At far-left-leaning Commonweal, long-time Rome-based writer Robert Mickens has a new insinuation piece.
Context: To review Mickens a bit, he dislikes Benedict XVI so much that, in social media, he rooted for his death, which got him fired from the ultra-liberal UK weekly The Tablet. HERE. He is out of the so-called “closet”. HERE He is terrified of the new generation of priests, who have Papa Wojtyla and Ratzinger in their marrow. HERE He thinks that the laity should elect bishops. HERE
When you read Micken’s musings, you need to park your logic and door and also read for what he leaves out.
In the latest Commonweal piece he strives once more to smear Benedict XVI. Here’s how he does that. This is distasteful, but these are the problems arising in Rome and they are the coinage in which the catholic Left peddles their wares.
Then there’s the case of at least two priest-officials in the Roman Curia who were recently reported to be engaging in scandalous homosexual behavior, [scandalous … is there any other kind?] a perennial dark side of clerical life in the Eternal City.
One was denounced for “cruising” St. Peter’s Square in search of sex with young men. The culprit is said to be a member of an important religious order and an archbishop in a major Vatican office. [NB] There are only five such people that fit the description: two are Jesuits, another two are Dominicans, and one is a Legionary of Christ. [The problem here is that this is unsubstantiated rumor.]
The other cleric reportedly caught in a gay sex scandal has been identified as a monsignor who serves as personal secretary to one of Pope Francis’s most important curia allies. The incident involving this priest supposedly included the use of cocaine. Some “journalists” have embellished their accounts of this sordid tale with sensationalized and factually erroneous details, including the assertion that the said cardinal knew (or should have known) what naughty business his secretary was up to. [There are variants in the reporting but it is clear that it did happen. Vatican Gendarmes were involved. The priest in question was institutionalized. It has been substantiated.]
Vatican employees and Church commentators who are not especially keen on Papa Francesco have seized upon this series of “bad news” and have tried to throw it like mud at the pope. But, most likely, it won’t stick.
First of all, the religious-archbishop accused of cruising for gay sex and the cardinal who allegedly turned a blind eye to his priest-secretary’s drug-fuelled sexcapades were both appointed by Benedict XVI. So you can’t blame Bergoglio for showing bad judgment in personnel matters, at least not these appointments.
This is a piece of nasty, to be sure. But, horrid as it is, let’s pull it apart and get some daylight on it.
Note that Mickens is framing this in terms of people who don’t like Pope Francis, hence. Mickens is against how they “throw mud” at the Pope he favors.
He is guilty of the same unfair mud throwing.
To whom is Mickens referring? Who are these “five” Archbishops who are religious?
“two are Jesuits”… that means, Ladaria Ferrer, until recently Secretary of the CDF and now Prefect or Vasil, Secretary at the Congregation for the Oriental Churches.
“two are Dominicans”… that means, DiNoia, also at the CDF, or Bruguès, the Vatican Archivist and Librarian.
“one is a Legionary of Christ”… that means Secretary of the Pontifical Council for Promoting Christian Unity, though he is a Bishop.
All of these men were appointed by Pope Benedict… get it? HUH?!? Get it? That’s the mud.
However, pace Mickens, there are not only five Archbishops in the Curia who are religious.
There is also the conspicuous Archbishop José Rodriguez Carballo, O.F.M., Secretary of the Congregation for Institutes of Consecrated Life and Societies of Apostolic Life, clearly one of the more important dicasteries of the Holy See.
Why would Mickens – purposely – leave him out? Someone as experienced in Rome as Mickens doesn’t usually make these mistakes.
Rodriguez Carballo was appointed to his position by Pope Francis in 2013. He wasn’t just some invisible Spanish Franciscan before his appointment. He was the Minister General of the Order of Friars Minor, one of the three major families of Franciscans. He was known.
Why would Mickens leave him out? Was it just a lapse? I don’t think so. Mickens is almost always wrong about everything, but he knows who is in the Roman Curia.
[UPDATE: There’s also Archbishop Savio Hon Tai-Fai, S.D.B., (Salesian) Secretary of the Congregation for the Evangelization of Peoples.]
Let’s get something clear. We shouldn’t smear people, especially highly placed pastors of the Church – to the delight of the Devil and Hell – with mere rumors especially unsubstantiated rumors of that disgusting nature. So, it is especially distasteful that Mickens should traffic in this sort of thing.
Finally, what Mickens is peddling about curial Archbishops is from an unsubstantiated blogger and no eyewitnesses to such “cruising” have been identified. No one has been detained or charged with anything. On the other hand, the “cocaine party thing” and Card. Coccopalmerio’s (a favorite of Mickens) secretary is substantiated.
What Mickens did was doubly crafty, and that had to be pointed out.
The moderation queue is ON.