There has been a confirmed (and press covered) sighting in Baltimore of Bishop James Timlin, Bishop Emeritus of the Diocese of Scranton. Despite the current Bishop’s “forbidding” (wink, wink) of Timlin from representing the Diocese, James Timlin is at the General Assembly of the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops this week at the Inner Harbor in Baltimore Maryland.
According to an article in the Times Leader (sent to me this morning by a reader of this blog), Bishop Timlin was asked not to attend the USCCB event by the current prelate of the Diocese of Scranton, Joseph Bambera. It seems that Bishop Timlin played the “you’re are not the boss of me” card and got on down the road to Baltimore.
I have a question. Who paid for this trip? I am willing to bet lunch (at a restaurant of my choosing) that some staffer made the travel arrangements for both Bishops (perhaps three if Bishop Martino is also along for the party), to include luxury accommodations in the Baltimore Marriott Waterfront. I will also be willing to bet lunch that the Diocese is funding the pilgrimage for both of our intrepid diocesans.
I am amazed at the lack of understanding on the part of the staff at the Diocese on how the optics of this is playing out. To me, this is proof of Bishop Timlin’s hubris and, perhaps, defiance. At best, it shows that Bishop Bambera has little control over the chancery in his own curia. At worst it is proof that he is only playing the part of a prelate who is concerned about his diocese and victims of sexual assault. I would be checking the travel expense accounts to find the answer. If the current Bishop’s people are authorizing and paying for Timlin’s travel, we have the measure of Bambera’s commitment and leadership. Perhaps he is just waiting for all of this to blow over. Bold stand, your Excellency! (sarcasm intended)
I am sure Timlin is only attending the seminar on Rebels, Robbers, and Rogues in the Church or meeting with the secret society of contemporary Holy Roman Emperors. I will assume he does not have to go all the way to Baltimore for a day of exhilarating escalator rides.
To all you members of parishes within the Diocese of Scranton, I hope you approve of your offerings being used in this manner. The Diocese is complaining about a drop in donations but they can put two bishops and, I will assume, some Diocesan staffers, at the hotel in the posh Inner Harbor at an assembly that, by order of the Vatican, cannot vote on any proposals for a way forward. So, what exactly are they doing down there on your nickel?
It is not a long ride from my Virginia home to Baltimore. I have some time off coming to me. It would be fun to go up to the Inner Harbor and check out the Aquarium. Perhaps I can go to the Marriott where the USCCB is meeting and see who is floundering on the escalator for myself. I would love to meet the man and ask him a few questions. I bet security is tight around this gathering of Roman Collar Criminals. I wonder how many pictures of survivors are on file with hotel security. As if we were the real danger posed by this gathering.