We Won—Now Get Lost!
Weeks after Bill Brady was certified as the Republican nominee for governor, most of his opponents and key Republican operatives who were for other candidates haven’t heard from him: no reaching out, no contact, no nothing. I’m talking about my Dillard colleagues, my Proft colleagues, my Andrzejewski colleagues, McKenna colleagues, and some of my Jim Ryan colleagues (those, that is, who want a Republican in the governor’s office). I’m talking about savvy campaign leaders who would be very useful to Brady to help him win.
“The ruling motive seems to be,” one longtime strategist said to me the other day, “we won—now screw you! Get lost!” These weren’t exactly the terms they used but will have to suffice.
“No, that’s not right; that’s not their attitude,” said another strategist who hasn’t been contacted either. “You have to remember that this guy has never had a winning statewide campaign before. Just he and his brothers in McLean county. He doesn’t know that the pro-forma thing to do is for the winner to reach out. Since he’s never been a statewide winner before, it’s all new. Evidently nobody told him to do this.”
“I agree with both of you,” said a third. “But I will add that these two polls that show him ahead of Quinn have made him complacent. Polls are ephemeral things. Put what you two have said together…the ‘tough bananas’ part; You weren’t for me from the beginning”…the devastating shock that he won the nomination which he wasn’t prepared for…and the two polls showing him ahead certifies in the Brady people’s minds that they don’t need anybody else.”
If he can’t or won’t reach out, is he’s smart enough to win? Maybe this is the dawn of a new day in politics where the winner instead of being magnanimous sulks in his tent dissing those who hadn’t been with him on the first day. If so, this is a new day that hasn’t been seen before.
Not that I was planning to give bucks or handbill train stations for Bill—but I do have this blog, have something to say about The Chicago Daily Observer and host a program on WLS-AM. No sweat if I’m not welcome. I’ve been on the wrong side of governors beginning with Big Jimbo and proceeding through Edgar, George Ryan, Blago and Pander Bear… but now that Republicans have a chance to win, I hate to see a campaign fizzle because of inexperience and non-adult attitudes…believing that the losers are expected to trot around the ring and spread rose petals before the reviewing stand of the garland-bedecked winner in humiliation ala the old Roman Games.
Culpable Papal Inaction on Pedophiles.
I’m not going to try to defend Benedict XVI for following the standard faux psychological pop nostrums concerning pedophile priests while he was Bishop of Munich from 1977-81 all the way through his tenure as prefect of the Vatican office that dealt with such cases…and who reportedly agreed to shoving scandal under the rug in those days until he was elevated in 2005. That’s because there is no defense.
Nor am I going to try to exculpate John Paul II for the same reason. He has made the first leg to canonization and was elevated to Venerable…but I hope the progress stops there. It was always a bad mistake to try to quickly canonize any immediately preceding popular pope. With the Vatican curia the way it is and will evidently always be it starts a droll cynical precedent. Every pontiff will expect his successor to do the honors. The process with John Paul II should be put on indefinite hold—probably until all of us are dead…and after that maybe two centuries in the future. After all, if he’s in heaven already, it’s a formality: if he isn’t, it’s a charade. What’s the hurry anyhow? The curia’s pushing it? Just what I thought.
The mistake made by John Paul II and tragically by his successor was this: Believing modern liberal psychiatric theory that homosexuality is some kind of innate instinct one’s born with and an endemic part of nature. It leads to the conclusion by many that homosexual practice is justified by nature, that homosexual relations are, oh, within a sincere communion of life and love that is similar to marriage—and the assumption is that homosexual persons cannot endure a solitary life—a concept that has led to what we know now as the Lavender Priesthood…from which child sexual abuse inevitably flows.
I don’t say John Paul II bought into this but that the fallacious psychiatric counseling of his time…and our time…has seeped into the Vatican as it has elsewhere in our culture spurring recklessly false therapeutic counseling and is still widespread. It is still fashionable psychological practice in some quarters to deny that homosexuality leads to child abuse and that heterosexuals have child abuse proclivities as well. And out of this welter of embarrassment comes the belief with some that celibacy itself made this happen. Yeah, right! Not remotely so.
Understand, celibacy is not required by the nature of the priesthood itself. For centuries celibacy has reigned in the Western Church as priests and saints proclaim their determination to give themselves wholeheartedly to give themselves unreservedly as adhering to the fidelity of one spouse: that means presenting the Church of Christ as His spotless bride.
Quit Trying to Canonize the Last Pope.
I doubt JPII will ever be called “the Great”…despite the fact that he was many things…philosopher, theologian, teacher, world-famous communicator and diplomat who with Margaret Thatcher, Ronald Reagan and Lech Walesa joined to give Communism a final topple. Identical to Gregory the Great? Forget it. He fell down woefully on bishopric appointments and tolerated manifold reported laxities within the Church which caused grave scandal. He named bishops whose backgrounds were suspicious, even culpable and as such warrants major responsibility by failing to counter the grave pedophile and homosexual scandals threatening the Church. It is interesting that George Weigel whose authorized biography is very revelatory never delved into the bishopric appointments. He was and is a court biographer.
Ironically John Paul’s successor Benedict XVI began his papacy expressing contrition for the sins of pedophilia. Unfortunately thus far they have been exacerbated—not cleaned up. But he still has time. And his culpability includes continuance of the woefully ship-shod system for which he bears major responsibility.
By which I mean the respond mechanism in Rome to alerts of misfeasance and malfeasance coming from the faithful in the pews were and still are handled with the carelessness, ignorance and delay which in contrast makes the average post-office work force…in say Gary, Indiana… models of efficiency. It was John Paul II’s terminal administrative dilatory non-action and weakness—about which the pope never, ever faced…the same dilatory-ness exhibited by Benedict despite his remorse when he became pontiff.
The cycle of evasion and retreat, cowardice continues. When the heat got on, Bernard Cardinal Law of Boston, a good man in many ways but who bought into the fallacious psychiatry of homosexual child abuse by transferring pedophile miscreants to other parishes without telling them what they were, was spirited out of Boston in the middle of the night —to a nice sinecure in Rome where he presides today as titular bishop of a the Basilica di Santa Maria Maggiore. In civil society it’s called get out of town: the heat is on! Everybody cooperated on that one: a brother prelate was in dutch.
One of the key aides of John Paul II…a priest once high up in the Vatican pecking order…told me that when the recommendations for bishops came in from the United States, each had a dossier and were stacked up one upon another in alphabetical order—and the pope would invariably absently, pick the first dossier off the top of the stack. His appointments frankly looked like it for the most part.
Joseph Bernardin was one: John Paul made him archbishop of Chicago and later elevated him to Cardinal…a man about whom a dense fog of secrecy lies about the final disposition of his own sexual abuse law suit. We may never totally find out but the findings written by Paul Likoudis are revelatory.
What we know is that the Gay Men’s Choir sang him to his final ecclesial reward (take that for what it’s worth). A sacrilege of the first order. It’s a totally nondescript group looked on fondly by the media composed of those who form their camaraderie with fellows of their sexual orientation…at serious odds with Catholic theology that teaches the sexual nature of man is tied to the human faculty of procreation…that sexual morality are based on objective standards involving mutual self-giving and procreation in the context of true love.
It was regarded as a final thumb-to-the-nose brackish insulting rebuke in death imparted to the age-old traditions of the Church.
The Aptly Named Rembert Weakland.
Did it all start with John Paul II? Or Benedict XVI? Of course not: but it proceeded to a higher level of dilatory-ness with them.
Paul VI named Rembert Weakland archbishop of Milwaukee. As a longtime follower of Benedictine history stemming from the university I graduated from, I had long heard about Weakland who was Abbot Primate of the Benedictine Order…meaning he had been elected the top Benedictine in the world by monastic election that raised eyebrows at the time, reflecting to some the decadence of monasticism which has come to pass.
It didn’t take long when his name was recommended for bishop to Paul VI by…who else? Archbishop Jean Jadot , the most notorious modernist ever to hold the title of as Vatican papal nuncio in the United States, the one in charge of forwarding bishopric recommendations to Rome. At that time he intersected frequently with then Bishop Bernardin the full-time exec of USCCB who had turned the USCCB into the liberal-left advocacy group it continues to be now. Jadot’s picks were so disastrous when he died at age 99 last year, he still had not been promoted to Cardinal—and for good reason. Reason number one was Weakland. Number 2 Roger Mahony under probe for laxity of sexual pedophilia. The list goes on and on. Walter Sullivan of Richmond, Va., Matthew Clark of Rochester, N.Y., Howard Hubbard of Santa Fe, N.M., Archbishop Roberto Sanchez of Santa Fe who got caught up in an imbroglio there.
At Milwaukee, Weakland was a notable scandalously publicized dissident…opposing the papal encyclical Dominius Iesus which condemned relativism…but for living a double-life in a man-to-man love affair for which he continued without official or even unofficial opprobrium. He was helped by tacit complicity as the Vatican and an unmindful pope ignored his misdeeds. Complaints flooded the Vatican about his teaching, his style. Especially his wreck-ovation of the Cathedral which became a psychedelic monstrosity. People complained: no response.
All during this time it was rumor with substance as he continued to serve the archdiocese as prelate that he was freely violating his vow of clerical celibacy andmore than that: participated in the selfish indulgence of two persons of the same gender whose claim of loving each other excludes the love of children who cannot be conceived or born. When his lover held him up for blackmail, Weakland took $450,000 of archdiocesan money to pay him off. Then Weakland resigned as archbishop of his own free will. His last act was to commission a plaque to be held in the psychedelic cathedral he wrecked…a plaque showing the Virgin and Child with himself…Weakland…shown plainly as a bystander. Talk about supreme gall.
He was allowed to dedicate the plaque while his successor looked on. Why? It was reported that his successor, Archbishop Jerome Listecki, regarded generally as a good man, sadly held his head in both hands as the old man rattled on to a full congregation, prattling about his forthcoming book where he details his sexual orientation.
. Why was the disgraceful ceremony allowed to go on? Where was Rome? Where was the Pope, Benedict XVI to shut the ceremony down? Where was Listecki who could have quashed it? As an ordinary thief and embezzler, Weakland should be doing hard time …now…in a federal penitentiary. Wouldn’t that be meted out to an executive who pilfered his business and raped his stockholders?
In Chicago, every single person who played a role in the ordination or the convicted pedophile Fr. Daniel McCormack whose irregularities were known in the seminary…a case where crucial files were lost and/or removed… was promoted …starting with the rector of Mundelein who told a Sun-Times religion reporter he would gladly ordain McCormack again (get this: the reporter was let go because the archdiocesan p. r. shop wouldn’t return her calls…so the flaccid newspaper let her go: talk about clout! …Rev. Jerome Kicanas who was promoted to auxiliary bishop of Chicago, promoted again to bishop of Tucson, promoted again as first vice president with right of succession to Cardinal Francis George as president of the USCCB. The rudder of governance wobbles to and fro with no direction.
It is decidedly not to despair. The Church composed of earthen vessels is nevertheless decidedly holy—made so by her Founder. But we must remember that He was holy because He was God. The Church can be holy only because of its relationship and attachment to Him. Sin, misfeasance, malfeasance are emblematic of the human condition. What Christ gave us we still have: it can never be taken away.
Why do I stick with it despite the anger? When Christ asked Peter and the little flock: will you also leave? Peter answered for me: Lord where will we go? You have the answer to eternal life. Alone among the religions, Catholicism has the key to sanctifying grace through its sacraments without which salvation…and it’s vital for this 81 year old who’s getting to the end of the trail…is impossible.
If there is one thing that can’t be shrugged off cynically like the imperfections of vicars and bishops, it is the Eucharist. Disgust for the human condition aside, the Catholic faith is a network of beliefs that form a synthesis.
The formulae are still with us. Since earliest times, since the catacombs, the Catholic Church has survived all manner of human imperfections. The Church’s answer to these things is to insist that a life of perfection is as possible today as it ever was.
I am not sanguine for the future. We’re involved in a cesspool of secular…even Satanic…culture. Wealth, comfort have bred a materialistic relativism that has spawned these things.
But let’s cheer up. And pray. And pray.
I am tired now (it’s 11:35 pm). This will have to be enough for now.
*: St. Louise de Marilac [1591-1660]. As a wealthy widow, she founded the Sisters of Charity. She was educated by the nuns at Poissy, France. She married Anthony Le Gras; they had one son. Le Gras died 15 years later. She wanted to serve God but didn’t know how…until she met of all people Vincent DePaul who became her spiritual director. She organized women like herself. But DePaul recognized that some of the wealthy women were not suited to dealing with the very poor and ill…so he and Louise determined that the wealthy women were better suited to giving and raising money while Louise worked with the poor to organize them to provide sustenance and medical care. Louise’s Paris home in the Rue des Fosses-St, Victor became the founding center of what was to become the Sisters of Charity. Their distinctive habit, a grey wool tunic with starched white linen headdress was the usual dress of Breton peasant women of the 17th century.
She traveled all over France establishing her Sisters in orphanages, hospitals and other institutions. By the time of her death on March 15 the congregation had more than 40 houses in France. Pius XI canonized her in 1934 and John XXIII declared her patroness of social workers in 1960.