Fr Lucie-Smith has recently written in the Catholic Herald "Given that his alleged misbehaviour has been widely rumoured for some time (I myself heard some of these stories when I was a student in Rome in 2000), it is only natural to ask why he was made a bishop, then an archbishop, and finally a cardinal, if his faults were common knowledge. If the people who were responsible for the appointments did not know, then they must explain their ignorance."
This precisely mirrors the unease I have several times expressed on this blog (apologies to regular readers) about the Kieran Conry Scandal.
Here again, rumours were rife within Sussex. And at least one account questioning his suitability had occurred in print around the time of his Consecration.
We have never been given any explanation of how he attained the episcopate. Not unnaturally, there have been rumours that Cormack M-O'C was involved. It may not be easy to check this, but presumably there are paper trails of some sort in the Nunciature and in Rome.
The plain fact is that the Great and the Good stick by each other. I believe that the case of the Anglican Bishop Peter Ball is currently under review in the British enquiry into sexual abuse. I remember speaking to one of Ball's highly placed 'Establishment' supporters about his misbehaviour, and being very loftily put down. And this even happened after he had accepted a police caution and resigned his diocese. Ball and his grand chums were by then putting it around that, although innocent, he had accepted the police caution in order to save the Church [of England] embarrassment.
The Conry business is, I am sure, quietly buried, and for good.
I would think more highly of the CBCEW if this were not so.
Lucie-Smith is right. Such appointments are too important to be left at the mercy of grand people who make remarks in the ears of other grand people.
Grand people do not always know best. Indeed, it can be surprising how often they get so many things wrong. This can be because they are so susceptible to the deceits of other grand people.