Walking through the posh neighborhood of Embassy Row in October, I stumbled across a scoop: that Washington, D.C.’s Cardinal Donald Wuerl lives in a penthouse atop a mansion priced north of $40 million.
That Embassy Row mansion is the Our Lady Queen of the Americas parish. As I approached the mansion, across from the elegant Russian Cultural Center, I wondered if it contained a chapel. Curious, I walked inside. On the first floor, I walked past posters touting open-borders propaganda (“Ten Myths About Immigration” and so on) and saw signs for a leftist outfit called the “Washington English Center,” which offers language and job services to immigrants, legal and illegal.
Not finding the chapel on the first floor, I looked for a priest to direct me to it. I found one, or maybe I didn’t. A man with dyed hair and an ornament in his ear, sporting a priestly collar of an unspecified denomination, was standing near the stairs. “Where is the church?” I asked him. “It is on the second floor,” he replied. “Cardinal Wuerl lives in a penthouse on the third floor,” he added with a grin.
I gave this information to ChurchMilitant.com, which ran a story last week titled, “Cardinal Donald Wuerl, A New Bishop of Bling.”
The article’s author, Christine Niles, reported that the faithful have been paying from $50,000 to $100,000 in taxes for Wuerl’s mansion-complex each year, and that the archdiocese was in no mood to talk about it:
The archdiocese itself is intensely tight-lipped about his living arrangements. When ChurchMilitant.com called Cdl. Wuerl’s office requesting his home address, the parish secretary gave a location in Hyattsville, Maryland. When pressed, she admitted the location was not his living quarters, but rather was where the cardinal “receives things.” ChurchMilitant.com asked whether Cdl. Wuerl’s home address is public record considering it is archdiocesan property, and the secretary explained it was policy not to give out his residential address.
ChurchMilitant.com then called Our Lady Queen of the Americas parish to confirm Cdl. Wuerl’s residence, but the parish secretary refused to answer the question, and the line was abruptly disconnected.
In spite of the secrecy, multiple sources — both clerical and lay — confirmed to ChurchMilitant.com that His Eminence does indeed reside there.
One of our sources, George Neumayr, columnist for the American Spectator, verified this fact…
But the story doesn’t end there. On the floors below the cardinal’s penthouse, as my initial discovery led me to research, lies a nest of Marxists, socialists, and liberals known as the Washington English Center (along with no doubt some blameless teachers and students seeking to learn English and gain job skills).
The Catholic faithful in Washington, D.C. — who after all are financing Wuerl’s taste for high living — should stroll over to this mansion-complex and check out the champagne socialism of our humble pope’s favorite American cardinal. It is a window on the modernist and Marxist rot within the Church. Behind the Potemkin village of classrooms and cozy administrative offices lies a network of deep-pocketed leftists who seek to use the Church as an instrument of socialist propaganda.
The Washington English Center receives money from the Herb Block Foundation, among many other liberal groups. Careful students of Marxism will immediately grasp the significance of that foundation name: Herb Block, a celebrated cartoonist, was a hardcore leftist and Communist sympathizer who coined the polemical term “McCarthyism” in an attempt to smear anti-Communism on the Right.
As Cardinal Wuerl holds soirées on his penthouse terrace overlooking the grand avenues of Washington, D.C., socialists in the mold of Herb Block on the floors below promote open borders and an ever-expanding welfare state.
This is the “social gospel” of Cardinal Wuerl, who rose to power as a covert spirit-of-Vatican-II leftist, duping pious Catholics by day, hobnobbing with modernists and Marxists by night. Membership in the humble church of Pope Francis has its privileges: not only does Wuerl live in an Embassy Row penthouse, he also enjoys the power to name institutions after himself, such as Cardinal Wuerl High School in Pittsburgh.
As a young priest on the make at the Vatican in the 1970s, Wuerl prominently displayed in his office a copy of the Little Red Book of Chairman Mao, a fact that startled a People reporter covering him at the time. These days his limousine leftism takes the form of padding downstairs from his penthouse and gazing up happily at a bulletin board that calls for open borders and an end to the rule of law. Like a pampered member of the Red nomenklatura, Wuerl awaits that glorious day when all classes are abolished except his own, the elite of the global Left into whose service he has devoted his decadent, heterodox, and baldly hypocritical episcopacy. In these supposed days of modesty under Francis, he remains the prince of Embassy Row.