Mirror the life of Christ
To the Editor,
West Virginia’s Attorney General Patrick Morrisey set the bar at a new low last year in the debate challenging Manchin for his Senate seat. And when you think politics can’t sink much lower, Morrisey comes up with a “civil” suit mind you, not criminal, against the Wheeling-Charleston Diocese essentially on the basis of consumer protection! If Morrisey is serious about protecting consumers, why hasn’t he gone after telemarketers who for 20 years have been driving everyone crazy while ripping off the patriotic, the elderly, and the gullible?
In Parkersburg last week, Morrisey asked people to call in allegations so many times, it seemed a desperate attempt to substantiate a case filed on spurious, shaky grounds.
The sexual assault complaint filed against former bishop Bransfield, to date to my knowledge, is one — brought by a Charleston lawyer on behalf of a plaintiff surreptitiously named J.E. The filing alleges Bransfield was a binge drinker that sexually harrassed J.E. — his adult altar server/personal secretary of six years, and on one occasion while drunk, attempted to sexually assault him. I don’t understand how people who tolerate sexual harassment for years because of what they may lose, after the fact, claim victimhood when they smell a payday!
I don’t understand Catholic lawyers who go after their own church. Are there not plenty of other ambulance chasers to sift through the church’s garbage that Catholic lawyers have to join them at the trough? How does a person of conscience sue their own church?
The few bishops I have met in life were gracious, warm, and engaging people. Bransfield, on the other hand, seemed to have missed those lectures in the seminary, which was reinforced by reputation he had for the finer things in life. Over the years, his wasteful spending on his refined tastes stuck in the craw of enough of the laity that the outcry finally reached the Vatican. The sexual harassment investigation by the Vatican came after his resignation. However, Bransfield’s exquisite tastes, which underpinned his character flaws, were not worthy of a priest, let alone a bishop.
Christ came in poverty to show us the Truth and the Way to eternal life, as a celibate, itinerant Rabbi. He did not live in a mansion, travel in a chariot, have a maid, a butler, or a chef. He did not dine on fine China or use gold utensils. Nor did He bath in sumptuous luxury.
Pope Francis took the name of the man who historically mirrored the attributes of Christ most accurately. That is Pope Francis’ message to the church; that is not only for the laity, but more importantly, for its shepherds.