Stop the Scandal

In follow-up of our most recent post, “Continuing Connors Code of Conduct Conundrum” and the comments we received on it, we are giving readers a chance to voice their views on the matter to Cardinal O’Malley and the Holy See.

As readers know by now, Finance Council member, Jack Connors, is publicly supporting and raising money for pro-abortion politicians at the same time he is raising money for Catholic schools, has Finance Council oversight for archdiocesan fundraising and is influencing the direction of Catholic education. In the Boston Globe today (“Cash brings Obama back to town“) Jack said that after meeting Obama in 2007, he and his wife were “really impressed’’ and believe he has lived up to their expectations during his years in the White House. Connors said he believes the president has been a good role model.

As a reader commented in our previous post, this is not a matter of political/ideological labels such as “liberal” or “conservative.”  It is a matter of how we should live and practice the Catholic faith, and this also affects governance of the Church.  Though BCI may differ with the Cardinal and archdiocese on certain matters of governance, this is one area where–at least in principle–we do find commonality. Cardinal O’Malley has said that support for pro-abortion politicians “borders on scandal,” and the new Code of Conduct backs that position by saying that public and private conduct of church personnel must be consistent with Catholic Church teachings and exemplify the Church’s moral traditions.

Ensuring that Church leaders responsible for governance (or who influence governance) conduct themselves consistent with Church teachings and moral traditions is a sound practice as far as BCI is concerned.  That is not happening here.

If you are concerned about this situation and would like to ask Cardinal O’Malley and the Holy See to do something about it, please just click on the graphic to the right “Stop the Scandal” and you can write to Holy Father, Cardinal O’Malley, the Papal Nuncio, the Prefect of the Congregation of Bishops, and the Prefect of the Congregation of the Doctrine of the Faith.  The text of the message is below:

I respectfully request that the Holy See help address the ongoing problem of moral scandal in the Boston Archdiocese.

On May 18, a Finance Council member with oversight for fundraising and influence over Catholic schools, Jack Connors, hosted a highly-publicized $2 million fundraiser for President Obama at his home. Obama has voted against banning partial birth abortion and commemorated Roe v Wade in January 2011 saying he is committed to protecting women’s “constitutional right” to an abortion. Connors has been quoted in newspapers recently saying that he and his wife were “both smitten” and “really impressed’’ after meeting Obama in 2007 and believe he has lived up to their expectations in the White House. In 2009, Connors publicly endorsed pro-abortion political candidate Attorney General Martha Coakley, and he is also chair of Partners Healthcare, whose Brigham and Women’s Hospital is one of the largest abortion providers in Massachusetts.

Although Cardinal O’Malley has said it is “bordering on scandal” for Catholics to support pro-abortion political candidates and a new archdiocesan code of conduct policy says the conduct of church personnel must be consistent with Catholic Church teachings and exemplify the Church’s moral traditions, Mr. Connors is allowed to continue in a prominent archdiocesan leadership and advisory role while publicly supporting pro-abortion candidates and while his Partners Healthcare profits from performing abortions. This scandalizes and undermines the faith of the people under the Archbishop of Boston’s pastoral care. It also affects the ability of the archdiocese to continue the Catholic Church’s good works and the saving ministry of Jesus Christ.

With the salvation of souls at stake, I respectfully request that you act decisively in whatever way you deem appropriate to address this grave concern.

Sincerely yours in Christ,

If you agree with this viewpoint, then please fill out the form with your name and address, click “Send the letter,” review your information, and click “Submit.”  If you do not agree with this viewpoint,  you simply need not fill out the form.

To BCI critics who feel this is an inappropriate topic for BCI to take up, we would simply reiterate the following.  The Catholic Church is a private organization and as part of good governance, it makes sense to us that Church leaders charged with governance should conduct themselves in a manner consistent with Church teachings that does not work against the moral traditions of the Church or against the mission of archdiocesan organizations.  If that is not happening or we have concerns we wish to raise, Canon. 212 §3 tells us the faithful “have the right, indeed at times the duty, in keeping with  their knowledge, competence and position, to manifest to the sacred Pastors their views on matters which concern the good of the Church.”

That is what we are doing.

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6 Responses to Stop the Scandal

  1. Objective Observer says:

    Abortion stops a beating heart. Period. Cardinal Sean O’Malley would come to tears telling you how passionately he feels about this. Real tears.

    The question is, what does he DO about it?

    The only point I would disagree with in this BCI posting is that there is a long list of action and inaction by Cardinal O’Malley that is inconsistent with promoting a culture of life — not just his pitiful obeisance to Jack Connors and Bryan Hehir. The cardinal archbishop of Boston demonstrates a pattern of lip service followed by a hollow fog, fading to darkness, in lieu of action.

    My own view is not that Randall Terry is the answer, nor even legislative effort. Changing the way we understand abortion and the women who seek it, and changing the way we behave toward them and their children, will lead to an answer.

    If indeed Sean Patrick is the “pastor” (think Latin) of his flock, he is called to consistently and frequently behave as if he believes that abortion stops a beating heart. He must publicly teach that the fragile women who seek abortions, and their children, not yet born, at risk of death, need everyone’s support. He needs to privately call out Jack Connors, and publicly ask him what he’s done lately to help the most vulnerable among us — women who can see no other solution than abortion, and their children who deserve life (and a good one at that). Are these not as worthy as those who receive face transplants, and “miracle” cancer cures at Jack Connors’ hospitals? Where’s the Partners Healthcare PR about supporting women at risk of abortion and their babies who need to breathe life?

    But we need to change, too. We need to understand that the woman who is sufficiently desperate to seek an abortion will tell you that her primary “problem” is not that she is pregnant. It is homelessness, or violent physical abuse, or substance use, or some very real and desperate fear of the responsibility for this child, that takes her to an abortion provider. But once the abortion is over, the problems she took into the clinic with her remain. The only difference is that she isn’t pregnant. And she has a new problem… the day she eventually wakes up — and it is inevitable — and realizes that her child died. All in all, a messier conversation than, “Abortion is wrong.” Takes a lot more thought and work.

    But Sean doesn’t want to do the work… to speak up. He doesn’t want to demand that his well-heeled friends support these women and their fragile, unborn children. Why? Because Bryan Hehir won’t LET him. Hehir will let him walk in the Boston Life Walk in October (though note Hehir, who oversees “Life” from his cabinet position, does not appear), and he will let him “march” in DC in January. But that’s about it. No point “offending” people and “marginalizing” himself by stirring up the conversation that Hehir proclaims (and I heard him say this) “will never be solved in our lifetime.” If that’s the most rigorous intellectual argument Hehir can raise for the cardinal’s cowering at a public discourse on alternatives to abortion, the Kennedy School of Government is not getting its money’s worth letting Hehir occupy an endowed chair. My 7th-grade daughter can do better… for free.

    To Bryan Hehir: Among problems that will not be solved in your (or my) lifetime: Homelessness, cancer, and not even baldness. But WE will be judged — not on some progress measured by the arbitrary yardstick of our lifetime — but by the quality and effectiveness of our efforts to provide another way for these women and their children.

    Sean flunks the test because he demonstrates a consistent and longstanding pattern of mere lip service to an abortion conversation, and utterly fails to rally the likes of Jack Connors in the support of abortion alternatives in Boston. Why? He fails to act solely in deference to Bryan Hehir’s undue influence and insatiable addiction for political expediency. Sean doesn’t flunk merely by bowing down to Jack Connors, and failing to send him packing from the Finance Council. He fails utterly because he has a longstanding pattern of failing to act to find another way for these women and their children. FACTA NON VERBA, Sean.

    And that’s why you who read BCI should write to the nuncio.

    • Little Red Hen says:

      Objective Observer (and others who have knowledge of this), you say that Hehir “won’t let” the Cardinal demand that his wealthy friends support life, and I don’t dispute that — my question is, what is it about Hehir that he should have such influence over the Cardinal? I mean, can anyone get to the bottom of this?

      • Michael says:

        My best guess is A. extortion … they have the Cardinal in a compromised situation OR worse … B. outright fraud on O’Malley’s part.

        More evidence of this type of behavior was exhibited in O’Malley’s public stance against same-sex marriage while simultaneously ignoring and suppressing efforts to actually protect traditional marriage when he could had the most leverage.

        To this day his weakness (or acquiescence) in same-sex marriage haunts America (as Judge Borque — while standing next to O’Malley warned that if we lose Massachusetts, we will lose the nation to same-sex marriage). Now Obama is trying to get federally approved marriage licenses in Massachusetts Naval facilities .. with not a peep from O’Malley nor his brand new head of the Mass Catholic Conference.

        For a long time now… there have been wolves in sheep’s clothing infiltrating the Catholic Church.

  2. Benedict Newman says:

    One might be inclined to think that we would see better action from the diocesan leadership (roundtable). After all, wouldn’t this issue fall under “Protecting God’s Children?” But alas, it is “business as usual” in RCAB.

  3. theresa says:

    I pray the rosary at the women’s clinic in Brookline.
    It is so very sad what happens at this clinic. They say it’s a women’s choice. All I see there is misery.
    When all is said an done this issue will come down to – Our we on the side of Jesus or not. There will never be any middle ground…..It is once again so disappointing that our beloved leaders in the Catholic Church do not stand up for LIFE…

  4. [...] for people who support abortion, as we have reported multiple times, including last month when we called for his resignation: On May 18, a Finance Council member with oversight for fundraising and influence over Catholic [...]

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