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goodbye cruel world

By Diogenes (articles ) | Jan 26, 2007

Let's see, this is Bishop Gumbleton's .... twelfth? ... fourteenth? final exit from the world stage? It's easy to lose count. He's been in the martyrdom business for most of the last decade. In fact, he's made something of a speciality of the post-execution interview: rare in the case of the firing squad, rarer still in the case of the victim.

"I'm sure it's because of the openness with which I spoke out last January concerning victims of sex abuse in the church. So we're all suffering the consequences of that, and yet, I don't regret doing what I did because I still think it was the right thing to do," he said, as the congregation rose and erupted in applause.

Quite a guy. He'll speak truth to power even if it puts him at risk of -- [younger readers should avert their eyes here] -- getting written up in the New York Times.

Gumbleton is no slouch when it comes to letting the media's left hand know what his own right hand is doing. As we've noticed before, he has a remarkable knack for the serendipitous convergence of private demonstrations of sanctity with the presence of curious journalists. No refractory lens-cap, it would seem, has had the insolence to obstruct our view of his humility in action. We can anticipate that this latest retirement will plunge him into wonted obscurity, at the end of which his obituary will read: "Famed for Clandestine Almsgiving."

P.S. Not a word of this to anyone.


Gumbleton inculturates the Roman Rite for the benefit of Guatemalan cane workers and their yearbook photographer.

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Show 25 Comments? (Hidden)Hide Comments
  • Posted by: Publicus - Feb. 02, 2007 9:54 AM ET USA

    Let me clarify that my previous comment was not directed at Di but those who wish to criticize the bishops as a whole.

  • Posted by: Publicus - Feb. 01, 2007 11:12 AM ET USA

    Cynicism is a tool of the devil. Remember that before you swipe that broad brush.

  • Posted by: benedictusoblatus - Jan. 31, 2007 10:20 PM ET USA

    The conspiracy of silence among bishops that allows the Gumbletons of the world to operate unfettered is a scandal beyond belief. Were I a bishop approaching eternity I would be sweating blood over this issue. Laypeople don't have the "credentials" to criticize the McCarricks, Wuerls, Gumbletons, Mahonys, Weaklands, Martinis, etc of the world without getting shouted down as uncharitable Pharisees. Bishops have the proper credentials, but lack the spine to stand up. This silence is deafening!

  • Posted by: benedictusoblatus - Jan. 31, 2007 10:12 PM ET USA

    Norwood - your loyalty is admirable. But consider this - Catholic bishops were once universally admired as men of principle, if not saints. They could be counted on to speak loudly in the defense of right and truth. Fast forward to today. Let's say there are 5 really rotten bishops in the United States. The reputation of every one of the others is sullied, right or wrong, by their active defense or loud silence in the face of their brother bishops' wrongdoing. They have earned our distrust!

  • Posted by: Janet Baker - Jan. 30, 2007 7:49 PM ET USA

    Centurion, McCarrick seems to be having the same problem "retiring from retiring."

  • Posted by: 123456 - Jan. 29, 2007 7:21 PM ET USA

    The pairing of Card. Law & Weakland exhibits the ease with which many self-styled 'orthodox' U. S. Catholics let themselves be used as bishop-bashing pawns by diabolical forces firmly entrenched in this morally weakened land. The irony in the names! Law was a fine bishop. Sorry, jchrys. Nobody can malign my bishop in print in my sight without gettin a rise outta me. Our many, many fine bishops need our, & our priests', fidelity.

  • Posted by: - Jan. 29, 2007 1:38 PM ET USA

    Gil; "Heresy"; like "communist" has been successfully turned into jingoisms by the left and their lap-dog press corps. "Counterpoise to Church teaching" is a term they will still hear even if they dismiss it. That way they can't cry that "nobody told me" to St.Peter. Heresy by any other name smells as rancid.

  • Posted by: - Jan. 29, 2007 1:23 PM ET USA

    When is Gumbleton going to retire from retiring?

  • Posted by: Exaudi nos - Jan. 29, 2007 11:53 AM ET USA

    Not obscure enough.

  • Posted by: juon36 - Jan. 28, 2007 8:42 AM ET USA

    Who was it that said, the floor of hell will be scattered with the bone's of Bishop's? or was it clergy?

  • Posted by: Hammer of Heretics - Jan. 27, 2007 12:24 PM ET USA

    Gumby always did remind me a little of Isadora Duncan with regard to his flair for theatrics, and all. If only we could talk him into wearing long scarves...

  • Posted by: benedictusoblatus - Jan. 26, 2007 11:36 PM ET USA

    That picture alone is reason to beat him with a cane.

  • Posted by: hUMPTY dUMPTY - Jan. 26, 2007 5:32 PM ET USA

    Does this mean all Priests over 75 in the Detroit precincts will be forced to retire? Doesn't do much for the shortage and churchs lacking full-time pastors. But I forget, Detroit has way too many priests already. AMDG

  • Posted by: unum - Jan. 26, 2007 5:21 PM ET USA

    It is impossible for an organization to be credible when its leaders have no accountability. The US government and the Catholic Church come to mind. There is no hope for the US government. Fortunately, the Catholic Church has a higher power than the bishops and the Curia overseeing its activities. I suspect He's in the process of cleaning house and many can't even see it coming.

  • Posted by: - Jan. 26, 2007 4:58 PM ET USA

    Tom Gumbleton and Mary Daly, late of Boston ("male students coarsen the educational experience") College would have made a wonderful pair of retirees together. Can you imagine having those two in you Bridge club?

  • Posted by: Gil125 - Jan. 26, 2007 3:16 PM ET USA

    I usually agree with jchrysostom but I had to chuckle at, "His views on womens' ordination, SSA and the issues of the day are in counterpoise to Church teaching, certainly,,,." There was a day when that was known as heresy.

  • Posted by: sparch - Jan. 26, 2007 1:46 PM ET USA

    The Deroit Free Press reported that the Archdiocese of Detroit said his removal was due to his age, two years past the age of retirement. This smacks of hiding behind words and sounds disingenuous. If that was the case, why was he not put in retirement at the age of 75? It's no wonder rougues like Gumbleton run as they want, his superiors will not call him out and speak the truth. What should they hide from?

  • Posted by: - Jan. 26, 2007 1:06 PM ET USA

    Furthermore, it's not at all implausible that the Bishop's calls for greater accountability on the part of the episcopacy for clergy abuse resulted in his enforced retirement from St. Leo's, either. There's plenty of precedent for the punishment of priests who voice criticism of the Church's complicity in perversion, and no precedent for removing priests who openly and regularly dissent from authentic doctrine. So Uncle Di has it right again by poking good-natured fun at the man w/o ad hominem

  • Posted by: - Jan. 26, 2007 12:53 PM ET USA

    One wouldn't necessarily consult Bishop Gumbleton on the political economy or even catechetics, but he's never been accused of any sexual or fiscal impropriety, and, as far as I know, has never covered for any priest-pervert. His views on womens' ordination, SSA and the issues of the day are in counterpoise to Church teaching, certainly, and lately he's come across as a bit of a self-promoter, but for all this he does not warrant the denunciations justly deserved by Law and Weakland.

  • Posted by: - Jan. 26, 2007 12:17 PM ET USA

    ex-quackolics never die they teach at Jesuit universities, write books that make Oprah's list and op-eds for the NYT.

  • Posted by: Vincit omnia amor - Jan. 26, 2007 9:48 AM ET USA

    I think "pathetic" is an apt discription of this claim. Also, in regard an earlier post, I thought it was "old liberal Bishops never die, they just smell that way." Anyway, hate the break the news to BpGumbleton, but I don't think he'll ever be proclaimed "a confessor" of the Faith.

  • Posted by: Pseudodionysius - Jan. 26, 2007 9:13 AM ET USA

    Bishop Gumbleton is the Jack Nicklaus of the episcopacy with a dash of baby Ewok thrown in for curb appeal. As Alec Guiness once said when instructing an apprentice on table etiquette: "Use the fork, Luke. You're done."

  • Posted by: - Jan. 26, 2007 8:36 AM ET USA

    And if you click on the sidebar article about Bp. Untener, you get to read Msgr. Zenz's gushing about the "prophetic"(or was it pathetic?)former Bp. of Saginaw ,MI. Gumbi and Unt were cut from the same Gucci cloth. It"s no wonder the Detroit Archdiocese is in such economic and spiritual turmoil. Oh Yeah...Happy Retirement again!!

  • Posted by: Clorox - Jan. 26, 2007 8:34 AM ET USA

    Gumbleton and retired Archbishop "$450,000 of hush money" Weakland are the prime exhibits of the failure of the Holy See in disciplining wayward bishops. It wouldn't have cost much. Maybe a solemn rite of defrocking or two, a pinch of an exorcism, followed by a pension reduction. We probably would be a much smaller Church in numbers had the dissident bishops (and others) been confronted 30-40 years ago. But who needs Gumbleton, Goeghan, Shanley, and pro-abortion Jesuit institutions anyway?

  • Posted by: patriot6908 - Jan. 26, 2007 8:10 AM ET USA

    We should all wish his Excellency a "Bon Voyage!" knowing that old liberal bishops never die they just parade away...unfortunately with scores of similar successors standing (never kneeling) in the wings.

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