So many questions

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 There are good days and there are bad days.  The weekend made for two of the good days  – family and dear friends both days.  And beautiful weather.  Not too terribly hot.  Not too muggy.  And not too cold.  I often get so involved with running this site that there is little time to ‘smell the flowers.’   This weekend I took time to smell the flowers.  Beautiful! 

Now back to business 🙂

An informative article in the Toronto Star on Saturday which was picked up the Hamilton Spectator:

25 & 26 July 2010:  In St. Catharine’s, it’s silence for the lambs 

Amazing isn’t it?  Nearly four months since Bishop Wingle abdicated and not an official boo of his whereabouts?  No one but no one in a position of authority is saying a word.  It’s all top secret.

I find it both intriguing and disturbing to read that Father James Kneale has been lobbying for reinstatement. Good on Wingle for holding strong on that one.

I find it perhaps more disturbing to read that Kneale has the support of a number of priests in the diocese.

What does that say for those clergy?  What hope is there to purge the Church of molesters if their tolerant peers are busily lobbying to have them recycled?

In 2001 Calgary’s Bishop Fred Henry tried to slip Kneale in on an unsuspecting flock at St. Patrick’s in southwest Calgary .  Actually Henry did slip Kneale in, quite successfully – until the cat wiggled out of the bag and the enlightened and infuriated parishioners insisted Kneale be removed.

How can we ever hope to clean up the sanctuaries and ensure that Catholic children are not wilfully placed at risk with the likes of this?  And what is in the minds of clergy who seem to think that a priest who hypocritically administered the sacraments while actively sexually abusing young boys is fit to lead anyone towards salvation?

What is the problem here? 

And why would Kneale, a convicted clerical molester, be actively trying to push his way back into the sanctuary?  Surely he should be anxious to spend the rest of his days in prayer and fasting?  Surely he should realize the damage his reprehensible sins and crimes have wrought – upon his victims, his fellow priests, and upon the Church?  Why is he not so so anxious to atone for his sins that he is begging to be laicized (defrocked)?

So, at least hats off to Wingle for not buckling to the pressure to recycle Kneele.  And, for that matter, hats off to him for prohibiting general absolution. 

By the sound of it, Wingle had his hands full dealing with dissident clergy.

But, why did he run?  Why not stay and fight the good fight like every good Catholic bishop should and must?

If Wingle had health issues, why no request for prayers?  A request for prayers for a suffering bishop would be the the Catholic way, would it not?  Many a bishop has continued to serve while battling serious health issues, and always amidst a multitude of requests for prayers and Masses.  If this is about health issues, why the veil of secrecy?

And who was the priest who was forced to retire after parents complained of his inappropriate behaviour with youth?  Where is he now?  Were his misdeeds reported to police? Does anyone know that this man is a molester?

So many questions…..

Why did Wingle instruct his clergy not to talk to the media about Grecco?

Why did he run?

Why did he abdicate?

Why the secrecy? 

Where is he now?

Why allow speculation to run rampant?   especially at a time like this?.  

Anonymous in Jerusalem, are you still there?  We haven’t heard from you for ages.  Can you give us an update? 


I will get the information on the Columbus Boy’s Camp together later.  I didn’t get near it over the weekend

Enough for now,




This entry was posted in Accused or charged, Bishop Wingle, Canada, Circling the wagons, Clerical sexual predators, recycled, Scandal and tagged , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

2 Responses to So many questions

  1. Lina says:

    Here is an interesting article dated July 31st 2010 Sylvia!

    St. Catharines Standard

    Where on earth is Bishop Wingle?

    Eganville is a study in contradiction. It’s the kind of place where residents leave their cars unattended with the doors unlocked and the windows down without a worry. Farmers who have worked the land for generations know their neighbours like family.

    Other residents who live and work there couldn’t give you directions if you paid them. A significant number of the town’s 1,300 residents — a population so small the label “town” seems a bit grandiose — turn over fairly regularly. They leave, only to be replaced by newcomers.

    It’s a farming community, but one marked by several fallow fields dotted with dandelions.

    Traditional faith matters and the silhouettes of the old mainline churches from Catholic to Lutheran dominate the town-scape. Yet some of the churches are marked with unique, angular steeples that reflect more of a jazz architecture vibe than the mood of somber religion.

    Eganville, two hours west of Ottawa, is a quiet, still place where life seems simple. But that quiet does little to hide the trauma suffered by the local Catholic church. One of its priests is facing sexual abuse charges, leaving his replacement to pick up the pieces.

    However, silence is what defines the crisis facing another Catholic priest from Eganville.

    Bishop James Wingle, former head of Niagara’s Catholic community, is one of the town’s favourite sons. Born and raised on a farm tucked away behind a wall of evergreens, he grew up to become an influential bishop who has the ear of popes.

    “Father Jim,” as he is known in town, left his Niagara post without warning in April. In a short letter to the diocese, Wingle said he no longer had the stamina for the job, and was resigning for a period of personal reflection and prayer. What led to his decision has never been disclosed.

    Officials at the local diocese say they were not told and Niagara priests are very reluctant to speak about Wingle on the record. Some recently spoke to other media outlets about Wingle, but when contacted by The Standard this week said they would be better off not commenting.

    Even in Wingle’s homtown, where his sister Margaret Morris still lives on the family farm with her husband, the wall of silence remains. Morris declined to speak about her brother. The only person who can speak about James Wingle, she says, is James Wingle.

    “Whenever the bishop decides to make a statement, if you are an honourable person he might talk to you,” Morris said, rebuffing an interview request. “I won’t say anything about him right now.”

    To Morris’ unending chagrin, however, silence has not stopped rumours. In online forums where friends and foes of the Catholic church snipe at each other, Wingle has become a subject of fascination. Cloaked in the anonymity the web provides, some claim he is in drastically poor health. Others say he has been seen in Jerusalem. All of it is unconfirmed.

    With no one who knows anything about Wingle talking, the closest thing to an explanation for what happened comes from the Eganville Leader, a weekly newspaper and the alpha-male of news in the town and surrounding county.

    On April 14, the Leader ran a story about Wingle’s unexpected resignation.

    Based largely on what had already been reported by other media, including The Standard, the story by co-publisher and editor Gerald Tracey contains a brief peek behind the curtain of silence around Wingle.

    “Family members told the Leader in recent weeks that Bishop Wingle, 63, has been dealing with several health issues, some of them brought on they believe due to a busy and hectic schedule.” Tracey wrote.

    Tracey says he didn’t know the specific nature of those health issues.

    Health problems, whatever they are, might explain Wingle’s admitted lack of stamina and would undoubtably be part of a very difficult year for Wingle’s family.

    In February, his sister’s son, David Morris, was killed in a vicious car accident near Alberta. His car collided head-on with a dump truck and exploded.

    Wingle reportedly took his nephew’s death exceptionally hard. The grieving family only buried David Morris in Eganville two weeks ago.

    Although Wingle’s presence could be felt during the funeral — he wrote what some in town called a moving homily — the bishop was conspicuous by his absence.

    Even staff at St. James the Less Catholic Church in Eganville have no information on Wingle’s whereabouts, other than to say they haven’t see him. However, given that a former priest at the church is facing trial on four sex abuse charges, the fate of Wingle is not their top priority.

    Tracey said despite Wingle’s deep connection to Eganville, the town is as in the dark as everyone else. If Wingle has ever returned since his resignation, Tracey is not aware of it.

    “He is deeply respected in this community, particularly by Catholics,” he says.

    Although Wingle’s career as a priest keeps him travelling and serving communities outside of his own, he never forgot his roots.

    Tracey points to a story in the Leader’s archives as an example. In 1980, long before Wingle achieved his current rank, a local woman received the Pro Ecclesia et Pontifice, a papal medal awarded to lay members of the church.

    Wingle was studying in Rome at the time, but arranged for the woman to come to the Vatican for an audience with the pope, John Paul II, Tracey says.

    Yet, despite his deep connection to the town, Catholics in Eganville — like those in Niagara — wait for Wingle to break his silence and explain why he left the job he spent his career building for.

  2. Sylvia says:

    Thanks Lina. Yes, very interesting. (If you wonder why it took a while to show up here, for some strange reason this particular posting of yours was queued as a possible spam. I was gone for the day – I cleared it as soon as I got home this evening.)

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