January 16, 2020

The Mystery of Bishop Inquity

To continue the previous post, another comment by the priest I heard give a talk said this concerning a former bishop of Columbus:
"When I realized what actually did go on, my greatest shock was that it didn’t so horrify the bishops that they didn’t stop it. There was a priest in Mount Vernon [Ohio] who was very bad. And everybody knew it. And Bishop Herrmann wouldn’t move him. And finally the farmers from Knox County came and told Herrmann: 'either you move him or we shoot him'. So he moved him to Newark [Ohio].
I mean, it’s incomprehensible how that happens. But again the bishops themselves were part of this bizarre alteration. Any bishop who deeply believed in Jesus Christ and the mission of the Church could have never done that. It’s hard to say, and you'd ask 'are you accusing them of not believing?' No, I’m accusing them of not believing what they should believe."
So like with the post on McCarrick and Bernardin I tried to figure out what the heck went on with Herrmann. How could a priest born so deep in the pre-Vatican II world go so astray (I say naively)?

He was born on the East Coast (Baltimore) and, just like with Bernardin and McCarrick, lost his father while still a toddler. He had to help his family during the Great Depression, working for an oil company for years and like both Bernardin and McCarrick had a late vocation.

According to the Columbus diocese website his nine years as bishop was highlighted by a reorganization of the Diocese, the implementation of community housing and food programs, and a spirituality program for priests begun by social justice Jesuits in 1973. This list of accomplishments seems to neatly encapsulates what the priest mentioned:
"The root cause of much of the problems in the church was created by influential Jesuits in the '60s and '70s who saw the Church’s mission as more one of social justice rather than one of transcendence...those who saw the Church as an NGO..."

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