Recently Cdl. Blase Cupich appointed Aux. Bp. Robert Casey to be the Chicago archdiocese's new vicar general. The archdiocesan publication announcing Casey's new position cited his prior work as the associate director of Casa Jesus in 1998 and then as director in 1999. It's shocking that the archdiocese highlights these prior assignments, as heading Casa Jesus is no honor whatsoever.
Cardinal Cupich quietly shuttered Casa Jesus in 2016, citing multiple reasons for the closure of this "house of formation."
Missing from his list of reasons was perhaps the most important reason for its closure: Its funneling of gay men from Latin America into the United States was in the process of being unmasked. Casa Jesus was established by Chicago's now deceased Cdl. Joseph Bernardin in 1987.
What facilitated the unmasking of the true purpose of this "house of formation" for young Latinos was the arrest of its director for possession of child pornography.
Father Octavio Munoz was arrested Sept. 21, 2016, though he had been removed from ministry by the archdiocese a full year before in August 2015.
As reported by Church Militant previously, the archdiocese hampered the Fr. Munoz investigation with the Chicago police and did not even follow its own established protocols for the protection of children.
This meddling resulted in a year passing between Father Munoz's actual removal from ministry in August 2015 and his arrest in September 2016.
One would think four years after Casa Jesus' infamous closure and demasking by the media that the archdiocese of Chicago would have scrubbed from Bp. Casey's list of accomplishments his years of experience running this "house of formation," which funneled gay young men from South America to dioceses in the United States to work as priests. But perhaps they think the average U.S. pew Catholic retains no memory of these scandalous events.
And as is commonplace in this fallen world in and in the Church, many are bumped up to a position of power, simply to keep them quiet and in control. Unlike prior vicars general for a large archdiocese like Chicago, Bp. Casey has no Licentiate in Canon Law to aide him in functioning well as the archdiocese's vicar general.
He does, however, have a record of being suspended for four weeks from priestly ministry in 2008 as reported by the Chicago Sun-Times on Sept. 14, 2018. The Sun-Times reported that in 2008, Fr. Casey was removed from ministry for a few weeks, but then reinstated after state authorities found the allegations were determined unfounded. Ironically, Casey's dubious suspension from ministry and his loss of faculties for a time was only publicized days before his episcopal consecration, which happened Sept. 19, 2018.
Bishop Casey must hold some real weight with the Church's hierarchy as after his suspension from ministry, he has been reinstated and even elevated to the level of the episcopacy. Whereas Fr. Frank Phillips, who was removed from ministry in Chicago in the spring of 2018 and also exonerated, still waits for Chicago's Cdl. Blase Cupich to reinstate him as pastor to St. John Cantius Parish. Having connections with the hierarchy's gay cabal must make all the difference.