Revenge & Racism: “Evil at work here” – Sacked Bishop Martin Holley, USA

From Catholic News Agency…

There is evil at work here. This is a spiritual battle. I am not part of the Lavendar Mafia – Bishop Holley…

Memphis, Tenn., Oct 25, 2018 / 02:53 pm (CNA).- One day after he was removed as head of the Diocese of Memphis, Bishop Martin Holley told CNA that he wants to be transparent about the reasons for his removal.

He says the decision was not about mismanagement, or past allegations of sexual misconduct. Instead, he believes that he was removed at the behest of Cardinal Donald Wuerl, former Archbishop of Washington, who influenced or collaborated with apostolic nuncio Archbishop Christophe Pierre to excise him from episcopal ministry.

Bishop Holley says he has nothing to hide.

The bishop was removed by Pope Francis from the diocese Oct. 24, after a June Vatican investigation into Holley’s leadership in the diocese. That investigation was prompted by criticism of Holley’s 2017 decision to reassign up to two-thirds of the 60 active priests in the diocese, and his appointment of a Canadian priest, Fr. Clement Machado, as vicar general, moderator of the curia, and chancellor of the Diocese of Memphis.
Vatican spokesman Greg Burke told reporters Wednesday that the decision to remove Holley was “about management of the diocese.”
Burke added that concerns about Holley were “not abuse-related.” Holley also told CNA that a decades-old allegation of sexual misconduct mentioned in some reports is not the reason for his removal.

Cardinal Donald Wuerl

Holley told CNA that in 2012, Wuerl was under consideration to be transferred from Washington to a high-level Vatican position, as Vatican Secretary of State. Holley was then an auxiliary bishop in the Archdiocese of Washington.
Holley says he was asked by Pope Benedict XVI to provide input on the prospect of appointing Wuerl, and that he offered testimony expressing concern about Wuerl’s fitness for the job.

Wuerl was not appointed to the position, and Holley said that his removal from the Diocese of Memphis is the cardinal’s “revenge” for impeding the appointment. Holley said Wuerl has had “disdain” for him since that time.

“I stood in his way for something he wanted,” Holley said.

Wuerl was appointed by Pope Francis in 2013 as a member of the Vatican’s Congregation for Bishops, before Holley became Bishop of Memphis. The congregation is the office charged with overseeing the ministry of bishops around the world. Wuerl and Cardinal Blase Cupich of Chicago are the sole American members of the congregation.

According to Pastor bonus, the document governing the workings of the Vatican Curia, “the Congregation applies itself to matters relating to the correct exercise of the pastoral function of the bishops, by offering them every kind of assistance. For it is part of its duty to initiate general apostolic visitations where needed, in agreement with the dicasteries concerned and, in the same manner, to evaluate their results and to propose to the Supreme Pontiff the appropriate actions to be taken.”

In response to questions about Holley’s report and Wuerl’s involvement in the apostolic visitation, Wuerl’s spokesman, Ed McFadden, told CNA only that “it would appear that an Apostolic Visitation that took place in the Diocese of Memphis, and the results of that process, may have had some connection to Bishop Holley’s dismissal.”

An official in the Archdiocese of Washington told CNA Holley was not utilized as a close advisor to Wuerl or a member of the cardinal’s inner circle during his time under Wuerl’s leadership, and that his ministry involved overseeing administration in the deaneries of the archdiocese, and performing confirmations. A source close to the case, however, said that Holley had invited Wuerl to speak in the Diocese of Memphis three times during his two years there.

Apostolic Visitation

Holley told CNA that the June apostolic visitation to his diocese was unnecessary, and its purpose was unclear. He said he was told the visitation was “merely to assist me in the administration of the diocese. I didn’t need any assistance.” The bishop said that after he was installed as bishop in Memphis, he became aware of the “lack of previous governance that was here.”

“I was putting in order things that were so messed up here,” he said, noting that the diocesan tribunal was dysfunctional, and that other administrative and personnel issues had gone unaddressed by his predecessor.

Holley, who is African-American, said he met resistance because of the “racism of a few priests,” who were motivated to complain about him. One of them, he said, was a long-time associate of Wuerl.

Acknowledging that his predecessor, Bishop Terry Steib, is also African-American, Holley said that “prejudice and racism” began to manifest itself in the diocese when he began to make necessary changes.

Local media reported that several diocesan priests raised concern about Holley after his controversial transfer of priests, and after the diocese announced in January the closure of the Jubilee Catholic Schools Network, a network of schools in economically challenged neighborhoods, established in 1999 by Steib.

At the time the school closure was announced, diocesan communications director Vince Higgins told the Memphis Commercial Appeal that “This decision would have had to been made no matter… who was the bishop…The numbers were just coming to bear.”

The schools are scheduled to close after completion of this school year. A diocesan press release said that “the challenge over the years has been funding the costs of operating the schools…Funding for the schools has been provided primarily through a trust funded by very generous donors plus annual fundraising. The trust is nearly depleted and the Catholic Diocese can only fund the schools through the 2018-19 school year.”
Holley was also criticized for his appointment of Machado.
Machado was until 2016 a member of the Society of Our Lady of the Most Holy Trinity, a society of priests headquartered in Corpus Christi, Texas. He was incardinated, or officially transferred, to the Diocese of Memphis soon after Holley was installed as diocesan bishop.

While priests transferring into a diocese often undergo an experimental period for five years, Machado’s incardination was finalized on Dec. 20, 2016, two months after Holley was installed as diocesan bishop.

“Machado is not and was not the problem,” Holley told CNA. “If I’ve known him for this long, why would I not incardinate him?”
Machado, who claims to have had visions of the Blessed Virgin Mary as a child, has gained an international reputation as an exorcist and as a speaker. In 2016, however, the Diocese of Corpus Christi issued a warning, indicating that Machado was “conducting exorcisms without the permission of the local ordinary.”

“Fr. Machado has not been given permission by the Most Reverend Wm. Michael Mulvey, Bishop of Corpus Christi, to administer the Rite of Exorcism or to serve as an exorcist,” the statement read. The diocese said it was investigating complaints raised against the priest.

Holley told CNA that he has had a long relationship with Machado, and brought him to the diocese because he needed his assistance. He did not have sufficient personnel to address the administrative needs of the diocese, and he believed Machado could help.

Machado resigned from his positions in the Diocese of Memphis on June 29, shortly after the apostolic visitation to the diocese concluded. In a letter to priests announcing Machado’s resignation, the bishop asked priests to pray “that he may successfully complete his degree in the upcoming academic year, as it will greatly benefit his service to the diocese,” Holley wrote.

But criticism of Machado in the diocese, he said, was motivated by resentment toward the administrative decisions Holley made. He said the priest was tasked with carrying out his controversial decisions, and that made him a subject of criticism.

Allegations of misconduct

After Holley’s resignation was announced, reports emerged that the bishop had been previously accused of sexual misconduct.
In 2009 a former seminarian published a blog post alleging that in 1986, Holley, who was then a deacon, “used all the creepy predator tricks to get me to give in to him sexually,” at Washington, DC’s Theological College. CNA attempted to contact the former seminarian but was unable to reach him.
A senior Church official told CNA that the complaint was forwarded to the apostolic nuncio this summer, and that it might have impacted the Vatican’s decision to remove the bishop.

Holley told CNA that the apostolic nuncio has not raised the issue with him at any time. He told CNA that while he could not comment directly on the allegation, he is concerned the matter is being raised in order to cast aspersions on his character, linking him to bishops recently accused of predatory sexual behavior.

“I am not a part of the lavender [mafia],” he said. “I would never belong to that evil,” he added, referring to allegations of predatory sexual behavior raised against Archbishop Theodore McCarrick and other senior Church figures.

He added that he was not particularly close to McCarrick, under whom he served for less than two years as auxiliary bishop. Sources told CNA that it is widely believed in the Archdiocese of Washington that McCarrick opposed Holley’s 2004 appointment as an auxiliary in that diocese, preferring a local candidate.

“I couldn’t help that I was his auxiliary,” he said.

The bishop added while he might have heard that McCarrick had a beach house, he had no knowledge of the prelate’s alleged predatory behavior, much of which is reported to have taken place there.

“I didn’t know anything about McCarrick,” he said. “The poor victims, my gosh.”

Most important, Holley said, in 2009 or 2010 he informed Wuerl, McCarrick, and Bishop Barry Knestout, then another Washington auxiliary bishop, about the seminarian’s allegation. He said he was “completely transparent” with Wuerl about the allegation, and that Wuerl thanked him for reporting it. McCarrick, he said, told him “not to worry about it.”

The matter was not raised again, he said.

Wuerl’s spokesman told CNA that “Cardinal Wuerl has no recollection of any conversation with Bishop Holley regarding any allegation from any period of time.”

Knestout’s spokesperson in the Diocese of Richmond told CNA that “Bishop Knestout has no knowledge of such a conversation with Bishop Holley nor did he receive any allegation on this matter.”

McCarrick could not be reached.

Questions remain unanswered about the canonical process by which Holley was removed. While Pope Francis established in 2016 norms by which a bishop can be removed through a Vatican process, it is not clear whether that process was used in Holley’s case, or whether the Congregation for Bishops, on which Wuerl sits, was involved.

Holley told CNA that he had not spoken with Pope Francis before he was relieved of his responsibility.

He said he is not sure what next he will do. He is now 63, the ordinary retirement age for bishops is 75.

“There is evil at work here,” he said.  “This is a spiritual battle.”   Source – Catholic News Agency

Comment: 

Pope Francis, it seems,  is not slow to dismiss a bishop for spurious reasons, if we are to take the above report at face value.  And we have examples here in Scotland of priests currently suspended for no good reason – while the real culprits, dissenters and abusers, are left in post to spread their poison.  The Pope routinely refuses to accept resignations from bishops who have reached the retirement age of 75 yet he has dismissed a bishop of 63 at, it seems, the behest of the disgraced Cardinal Wuerl. What advice would you offer to Bishop Holley – what could, or should, he do in the face of this injustice?  

Pope Francis: is it spiritual blindness or sheer idiocy that prevents him from seeing the need to ACT… NOW?! 

Comment invited…    

Archbishop Chaput to Pope: Cancel Youth Synod – Fix Bishops Instead!

PHILADELPHIA (CNS) — Philadelphia Archbishop Charles J. Chaput is asking Pope Francis to call off the Synod of Bishops on young people this October to focus instead on the life of the bishops.

“I have written the Holy Father and called on him to cancel the upcoming synod on young people. Right now, the bishops would have absolutely no credibility in addressing this topic,” the archbishop said at an Aug. 30 conference at Philadelphia’s St. Charles Borromeo Seminary, according to a report by the website LifeSiteNews.

In its place, the archbishop suggested that the pope “begin making plans for a synod on the life of bishops,” the archbishop said.

Ken Gavin, spokesman for the Archdiocese of Philadelphia, confirmed the archbishop sent the letter to the pope, but he offered no additional comments.

The archbishop gave his comments about canceling the synod during a panel discussion called the “Cardinals’ Forum,” sponsored by the Cardinal John Foley Chair of Social Communications and Homiletics and the Cardinal John Krol Chair of Moral Theology, both at the seminary.

The archbishop, who is set to participate in the synod on youth, was one of three panelists speaking on the topic “Young People, the Faith and Vocational Discernment,” the theme of the Oct. 3-28 synod in Rome.

Hundreds of bishops and young people representing youth from across the globe will engage in discussions at that meeting and typically, the pope attends some synod conferences. After the gathering’s conclusion, the bishops make recommendations to advise the pope as he formulates pastoral policy to address the specific issues discussed.
Pope Francis had previously confirmed Archbishop Chaput, chairman of the Committee on Laity, Marriage, Family Life and Youth of the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops, as one of only five American bishops to attend the synod, all of whom were elected by their peers in the USCCB.

The other church leaders planning to attend are: Cardinal Daniel N. DiNardo of Galveston-Houston, USCCB president; Los Angeles Archbishop Jose H. Gomez, USCCB vice president; Bishop Frank J. Caggiano of Bridgeport, Connecticut, a member of the USCCB Committee on Laity, Marriage, Family Life and Youth; and Los Angeles Auxiliary Bishop Robert E. Barron, chairman of the USCCB Committee on Evangelization and Catechesis.

Calls for reform in the Catholic hierarchy have risen throughout the summer as the clergy sexual abuse scandal has intensified, with bishops across the globe coming under scrutiny for their potential role in covering up cases of abuse of children and young adults.

And confidence in the credibility of Catholic bishops has been eroding in the wake of allegations against the former Washington Archbishop Theodore E. McCarrick, the Pennsylvania grand jury report on 70 years of clergy child sexual abuse in the state and the explosive letter of Archbishop Carlo Maria Vigano, the former U.S. papal nuncio, alleging the cover-up of Archbishop McCarrick’s abuse by bishops in the United States and in the Vatican.

In an Aug. 30 letter to the pope, Dallas Bishop Edward J. Burns asked for an extraordinary synod to address issues in the latest Catholic clergy sex abuse crisis.

“The current crisis of sexual abuse by clergy, the cover-up by leaders in the church and the lack of fidelity of some have caused great harm,” the letter said. It suggests that this synod should include topics such as “the care and the safeguard of children and the vulnerable, outreach to victims, the identity and lifestyle of the clergy, the importance of healthy human formation within the presbyterate/religious community, etc.”  Source


Comments invited…  

Ben Shapiro: a Jew who saw right off that Francis not fit to be Pope… 

 

Comment: 

How come Ben Shapiro, a young Jew, could see right away that Francis was not fit to hold the papal office, when most modern Catholics are still of the opinion that he’s the best thing in the Church since [the original] St Francis [of Assisi]?  Sarcasm aside, can anyone answer that? Please and thank you…  

Plea From Scotland: Pope Francis’ Diabolical Pontificate Must End – Go!

From the Editor, Catholic Truth…

The following extracts (with links to original reports) sum up the reason why Pope Francis MUST go NOW  – calls for him to  resign/abdicate are late enough; the matter is now urgent, with his pontificate beyond repair…

What’s that… you want me to go, now? But… who are you to judge?

Report, 30 August, 2018…

After Benedict resigned, [Arcbishop] Vigano was granted a private audience with the new pope on June 23, 2013, during which Francis asked him about McCarrick. Vigano wrote that he told Francis, “Holy Father, I don’t know if you know Cardinal McCarrick, but if you ask the Congregation for Bishops there is a dossier this thick about him. He corrupted generations of seminarians and priests and Pope Benedict ordered him to withdraw to a life of prayer and penance.” Francis soon lifted Benedict’s sanctions, Vigano said, and made McCarrick a trusted adviser. “He knew from at least June 23, 2013 that McCarrick was a serial predator,” Vigano wrote. “It was only when he was forced by the report of the abuse of a minor … that he took action.”  Source

Report, 29 August, 2018…

Pope Francis removed sanctions from a notorious clerical sex offender despite being warned and urged by the Prefect for the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith not to do so, a highly placed Vatican source told LifeSiteNews in an exclusive interview.
That Prefect, Cardinal Gerhard Müller, was later dismissed from the Vatican’s top doctrine post. The source revealed that Cardinal Müller and his staff were dismissed by Pope Francis because they insisted on following the Church’s protocols concerning clerical sexual abusers.
Notably, Müller opposed the Pope’s plan to return the defrocked Don Mauro Inzoli, a serial abuser of boys as young as 12, to the priesthood.

Don Inzoli, nicknamed Don Mercedes for his love of flashy cars and elegant living, had been accused to church officials of having molested boys, including in the confessional, and convincing them that his abuse of them was approved by God.
In 2012, an ecclesiastical court found Inzoli guilty, and he was then suspended a divinis, barring him from all priestly functions.
However, in 2014, Francis returned Inzoli to the priesthood, although according to the source, Cardinal Müller “resisted” the pontiff’s wish but Francis “decided differently,” i.e. he rejected Müller’s advice.  Source

Report, 29 August, 2018…

Pope Francis gave a Vatican apartment to a priest who was later caught hosting a drug-fueled homosexual orgy in that same apartment despite being warned about the priest’s grave problems, a highly placed Vatican source told LifeSiteNews in an exclusive interview.
It was Francis himself, the source said, who made sure that a homosexual secretary of his friend Cardinal Francesco Coccopalmerio would obtain a privileged apartment in the Vatican.
Cardinal Coccopalmerio, then president of the Pontifical Council for Legislative Texts, and one of Pope Francis’ closest collaborators and ardent supporters, had spoken in 2014 about the “positive elements” in homosexual relationships.  Source

Comment: 

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