Mickens tries to pull a fast one as he attempts, again, to insult Pope Benedict

140325TabletMickensTweetAt 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.

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  1. JustaSinner says:

    Where are the Spanish Inquisitors when you need them. ” NOBODY expects the Spanish Inquisition! Our chief weapon is surprise…surprise and fear…fear and surprise…. Our two weapons are fear and surprise…and ruthless efficiency…. Our *three* weapons are fear, surprise, and ruthless efficiency…and an almost fanatical devotion to the Pope…. Our *four*…no… *Amongst* our weapons…. Amongst our weaponry…are such elements as fear, surprise…. I’ll come in again.”
    Tip o the Hat to Monty Python…

  2. Bishop Brian Farrell, LC is not actually an archbishop, but Titular Bishop of Abitinae.

    Are the Salesians a major order? They were certainly influential when Cardinal Bertone was Secretary of State. Archbishop Savio Hon Tai-Fai, S.D.B. is Secretary of the Congregation for the Evangelization of Peoples.

    [Good catch. Mickens left this one off his list, but I think for a different reason.]

    Fr. Z's Gold Star Award

  3. majuscule says:

    Mickens wrote: …who were recently reported to be engaging in scandalous homosexual behavior…

    As if there is some homosexual behavior that is not? I wish he would clarify…

  4. Grumpy Beggar says:

    Gee. . . all that because Mickens appears to prefer Pope Francis ?
    Maybe he became so involved dissing Pope Benedict XVI and Pope John-Paul II that he missed Pope Francis’ memo on the poison of gossip. Here are several snippets from CNA’s Gossip is Poisonous, Insists Pope.

    “It’s so rotten, gossip. At the beginning, it seems to be something enjoyable and fun, like a piece of candy. But at the end, it fills the heart with bitterness and also poisons us, Pope Francis said Feb. 16.

    I tell you the truth, he preached to the crowds filling St. Peter’s Square. I am convinced that if each one of us would purposely avoid gossip, at the end, we would become a saint! It’s a beautiful path!

    . . . Jesus offers the example of the fifth commandment, ‘do not kill,’ and goes on to add, ‘but I say to you, whoever is angry with his brother will be guilty before the court.’

    With this, Jesus reminds us that even words can kill! explained the Pope. When it is said that someone has the ‘tongue of a serpent,’ what does it mean? That his words kill.”

  5. LeeF says:

    Once again we see cafeteria catholics pick and choose Pope Francis too. They don’t accept what he says about women’s ordination, the existence of the devil and hell, or even the evils of gossip. And it should be clear that who really needs re-shuffling is the Vatican’s own “deep state”, i.e. the permanent class of clerics and laity, mostly Italian, who works in Rome. That is where the real scandals seem to start, and they are the ones who cover up episcopal scandalous behavior. And Minkins’ piece seems to indicate that some of those in the Vatican “deep state” are running scared because apparently Francis won’t put up with their behavior when it becomes known, at least publicly.

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