The rumors are flying fast and furious and my contacts in Dallas tell me that a new bishop is going to be announced tomorrow. Bishop Charles Grahmann is well past his retirement date and the appointment will well received. Rumor has it that all the Dallas seminarians went out to dinner to celebrate!
Grahmann’s tenure has been marked by much scandal including the disastrous trial and civil lawsuit over the laicized priest Rudy Kos, who was sentenced to life in prison in 1998 for sexually abusing young men. The civil lawsuit in 1997 resulted in the largest single trial judgment against a diocese for sex abuse, more than $119 million for the victims and their lawyers. Grahmann’s testimony in the trial was a real lowpoint in the history of the Scandal because of how obviously self-serving and oblivious to the victims’ pain and the priest’s actions he appeared.
Later, Grahmann’s cathedral rector was accused of fondling grown men under the guise of giving a blessing. The fight over the rector was apparently the last straw for Grahmann’s then-coadjutor bishop, Joseph Galante. After the scandal over Kos, Galante was sent by Rome in 2000 to clean up Dallas and prepare to succeed Grahmann. Instead, in 2004, Galante was shuffled off to the Diocese of Camden, New Jersey, and Grahmann was allowed to stew in Dallas until his retirement.
(For a good summary of some of the failings of Grahmann’s tenure and the dispute between Grahmann and Galante, check out this article from the June 2003 Catholic World Report, written by Rod Dreher, entitled “Showdown in Dallas.”