Atlanta Archbishop Wilton Gregory was a protégé of the late Cardinal Joseph Bernardin, who played a leading role in the Gaying of the Catholic Church in America. In a nod to that legacy, Bernardin requested the Windy City Gay Men’s Chorus perform at his funeral. As an auxiliary bishop under Bernardin in Chicago, Gregory witnessed the spread of homosexuality within the priesthood and hierarchy up close. Bernardin’s seminary was known as the “pink palace.”
As archbishop of Atlanta, Gregory has maintained Bernardin’s program of gay promotion and propaganda in the Church. Gregory, for example, has defended the writings and speeches of Fr. James Martin, a Jesuit who openly calls for the Church to adjust herself to the demands of the “LGBT community.”
In 2010, Fr. Juan Areiza, one of Gregory’s priests, got entangled in a gay scandal exposed by CBS Atlanta. Areiza and another priest had fastened their lustful affections upon a gay bar patron named Dale Chappell, who complained to CBS Atlanta that the two priests “conspired together to just to use me for sex.”
“Text messages and pictures Chappell provided to CBS Atlanta News confirm his allegations of these homosexual relationships, including dozens of texts with Areiza,” reported the station. “‘Here’s one that says, ‘Miss you and love you,’ Chappell showed us.”
Where is Areiza today? He is the pastor at St. Pius X parish in Conyers, Georgia, appointed to that position by Wilton Gregory in June of this year.
All of this makes Gregory’s famous comment, made as the 2002 abuse scandal erupted, that “It’s an ongoing struggle to make sure the Catholic priesthood is not dominated by homosexual men” all the stranger. Why he made that comment, given his complicity in the Gaying of the Church, remains a mystery. He was and is a member of a powerful liberal ideological faction that normalized homosexuals in the priesthood and hierarchy.
I bring Gregory up because I learned this week from a Church insider that Gregory is “under consideration” to succeed Donald Wuerl in Washington, D.C. Out of conservative backlash to the louche and leftist New Jersey Cardinal Joseph Tobin, I am told, aides to Francis have been scrambling to consider candidates less radioactive than Tobin, who remains a favorite of the pope.
Not that Gregory is much of an improvement. If a Tobin candidacy represents a raised middle finger to the laity from FrancisChurch, its look at Gregory signifies at least a flick of the chin. Neither prelate belongs on a short list for Washington. Tobin is the more overtly outrageous of the two choices — his erstwhile rectorymate Francesco Castiglione, is still lurking (I received a credible report that the Italian actor is now hanging out in Summit, New Jersey, perhaps waiting to see what happens with Tobin) — but both are bad. Were the Church under Francis committed to real reform, Tobin and Gregory would have been erased from the list immediately.
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