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Tuesday, July 23, 2019

Phil Lawler Asks: Why Bishop Mark Brennan to Replace Bransfield?

In West Virginia, another bewildering Vatican appointment

Here's Lawler's recap from the article. I highlighted some things I thought were especially a propos and added some comments of my own:
So to recap:
  • American Catholics were angered by revelations of financial misconduct in the Wheeling diocese. [Understatement!]
  • 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. [Yeah, that would have made sense, but does anything in the Francis papacy make sense?] 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. [Would have made sense, so maybe there's an underlying reason for Brennan's appointment.]
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; [uh oh!] in Baltimore he has been a deputy of Archbishop Lori. Earlier he served as a priest in Washington, under McCarrick and alongside Bransfield. [Hmm] He knows them all well. Maybe he can be impartial; I hope so. But at this point he can’t possibly look impartial. [Sure can't!]
And that’s the trouble with this appointment. When an institution has lost public trust because of manifest corruption, the task of restoring that trust involves two steps: First, addressing and eliminating the corruption. Second, persuading the skeptics that the corruption is being addressed and will be eliminated. Bishop Brennan may be the right man to take the first step. He cannot be—through no fault of his own—right for the second. 
The Vatican still doesn’t understand why loyal Catholic Americans are so upset about the abundant evidence of corruption and cronyism in the hierarchy. [Nope! They are either totally clueless or don't give a damn!] For that matter few American bishops understand. The solutions are being offered by the same people who created the problems; [Yup and they figure the dumb clucks in the pew won't notice.] the would-be reformers are selected by the very people who should be reformed. The “envelope culture” remains intact and apparently unquestioned. [We need some reformer saints to clean out the Vatican and U.S. stables! Please, Lord!]


  1. Yes, but this comment below the Lawler post is very spot-on, I think, although a bishop's resignation does not have to be accepted immediately upon turning 75, i.e. Wurel:

    "The key to understanding the appointment is one number: 72 1/2. That is Bishop Brennan's age. So he essentially has less than 3 years to serve as Bishop. I view this as a de facto extension of Baltimore's "administratorship" with an individual who can actually act under canon law; and who can be the "bad guy" if needed, e.g, perhaps closing Wheeling University before the appointment of a "long term" Bishop. Guess: needed someone fast, but wanted to know more before a long term appointment."

  2. During this Bergolio reign of terror, if anyone expects any priest to be elevated to bishop or archbishop who doesn't share the same mindset as Bergolio, McCarrick, Wuerl, Tobin and Cupich they are extremely naive. These evil doers have firm control of the U.S. Catholic Church and they control everything.