Reports from sources in the diocese of Fort Worth are that Bp. Michael Olson fears his episcopal life is hanging by a thread. His fears are justified. According to videotaped testimony, Olson is an alcoholic homosexual who has spoken openly about wanting to torture one of his priests and kill him by encasing him in cement.
Normally, being homosexual would practically guarantee career advancement in the episcopate, but in this case, the combination of other factors is proving to be damning. A total of 1,500 letters — yes, you heard that right: one-thousand five-hundred letters — from laity are sitting in Rome demanding Olson be ousted.
There have been — count them — 10 civil or canonical lawsuits filed against him for a variety of reasons, ranging from verbal abuse to financial mismanagement to being, well, simply unfit for office.
He's insulted laity by calling them names — yelled at a group of 80-year-old ladies kneeling on the cement in front of a parish praying, asking that he not shut down their church.
And he actually had a letter from him read aloud at Masses defaming Texas Right to Life for its opposition to a hospital death panel directive in the Texas state legislature. Being the force behind the Texas Catholic Conference of Bishops on this particular issue, the directive he engineered was read aloud in Catholic parishes all over the state, which caused not a few unhappy confrontations with parishioners and priests after Masses. The response from priests was essentially, "we're just doing what we were told." It was Olson behind it, telling them what to do.
Olson also appears to have swept under the rug a case of priestly sexual involvement with a married woman, and taken it out on the priest who tried to blow the whistle on it. In that particular case, he was a longtime friend of the supposedly abusive priest.
Catholics in Fort Worth are openly saying that Olson is unfit for office and has to go, that he is unstable, prone to flying into rages, using exceedingly foul language and steamrolling over anyone who raises any kind of objection. In some instances he has actually spoken in extremely degrading tones about laity, insisting they are "merely sheep" and should shut up and obey him, and certainly never challenge him.
Church Militant has produced the first of what will be many special projects we are calling Spotlight, where we do an in-depth examination of all sorts of abuse, cover-up and scandal on the part of various bishops. It's part of our Action Arm effort, where inside sources in dioceses all over the country funnel information to us in the form of documents and testimony and we build the case. This first one is now available for viewing, reported by Christine Niles in a report we call "Unfit for Office," quoting the Catholics of Fort Worth.
The 53-year-old Olson has even been referred to as a "sociopath" by some exceedingly familiar with his actions and behavior. A secret survey taken of Fort Worth found that a large majority of those who responded want Olson gone. Clergy Church Militant are familiar with cast Olson's tenure as a kind of reign of terror, where priests are terrified of crossing him for fear of retribution.
Be it politics, personal encounters, cover-ups, unstable emotions, financial mismanagement, alcoholism or homosexuality — Olson appears to have lost any effective credibility in his continued governing of the diocese, and Fort Worth Catholics are hoping and praying the Vatican moves quickly and that they see the last of Michael Olson wearing a miter in their diocese.
We've attached a link to our Spotlight report and strongly urge you to click on it and view the details for yourself.