More from Belleville
First, Ray Burke -- 10 feet of amaranth silk trailing behind -- turns off the large chunks of the archdiocesan family who aren't mantilla-leaning. He's the kind of bishop Karl Lagerfeld would love.
Then Larry Biondi, the Jesuit president of St. Louis U., infuriated libs and cons in equal measure by firing two wildly popular campus ministers and advocating stem-cell research.
And, of course, the culmination of it all is the Edifice Complex which has split the diocese across the river, in Belleville.
Jim Keleher presided over what has been called a "sex ring," Wilton came in to clean it up, and now all his humble efforts at restoring credibility are being thrown into the shredder.
Ed Braxton is unique among the American bishops. Brilliant (Rome and Harvard-educated), cultured, an inspiring writer, speaker and a beautiful mind. But at the same time, does he really have to be so stupid?
As a rule, bishops who want to flex diva muscle usually wait six months after installation so as not to make waves from the outset. Not Braxton -- and he's paying the price, with 3/4 of his new presbyterate stacked against him a week before his installation.
Tim Townsend returns to the well today:
Monsignor James E. Margason, vicar general of the diocese, said "more than 50" of Belleville's active diocesan priests signed a letter that was sent to George in Chicago. There were 70 active priests at the time the letter was signed. Now there are 72. Margason would not talk about the content of the letter.The Pro's Midwestern picks have been getting a lot of resistance on-the-ground lately -- and, by his own admission, he's not close to B16 "at all." Don't be surprised if Georg's already asked for the case files on Braxton to Belleville. Somebody wants to see them upstairs....
According to several priests who attended a meeting where it was signed, the letter expressed concern about how Bishop Edward K. Braxton was selected as their new bishop.
The American bishop-making apparatus is in for a shock to its core. And Cardinal Re might well be taking the heat for it.