Beginning today I will begin some commentary on the KEY underlying issue that fueled the corruption at the chancery in Wheeling under the administration of FORMER Bishop Bransfield. I choose to write under the name “Nabi” (Na-bee) which means Prophet in Hebrew. And what was the role of the prophet in the Bible? They were hard-lined conservatives who called a spade a spade. They called out the people in power who had gotten intoxicated with themselves and who ignored the needs of the people, ESPECIALLY the poor.
Here’s what the Nabi sayeth regarding the now former administration of the diocese of Wheeling-Charleston:
The most important question that the vast majority of the people in the pew failed to ask was: How did the FORMER bishop and his Monsignors fund their “reindeer games”?
I discovered, thanks to the help of a chancery insider in 2004, that the reserve monetary fund (where the big cash is stashed) was worth a mere 500 million dollars. Yes, that’s 1/ 2 a billion (with a B) dollars.
Now the first question that will come to your mind is...where did they get so much money? A woman named Sarah Tracey many years ago willed a chunk of land in Texas to the bishop of Wheeling. The money was to be used for the subsidy of Bishop Donahue Catholic high school and other worthy projects. [N.B. The closing of Bishop Donahue High School was abruptly announced last year with no input from parents who received notification by email that the school was closing at the end of the year. Many in the community learned about it in the morning paper and many students and alumni were upset. Enrollment was down, but why couldn’t some of the Tracey money have been used to reduce tuition?] For many years the diocese has been collecting royalties from the oil underneath the land, especially when crude prices went through the roof. (Do you remember paying almost 5.00 per gallon for gas?)
And while that money has been used for some worthy projects, it has also been used to renovate mansions and other episcopal pleasure projects. The FORMER bishop recently sent word to the people at St. Michael in Wheeling that they had to do some rather expensive renovations to the parish church and that “He” would pay for a new 500,000 dollar altar. How generous of him, eh? Actually, the money would come from the Sarah Tracey reserve account. HMMMM. But the parishioners get stuck with the remainder of the tab. Now, as one wise woman told me, some of the Church renovation needs to be done, for instance, the pretty pink sanctuary wall must be re-painted. However, the total cost of the project will be well over a million dollars with the people, not FORMER bishop Bransfield, picking up the tab!
Another creature- comfort that the FORMER bishop enjoyed was a RESERVED wine rack and dinner table at the Chop House restaurant in Charleston. YES, the FORMER bishop enjoyed fine dining at a very expensive eatery whenever his heart desired and at YOUR expense. Now how would a poor Nabi discover such a thing? A dear friend phoned the Chop House to inquire about possibly purchasing a Christmas gift card for the FORMER bishop. The very nice young lady who took the call was all too eager to discuss how much the FORMER bishop loved to eat at the Chop House with his special friends. She noted that the RESERVED wine rack and dinner table were important to him. Isn’t that SPECIAL???
Enough for now....My next installment will ponder the Question: Well, if the FORMER bishop knew he had at least 1/2 billion dollars in reserve, why did he keep hounding the parishioners of the diocese to dig deep and give to the annual BISHOPS’ CATHOLIC SHARING APPEAL???? Stay tuned....