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Bishop Bambera and the Jack Anderson Scandal

The other day I came across a picture of Joseph Bambera as a seminarian. About Bambera, the bishop of Scranton, Pennsylvania, Church insiders whisper that he may succeed the soon-to-retire Archbishop Charles Chaput in Philadelphia. Should that happen, Bambera in all likelihood will become a cardinal, owing to his friendly ties with the circle of gay mafia prelates around Pope Francis. Bambera is famous for repeatedly inviting Fr. James Martin, the leading propagandist for LGBT causes in the Church, to speak in the Scranton diocese.

In that same seminary yearbook appears a picture of Jack Anderson, whom I had been told was once close with Bambera. After their seminary days, they had both worked together on the canon law tribunal in Scranton. Curious about the exact nature of their friendship, I searched for Jack Anderson’s contact information in the hopes of talking with him. In the course of this research, I stumbled across a story that provides a window on yet another travesty in the American Catholic Church.

It turns out that Anderson left the priesthood and later married a man, Ted Olson, another former priest. (Olson had been a priest in Wilmington, Delaware, for 25 years.) I had found Jack Anderson’s phone number in the White Pages and called it. “Is this Jack Anderson?,” I said to the man who picked up. “No,” he replied, “it is Ted Olson, his spouse.” Olson then politely answered my questions and gave me Jack Anderson’s cellphone number. (Anderson did not return my calls.)

I asked Olson a series of questions based on my initial research. Did Anderson and Bambera work together on the tribunal? “Yes,” he said. “I have met Joe a few times.” Was it true that Jack Anderson — to this day — remains on a canon law tribunal despite leaving the priesthood and marrying a man? “Yes,” Olson said. Anderson, he confirmed, works on the tribunal for the diocese of Wilmington, Delaware — as a defender of the marital bond, no less!

Is it true, I asked Olson, that Anderson not only left the priesthood but also the Catholic faith? Yes, said Olson, “we’re Episcopalians.”

I called the diocese of Wilmington and asked how a former priest who rejected the Catholic faith (and therefore in the eyes of the Church is a public heretic) and entered a gay marriage could licitly serve as a “defender of the [marital] bond” on a Catholic tribunal. The Wilmington officials to whom I reached out either declined to answer the question or ignored my calls. The spokesman for Bishop Bambera, meanwhile, would only say that Anderson left the priesthood “voluntarily,” which suggests that he hasn’t even been laicized. (Olson said that he himself has not been laicized.)

Read the rest at the American Spectator