The Catholic Mafia

Just when you think that a bishop in the Catholic Church has done the right thing by stating unequivocally that he will release the names of priests and bishops involved in abuse cases, the bishop cowers.  This latest case involves the Rev. Michael Barber, S.J., Bishop of the Diocese of Oakland, California.

Barber announced on October 8, 2018, that the diocese would publish the list of names within 45 days, or to be specific, on November 22, 2018.  November 22 came and went, and the names were not released.  On Sunday, November 25, the New Year’s Eve so-to-speak of the Catholic Calendar, the San Francisco Chronicle reported that the Diocese of Oakland issued a statement delaying the release of names until after the first of the year. Why?  Who got to Barber and told him to delay?

My guess, the Catholic Mafia.  Think about it…you have the Godfather, the Boss of all Bosses; then you have the Underboss or Lieutenant; then there is the consigliere, who is not officially part of the hierarchy of the Mafia, but he is very powerful in the organization.  Then you have the Capo, the Captain of the crew.  Let us not forget the attorneys who defend these scumbags.

With an understanding of the hierarchy of the Mafia, here are some names to consider:  Pope Benedict XVI is the Godfather who according to a December issue of the Vanity Fair, lives is a remodeled monastery he remodeled after throwing out a group of nuns and spending $45 million to renovate.  Cardinal Daniel DiNardo, current Archbishop of Galveston-Houston and president of the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops, is the Underboss or Lieutenant, based in the United States.  Although DiNardo has also been one of the most vocal critics of the church’s handling of its sex abuse scandal, he is accused of protecting two priests who are known child abuses Rev. Manuel La Rosa-Lopez, a priest whom DiNardo promoted, was arrested for allegedly molesting two children this past summer and Rev. John Keller whom DiNardo allowed continuing to preside over one of the largest Catholic churches in Houston despite having molested John LaBonte when he was 16 years old.  CBS News reported that in 2002 LaBonte spoke out about being molested by Keller who acknowledge in a letter from the archdiocese he held “[LaBonte] in a manner inappropriate for a priest,” but “[denied] any sexual intent.” Ultimately, the church “could not conclude that” what happened “constituted sexual abuse.”  Keller remains the pastor at Prince of Peace Catholic Church in Houston, Texas.

The Rev. Salvatore Cordileone, currently the Archbishop of San Francisco, and the wannabe Cardinal is the Capo, the Captain.  Appointed by Benedict XVI, Cordileone was the architect of Proposition 8 which passed in 2008 defining the marriage is between a man and a woman.  In 2010, however, the law was ruled unconstitutional, and same-sex marriage continues to this day.  In 2014, Cordileone, Chair of the U.S. bishops’ Subcommittee for the Promotion and Defense of Marriage, took part as a featured speaker at the June 2014 March for Marriage in Washington, D.C.  Critics of Cordileone baled the gathering as anti-same-sex marriage and defamatory of the LGBT community.

There is Cardinal William Levada, former Archbishop of Portland and San Francisco, and Prefect emeritus for the Congregation for the Doctrine of the faith.  Since Levada is retired and not in the day to day operation, he is the consigliere.  As Archbishop of San Francisco, Levada found a way of implementing gay rights issues with employees of Catholic organizations such as Catholic Charities and he publicly opposed same-sex marriages and while instructing priests to seek the guidance of bishops to determine whether a Catholic politician who supports abortion rights should be denied communion.  Levada was Archbishop of Portland from 1986 to 1995.  In 1992, Levada removed the Rev. Joseph Baccellieri after learning about 20-year-old complaints involving teenage boys.  Two years later, Levada allowed Baccellieri to return on a limited basis under close supervision.  The problem for Levada is that he never told the parishioners he brought back Baccellieri.  Ultimately, the Portland archdiocese settled its sex-abuse lawsuits for more than $50 million in 2007, which resulted in the Diocese becoming the first Roman Catholic diocese in the nation to declare bankruptcy.

The attorney for the Archdiocese of San Francisco is Larry Jannuzzi who is employed by the Archdiocese and by Weintraub Tobin.  Jannuzzi reminds me of the character portrayed in the movie Untouchables; someone who hides behind the scarlet colored robe and yes socks, of the Archbishop.

Extortion money is the last item to associate the mafia with the Catholic Church.  It is well worth mentioning because the Bishop’s Annual Appeal is a perfect metaphor for the collection of monies from each Church.  It is extorted money because if a parish church does not reach its revenue goal, (arch)diocesan officials will mandate parish or school programs be abolished and the money allocated for that particular program be given to the Annual Appeal fund.  It is despicable to think that parishes and schools in poor neighborhoods get their programs removed and lose the money allocated for these services, such as providing education for the RCIA (Rites of Christian Initiation for Adults) program, confirmation classes for teenagers, or any other educational program.

We now have a choice and the question is do we want to be part of the law enforcement group that concentrates on organized crime?  Do we want to take on the Catholic mafia? Do we have the resources in terms of having enough people to stand up to against the Catholic mafia?  I will take my lead from Pope Francis who on September 18, 2018, told the Mafia in their own backyard in Palermo “You cannot believe in God and be mafosi.”

DiNardo, Levada, Cordileone, if you are listening, “You cannot believe in God and be mafosi.”


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