Steubenville Shake-Up

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by Bradley Eli, M.Div., Ma.Th.  •  ChurchMilitant.com  •  April 9, 2019   

Cdl. Wuerl's man behind scandal at Franciscan University

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A former staffer of Cdl. Donald Wuerl is still backing unrepentant professor Dr. Stephen Lewis, who not only assigned blasphemous and pornographic literature to his students at the Franciscan University of Steubenville but has subsequently defended his decision to do so.

Inside sources say Lewis, who is still an active professor at the university and retains much power behind the scenes, is supported by Chief Operating Officer William Gorman. Franciscan's outgoing president, Fr. Sean Sheridan, brought Gorman on reportedly to liberalize the university.

In November, George Neumayr reported, "A source connected to Wuerl's chancery had told me that Sheridan hired Gorman (in January 2018) to curry favor with Wuerl, then the chief bishop-maker for the United States from his seat on the Vatican Congregation for Bishops."

Neumayr quoted the source in his report: "Sheridan hired Gorman to liberalize the school because he wants Wuerl to get Pope Francis to name him a bishop," said this source. "Sheridan desperately wants to be a bishop and sees Steubenville as a conservative backwater that is beneath him."

Sheridan is now stepping down as Franciscan's president but he is leaving the defiant Lewis in place as an English professor and editor of Franciscan University Press. He's also leaving in place Wuerl's former aide, who Neumayr says was not only brought in to "liberalize the school" but also to "gradually eliminate its orthodox faculty."

Inside sources have confirmed that Sheridan himself is very supportive of Lewis while at the same time willing to crack down on orthodox members of the university's faculty.

After speaking with Franciscan's alumni, parents, students and faculty members about the Sheridan-Gorman axis to liberalize the university, Neumayr reports, "It became clear to me that Sheridan and Gorman had hatched their liberalizing plan on the assumption that the ostensible popularity of Francis' 'progressive' pontificate would protect them."

Watch the panel discuss the men behind the scandal at Franciscan University in The Download—Steubenville Shake-Up.

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