Friends in high places

Friends in high places

Disturbing allegations are being made against Archbishop William Levada, prefect of the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith, about his tenure as archbishop of San Francisco, in San Francisco Weekly, an “alternative”, i.e. extreme liberal iconoclastic, magazine.

The magazine alleges that Levada knew of substantive charges of sex abuse made against a priest of the archdiocese, and not only did he not remove him from ministry, but he promoted him to chancellor. The priest, Fr. Gregory Ingels, was only removed from public ministry when the archdiocese learned that prosecutors were sniffing around him. Even then he was allowed to continue to work on the marriage tribunal.

Incredibly, he was also used as an expert by dioceses around the country on sex abuse policies and the handling of these cases and was even the canonical prosecutor in the case of laicizing an abuser priest.

I suppose it shouldn’t surprise me that Levada would have turned a blind eye to Ingels since he apparently has turned a blind eye to many goings on in his archdiocese, including those of his current chancellor, who I written about before as being an open supporter of dissent from the Church’s teaching on homosexuality.

So even though Ingels has been arraigned on criminal charges, he remains under the archdiocese’s protection, even if he’s not able to exercise unrestructed ministry. Why? Perhaps because it helps to have friends in high places:

At about the time Ingels was arraigned on criminal charges, Jenkins and other members of the review panel learned that he was living with former San Francisco Archbishop John R. Quinn at Quinn’s residence on the campus of St. Patrick’s Seminary in Menlo Park. Quinn moved to the century-old mansion on the seminary grounds after his unexpected retirement as archbishop in 1995. Ingels has been living with him in the elegant mission-style home, built as a summer residence for the late Archbishop Patrick William Riordan, since then, say persons who know the men.

It says a lot about how such men remained in ministry even after their misconduct became known to their superiors. And however much Archbishop Levada talks a good game, he let this go on with his knowledge of it.