Last week, we heard that a prominent monsignor in the Diocese of Altoona-Johnstown, PA, was under the threat of excommunication because he dared to defy the bishop by testifying against another priest on trial for sex abuse. Now we find out that all the priests of the diocese are under the same gag order.
In other words, Bishop Adamec is defying the new spirit of openness and transparency regarding clergy sex abuse and instead is threatening his priests with excommunication if they dare speak out about it, including reporting it to authorities. Not only is this in defiance of the Vatican-approved requirements of the national policy on sex abuse, it defies Christian morality and common sense. What could the bishop possibly be thinking?
During such highly public controversies as pro-abortion political candidates placing ads in diocese publications or being featured guests at diocese functions, Adamec has said publicly that he expects differences to be resolved privately and priests to be obedient.
Last week, several priests spoke to a reporter on the condition of anonymity, saying that all priests are currently under a gag order imposed by the bishop several months ago, which bars them from public disagreement with diocese policies or actions.
The order was imposed after various priests spoke out about such issues as potential church closings, the guest appearance of a controversial sin for even more money diverted from the Archdiocese of Boston’s annual appeal.
According to my sources, at the end of the year, VOTF’s national headquarters had $240,000 in cash at the end of the year. It sounds like a lot, except that they then go on to say that it costs $40,000 a month to run their office. What about the millions for the “Voice of Compassion” fund? Months ago, we were told they had raised $100,000. Well, this source says that number stays the same.
All this tells me that my prediction remains in place: VOTF will soon be a footnote in history, a strange aberration in the whole Scandal.