Several weeks ago, I was touched by the spirit (no, there was nothing single malty about it. It was a blended) as I read about the second most recent example of Catholic hypocrisy and sliminess. A follow-up story about a new petition intended for Myers is exceedingly welcome.
To remind y'all of the most recent example, Archbishop Gregory of Atlanta screwed the pooch by getting himself a mansion, a $2.2 Million dollar mansion, at that. Until this insult to poor, suffering Catholics everywhere, Gregory was the top candidate to replace Chicago's cancer stricken Cardinal, Francis George. George is back on chemo, is too sick to travel, and could not meet with the new pope, despite his invite.
After the uproar, Gregory did his best to repair his tarnished rep, claiming that he made a simple mistake.
His extravagant investment has provoked an outcry from some local Catholics, forcing the 66-year-old archbishop to “apologize sincerely and from my heart” in a statement published in The Georgia Bulletin, a Catholic newspaper.Dwerp. a mere accounting error. uh huh.
“I personally failed to project the cost in terms of my own integrity and pastoral credibility with the people of God of north and central Georgia,” the archbishop said.
“I failed to consider the impact on the families throughout the archdiocese who, though struggling to pay their mortgages, utilities, tuition and other bills, faithfully respond year after year to my pleas to assist with funding our ministries and services.”
FROM THE CHURCH OF INEFFABLE STUPIDITY:
It seems as though Gregory's chance at running Chicago, the richest archdiocese in the US (it remains, by far, the largest landowner in Illinois, and owns much of the land upon which many of Chicago's famed Loop exists) is dead in the water.
Chicago, at least for the short-term future is run by Cardinal Francis George. His chemo treatments have restarted, and travel, even by Papal invite, is now impossible. George had been selected and appointed by John Paul, so to miss JP2's ascension thru heavenly grate strongly suggests that George's health is truly poor. Video of him yesterday showed him barely able to walk.
That is too bad. Despite a horrific run-in with the 2002 layperson committee, National Review Board of the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops, that almost caused its destruction, George admittedly worked hard to correct the wrongs of his people and cooperated with authorities when necessary. For those interested, the first chair, Frank Keating (former Oklahoma Governor) resigned in disgust after complaining about constant stonewalling by the church, including hidden documents, lies, deceit, and moving of priests just before their depositions. He compared them unfavorably with La Cosa Nostra. Supreme Court Justice (Illinois) Anne Burke took over, and eventually came up with a number of strong recommendations and findings. (she herself is a Dame of Malta, a conservative catholic women's organization, and a devout practitioner) Despite all these roadblocks, the Review Board did some heavy lifting. And for his cooperation and support, George is to be appreciated, no matter how long in coming his cooperation might have been.
Eventually, George did more good than bad, which is saying something. He also worked hard on inter-faith relations, which went a long way to prevent violence. Unlike too many of his fellow JPII appointees, George will be missed. Apparently, all too soon.
Which brings us to today's miscreant of shame, John Myers. (Archbishop, Bastard, Cad, New Jersey)
The Archbishop has been infamous before, mainly for rehiring sexual predators, and putting them in charge of kids, both in Peoria and Newark. But it has been his closing of schools, while investing an additional $500,000 in building a 3 story addition (elevator and swimming pool included) ((excuse me, he has a pool outside. this is an indoor spa and exercise pool)) to his existing retirement mansion, that caught the eye of more than a few of the faithful.
For all the faux or real remorse shown by Gregory, Myers has shown nun. er, none. His spokepeople refuse to answer questions about Mansiongate and Myers simply ignores his questioners, if they are lucky enough to see him in public.
Apparently, his arrogant close-lipped response to a predictable outrage has done little to quiet the sheeple. Reportedly, many have taken to writing Rome directly, although the chances of Frank actually getting to see any of these letters is minimal. The Vatican Burro-cracy is nothing if not stubborn, and Myers is still close to many of the worst scoundrels within it. Much like the unfortunate protective bubble that exists around President Obama (No, he cannot see your personal letters, no matter how heartfelt it was, nor how well crafted you made it), today's Pope has to make an affirmative effort to grab correspondence before his "protectors" grab it and deal with it with a lovely form letter.
Apparently, more than a thousand parishioners signed a petition protesting Mansiongate, and plan to hand it to Myers during Easter Mass next sunday.
Two problems with that. Security forces will stop the petition holders before they enter the church, and it is highly unlikely that Myers will attend, despite this being the most impotent holiday in the Roman Catholic list of make believe. Handing the pile of petitions to Myers is a near-impossibility. That said, I STILL don't get why rabbits shit chocolate eggs, despite 14 years of yute-ful catholic washing of my brain. Maybe something about 6 more weeks of winter?
Having followed his tawdry story since Myers laid waste to Peoria, I read that one group of enterprising petition organizers were aware of those two potential problems, so they made copies of at least some of the petitions, and forwarded said copies to Roma, Italia.
Pope Francis has repeated his message of poverty and service many times, even often enough for the most willfully deaf and blind bishops of Bling to get the message. A petition like this will probably make its way thru the burro, meet the 'cracy head on, and at least rumor of it will reach the Pope's ears. In other words, Francis will know, he will act quietly, and if ignored, watch the same fate to befall Myers, that befell some of the more criminal elements of the Vatican Bank.
Francis has all the makings of a populist pope. That means that he listens as well as he orates. He learns from his followers, while trying to pierce the veil of darkness that has covered the crimes and the shame that has been the Vatican for so many years. Make no mistake, he still holds many positions that cannot be reconciled with modern society, and some of his positions are maddeningly frustrating and anger-inducing, but comparing him to the Rat or JPII, there is no contest. I just hope he doesn't suffer the fate of JP1. After all, 33 days in office is hardly enough to make a dent. Luckily, Francis still refuses to actually live within the papal apartment and he continues to refuse the most opulent of other papal trappings, so assassination might be a tad more difficult.
May everyone enjoy their chocolate bunny balls this week. Those poor rabbits.