WASHINGTON (ChurchMilitant.com) - After dismissing an employee who supported building a wall on the southern border, the U.S. bishops have hired a former staffer of a disgraced cardinal.
Judy Keane was the public affairs director for the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops (USCCB), but in July, a Washington Post article shed light on Keane's conservative politics. On her Twitter account, Keane had shown support for President Donald Trump and criticism of Democrat lawmakers like Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (D-N.Y.).
Following backlash from liberal-leaning Catholics and other leftists, Keane was put on leave.
This week, USCCB Chief Communications Officer James Rogers told The Washington Post that Keane "will not be returning to her duties at the USCCB so that she may pursue new professional opportunities."
The person chosen to replace Keane is Chieko Noguchi. For eight years, she worked as a spokeswoman for the now-disgraced Cdl. Donald Wuerl, formerly head of the Washington, D.C. archdiocese.
Pope Francis accepted Cdl. Wuerl's resignation last October amid scandals related to clerical sex abuse cover-ups. His successor as head of the D.C. archdiocese, Abp. Wilton Gregory, was installed this May.
The USCCB announced Noguchi's hiring in a statement Thursday, noting, "Ms. Noguchi spent the last ten years with the Archdiocese of Washington, serving as director of media and public relations since 2011."
The statement mentions that she once worked for then-Speaker of the House Newt Gingrich (R-Ga.).
Catholic journalist George Neumayr had multiple run-ins with Noguchi over the years in connection to his efforts of reporting on Cdl. Wuerl.
In comments to Church Militant, Neumayr opined, "Noguchi was a paid liar for Donald Wuerl."
He went on to claim, "She made, I was told by a source with access to her salary details, at least $182,000 to defend his lies."
Using a nickname for Cdl. Wuerl, Neumayr said, "Could it be any more obvious that the don of the gay mafia still runs the show? What a disgrace and embarrassment for all the weaklings who cower before the Gay Mafia."
Cardinal Wuerl resigned in disgrace last October due to uproar over his record on handling clerical sex abuse allegations.
But even after his resignation, Wuerl stayed on-board for some seven months as apostolic administrator — a type of interim leader for the archdiocese — until his successor was selected and installed.
One cause of the uproar against Cdl. Wuerl was the August 2018 Pennsylvania grand jury report, which included an allegation that Cdl. Wuerl, back when he was bishop of the Pittsburgh diocese, gave hush-money to a homosexually abusive priest who was part of a gay child porn ring.
That priest, Fr. George Zirwas, received money from Wuerl in exchange for keeping silent about other priests' sex crimes.
Zirwas spent the final years of his life in Cuba, apparently living a homosexual lifestyle.
After the bombshell abuse allegations surfaced last summer against Theodore McCarrick — then the archbishop emeritus of Washington, D.C., but now a laicized ex-cardinal — there was evidence that Cdl. Wuerl knew about McCarrick's homosexual predation.
Cardinal Wuerl claimed he did not know of any abuse allegations against McCarrick; but the facts showed otherwise.
In January this year, one of McCarrick's accusers came forward with evidence that Cdl. Wuerl, in his days as bishop of Pittsburgh, received an abuse allegation naming McCarrick and relayed the allegation to the papal nuncio.
This revelation added greater credibility to Abp. Carlo Maria Viganò's August 2018 bombshell testimony, seemingly confirming what the whistleblower prelate had written about Wuerl.
In the August testimony, Viganò stated that "the cardinal lies shamelessly" whenever he claims to know nothing about abuse allegations against McCarrick.