? [Bernadin & Co.'s ritualistic abuse exposed]
Posted on 07/17/2002 6:58:26 AM PDT by Polycarp
Wednesday, July 17, 2002
SUFFER THE CHILDREN
Sex scandal death knell for Church?
Catholics take matters into own hands after Bishops' 'band-aid' solution
By Toby Westerman
© 2002 International News Analysis Today
As the crisis of confidence grows in the scandal-ridden American Catholic Church, many in the laity and clergy are skeptical that Church hierarchy will take effective corrective action and are moving toward reforming the institution from the grass-roots level.
According to long-time observers of the Church, June's conference of bishops arrived at no real solution to the decades-long problem of clerical abuse, providing only vague reassurances and a "charter" on abuse to a thoroughly disgusted nation.
The "Charter for the Protection of Children and Young People" promises in its preamble: "We reach out to those who suffer. We apologize to them and offer our help for the future." The body of the charter guarantees that child abuse will be reported and the faithful supported in their grief.
"If they [the bishops] think they've solved the underlying problem, they're deluding nobody but themselves," declared the Rev. Charles Fiore, a veteran of the struggle to expel abusers from the Catholic priesthood.
Fiore, a Catholic priest for 42 years, has fought the homosexual influence in the clergy almost from the date of his ordination. With degrees in philosophy and theology, as well as clinical training at Menninger's and the State Hospital in Topeka, Kan., Fiore has both condemned the actions of homosexual priests and counseled the victims of their abuse.
The solutions offered by the bishops were nothing but a "band-aid applied to the real problem of the pandemic corruption of the Church in the United States," Fiore declared, adding that the bishops gave no evidence of "an intention of addressing the skeletons in their own episcopal closets."
The charter itself remains voluntary until the Vatican gives its approval and may, in fact, never have the force of law. Negotiations over the charter may take years, and the American bishops have for decades ignored Vatican directives they found to be objectionable.
While allowing some priests to go behind bars, American Catholic bishops have a firm track record of protecting their brother bishops, even under the most adverse circumstances.
The Catholic reform group Roman Catholic Faithful, or RCF, closely follows the continuing careers of disgraced bishops and, among many similar instances, has noted the following:
Currently, Bernard Cardinal Law, Roger Cardinal Mahony and Edward Cardinal Egan are among the top Church officials under legal and media scrutiny for their handling or mishandling of child-abuse cases in their jurisdictions.
Roman Catholic Faithful, founded in 1996 by Stephen Brady and located in Petersburg, Ill., has devoted itself to bringing to account priests and bishops for their moral outrages and criminal activity. By 1999, Ryan resigned under pressure initiated by RCF, while not admitting any guilt.
Brady's group also has brought to the public's attention a priest-oriented international homosexual Internet site called St. Sebastian's Angels, which continues to operate at various Web locations.
Brady's activities have earned him the enmity of the homosexual community.
One individual with ties to the Catholic homosexual group Dignity, as well as St. Sebastian's Angels, published Brady's private home address and phone number on the Internet, referred to RCF as a "hate group," described Brady as motivated by "evil purposes" and labeled him as a "perpetrator."
In another incident, which was reported to the FBI, Brady learned from a second-hand source that an e-mail message was circulating on the Internet stating that someone has placed a "contract" out for Brady's assassination.
Murder tied to priests' club?
While the threats against Brady are unsettling, there are indications that those who delve too deeply into the connection between clerical homosexuality and child abuse finding perversion slipping into an abyss of satanic ritual may pay for their curiosity with their lives.
In the late 1980s, two young Chicago private investigators, Bill Callaghan and Hank Adema, agreed to assist a "friend of a friend," whose child had been molested by a priest of the Chicago Archdiocese.
The parents of the abused child sought help after the Archdiocese under Joseph Cardinal Bernardin threatened to counter-sue following their original allegations. Before the scandal of clerical child abuse came to the public's attention through the efforts of the mass media, it was common practice for a diocese to file a libel suit against parents who charged diocesan clergy with abusive behavior.
As their investigation into the background of the abusive priest proceeded, Callaghan and Adema discovered the existence of a homoerotic group, made up mostly of priests, calling itself The Boys' Club.
During their inquiry into the membership and activities of The Boys' Club, a woman identifying herself as the girlfriend of a murdered church organist contacted the investigators and stated that she had information that would be useful to them.
The woman's friend was one Frank Pellegrini, once the organist and choir director at All Saints-St. Anthony of Padua Catholic Church on Chicago's South Side. Pellegrini had also served as chair of the Sociology Department of Loyola University of Chicago.
According to the information obtained from the girlfriend, Pellegrini had a homosexual relationship with one of the priests involved in The Boys' Club, but was in the process of leaving the priest-lover and marrying her.
Before completely severing ties with the priest, however, Pellegrini discovered that The Boys' Club was involved with far more than homosexual relations. Tied closely with their sexual exploits was ritualistic satanic worship and the regular abuse of young children from low-income, ethnic families.
Pellegrini informed the Chicago Archdiocesan Chancery, and scheduled a meeting with one of the archdiocese's top officials.
The day before the meeting, Pellegrini was brutally murdered in his home, which showed no signs of forced entry.
Callaghan, who spoke with police personnel originally working on the case, stated that Pellegrini was found with his hands tied with barbed wire and had been stabbed repeatedly.
Even Pellegrini's dog was slashed, leaving it seriously wounded but alive.
In the opinion of police detective/profilers working on the case, the brutality and manner of the killing indicated that it was carried out either by a woman or a homosexual, Callaghan stated.
Pellegrini was stabbed 47 times the same number of years he had lived.
Just after Pellegrini's body was discovered, and while police were still on the scene of the murder, police observed two unusual incidents, Callaghan reported.
The first involved the arrival of then-Cardinal Archbishop of Chicago and one of the most powerful men in the American Catholic Church Joseph Bernardin. Although there was never an indication that Bernardin met Pellegrini, he arrived at the murder scene and quizzed police personnel on the progress of the investigation.
Left unanswered was how Bernardin learned of the killing and why he should personally visit the scene of a relatively unimportant individual whom he had no reason to know.
The second incident involved Pellegrini's dog. As the police conducted their investigation at the scene, the dog remained quiet, still suffering from its wounds. When the dog saw priests come into the apartment, it suddenly became aggressive and barked wildly.
The Pellegrini murder occurred in 1984 and was "reopened" with federal funds in the early 1990s, but many of the investigation's informal police notes have been "lost," and important leads in the case have never been fully followed up, according to Callaghan. The Pellegrini case, at present, remains one of the many hundreds of unsolved Chicago murders.
Although Callaghan never met Pellegrini, nor participated in the original investigation, he and Adema found that whatever secrets the case entailed posed a direct threat to their own lives.
As Callaghan and Adema pressed on with their investigation on behalf of their client, they learned of a warning, which came through contacts in the Chicago Police Department.
Callaghan learned that mob informants had stated that a contract had been offered on his life, and on that of Adema, by an individual closely tied to the Pellegrini case.
Although no one in the local underworld was interested, there did exist the real possibility that the contract could be accepted by "a black or biker gang," Callaghan revealed.
The full extent of The Boys' Club influence in Chicago and beyond still remains unclear, as does the extent of ritual abuse associated with clerical assaults on children.
There is, however, ample evidence that ritual abuse does occur, and it is most obvious in the case of "Agnes."
In the opening pages of his best-selling book, "Windswept House," The Rev. Malachi Martin describes a satanic ritual carried out on a young girl. Although Martin used a degree of literary license in the description of the event, there is a real individual behind the story and an actual instance of satanic abuse.
"Agnes," a pseudonym for her actual name, met Fiore some years ago for assistance with spiritual guidance and counseling for the long-term effects of cult abuse she had suffered at age 11.
Agnes has consented to and passed several polygraph examinations and is now married with a family in a Southern city. She has made her accusations in sworn affidavits, written statements to Vatican officials and has directly confronted those whom she has accused.
Among those Agnes has implicated in the attack upon her was a young, rapidly advancing priest named Joseph Bernardin.
Agnes states that in the fall of 1957, in Greenville, S.C., with her father present, Bishop John Russell of the Charleston Archdiocese and his chancellor, Bernardin, raped her as part of a satanic ritual, which included, as a RCF report stated, "a perverted, sacrilegious use of a [consecrated] host."
According to Catholic teaching, a consecrated host is the true and total body, blood, soul, and divinity of Jesus Christ, Second Person of the Blessed Trinity.
Agnes also became acquainted with Steven Cook, another individual who accused Bernardin of abuse. Cook accused Bernardin of coercing him into homosexual acts while he was a seminarian and Bernardin was archbishop in Cincinnati, Ohio.
While the media consistently have reported that Cook "recanted" his accusation against Bernardin, Cook, who was dying of AIDS, simply stated that he could "no longer trust his memory."
Callaghan interviewed Cook as part of his own investigation, and verified that Cook did not "recant." He learned that the dying homosexual, formerly of very modest means, suddenly had developed considerable financial resources. Estimates of the value of the newly established estate range from $250,000 to several million. After Cook's death, the money was divided between his mother, his sister and his male lover.
Bernardin, who said he had never met Cook, also left the dying man a costly chalice, which Bernardin had used to offer Mass in Cook's Philadelphia apartment. In addition to Cook and Bernardin, Cook's homosexual lover was also in attendance at the Mass. Cook made no secret of his homosexuality, and there is no indication that Cook would have hidden the identity of his male lover.
Giving Holy Communion under such circumstances, according to traditional Catholic teaching, constitutes sacrilege.
Bernardin also was implicated in an alleged incident of abuse perpetrated against seminarians attending the Immaculate Heart of Mary Seminary in Winona, Minn., in the 1980s.
According to a Boston Globe report, Bernardin, along with several "top prelates," were accused of "coercing seminarians at Immaculate Heart of Mary Seminary into having sex."
The rector of the seminary, the Rev. Robert H. Brom, was also implicated in the sex-abuse charges. At the time the seminarian made his allegations, Brom served as Bishop of Duluth, Minn. Brom now is bishop of San Diego, Calif.
The Winona seminarian later retracted his charges, but he received a settlement payment of "less than $100,000," according to the Globe report, which quoted Archbishop Roger L. Schwietz, of Anchorage, successor to Brom as bishop of Duluth.
The circumstances of the seminarian's retraction, however, recently have come into question.
In a sworn affidavit, Mark Brooks, a friend of the seminarian who received the settlement payment, claims that the retraction of the charges against the bishops is false, according to a report in the San Diego Union-Tribune. The retraction was issued, according to Brooks, because the seminarian "needed the money."
Brooks' affidavit was filed in San Diego Superior Court in connection with a press investigation of abuse allegations against Brom.
In the mid-1980s, the Diocese of San Diego settled a lawsuit initiated by Brooks claiming abuse. The Diocese settled for an undisclosed sum.
Accountability to the laity
Confronted with constant scandal, and a sometimes callous, hostile clergy, many Catholics have lost their faith and left the Church.
Other Catholics, however, have banded together and are seeking to support the faithful clergy, while denying money to those elements that they feel are bent upon the destruction of the Catholic Church.
Michael J. Tario, who works closely with Wall Street traders, is leading a group called the Ad Hoc Committee for the Prevention of Clergy Sex Abuse.
Tario is suggesting that Catholics redirect not boycott contributions to the Church.
"Good Stewardship," said Tario, "is not just sending money to the chancery for a cover-up." Tario is urging Catholics to contribute only to Church organizations that use their funds for charitable purposes, rather than legal expenses and costly settlements.
Tario lives in the Chicago Archdiocese and personally knows parents whose children have been abused by archdiocesan clergy. Their callous treatment at the hands of the Archdiocese and a growing awareness of the extent of clerical abuse in the Chicago area and around the United States have compelled Tario to take action. Tario's group works closely with other organizations having similar goals across the nation.
The group is demanding that the Chicago Archdiocese implement four basic reforms:
Tario periodically cites a statement of Bishop William B. Friend of the Diocese of Shreveport, La., on the right of the laity to know where and how the money they contribute is spent. "The Church consists of the people, so the people ought to know what is going on," declared Friend, who was a banker before becoming a priest.
Chicago Archdiocesan Financial Director Tom Brennan claims, however, that Tario's group is having little impact. Brennan expressed his confidence that archdiocesan revenues would continue to flow, stating that "we're expecting growing revenues," according to a report from the Rome-based Zenit news agency.
Quizzically, Brennan also stated in the same report that "he has not yet seen hard numbers from the past six months."
Others dispute Brennan's claim of financial tranquility.
Tario cites reports from several of the wealthiest parishes in the Archdiocese where contributions have significantly fallen, with some estimates noting a drop by as much as 25 percent. The information confirms an earlier Business Week article documenting a steep decline in donations as well as an increased need for funds from a top-heavy, lay bureaucracy.
As Tario's campaign of redirected giving gains momentum, another ominous threat to the American Catholic Church's money supply is appearing on the horizon.
What one attorney terms the "unholy trinity of litigation" liability, damages and "deep pockets" may prove to be the most potent stimulus for reform and relief to a hard-pressed laity, since Church structures would no longer be able to support the abusers within its ranks.
The possibility of a poorer but more faithful Church does not appeal to all.
When Tario proposed a program of redirected giving to Francis Cardinal George of Chicago, the cardinal archbishop asked in response if Tario wanted the archdiocese to go back to an "immigrant Church," poor and struggling.
Many observers, Catholic and non-Catholic alike, are pressed to respond that, if necessary to gain a more faithful Church, the answer would be, "Amen."
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I.J. Toby Westerman, is a contributing reporter for WorldNetDaily and editor/publisher of International News Analysis Today.
Bernadin was a wicked, truly evil man.
His apologists who continue to claim he was wrongfully accused are completely deceived at best, deluded at worst.
Other Catholics, however, have banded together and are seeking to support the faithful clergy, while denying money to those elements that they feel are bent upon the destruction of the Catholic Church.
Just "denying money" to them?
What a joke.
They need to be Bobbit-ized!
Now this would be progress but I doubt they ever allow it.
Is there a clue in here as to what would be a good place to start cutting expenses?
By Stephen Brady
As each day passes, Catholics in the United States learn a little bit more about the serious problem of clerical pedophilia in the Church. Were often tempted to think it is a new problem, a consequence of the sexual revolution, but the facts that have emerged in just the past two years clearly indicate that the systematic sexual abuse of minor males by priests in the United States -- often followed by the recruitment of these victims into the priesthood -- has been an ongoing problem for at least 50 years, perhaps 80.
Certainly, throughout its history, the Catholic Church has had trouble with homosexual pedophiles within its ranks. Thats what prompted St. Peter Damian, a Doctor of the Church, in the 11th century to pen the furious letter to Pope St. Leo IX against the sodomites, the Liber Gomorrhianus. The nurturing of a homosexual/pedophiliac network in the Catholic Church in modern times, which parallels similar networks in government, business and education circles, may, some suggest, date back to the late 1920s and early 30s when the Cambridge Apostles, that elite clique of homosexual Marxists under the direction of Anthony Blunt (and including such notorious spies as Kim Philby), determined to seize control of the major institutions, especially the churches, newspapers, cinema and radio (and, later, television), universities, museums and government cultural agencies.
If the problem of a homosexual network in the Church is viewed in this perspective, one can understand more fully the remarkable role of Joseph Cardinal Bernardin in creating an American Church that has become a trusted ally of all those various social, political and cultural forces promoting sexual libertinism.
Bernardins legacy to the American Church will be discussed and debated, quite possibly, for centuries. No one disputes his influence: as creator of the National Conference of Catholic Bishops and United States Catholic Conference; as a bishop-maker who, working with former Archbishop Jean Jadot, gave the American hierarchy its pronounced pro-gay orientation; as a subtle provocateur who nudged, consoled and empowered dissenters while professing his loyalty to his Roman superiors; as an architect of proposals to deconstruct the Roman liturgy, Catholic education and the all-important field of catechetics.
Bernardin, it must be recalled, at least briefly, was sponsored, tutored and promoted by a number of dubious characters, not only his godfather, Archbishop Paul Hallinan of Atlanta, who served as a bishop in Charleston. Bernardins other godfather was Archbishop (later cardinal) John Dearden, who would be responsible for the appointment of such notorious pro-homosexual bishops as Detroit Auxiliary Tom Gumbleton, Ken Untener of Saginaw, Joseph Imesch, of Joliet, who, recall gave the suffering Catholics of Springfield, IL the loathsome Daniel Ryan.
Bernardins supporters look at all his accomplishments and call them good. To do so, they have to overlook many things, including his connections to some of the most evil men to ever enter the priesthood.
+ + + +
When Joseph Cardinal Bernardin, Archbishop of Chicago, died November 14, 1996 of pancreatic cancer at age 68, he proved himself an impressario to the end, conducting a public relations/media blitz that crescendoed with calls for his canonization.
Typical of the sycophantry he was so skillful at evoking was that of the National Catholic Reporters Tim Unsworth, who wrote a week after Bernardin died:
Bernardin's final months were spent just as he planned and predicted: in loving, compassionate and gentle service. He spent much of his time comforting other terminally ill cancer patients. He came to know many of them during his hospitalization at Loyola. I felt like a priest again, he said often....Bernardin's biographer and close friend, Eugene Kennedy, has called him the most influential bishop in the history of the American church....[A]t the time of his death he was the senior active American prelate among the country's more than 350. But his influence far exceeded his seniority. His writing and speaking on national and even global issues caused him to eclipse megabishops of the past such as Baltimore's James Gibbons (1877-1921), Boston's William O'Connell (1907-1944), Chicago's George Mundelein (1915-1939), New York's Francis Spellman (1939-1967) and Bernardin's own mentor, John Dearden of Detroit (1958-1980)....
Everything he did, from the well-publicized death-bed visit by his dear friend Ann Landers, to the gay choir that sang at his funeral Mass, the visit by Hillary Clinton and the letter from her husband, Bill, to the Bernardin books and the documentary video produced and released as soon as he was buried, was orchestrated perfectly.
One of his closest friends one of the original Bernardin Boys Santa Fe Archbishop Michael Sheehan, who served as one of Bernardins four assistant general secretaries at the beginning of the National Conference of Catholic Bishops, commented that Bernardin was able to look at death as a friend, rather than as an enemy.
There were many reasons why Bernardin welcomed death, least of which was that his carefully crafted image as the saintly prelate, the good listener, the consensus builder, the faithful son of the Church, was rapidly dissolving.
His closest friend from his South Carolina days, Monsignor Frederick Hopwood, had been accused of abusing hundreds of boys dating back to the early 1950s, when he and Bernardin shared a residence at the Cathedral of St. John the Baptist in Charleston where some of the alleged abuse took place.
An attorney involved in representing some of Hopwoods victims told Roman Catholic Faithful, Hopwood was not your ordinary pedophile. He abused hundreds of boys at the rectory at a time when Bernardin was serving, theoretically, as assistant chancellor -- and at Camp St. Marys in Beaufort.
Coming to the legal defense of Hopwood and the Diocese of Charleston came the Archdiocese of Chicagos powerhouse firm, Mayer, Platt and Brown, which negotiated the cash settlements to Hopwoods victims.
At the time the Hopwood allegations became public in late December 1993, Bernardin was having trouble on another front.
A former seminarian from the Archdiocese of Cincinnati, Steven Cook, filed a $10 million lawsuit against Bernardin and Cincinnati priest Ellis Harsham. The suit accused Harsham, when he was a priest at St. Gregory seminary in Cincinnati in the mid-1970s, of numerous coercive sexual acts against him, and then delivering him to Bernardin, then archbishop of Cincinnati, for the same purposes.
Several months later, however, in February 94, Cook dropped Bernardin from the suit, saying he couldnt trust his memory. Cook never retracted his charges; nor did he say it was inaccurate contrary to the accepted party line that Bernardin had been exonerated, which persists to this day. Four months later, Cooks suit against Harsham was conveniently -- at least for Bernardin -- settled out of court. While Bernardin was allowed to remain as Archbishop of Chicago, Harsham was placed immediately on administrative leave when the lawsuit was filed; and he left the priesthood a few months later.
While Bernardin went on to have a very public (and filmed) reconciliation with Cook, showing the world what a generous man he was in forgiving a man who had accused him of sexual crimes, Bernardins lawyers were involved in hushing up another case in which seminarians in Winona, Minn., had accused Bernardin and three other bishops of participating in sexual/satanic rituals at the seminary. Among the facts that the plaintiffs in that case marshaled for their suit: Bernardin was frequently accompanied by Steven Cook! The settlement stemming from the lawsuit has been sealed, but Roman Catholic Faithful was given details of the settlement from a bishop who received a copy of the settlement.
In the two years leading up to his death even as he orchestrated brutal assaults against victims of clerical sexual abuse and their parents in Chicago -- one after another of Bernardins closest clerical friends from his native Diocese of Charleston made the newspapers all for charges of pedophilia: Father Eugene Condon, Father Justin Goodwin, Father James Robert Owens-Howard, Father Paul F.X. Seitz, in addition to continuing allegations against Hopwood.
It is the Hopwood case that, perhaps, raises the most suspicions about Bernardin.
Hopwood, ordained in June 1951 in Maryknoll, N.Y., began working as a priest in the Charleston Diocese in January 1952. He was incardinated into the Charleston Diocese in November 1954, and appointed assistant chancellor.
Bernardin was ordained April 26, 1952, at St. Joseph's Church in Columbia. In 1954, he was appointed Chancellor of the Diocese by Bishop John Russell, who, himself has been accused of satanism and sexual abuse by the same woman, Agnes who accused Bernardin of sexual abuse.
According to one man who was sexually abused by Hopwood in the late 1950s, Bernardin and Hopwood (and the other priests named above) were buddies. In an interview with Roman Catholic Faithful shortly after Bernardins death, the victim said that one of his co-plaintiffs in the lawsuit against Hopwood was sodomized by Hopwood and another priest, though that victim didnt know who the perpetrator was because he had been blindfolded.
He also told Roman Catholic Faithful that in negotiations with the Archdiocese of Chicago lawyers in the efforts to settle the lawsuits without a trial, Bernardins name came up a large number of times, along with charges that Hopwood had presided over satanic rituals involving animals in the woods where some of his victims were abused.
While Hopwood was resident at the cathedral in Charleston, he was also working at Bishop England High School and acted as chaplain at the Citadel.
Bernardin was named monsignor in 1959, and continued to serve the Archbishop as Chancellor and, after 1966, as an auxiliary bishop in Atlanta, under Archbishop Paul Hallinan, his mentor who was among the most strident and aggressive Americanists in the U.S. hierarchy at the time.
Bernardin acquired power rapidly. As his friends back in Charleston continued buggering little boys, Bernardin used his influence, starting in 1968, as General Secretary of the U.S. Catholic Conference, to select bishops (many of whom are still ordinaries) who would (to put it charitably) condone and promote homosexuality as an acceptable lifestyle and tolerate the sexual abuse of children by priests.
In December 1994, another of Bernardins circle was accused of sexual abuse, Father Paul Seitz, then 67, pastor of Prince of Peace parish in Taylors, S.C.
At the time charges were filed, diocesan spokeswoman Mary Jeffcoat said, the abuse happened while Seitz was stationed in Aiken County 30 years before, in 1964.
In June 1996, another priest in Bernardins circle of friends, Father Eugene Condon, then 66, retired from active ministry, three weeks after the 9th Circuit solicitors office informed the diocese it was investigating Condon on charges he had sexually abused minor males and exposed them to pornography and alcohol.
In June 1995, Father Justin Goodwin, then 89, was charged with sexual abuse of minor males.
Goodwin had served in the Charleston diocese, which includes all of South Carolina, since 1953. Before that he served in Washington, D.C., New York and North Carolina churches.
Interestingly, he too spent time at the Cathedral of St. John the Baptist in Charleston.
THE OTHER BOYS
Lest we forget, another aspect of the Bernardin Legacy was the notorious Rudy Kos case that ran for nearly four years in the Diocese of Dallas.
As the trial evolved involving Kos, who was accused of sexually abusing hundreds of males while serving as a priest in Dallas, it was revealed that two of Bernardins boys Archbishop Thomas C. Kelly, OP, of Louisville and Archbishop Michael Sheehan of Santa Fe were responsible.
In 1976, Kelly, as assistant general secretary of the National Conference of Catholic Bishops (who moved to the post after serving as a secretary to the papal nuncio in Washington, Jean Jadot, fraudulently approved the annulment of Kos marriage, so that he could enter the Dallas seminary, then under the direction of Father Michael Sheehan, and train for the priesthood.
The annulment Kelly approved, canon lawyer Father Thomas Doyle, OP, explained during the trial proceedings, was patently invalid for at least five reasons: Kos had lied in the evidence he presented; his ex-wife, who claimed that the marriage was never consummated and that her husband was a pedophile, was never interviewed during the process; Kos ex-wife was never notified that the annulment process had been initiated; and the Dallas priest who supervised the annulment process in Dallas acted as both judge and defender of the bond a conflict of interest.
Sheehan, who had served as Bernardins hatchet man at the NCCB, ordering the resignations of longtime employees when Bernardin was restructuring and reorganizing the conference, accepted Kos into the Dallas seminary, little more than a year after he received his annulment, and less than a year after his predecessor, Monsignor Gerald Hughes, had rejected Kos.
Another Bernardin creation was Bishop Robert N. Lynch of St. Petersburg, who once revealed how, when he was a young man not knowing what to do with his life, was encouraged by Bernardin to enter the priesthood.
He took the advice and enjoyed a great career, moving, from his ordination in May 1978 as a priest of the Archdiocese of Miami, to seminary rector, to general secretary of the NCCB, and bishop of St. Petersburg in 1996.
Other Bernardin creations are Bishop Wilton Gregory of Belleville, a native of Chicago, slated to be the next president of the NCCB; and Archbishop John Vlazny, former seminary rector in Chicago and former bishop of Winona.
Mention must also be made of the dissenter Archbishop John Quinn, of San Francisco, a native of San Diego and close friend and working ally of Bernardin. Bernardin thought so highly of Quinn that when he needed to move Quinn into a bishopric, Oklahoma City, Quinn was made its first archbishop so that he could have a rank equal to his talents.
Quinns reign in San Francisco was marked by numerous scandals involving pedophilia and theft by some of his closest aides.
U.S. Catholics today are the questionable beneficiaries of the Bernardin Legacy, which includes:
* 25 -50 Bishops of Dioceses who owe their positions to the blessings of Bernardin;
* a national episcopal bureaucracy honeycombed with homosexuals and radical feminists. (Two deceased friends of Bernardin are the late Father John Muthig and the late John Willig. Muthig, a former editor at St. Anthony Messenger in Cincinnati, who went on to work at the National Catholic News Service, to the priesthood, and to posts at the United Nations and the Vatican. Muthig, who died young, allegedly of liver cancer, was a Bernardin protégé. The other Bernardin protégé, Willig, died of AIDS after he was exposed as the head of Dignity in Washington, D.C. Willig worked in the NCCBs finance office, where he had access to all the financial information of Americas Catholic dioceses).
* a 30-year program of obstruction and obfuscation of Roman directives pertaining to education, liturgy, priestly formation, religious practice (altar girls, communion in the hand, etc.).
* a Call To Action agenda and Common Ground initiative which militate against sound Catholic practice, belief, and life.
As Shakespeare said (paraphrased), the good we do is interred with our bones, but the evil goes on and on and on.
It is clear that in the four years since his death, not only did Bernardin leave a legacy in his words and deeds, but in the bishops he helped create who continue the process of ecclesial deconstruction he engineered.
I don't know about Bernardin; like much of what RCF puts on its site, there's a lot of innuendo and stuff like The full extent of The Boys' Club influence in Chicago and beyond still remains unclear, as does the extent of ritual abuse associated with clerical assaults on children. I admire what Brady has done, but he strains to connect dots, at times.
One of Bernardin's biggest defenders is Father Richard John Neuhaus, who laughs at accusations against the Cardinal.
"...and the American bishops have for decades ignored Vatican directives they found to be objectionable."
South African Bishop Reginald Cawcutt's Resignation Accepted by the Vatican. More to follow.
That's all there was -- no story, no source; this seemed to be as good a thread as any to report it on.
"there's a lot of innuendo and stuff like..."
I agree. Here's some from this article:
"Just after Pellegrini's body was discovered, and while police were still on the scene of the murder, police observed two unusual incidents, Callaghan reported.
"The first involved the arrival of then-Cardinal Archbishop of Chicago and one of the most powerful men in the American Catholic Church Joseph Bernardin. Although there was never an indication that Bernardin met Pellegrini, he arrived at the murder scene and quizzed police personnel on the progress of the investigation.
"Left unanswered was how Bernardin learned of the killing and why he should personally visit the scene of a relatively unimportant individual whom he had no reason to know."[emphasis added]
But, we learned of Mr. Pellegrini previously in the article that, "Pellegrini had also served as chair of the Sociology Department of Loyola University of Chicago".
Now wait a minute. Was Mr. Pellegrini an unimportant person whom the cardinal had no reason to know, or was he the chairman or former chairman of the Sociology Dept at Loyola, in the cardinal's archdiocese?
You really can't have it both ways. The chairman of a department at a major Catholic university in a bishop's diocese is NOT an unimportant person. He is NOT someone that the bishop has no reason to know. Bishops have authority of those Catholic colleges and universities that abide in their dioceses. Often, the bishop is an ex officio member of the governing board of the colleges and universities in his diocese. Bishops will be made aware of high-level appointments at the colleges and universities in their dioceses. Bishops will often go to events held by these schools, and will often meet people who chair departments and things.
I don't know whether Cardinal Bernadin ever met Mr. Pellegrini or not. But I know that they likely traveled in the same social circles.
But even if the cardinal had never met Mr. Pellegrini, it doesn't seem strange to me that the cardinal would show up at the scene of a murdered senior faculty member of a major Catholic university in his archdiocese.
Then we have the case of "Agnes":
"Agnes states that in the fall of 1957, in Greenville, S.C., with her father present, Bishop John Russell of the Charleston Archdiocese and his chancellor, Bernardin, raped her as part of a satanic ritual, which included, as a RCF report stated, 'a perverted, sacrilegious use of a [consecrated] host.'"[emphasis added]
Wow. This is about as outrageous as it's going to get. But by way of evidence, we are offered the testimony of Fr. Fiore, who met her some years after the events were alleged to have occured. We're told about lie detector tests and affidavits.
Well, for accusations of this severity, I think the lady needs to come forward publicly, or needs to permit the actual primary source documentation to be publicly revealed.
Also, note that the allegation also charges that her father was present at this event. This needs to be explained further. I presume that her father is likely dead by now. But to bolster this claim, it would have been valuable to hear more of this angle. It is a very bizarre detail, and without further explanation, actually, in my own mind, detracts from the credibility of the story.
Then, we have the case of Stephen Cook:
"Bernardin, who said he had never met Cook, also left the dying man a costly chalice, which Bernardin had used to offer Mass in Cook's Philadelphia apartment. In addition to Cook and Bernardin, Cook's homosexual lover was also in attendance at the Mass. Cook made no secret of his homosexuality, and there is no indication that Cook would have hidden the identity of his male lover."
I remember at the time that Cardinal Bernadin made a number of gestures toward Mr. Cook, which appeared to my own naive mind to be acts of forgiveness and charity toward someone who had publicly sinned against him. Though Cardinal Bernadin may have never met Mr. Cook prior to the accusations, their lives were inextricably intertwined afterward. If Cardinal Bernadin were indeed reaching out in forgiveness and charity, none of his actions seem odd or out of place.
As to offering Communion to folks at a Mass, I have no idea as to the state of Mr. Cook's soul on that occasion. I have no idea whether he may have availed himself of the Sacrament of Reconciliation with the cardinal (if I had a cardinal visit my own home to celebrate a private Mass, I might beg him for the privilege that he might hear my confession). I have no idea whether Mr. Cook was at that time in rebellion against Church teaching, or whether he was struggling with the cross of homosexuality, and trying hard to amend his life, or what. And I don't think the author knows, either. It isn't a pretty thing to presume that one knows the interior state of a stranger's conscience and soul.
Lots of bad stuff has happened, about which we're learning. What we know, with sigificant verification, is awful. Let's be careful not to get ahead of the facts that are really known. Let's be careful not to connect too many dots, as sinkspur puts it, without sufficient evidence. It may be that by being cautious, we will be slow in realizing some of the sins and crimes of some in the hierarchy. It may be that some in the hierarchy will "get away with it" (at least in this life), because we have been careful.
But we know, too, that the reputations and lives of innocent, good men will be spared because we approach this mess prudently, cautiously, always being slow to make the accusation, and always willing to listen to each man's defense of himself and his actions.
If we fail to act with caution, and with consideration for the possible innocence of those accused, those who really have committed grave evil will be given the weapons they need to counterattack us. They will be able to charge that we are reckless, and have little regard for the truth and for the reputations of others. As a result, they will be able to deflect charges made against them, and keep their sins and crimes hidden and unpunished. And the Church will not be cleansed in our lifetimes, as a result.
You put into graphic detail my unease with much of what RCF does.
There's a reason Neuhaus defends Bernardin. Maybe he's read some of Brady's stuff.
Perhaps. But under the laws of the United States of America, bobbitising the deserving ones would constitute assault, battery, and mayhem with aggravating factors due to the use of a deadly weapon. You might want to consider where one more able to do some good.