Friends in high places

Friends in high places

Disturbing allegations are being made against Archbishop William Levada, prefect of the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith, about his tenure as archbishop of San Francisco, in San Francisco Weekly, an “alternative”, i.e. extreme liberal iconoclastic, magazine.

The magazine alleges that Levada knew of substantive charges of sex abuse made against a priest of the archdiocese, and not only did he not remove him from ministry, but he promoted him to chancellor. The priest, Fr. Gregory Ingels, was only removed from public ministry when the archdiocese learned that prosecutors were sniffing around him. Even then he was allowed to continue to work on the marriage tribunal.

Incredibly, he was also used as an expert by dioceses around the country on sex abuse policies and the handling of these cases and was even the canonical prosecutor in the case of laicizing an abuser priest.

I suppose it shouldn’t surprise me that Levada would have turned a blind eye to Ingels since he apparently has turned a blind eye to many goings on in his archdiocese, including those of his current chancellor, who I written about before as being an open supporter of dissent from the Church’s teaching on homosexuality.

So even though Ingels has been arraigned on criminal charges, he remains under the archdiocese’s protection, even if he’s not able to exercise unrestructed ministry. Why? Perhaps because it helps to have friends in high places:

At about the time Ingels was arraigned on criminal charges, Jenkins and other members of the review panel learned that he was living with former San Francisco Archbishop John R. Quinn at Quinn’s residence on the campus of St. Patrick’s Seminary in Menlo Park. Quinn moved to the century-old mansion on the seminary grounds after his unexpected retirement as archbishop in 1995. Ingels has been living with him in the elegant mission-style home, built as a summer residence for the late Archbishop Patrick William Riordan, since then, say persons who know the men.

It says a lot about how such men remained in ministry even after their misconduct became known to their superiors. And however much Archbishop Levada talks a good game, he let this go on with his knowledge of it.

Written by
Domenico Bettinelli
8 comments
  • Soon he will be in Rome with the power to help clean up the mess or to engineer its continuation.

    Not much cause for hope here.  Surely Benedict 16 was not ignorant of his record in SF.

  • As I said before, I think that Levada is there to run the the CDF burocrates; BXVI will be calling the shots.  Wait tell you see who gets picted to replace the good abp, that will be telling.

  • Why doesn’t Levada come clean about this? It makes him look like another snake in the grass and now promoted to the number 2 position in Rome.
    Pope BXVI doesn’t need this dirty laundry.  We’ve seen too many of these administrators choose silence over just action. 

  • Maybe this is God’s way of saying that Levada is not the right choice for CDF and let’s hope that Benedict will listen.

  • John Hearn said: “As I said before, I think that Levada is there to run the the CDF burocrates; BXVI will be calling the shots.” Let’s think of a frightening scenario: If Pope Benedict becomes ill/dies, God forbid it (but, a short papacy is not unheard of), ‘soon to be Cardinal’ Levada is in no.2 position to make vital decisions (in the case of the Pope’s illness – in the case of death, all curias are shut down except for Sec. of State) and Cd.Levada would conveniently appear to be a ‘papabile’ (as did one other CDF prefect we all know and love). I have had correspondents recently asking whom they should petition in Rome re certain Church problems/issues, as they will not waste time petitioning Archbp.Levada.  Reading the daily L’Osservatore Romano and the Vatican Information Services (VIS), Benedict XVI seems quite busy with his papal duties with little time to sufficiently engage in the brawls at the CDF. 

  • Levada may well be a good man dumped into a sewer—who determined that the only way to clean the sewer was to let the sewage flow out.

    Thus, we should all be VERY interested in what Levada’s Seminary looks like, as opposed to what he inherited.

    Note that Cdl. George, another excellent man, has had his share of trouble in reforming Chicago (albeit George has taken a few more steps than Levada apparently did.)  Similarly, Dolan of Milwaukee cannot seem to get “off the dime;” he, too, inherited what could charitably be called a smoking ruin.

    The contrast, of course, is the new Abp of Phoenix.  However, it remains to be seen whether HIS program works out in the 5-10 year run.

    Personally, I favor the Phoenix approach, or (if applicable) trial and execution of priest-heretics.

    But that doesn’t mean that it’s the BEST plan.  It’s merely the one I like the best.

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