“For Attorney General Morrisey to be talking about making the Wheeling-Charleston Diocese ‘transparent’ is like (name redacted) or (name redacted) talking about the ethics of their seedy profession in Wheeling’s glory days.” – an elderly janitor at Wheeling Hospital,who is a resident of Moundsville.
When I woke in the morning of a recent Sunday on the third floor of Wheeling Hospital, I was already enraged because I had missed the seminal, annual event in the Upper Ohio Valley; to-wit: the annual OVAC Rudy Mumley All-Star Football Game.
Although I had greatly aspired, in my youth, to play in an All-Star Game, I had been unable to do so for two salient reasons. First and foremost, I had a hard time even making the team at Shadyside.
In early December of my eighth-grade year, my family moved from Reader in the outback of Wetzel County, West Virginia, to the now-famous Dilles Bottom in Belmont County, Ohio. As I would travel to other places outside West Virginia and tell people that I was from West Virginia, they would occasionally say, “So you grew up in West Virginia,” and ask, “Was it a coal-mining town?”
Dilles Bottom was most definitely a hard, little patch of a few hundred coal-mining families. I barely got adjusted to that place when I was “bused off” to Shadyside High School, where I had to adjust to another level of juvenile bullying. That passed after a few “rude encounters.” However, over the next couple of years, my conflicts with the teachers and school administrators increased exponentially.
At some point between football and track seasons, Floyd Wright, the Shadyside High School principal, summoned my parents for a conference. Pop drove the six miles to the school, but he, being a World War II infantry officer, of course did not want to hear a lecture from a high-school principal.
I remember two exchanges from the conference. At one point, Mr. Wright stood, pointed a finger at my mother, and said: “Mrs. Rogers, that boy of yours will either be dead or in prison before he’s 20!”
Now, I was actually startled by the principal’s declaration. He was a man of great worldly experience whose opinion had to be seriously considered. I had regarded myself basically as your typical teenage goof-off. He was saying that I was prison bound!
My sainted mother did not need to ponder the matter. She sprang up to her full five feet, looked the principal in the eyes, and then yanked me to my feet. “Mr. Wright,” she said as she pulled me upward, “I think that is up to G-d and not up to you. Come on, Herbie, we’re leaving.”
At some point in the first weeks of track season, I had my altercation with teacher Rudy Mumley. We got into a scuffle in the class room, which led him to yank me out of my seat, throw me up against the blackboard, and proclaim to the class something akin to: “Herbie thinks he’s tough. I am going to show him just how tough he is!”
Since I was a wannabe gangbanger, a player in the turf warfare with our adversaries from Bellaire, I couldn’t let a mere teacher lay his hands on me. So, after school, I waited outside the south exit of Shadyside High School with two or three other kids (who were there actually as spectators but not as supporters).
The rest, as they say, is history. After I ran away to New York City, one quick step ahead of the law, my parents moved back to West Virginia and, when the coast was clear, I joined them in late October in Reader.
Jumping ahead, now, some 60 years, when my wife brought the Sunday News-Register to me at Wheeling Hospital on the Sunday before last, the first thing that greeted my eyes on the front page above the fold was the smiling visage of our Jersey Boy, Attorney General Patrick “Morsi.” (I give the surname Morrisey the traditional Egyptian spelling.)
Halfway down the article were some of the most arrogant, ignorant, and constitutionally unsound words ever uttered by an American political carpetbagger: “I am really hopeful the new bishop (the Most Reverend Mark Brennan) can work with us and put forth a more transparent system.”
Didn’t General Morsi ever read the First Amendment when, as a law-level student, he passed through the bottom-tier law school that he attended in his native New Jersey? Didn’t he ever hear of the bedrock American principle of “the separation of Church and State”?
There isn’t a Roman Catholic I know who doesn’t want transparency for the Church, but I would bet the farm that the most rabid anti-Catholic in southern West Virginia (or in Northern Ireland, for that matter) would want General Morsi rather than Pope Francis running the Church in order to ensure its utter destruction.
Finally, with respect to transparency, General Morsi should come clean in his own bailiwick before he starts on an American religious body. For starters, I would suggest that General Morsi come clean about, inter alia, the following:
(a) Prior to filing for office, how many total minutes (rounded off to the nearest hour) had he spent in West Virginia?
(b) Over her lifetime, how much money (rounded off to the nearest million) did the general’s spouse (Nefertiti) receive from the pharmaceutical companies that allegedly created the opioid crisis in West Virginia, over which General Morsi has shed so many and so copious crocodile tears?
(c) Give us his opinion as to why, with the massive support of Our Beloved President, he could not beat a dirtball like Joe Manchin, who is viewed with the same disdain (and, I think, for largely the same reasons) that the good people of Bellaire have for their chief of police.
But why go on?
(For the record, I have no personal experience with the Chief of Police of Bellaire, knowing him only by reputation. I have extensive personal experience with Joe Manchin, and even contributed $5,000 to him during his successful race for governor. His “Uncle Jimmy” was one of my small handful of West Virginia political saints. After I was ceremoniously defrocked by the State Bar, the “most unkindest cut (or cuts) of all” came when Joe Manchin and a lawyer from Wetzel County took me off their Christmas-card lists.)
H. John Rogers