In June, Archbishop Carlo Maria Viganò, the former papal nuncio to the United States, corroborated my year-long reporting on the corruption of Monsignor Walter Rossi, the head of one of the most important churches in the United States, the Basilica of the Shrine of the Immaculate Conception in Washington, D.C.
“You can read about him online at the American Spectator website,” said Viganò, noting that as papal nuncio he had received complaints about Rossi as a gay predator. “He is without a doubt a member of the gay mafia,” he said.
By affirming my reports, Viganò broke open the Rossi story and forced the bishops to investigate him. Archbishop Wilton Gregory of Washington, D.C., and Bishop Joseph Bambera of Scranton, Pennsylvania, announced this week that they will jointly examine allegations of misconduct by Rossi.
Could this investigation turn into a whitewash? Yes. It is obvious that Gregory and Bambera opened this investigation with the greatest reluctance. Asked about the Rossi scandal at a public event earlier this week, Gregory at first tried to dismiss it, even as he allowed that a “forensic investigation” should start. The Diocese of Scranton revealed the next day that it had referred charges about Rossi to the archdiocese of Washington, D.C., last year.
I have learned from well-placed sources that the initial investigation was conducted by Rossi allies and that those same officials seek to control the new investigation. On Friday afternoon of this week, Diocese of Scranton officials met and discussed how to render the investigation toothless.
“Rossi enjoys the patronage of Louis DeNaples, a huge donor to the Church in Pennsylvania,” said a source. “DeNaples was once on trial for charges connecting him to the Buffalo mafia. Rossi’s father was his accountant. Bambera doesn’t want to piss off DeNaples. Plus, Bambera is a member of the gay mafia, too. He has been protecting Walter for years.”
“Gregory will only throw Rossi under the bus if the laity keep pressuring and embarrassing them over the matter,” says a priest trained in Scranton. This priest recommended that the laity withhold donations from the Basilica until Rossi is fired, a power within Gregory’s grasp as chairman of the Basilica’s board. “These guys are cowards, but they will give up Rossi, like they gave up Bishop Michael Bransfield, if the pressure mounts,” continued the priest.
It would appear that Rossi’s days are numbered. I am hearing reports of morale-shattering in-fighting at the Basilica and lost donations. As one source put it, “Who is going to keep giving money to a Marian shrine in the hands of a pervert?”
Rossi loyalists, however, continue to battle for him, if only out of fear of losing the fat salaries he pays them. His spokeswoman, I’ve been told, receives a salary and benefits that exceed $100,000.
The disgraced Donald Wuerl, one of Rossi’s patrons, gave his paid liars even bigger salaries. A reliable source informed me that Wuerl’s media aides made anywhere between $180,000 to $230,000.
That the faithful have to pony up funds for such fat salaries is perverse. These flakes don’t advance the mission of the Church but simply serve the corrupt interests of their clericalist paymasters.
Rossi was the protégé of Theodore McCarrick and Bishop Bransfield. They formed a bitchy, two-faced triumvirate of the gay mafia. The demolition of that triumvirate is nearing completion. It just requires one last push from the faithful.