|I can't help but wonder how many of these seminarians will carry on in the long 'tradition' of mentoring. Not all of them will have the very subjective criteria that seems to attract a mentor.
There have been a lot of loose ends floating around in my head that have bothered me lately. I felt as if there was some big connection amongst all those threads that I was just missing completely. Two of those threads were Pope Benedict's need to conflate gay marriage with what ever ailed society and his promotion of Georg Ganswein to Archbishop with the additional title of Prefect of the Pontifical Household. This is in addition to his first secretary duties. Georg now has a lot of power.
I've written in the past that one of the problems with the clerical system is this form of 'mentoring'. That is when an older cleric higher up the food chain takes on a younger man and keeps him at hand as they move up the ladder together. On his website Richard Sipe makes the point the younger man is usually very good looking and selected for those reasons. It has proven to be the most secure way to procure personal advancement. This is not to say that these relationships all involve a sexual content because they don't. Many of them are more akin to father/son as I'm sure the one between Pope Benedict and Ganswein actually is. I'm am sure of that for a number of reasons, not the least of which is if I personally were going to pick a son to mentor, I certainly wouldn't have rejected Georg Ganswein. Nothing subjective in that. LOL
Unfortunately there are too many of these relationships which do come with sexual activity. Sipe uses Cardinal McCarrick as one case study. In this case there were known and proven accusations against McCarrick which didn't preclude 'Uncle Ted's' advancement up the curial ladder. This was similar to the treatment meted out to Cardinal Groer and Maciel Marciel whose known penchant for sexually grooming seminarians was ignored by both Cardinal Ratzinger and JPII. That is, until the outcry was such it could no longer be ignored. For whatever reason, McCarrick, like a host of other bishops, has been immune from any sanctions. One of those others is San Diego's Bishop Robert Brom. It was in reading his story on Sipe's website that some threads began to form a pattern and that pattern points to very powerful American cardinals doing many questionable things in order to keep a lid on this entire system of 'grooming and mentoring'. What makes it even more interesting is that many of these players are actively involved in all the gay bashing.
For instance, AB Sal Cordileone served as Brom's secretary, tribunal judge and adjunct judicial vicar. He received his episcopal consecration from Brom who was assisted by the then Archbishop Raymond Burke. Cordileone then served as an Auxiliary in San Diego before moving to Oakland and now San Francisco. Technically AB Sal has surpassed his mentor, but Sal only has an official DUI on his record while his mentor has a host of issues on his.
As Cordileone demonstrated in the Prop 8 campaign these men are willing to fight dirty. His mentor doesn't play nice either. Brom has had a priest adversary laicized for what the priest claims were phoney charges and for which he could never defend himself with the CDF--a CDF then under Cardinal Ratzinger. This story is part of a series of articles Richard Sipe has in his report on Brom. Maybe more interesting is that Brom has also put a priest convicted of a sexual abuse charge with a young adult woman back into ministry within months of his conviction. Then Brom, along with Burke, are reputed to be the main reason the University of San Diego's president Mary Lyons was forced into the untenable position of revoking the fellowship of British theologian Tina Beattie for Beattie's mild statement endorsing civil gay marriage. A move which resulted in the University's faculty senate voting to rebuke her.
I just can't help but wonder why heterosexual activity, even criminal heterosexual activity, is shrugged off, but anything remotely gay is squashed pronto. The more I looked into the circle of priests Brom was connected with the more mind numbing it all became. Too many of them were accused, like Brom, of sexual activity with seminarians or young boys. The connections went from Springfield IL, to Winona MN, to San Diego CA, and involved multiple American Cardinals and bishops, progressives as well as conservatives. Too many then turn out to be overt gay bashers.
It all makes me wonder how long these guys, including the ones in Rome, think this strategy of gay bashing to mask gay activity is going to last? I have no doubt they are all thankful that Pope Benedict is exactly where he is because the CDF under Ratzinger pursued none of these offenders and he hasn't while in office as pope. Which leads me to wonder if it isn't somehow the presence of Georg himself that stops him from acting on Bishops like Brom or Cardinals like McCarrick. In any case, this whole closed 'mentoring' system needs to go. Anytime an organization promotes through this kind of subjective mentoring process it's lethal for the health of the organization. In the case of the Church in the West, it's just another loop in the noose around the neck of Holy 'Mother' Church.