|Climbers love photo ops with|
powerful men in the Church!
- It is crystal clear that the “Who loves Uncle Teddy” philosophy dominated bishop appointments for many years, especially in the eastern section of the US. Bransfield was rector (manager) of the National Shrine of the Immaculate Conception in DC at the exact same time that “Cardinal” MCCarrick CONTROLLED Washington, DC. MCCarrick had a major connection to more than one pope and was “friends” with numerous Vatican department heads (the departments are called “congregations). As soon as the diocese in West Virginia became open due to the retirement of bishop Schmitt, Bransfield’s new “home” was ready for occupation.
- But why West Virginia? Isn’t West Virginia one of the poorest states in the US? Why would an affluent bishop from Philadelphia want to come to the home of “country roads”? Why not some place more upscale, exotic or famous? There is only one answer: MONEY! At the time that Bransfield came to West Virginia, there was at least $500 million in the Diocesan reserve fund, a gold mine waiting to be plundered. After his ordination as bishop by Uncle Teddy, one of the visiting bishops from another diocese was being chauffeured by a volunteer back to the Pittsburgh airport. At one point, he asked the driver, “Does Wheeling have any good French restaurants?” The driver chuckled and replied, “Wheeling doesn’t have ANY French restaurants.” The bishop responded, “Oh you will soon because what Michael wants, Michael gets!” And while he never got his French restaurant, he got pretty much everything else his lustful heart desired.
- Was he simply going to stay in West Virginia and be just one, big ecclesiastical leech, sucking the money out of the diocese for all his days here? Of course not! He lusted for a higher position up the ladder, perhaps becoming a Cardinal some day and he knew his dear Uncle Teddy could make it happen.
- So why did he stay? The Vatican abhors bad publicity. When Bransfield was accused of sexually abusing teen-aged boys in 2012, which he vehemently denied, his lust to climb the hierarchical ladder of success was thwarted. In the eyes of Rome he was damaged goods. Even though they continued to graciously accept his hand-delivered million dollar checks on behalf of the Philadelphia-based Papal Foundation, he became a liability to them. He would be forever “stuck” in Wild, Wonderful.
- But how did he manage to wield absolute power, especially as corrupt as he was? He could not be and live as the narcissist and sociopath that he is without support. His chancery clergymen were his primary support system and line of defense. They were “Yes boys”. Because they each were lustful climbers, they simply climbed their way into the arms of their ecclesiastical savior, Michael Bransfield. The narcissist is in love with himself and they gave Bransfield all of the adulation his sick distorted ego required while secretly loathing his very presence. The key indicator of a sociopath is his lack of conscience. Without blinking an eye, Bransfield mercilessly fired good, loyal, hard-working people such as George Smoulder [Editor's Note: Rev. Mr. George Smoulder is a permanent deacon who served as director of Catholic Community Services for 29 years before being abruptly dismissed without any input from the Board of Directors. Read this Op Ed for the Charleston Gazette that protested this action, one more abuse by the lavender mafia.] How could he get away with it? Because he had the unquestioned support of the chancery clergymen to back him up at all times. They so lusted to climb that they denied the voice of what little conscience they possessed. The Diocesan Attorney gave Bransfield the blind loyalty of a Nazi SS Captain and defended him vehemently. Then there was the lay staff, especially the department heads who wrote the checks, identified the major donors to be “wined and dined”, and who said “yes” to every whim and wish of his excellency. They actually defended him when the media revealed that he had installed a sunken bar and wine cellar in his Wheeling mansion! They functioned in a manner akin to the Jewish Kapo at the Nazi concentration camps who sought to save their own hides as they processed their fellow Jews to the gas chambers. Nabi actually feels compassion for these Diocesan lay staff people because they must live with incredible shame and guilt for “following orders”. They compromised their consciences to save their jobs. And none of them, clergy or laity, can claim to be innocent. All saw, all knew, all participated at one level or another.
- But what about the people? They were looked upon by Bransfield and his chancery crew as dumb sheep. They expected and DEPENDED UPON the sheep to keep quiet and to “Pray, Pay and Obey.” However, different groups of people responded in different ways to the oppressive Bransfield regime. First, were the affluent climbers, those who sought to garner favor or attention from his excellency and/or members of his Lavender crew. Such favors and those who sought them included but were not limited to: people who sought the hastening of annulments, individuals having their name mentioned at a banquet, politicians who wanted his “blessing”(endorsement), people who wanted an appointment to a Diocesan committee or board, wealthy individuals who gave gifts of money and material goods often expecting recognition or return, investment brokers and bankers who grovelled for just a sliver of the Diocesan investment pie and contractors who hoped to win bids on services and projects Second, the laity who bowed and stooped because he was THE bishop and a successor of the apostles. Being in the same room or Church was a high honor, especially for the more rural and traditional Catholic. Being in a photograph with his excellency was a prize that was cherished. In their eyes, Bransfield could do no wrong, even when the evidence began to suggest otherwise. Then there is, tragically, the growing number of people who just don’t care. They think they are helpless.They have heard and seen enough in the media about sexual and financial scandals to evolve into functional atheists on the road to becoming anti-Church hardened atheists. Some of them have watched their once cherished Churches and missions and schools closed while hearing from the chancery crew that the reason was “We don’t have any money!” Absent from their ears has been any evangelistic word from anyone even remotely associated with the diocese. An increasing number of what’s left of those who have any faith at all are finding comfort in other Churches or they start up their own even though the long-term feasibility of such small groups is not good at all.
- The vast size of the diocese actually enabled the Bransfield regime to flourish and go on year after year unchallenged. The chancery crew used the “divide and conquer” philosophy to their advantage. If you keep the “dumb sheep” ignorant and separated then their reign of power goes unchecked. If only the people had organized and communicated with one another throughout the state, the bigger picture of the debauchery taking place in Wheeling would have been clear for all to see. The Charleston newspaper did a good job of communicating an accurate but limited picture of the Bransfield regime but the Wheeling newspapers were often silent.
As you see, the forces and factors that kept the Bransfield regime alive and thriving were many. But what happens next? If the hierarchy cannot be trusted, where do the people turn? More to come….