Sunday, March 13, 2016

Priest Problems in Southern Illinois

Priest commended for having legal female
heterosexual pornography on laptop.

According to the Belleville News Democrat, Fr. Bernardine Nganzi, originally from Uganda, was removed from his post in Lawrenceville, IL several months ago. He is currently living in another parish 45 miles away. The reason? Pornography featuring legal Asian teens was discovered on his laptop computer.

But Belleville Bishop Edward Braxton is not convinced Nganzi is the guilty party. A statement released by the chancery, said some of the pornography "may have been" downloaded while Fr. Nganzi was celebrating Mass. Fr. Nganzi did not always have exclusive control of the laptop and the password was on a piece of paper on the bulletin board in the office.

Some parishioners remain unconvinced of his innocence. They point out that everyone knew the laptop was for his exclusive use. They have raised a separate issue of $50,000 which does not seem to be accounted for. They say Bishop Braxton told them if they did not want "Fr. Bernie," they would not be getting another priest.

The Bear could probably win this case in a court of law where the standard is beyond a reasonable doubt, "the highest standard of proof known to the law," as the Bear always dramatically impressed upon the jury.

Now, outside of a criminal trial, when it comes to personnel matters? Well, all the Bear can say is that he hates it when his personal laptop gets filled up with Asian teen porn and he doesn't know it, don't you? (The search engines ought to bring an entirely new audience to SCB.)

U.S. Church Still Playing Shell Game With Problem Priests

In another Belleville Diocese story, Rev. Peter Balili was sent back to the Philippines from two small parishes in southern Illinois (Christopher and Sesser) without explanation. Fr. Balili and been shuffled to southern Illinois from a parish in California after being dismissed for having inappropriate Facebook contact with students.

Did you really believe the Church had given up the old shell game?


  1. I suppose it's perfectly possible someone COULD have done it to set him up or whatever, or that there's some other explanation. Then again, it were me and I were innocent, I would go into fanatic mode to prove that at the time of the last download I was saying Mass or having breakfast with witnesses, etc.


    Take our churches
    Take our pews
    Orthodox bloggers
    Shun, refuse.

    Take our schools
    Take our kneelers
    Fill your space with
    P. C. feelers.

    Shove Tabernacles
    In a room
    So bride can play
    Without her Groom.

    Some will run
    Some will hide
    Some defend,
    “Flow with the tide.”

    But like the Saints,
    Laity, before -
    Joan, Clitherow,
    Thomas More,

    You can burn our books
    Cast off to waste lands
    Cut off His Crowned Head
    Plop Him into our hands,

    Confuse the weak,
    “They’re men of smells, bells,
    Not in full-communion”
    Their lie impels

    These, real men -
    In the state of grace -
    You’ve tried to shred
    But they are steel lace -

    “I am the Good Shepherd”
    Laced-lambs to Him kneel
    And they breed the True Faith -

  3. Here is a contribution from Ireland:

    William Butler Yeats (1865-1939)

    Turning and turning in the widening gyre
    The falcon cannot hear the falconer;
    Things fall apart; the centre cannot hold;
    Mere anarchy is loosed upon the world,
    The blood-dimmed tide is loosed, and everywhere
    The ceremony of innocence is drowned;
    The best lack all conviction, while the worst
    Are full of passionate intensity.

    Surely some revelation is at hand;
    Surely the Second Coming is at hand.
    The Second Coming! Hardly are those words out
    When a vast image out of Spiritus Mundi
    Troubles my sight: a waste of desert sand;
    A shape with lion body and the head of a man,
    A gaze blank and pitiless as the sun,
    Is moving its slow thighs, while all about it
    Wind shadows of the indignant desert birds.

    The darkness drops again but now I know
    That twenty centuries of stony sleep
    Were vexed to nightmare by a rocking cradle,
    And what rough beast, its hour come round at last,
    Slouches towards Bethlehem to be born?

    And this is where we all are today.

  4. I have no idea whether this priest is guilty, or why Balili was sent away -- but there are people in the Belleville diocese, most notably a cadre of local priests, who have very publicly had it in for Bishop Braxtin since Day One and would shed mo tears over anything that might place him in a bad light. The laypeople in this camp are FOSIL and VOTF types who have long complained about Braxton bringing in foreign priests; my suspicion has been, and remains, that they resent this measure of Braxton's because it helps to remedy the priest shortage they pretend to care about (and just incidentally, somewhat mutes the impact of their longtime cherished refrain that there is a desperate need for the Church to ordain women).

    I would put nothing beyond this bunch, frankly.

    1. I don't disagree with you, Jane, although I don't know why FOSIL would object to foreign priests, unless it is because they tend to be more conservative. But this apparently caused quite an uproar in Lawrenceville, and it was the people of the parish who pushed and pushed this if BND is to be believed. And I promise you that there are no FOSIL members among the good rural folk of Lawrenceville.

      The "may have been celebrating mass" is suspicious to the Bear. The picture I downloaded of Fr. Bernie is accompanied by the following information:

      Kind: JPEG image
      Size: 40,295 bytes
      Where: MacIntosh HD --> Users --> BearMacBook --> Downloads
      Created: Yesterday, 8:09 p.m.

      If someone asked the Bear what he was doing at 8:09 p.m. he could not say he was delivering a speech at the Kiwanis Club. Or, if he did, it would easy enough to check with the Kiwanis. Bear doesn't understand how there is any uncertainty about matching up the download time with the mass time. It either is or isn't. Where does "maybe" come from?

      And why doesn't every router in the diocese have an anti-porn blocker set to "on" by IT to assist priests in maintaining purity? Modern routers come with that standard.

      Bear cannot say for certain this man is guilty. It is theoretically possible, like Oakes said, that someone repeatedly snuck in, accessed his computer to download material of very specific, er, tastes, to set him up. Even if he is guilty, no law was broken, and no children were endangered. Bear is sad, but we just had the gospel about casting the first stone. Bear slunk away before Jesus even started talking. A 2014 survey found 64% of American men admitted to looking at porn at least once a month. Bear suspects that might be off by about 30 points.

      Having said that, Bear is troubled that the porn was of teenagers. Especially when we're dealing with a Catholic priest. Bear has heard the same story over and over in the course of his admittedly strange practice consisting of sex crimes and murder (and drugs -- that goes without saying): "I started looking at regular porn, but eventually that didn't do it for me, so I started looking at teens, but over time they got younger and younger."

      Bear has no beef with Bishop Braxton, but the good Catholics of Lawrenceville deserve more than, "he might have been celebrating mass when the porn was downloaded," so shut up or you don't get a priest.

  5. No offense taken whatsoever, Bear. I would like to see this situation resolved by a thorough professional investigation, which does not appear to have been accomplished at this point. "Let all the evils that lurk in the mud hatch out".

    ALL the evils -- from whatever quarter.

    1. I agree about the investigation. You're right on the mark. It seems that there was a slipshod inquiry. Much more should have been done and a thorough report provided to the parish council.

    2. I agree about the investigation. You're right on the mark. It seems that there was a slipshod inquiry. Much more should have been done and a thorough report provided to the parish council.

    3. I don't know what's up with the double posting.

      I don't know what's up with the double posting.

  6. I don't know whether the priest is guilty. I get Jane's points. FOSIL has had it in for Bp Braxton and they resent the African priests. So do some old folks. I have a friend at a Bville parish manned by an African priest. Their church is empty. She is blaming the priest, claiming no one can understand him. That is B as in B and S as in S (as Fr Z would say). I have been to that parish. We, spouse and I, had no trouble understanding the mass or the homily. Our friend claims people are going to the mega church in Shiloh. I said they need to know that the RC has the TRUTH and teh Real Presence. For gosh sake, we are talking about prejudicial old people who heard the mass in Latin all their lives until 1969. How dare they complain about a priest who speaks w/an accent! Get over yourself. Do I act like a liberal and call them racist? I hate to do so, but that is what I sense.

    Plenty of old folks at another rural parish I attend from time to time are quite happy to have their African priest. Some of the home grown (old) priests are picking up the African "God is good, all the time. All the time, God is good" chant.

    The only ones we have to blame are ourselves for not having enough babies and not encouraging our boys to the priesthood.
    I have lots of work to do but wanted to respond. I'll check back later this evening. Cheers.

  7. I see you're singing from my hymnal about the babies. Yes. Two child Catholic families are probably not going to have enough boys, or in any case be willing to spare one of the precious darlings for the priesthood, rather than grandchildren. I'm thinking of starting a "4OrMore" campaign. Think Pope Francis would get on board? We are blessed with three boys, two of which have expressed and interest in the priesthood. We would be thrilled to tears if one or both discerned a vocation. (Surviving a current homophilic seminary would be another matter.)

    Here's more news from that front. One of our boys has dated fairly intensively. (Dated, not immediately formed an exclusive relationship with some girl, which is a terrible modern habit.) He says he is tired of American women. He can't find any that would make a suitable wife. They're not interested in religion, or kids. They all express some degree of feminism. When he talks about this, he gets quite worked up. He says he is going to have to go to Poland or someplace to find a wife. He prays every day for a suitable wife.

    Any readers with a daughter of marriageable age who might be interested in a hard-identity Catholic, strapping young handsome veteran with Rabbit aspirations and excellent prospects... :-)

    There is a regular reader here who has nine kids. Not a day goes by that I do not pray for him, because he's earned it.

    We have two readers in our parish, one European and one Asian, that I can't understand. I used to read, but I guess someone decided I was too disabled. (Like Michael Voris, I was a professional broadcaster with secular news experience, which should be a requirement to read.) Guess what I do? I read along in an inexpensive missal!

    We have had African priests who were a bit hard to understand. I am grateful they are there.

    In any event, this is the future of the Church as the U.S. Total Fertility Rate continues to circle the drain at less than replacement rate. We're not even close to having two kids per woman. Like I always say, it's just math.

    Lawrenceville happens to be the scene of the Bear's greatest legal victory, a not-guilty verdict by jury in a death-penalty murder case. He thinks he voir dired every person in the county in that case :-) The Bear was down to his last peremptory challenge and worked successful for cause challenges for every subsequent potential juror, even when they brought in another panel. (We got a change of venue to Clinton County, which was essential for a not guilty verdict.)

    We had an excellent judge, which helped. And the Bear had one simple trick that guaranteed for cause dismissal. What do you think of that, Liam, should you read this?

    It has a population of something over 4000, and they are typical God-fearing, conservative, small town southern Illinoisans. 2010 census -- Blacks 0.08%. Does that mean they were out to get Fr. Bernie? I wouldn't rule it out. But would someone plant porn on his laptop?

    I'm having trouble with "Asian teens." That is a specific taste. If someone was going to plant porn, wouldn't he just plant generic porn? Why would someone say to themselves, "Hmmm... I think I'll frame Fr. Bernie. Let's get some Asian teen porn." Like I said, I'm having trouble with that.

    I am also having trouble with "icons on the screen." How do you use a computer that has porn "icons on the screen" without knowing it?

    I am also troubled by the Diocese calling BND and saying if the reporter en route showed up at the meeting, it would be canceled. And Bishop Braxton banning reporters at a later meeting at the parish. Transparency?

    What about the surveillance cameras? The dog that didn't bark?

    I think the people in Lawrenceville have reason to lose confidence in Fr. Bernie. And Bishop Braxton's response seems unfortunately like the secrecy and stonewalling that cost the Church so much in the past.

    1. Pete, why is Fr. Grogan's name familiar?

    2. Grogan is a liberal priest. I don't think he's been laicized or anything. He's been in the Bville area for a while I thought. IDK right now.

      I agree that this could be handled better. I have no problem w/keeping the press out b/c of their bias. Just issue a press release with the facts or send out Fr Myler.

    3. Fwiw, I believe that several years back, Bishop Braxton chose to cease all interface with the BND, which I understand because -- and here I am recalling only what I observed as a reader -- the BND seemed quite breathtakingly receptive to what I believe was an organized hate campaign against Braxton, largely in the form of a relentless stream of letters to the editor that ranged from generic snarkiness to extreme nastiness. This went on seemingly forever (until I got so upset I stopped reading the BND), with a dramatic spike reliably occurring on the heels of any article in the paper that mentioned Braxton in any context. It was always the supposedly aggrieved laypeople of the Diocese struggling under the bootheel of the supposedly cold, arrogant bishop. I remember googling the names of random Braxton-hating letter-writers, and often, there was a FOSIL or VOTF connection. I suspect that certain priests were very much complicit in this activity behind the scenes, if not out-and-out coordinating it. The matter will, of course, likely never be elucidated until Kingdom Come, at which point all involved will have encountered more pressing concerns.

      (Pausing to take deep breath...)

      Nevertheless, it was almost certainly a mistake on Braxton's part to refuse to have anything to do with the BND's ace, unbiased (mm hmm :-) reporters, because this merely has given ammunition to those who seek to portray him negatively. Personally, I think he may have realized that his decision would have that effect, but felt that it was either distance himself from the BND, or suffer very real consequences to his emotional and physical health. Still, in retrospect probably not the best decision.

      Absent a proper investigation, I guess one can only hope that, now that Fr. Nganzi has been removed from their midst, the parishioners at St. Lawrence will feel better and perhaps an arrangement for an alternative to foreign priests [probably now forever mistrusted] can be worked out via some diocesan official who isn't dogged by the issues that seem to crop up when our bishop is involved.

  8. He was not charged with nor accused of a crime. His public sin may actually be venial for all we know. Probably some sinister plot to take him out by racist sodomite.

  9. Did I think the Church had given up the shell game? No, not when Pope Francis is so chummy with Bishop Daneels, who protected a pedophilic, incestous bishop.

    I *want* to go to Mass because I want to give God the worship due Him; but it's so hard to compartmentalize.


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