Have you ever seen such overt machinations by Catholic prelates?

Catholic News Agency reports:

Cardinal Blase Cupich of Chicago and Cardinal Donald Wuerl of Washington collaborated extensively on a recently proposed policy for handling abuse allegations against bishops, CNA has learned.

Cupich submitted the plan Tuesday to leaders of the U.S. bishops’ conference, proffering it as an alternative to a proposal that had been devised by conference officials and staffers.

The conference’s proposed plan would have established an independent lay-led commission to investigate allegations against bishops. The Cupich-Wuerl plan would instead send allegations against bishops to be investigated by their metropolitan archbishops, along with archdiocesan review boards. Metropolitans themselves would be investigated by their senior suffragan bishops.

The two machinators want bishops vetting bishops. What about lay people?

Sources in Rome and Washington, DC told CNA that Wuerl and Cupich worked together on their alternative plan for weeks, and presented it to the Vatican’s Congregation for Bishops before the U.S. bishops’ conference assembly in Baltimore. Cupich and Wuerl are both members of Congregation for Bishops.

Appointed by Pope Francis to this cabinet bureau that vets new appointees as bishops whenever openings arise.

Their minority position was announced as apparent blindsiding of the majority after the body as a while was told to hold off on the proposal at hand, Cupich and Wuerl being the pope’s men on the scene. (Cupich ran for bishops’ president last election, got a major turn-down, now operates as a sort of Chuck Schumer in clerical garb.

The Cupich-Wuerl plan was submitted to the U.S. bishops even after a Vatican directive was issued Monday barring U.S. bishops from voting on any abuse-related measures. The Vatican suspended USCCB [U.S. Conference of Catholic bishops] policy-making on sexual abuse until after a February meeting involving the heads of bishops’ conferences from around the world.

Where the pope will have the upper hand.

An official at the Congregation for Bishops [in Rome] told CNA on Thursday that the substance of the plan presented by Cupich at the Baltimore meeting is known in the congregation as “Wuerl’s plan.” The official would not confirm whether the congregation had received an advance copy of the document.

The two have been at it a while:

Senior chancery officials in Washington described the plan presented Tuesday as a collaborative effort by the cardinals, telling CNA that Wuerl and Cupich first informed the Congregation for Bishops several weeks ago about their idea for the “metropolitan model” [a
kind of Russian-doll situation, little bishops, big bishops,
biggest bishops, the latter being a whole state, for instance] to handle complaints against a bishop, and suggested they had continued to discuss the plan with Congregation officials since that time.

“It was a mutual effort,” one Archdiocese of Washington official told CNA.

It was the American plan, apparently meant to keep power where it belongs.

More to come, surely, of this lesson in how Rome speaks and bishops listen. Or else.

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  • Margaret  On 11/17/2018 at 8:52 AM

    If this is our church, I’m beginning to think it was a “con” all along. This from a daily communicant. No wonder ex-Catholics are the largest denomination in the US.


    • Jim Bowman  On 11/17/2018 at 10:08 AM

      My cousin, the late David Bowman SJ, read through Pastor’s /History of the Popes/ to inure him to whatever happened, a sort of vaccination against despair as he was to pursue his work as a licensed theologian — Rome degree, etc. I never did, but I got the idea: You think this is bad? Well let me tell you . . .  Take this away, it’s a human institution with a divinely bestowed trademark. Francis et al. give us a painful look at its checkered past.


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