National Shrine Rector Msgr. Rossi Under Investigation, But Will It Be a Whitewash?
The dioceses of Scranton, Pennsylvania, and Washington, D.C., are investigating Monsignor Walter Rossi, the rector of the Basilica of the National Shrine of the Immaculate Conception in Washington, D.C., after a Vatican whistleblower corroborated media reports alleging that Rossi engaged in homosexual predation.
— Church Militant/St. Michael's Media (@Church_Militant) August 15, 2019
Conservative journalist George Neumayr first reported on the Rossi scandal in a series of hair-raising American Spectator articles in 2018 and 2019. His reporting was substantiated by Archbishop Carlo Maria Viganò, who told a reporter in June that while he was the papal nuncio to the United States, he saw "documentation" alleging that Rossi sexually molested male students at the Catholic University of America.
Here's a brief rundown of the Rossi scandal via Church Militant:
Rossi was handpicked by Theodore McCarrick to be rector of the famed D.C. landmark basilica, where he's often appeared with disgraced Cdl. Donald Wuerl to raise money for the shrine.
The priest drives a Lexus to work, and up until recently owned two condos — the first in the expensive resort town of Brigantine Beach on the Jersey Shore (which he sold earlier this year), and the second along Fort Lauderdale's Galt Ocean Mile, a prime piece of real estate, his condo estimated by realtors to be worth close to a million dollars.
Rossi co-owns his Florida condo with fellow Scranton priest Father Andrew Hvozdovic, who sources say is Rossi's homosexual lover, and whom Rossi has known since his seminary days.
Rossi is also linked to Fr. Matthew Riedlinger, who left the priesthood after a sexting scandal in 2013, caught sending more than a thousand sexually explicit text messages to someone he thought was a 16-year-old male.
Riedlinger was a close associate of Rossi at the Shrine, and Riedlinger's name even appears as a resident at Rossi's condo in Brigantine Beach on the Jersey Shore.
Rossi's predecessor at the shrine, Bishop Michael Bransfield, is another beauty. An explosive report to the Vatican recently found that Bransfield was a sexual predator who misappropriated millions of dollars of diocesan funds to spend on his lavish homosexual lifestyle.
Rossi's bishop, Joseph Bambera of the diocese of Scranton, Pennsylvania, announced the investigation into Rossi earlier this month, saying his diocese would be working jointly with newly installed Archbishop Wilton Gregory of the archdiocese of Washington, D.C.
The Diocese of Scranton said in a statement on August 14 that Bambera had "commenced the process of launching a full forensic investigation into the concerns that have been raised." The Diocese made clear that "certain specific allegations" had already been determined to be "unfounded."
“Approximately one year ago, concerns were raised in the public sector regarding Monsignor Walter Rossi, a priest who was incardinated in the Diocese of Scranton but who has served more than 20 years at the Basilica of the National Shrine of the Immaculate Conception in Washington, D.C.,” the diocese explained.
“The Diocese of Scranton referred those initial concerns to the Archdiocese of Washington, which investigated certain specific allegations and determined them to be unfounded,” they added. “Additional concerns have now surfaced, however, requiring a broadened investigation.”
“Bishop Bambera has spoken with Archbishop Wilton Gregory and they have agreed that the Diocese of Scranton and Archdiocese of Washington will work jointly and cooperatively on undertaking a comprehensive investigation,” the statement concluded.
Gregory and Bambera, unfortunately, don't have reputations that instill confidence in the investigation.
Gregory is a very liberal LGBT advocate who is linked to disgraced, scandal-prone prelates Joseph Cardinal Bernardin, Theodore McCarrick, and Donald Cardinal Wuerl.
Then there's Bambera, another controversial prelate who has earned the nickname "Bambi" for his pro-LGBT views in Scranton, according to Neumayr in the American Spectator.
Nicknamed “Bambi” by some of his priests for his role in enabling a gay clergy, Bambera is known for harassing faithful priests who tell the truth about the pederasty scandal in the Church. One such priest contacted me recounting the harassment he received after delivered a homily in which he lamented the neutralizing effect Pope Francis had on the feckless U.S. bishops’ gathering in Baltimore, a sermon his congregation greeted with applause. “I received nothing but positive feedback,” he said. But word of the sermon critical of Pope Francis and the U.S. bishops got back to Bambera, who dispatched an aide to chew the priest out.
Neumayr fears that since the investigation is allegedly being run by Rossi's "Gay Mafia" allies, it will be nothing more than a whitewash.
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.
“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.
Despite the seriousness of the accusations, Gregory has made clear that he has no plans to remove Rossi from active ministry anytime soon. But the monsignor's days at the shrine may be numbered anyway. According to Neumayr, the Basilica has been rocked by "morale-shattering in-fighting" and lost donations in recent months.
"Rossi was the protégé of Theodore McCarrick and Bishop Bransfield. They formed a bit*hy, two-faced triumvirate of the gay mafia," Neumayr wrote. "The demolition of that triumvirate is nearing completion. It just requires one last push from the faithful."