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When Church Militant broke the news over the weekend that the Vatican had ordered an investigation of Bp. Joseph Strickland of Tyler, Texas, the Catholic social media world exploded, as it should have.
What other response should there be?
The Texas bishop has piled up scorn and private disdain from many of his brother bishops. Now that private disdain has bubbled over into the realm of public disdain, as he is now being "gone after" because of his orthodoxy and willingness to announce it.
He has deservedly earned the nickname "America's Bishop" for his simple manner of clear, direct speaking. And, of course, the hierarchy, as it is currently (and temporarily, we might add) composed, can never tolerate clarity.
They wrap themselves in the mantle of "charity" publicly, while privately, many of these men are the most uncharitable, vindictive, nasty human beings you could ever encounter. They are political-minded animals who seek not the good of souls and the thriving of the Church, but their continued leeching off the institution whose beauty they have traded away for enormous sums of government largesse.
The U.S. bishops are drowning in hundreds of millions of dollars every year handed to them by their government counterparts under the guise once again of "charity," as in funding so-called social justice programs (translation — promoting Democratic Party agenda items).
In reality, those programs and the enormous funding they receive are the cover for keeping the machinery of Catholic, Inc., well-oiled. And in that environment, two things can never be allowed to happen: (1) orthodoxy being preached and (2) being a political conservative.
Strickland ticks both boxes, so little wonder he has drawn the eye of Sauron. A vocal daring Catholic political conservative who also has a miter — that simply cannot be allowed. There's too much at risk for Catholic, Inc.
One of the great ironies in all this is the two-man team sent from the Vatican to "investigate." And for the record, let's be very clear, it is an "investigation," despite the blatantly hypocritical pretense that it is an "apostolic visit." Puh-lease.
If you count Judas an Apostle, then I suppose.
The lead in the two-man team was retired bishop Gerald Kicanas, a man who we called "notorious" in our initial article over the weekend. We didn't get into it all then, but now we will.
Kicanas was rector of Mundelein Seminary in Chicago from 1984 to 1995, much of that time under the even more notorious Cdl. Joseph Bernardin. During his time as rector, Kicanas was made aware from multiple seminarians that another seminarian by the name of Daniel McCormack was sexually harassing them, drinking with them frequently and, after getting them drunk, trying to sexually assault them.
While he was in seminary and in Mexico, he sexually abused two boys. It was later revealed in criminal court proceedings that two seminarians reported those assaults to Kicanas, who did nothing. Just as he had done nothing when it came to the various and frequent complaints by Mundelein seminarians about McCormack trying stuff in the showers as well as when they were drinking.
Kicanas gave the green light to McCormack's ordination in 1994, and shortly after that, McCormack became one of the most notorious priest sex-abusers in the country, racking up 23 formal complaints (who knows how many did not come forward), serving prison time for molesting five boys, and costing the archdiocese $12 million in settlements in civil proceedings.
McCormack was eventually convicted as well as defrocked and is now being sued civilly by many victims. Kicanas knew all this ahead of time and still gave his blessing to McCormick's being ordained. When the info came out about McCormack once the criminal case was underway, he gave an interview to a local Chicago paper, which asked him point blank about how he greenlit the ordination with all the seminarians coming to him telling him about McCormack.
Kicanas' answer? Wait for it: "I was more concerned with his drinking." We kid you not. This is the man who Rome sent to be the lead investigator to lower the boom — politely, of course, we're sure – on Bp. Strickland.
And for the record, Kicanas, who had been the vice president of the USCCB, came within a handful of votes of actually becoming president.
It was only a last-minute public relations blitz by faithful Catholics back in 2009 that derailed his victory. That's how Cdl. Dolan became president: He was the compromise candidate, who, after his win, went on to tell assembled media that "there is no crisis in the Church." His elevation to the presidency of the USCCB was because of the crisis in the Church.
Scheming, lying politicians who have figured out how to get money from Washington, D.C., while sacrificing the Church — that's what we have. Nothing less. And the sooner that reality gets embraced, the sooner we can do something.
When Church Militant repeatedly says the Church is a dumpster fire right now, we know what we're talking about. But likewise, we need to expand beyond the Strickland news for a bit here and understand there is much more behind the scenes here than is being admitted or even reported.
What many, many people tell us here at Church Militant is we have the ability to connect the dots for them, to point out the intersection, the overlap, of so many areas (call it the "Venn diagram" of the Church's corruption).
A large part of the corruption happens because of the bishops' unofficial involvement in politics. They continually push for the agenda of the Democratic Party, point by point, but carefully sidestep the prickly situation of being actually officially political. Catholic, Inc., can't jeopardize that precious 501(c)(3) nonprofit tax status.
The truth is you will never meet a more political group in your life than these men. It is this that Strickland has run afoul of. But, of course, Strickland is still alive, unlike Ven. Bp. Sheen who, in death, has run into the exact same buzzsaw of the U.S. bishops jamming up his canonization for pretty much the same reasons: being a political conservative patriot-minded citizen and preaching solid Catholic orthodoxy.
These leaders, they don't care; they'll come after you, dead or alive.