Radical Reshuffling of Boston Archdiocese Revisited

June 29, 2011

Our last post about the a rumored Vatican document in the works on reorganization of U.S. dioceses prompted so many insightul comments that we felt it was worth a follow-up post.

Earlier this month, BCI discussed an AP story published in the Boston Globe and other newspapers about a “radical reshuffling” of the archdiocese at a parish level planned for the not-too-distant future. There were a few things the folks at 66 Brooks Drive thought were not explained exactly right in the mainstream media article, so they clarified them. For your edification and reading pleasure, here are the clarifications and then some of our perspectives.

From The Boston Pilot (June 10, 2011), “Archdiocesan pastoral planning a work in progress, says official“:

BRAINTREE — Father David Couturier, Director of Pastoral Planning for the Archdiocese of Boston, responded June 8 to recent media reports about a possible reorganization of the archdiocese’s parishes.

An Associated Press story, released on June 3, asserted that the archdiocese was considering “reshuffling” their 291 parishes into 80 to 120 clusters. Each group would be supported by collective resources and clergy personnel.

“But it’s not the reshuffling of parishes, it’s a reshuffling or a reorganization of those who serve the parishes.” said Father Couturier. “Those 80-120 groups are the staffing of those parishes, not the parishes themselves.”

“The article seems to indicate that the 291 parishes suddenly become 80-120 parishes, that’s not what we’re looking at,” he added.

Msgr. William Fay, co-chair of the Archdiocesan Pastoral Planning Commission, stressed that the idea is still being explored and is not in a recommendation stage. Msgr. Fay made his comments on the June 8 broadcast of The Good Catholic Life, a local radio show on 1060AM WQOM.

In February, Cardinal O’Malley formed the Archdiocesan Pastoral Planning Commission that will make a final recommendation to him on a plan for the parishes of the archdiocese. The 18 member commission consists of priests, deacons, religious sisters, and laity from around the archdiocese.

“What we’re trying to do is to develop first, a mission plan. This is not primarily about reorganization, it is a plan for positioning the archdiocese to be able to live out its mission in the 21st Century,” said Father Couturier.

“The cardinal has charged us with coming up with ideas about what can be and should be the mission of the archdiocese as we face incredible challenges and limited resources going forward.”

Father Couturier said that they have been “working intensely” with consulting laity and that the cardinal has met with priests of the archdiocese in vicariate, or regional, meetings. Meetings have also been held with parish pastoral associates.

He also said that online surveys have been established to gather comments on strategic priorities.

“All of that material was collected and put into some working models, but they’re working models” said Father Couturier.

“We’re still working through the models. We have lots of challenges to face and we want to do this in the most accountable and transparent way,” he said.

We had several reactions to this after reading the article:

First, we think the idea of a mission plan as a starting point for the effort is an excellent one, though we still have questions about the membership on the committee, as we said previously.

Secondly, we like surveys and would love for BCI readers to be able to provide input toward strategic priorities for the archdiocese! We must have missed the press release about the surveys as part of the open and transparent process the archdiocese has in place for this effort. If someone from the archdiocese would like more input toward strategic priorities, please give us a holler and send us the URL, as we would be glad to promote the survey if it is still open and help you get as much input as possible right away.

Thirdly, it sounds like there is a lot of work being done with working models. With all the work being done with working models, we would urge everyone working on this from the archdiocese to learn as much as possible from what has or has not worked in the working models of other dioceses, such as Camden, NJ, where Mass attendance has dropped dramatically after they embarked on a round of parish consolidation. This April 11, 2011 article from the Philadephia Enquirer reported:

In the fall of 2006, a year and a half before Galante announced that he planned to reduce the number of parishes by more than a third, the annual fall Mass count was 114,000 parishioners. Last fall, the count dropped below 100,000 in the diocese, which stretches across southern New Jersey.

BCI hears from sources in Camden that they worked hard on their working models, but in the end, as many as 30-40% of Catholics are apparently not moving to the new parishes. Coincidentally, Mass attendance in Boston dropped after “reconfiguration.”

Fortunately, the new planning efforts in Boston are intended to avoid closing parishes, but rather will be grouping parishes and considering a new model for a shared “pastoral service team” across that group of parishes.  That stands in contrast to a plan which would have involved “mergers,” where several parishes would have been brought together with at least one or more being closed or “suppressed,” and then one new parish entity would have been created with all of the assets and resources from the previous parishes now belonging to the new parish, which would have represented a new canonical entity.

The concept for this shared pastoral service team across a group of parishes was described in more detail by Msgr. Fay on the radio program, The Good Catholic Life on June 8.

The commission has been getting a sense of the direction they should move in with a first step. They have been taking great care with the future. They created a working paper for themselves to react to. they’re trying to imagine what the whole parochial life will look like. In the past, the archdiocese looked from the parish level, such as how many parishes we need. But now they’re looking at the people serving the parishes and look at them as teams. How ought they ensure the parishes have what they need as they are?

One of the ideas in this working paper is to staff 80-120 pastoral service teams who would each serve 204 parishes. Msgr. Fay wants to make clear this is not a recommendation they’re making yet, but they’re exploring it. Every parish needs a pastor, but how will we have enough pastors for all the parishes we have. There are 291 parishes. Should we have less, based on the number of pastors we will have? Or is it possible for a pastor to be a pastor of 2 or 3 or 4 parishes, supported by a host of people who would be responsible for the parishes. Some of the team would be parochial vicars or retired priests or religious or priests in education. There would be deacons, lay associates, catechists and more. They would be responsible for putting together a pastoral plan for their parishes. The key would be to bring the parishes together in a creative way. Perhaps they don’t need multiple religious education programs or multiple business managers. It’s up to the team to see how best they would work in the parishes. They might even make a recommendation to come together as one parish, not as imposed from above, but coming from among those in the parishes themselves.

This is not about consolidating 291 parishes into 80 to 120 parishes. Msgr. Fay said it was about pastoral teams and no parish was envisioned as closing. That number of 80 to 120 was purposefully small as well in order to engender as much discussion as possible.

You can’t say that one parish must forfeit assets to help a parish in the grouping that is struggling. Canon law would not allow it. They’re not combining the assets of all the parishes. However, where a parish in the past might have been able to afford a particular staff, maybe three parishes could.

Scot said some people are asking whether this pastoral plan will be “Reconfiguraton II,” referring to the process back in 2004. How did that inform the process of the pastoral planning commission. Msgr. Fay said the project of 2004 was a kind of downsizing, saying we can’t maintain what we have. From the beginning people realized we couldn’t have 350+ parishes. The difference today is that they don’t want to get caught up in that question. The key issue here is to ask how we’re going to bring ourselves together to focus on evangelization and use the resources we have in the future, becoming the prism by which we look forward as opposed to asking how we’re going to hang on. He finds it to be optimistic and it gives him hope and enlivens his desire to be a priest here in the future.

Msgr. Fay said it’s their hope that as parishes group there will be real excitement and hope to grow further and become vibrant communities. The key element is the pastoral plan for the future life of the parish by the pastoral team for the life of the parish for 2, 4, and 6 years and more. There will be more than 100 local pastoral plans that tie into the archdiocesan pastoral plan. It won’t be one-size-fits-all.

There is much work still to be done. A multitude of issues need to be thought through. Just one example of the canonical conundrum is the canonical requirement that each parish have its own Finance Council. But if there is one pastor for 4 parishes, making him attend 4 separate Finance Council meetings means additional workload and stress, not greater efficiency.  Initial concepts under discussion may not find their way to a final recommendation or implementation. Though BCI has voiced our concerns about the membership of the archdiocesan pastoral planning committee previously, what we have seen of their work to date appears to be thoughtful and not rushed.

Responsibility for the future of the archdiocese does not just rest on a committee, as several readers expressed yesterday. More on that topic next time.


Vatican Document on Reorganization of U.S. Dioceses

June 27, 2011

An email we received from an alert reader this morning gave us the impetus to return to a topic from a few weeks ago, namely, the “Radical Reshuffle for the Boston Archdiocese.”  The article appeared in a publication called “Vatican Insider.”  (Boston Catholic Insider likes the name of the publication, “Vatican Insider,” A LOT! ).

Here are a few excerpts, and then we will recap how this all relates back to recent news from Boston.

The tsunami of child abuse cases has devastated the life of the American Church

The huge wave of child abuse scandals has dramatically altered the life of the American church. Not only from a moral point of view…But also, and above all, from an economic point of view.

The lawsuits brought forward demanding tens of billions of dollars in damages, which have enriched the victims of abuse from decades ago and the team of specialised lawyers in the field have forced several dioceses to seek judicial protection for bankruptcy.

There is great concern in the Vatican. Not just because the United States, historically, has always made large contributions to the Holy See’s budget, a budget which receives very little revenue and so is normally in the red without the contributions of the dioceses of the various donating countries throughout the world, among which the most important are the U.S., Germany and Italy. The Holy See, however, also fears that economic problems could lead to repercussions on religious life and even on maintaining the basic living conditions for priests, especially pensioners.

For this reason, the Congregation for the Clergy in agreement with other departments has prepared a specific document, which will be released after the summer, possibly in October,  that is specifically dedicated to the reorganization of American dioceses…It will provide guidelines on how the U.S. Bishops’ Conference, and each individual diocese must act to rebuild its presence in their area.

A “classic” negative example of the reorganisation linked to the economic problems is that of Cleveland, where the Holy See has decided to send an apostolic visit, or rather, an investigation to look into whether the decisions taken by the Bishop Ordinary Gerard Lennon were adequate.  He announced that 29 parishes will close and another 41 will be merged. The restructuring plan which will cut 52 parishes out of 224 is already in effect. Other cities in which word about closure has been heard are Camden, New Jersey, Allentown, Pennsylvania and New York City. The reasons that prompted the decision to close parishes in Cleveland have been the flow of population to outlying areas, the financial difficulties that have seen 42% of parish budgets finish in the red and the shortage of priests. Now this last point is questioned by the Vatican and the apostolic visit will serve to ascertain the facts. The Vatican has asked Lennon to stop his policy of savage cuts.  In Boston, amongst many other controversies, he closed 60 parishes. So far the Vatican has not had any luck.

The protests of the faithful against these cuts have been numerous and loud and have even reached the Vatican. This uprising inspired the creation of a document which is based precisely on the nature of participation at the grass roots level that the Church in the United States has, therefore giving an important role to the laity. The philosophy is that of making a distinction between parish and the church. A diocese in difficulty does well to reduce the number of parishes, but must maintain churches and chapels where they exist, perhaps entrusting the care to families of the faithful who are willing to look after them and keep them open. Then on Sundays it is easy to send a priest to celebrate Mass. This solution would take into account various factors, the first being the singular issue of distances, which in the United States are so large. Outright closure of places of worship often oblige the private faithful of the parish to take long journeys to participate in the holy Sunday service.

A second problem that the document will take into account is the sale of and management changes at Catholic hospitals. The first recommendation is to preserve an ethical perspective in the case of a change in management. If this is not possible, then one can sell, but must anyway favour organizations and institutions that are ethically sound. Finally – and this will not be in the document, and will probably be part of recommendations provided to the individual bishops, there is great concern about the consequences of the payment of damages for the abuses. Some dioceses, such as Boston, led by the Franciscan Cardinal O’Malley that have been particularly affected by the abuse phenomenon, are extremely generous. But they may run the risk of not being able to pay for pensions and healthcare assistance to elderly priests. The document will advise the creation of a guaranteed safety net for people such as these who are particularly vulnerable.

 

As the alert reader who passed this along to BCI noted, multiple issues that have attracted attention in Rome seem to have some origins in Boston or connection to the Boston archdiocese.

  • Extremely generous child abuse settlements
  • Drastic parish closings
  • Ethical issues around the sale of the Catholic hospital
  • Ability to pay for pensions and maintain basic living conditions and healthcare for elderly priests

Though the child abuse claims and initial plans for parish closings preceded the arrival of Cardinal O’Malley in Boston, for better or for worse, the manner in which he has dealt with all of the above is certainly something that Cardinal Sean and his team “own.”  We hope the Congregation for the Clergy is well-informed–in particular, about the $25 million buyout clause in the Caritas deal which we discussed multiple times last year. Last July in our blog post, “Trust” we shared how Cerberus/Steward can abandon the Catholic identity of the hospitals if it is “burdensome” to them and start performing abortions at Caritas hospitals for a donation of $25 million to a charity chosen by Cardinal O’Malley.

BCI thinks the final document will be very valuable, as many dioceses are wrestling with these issues. What do you think of how the Boston archdiocese has handled the areas cited in the article?


BCI Reader Messages to Cardinal O’Malley

June 24, 2011

A few days ago we asked BCI readers to write their messages to Cardinal Sean O’Malley, specifically concerning matters that will improve the ability of the Archdiocese to advance her mission.  (The mission of the Pastoral Center is “To continue the saving ministry of Jesus Christ”).  We said readers could submit a top priority or some top problems you would like for the Cardinal to address, it could be a compliment, a criticism, a mix of positive and constructive feedback, a suggestion, or anything relevant to his pastoral leadership in teaching, sanctifying, and governing the archdiocese.  The goal  was to share feedback or a message that you, our readers, believed would lead to the archdiocese being better able to continue the saving ministry of Jesus Christ.

We originally thought we would pick just a few of them to share, but found it tough to decide which ones to include vs exclude. So we went with all except any that suggested a change in Catholic Church teaching. We will also send these along to Cardinal O’Malley via email over the weekend and invite his response to them.

Thanks to all for taking the time to write your thoughtful and insightful messages.

Time for a change says:
Cardinal Law left when it was clear that he could not serve.  It’s time to go.  You know that.

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Chris says:

Cardinal O’Malley, I would urge you to clear your schedule and spend several days  in Adoration in front of the Blessed Sacrament, asking for the wisdom and discernment to perform your duties in a manner pleasing to the Lord.
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dotty banks says:
Dear Cardinal,

Please do something to help the many dedicated and grossly underpaid lay workers throughout your archdiocese. Many have served for forty or fifty years, knowingly accepting lower wages, without union protection, because of their devotion to Christian values. It is unjust to punish them by cutting their modest pensions while paying six figure salaries to numerous, newly hired, administrators.

Jesus would be ashamed of the way you’re allowing your workes to be treated! So please do something !!!!!!

Take the time to adress this problem instead of continuing to ignore it. It won’t go away!

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teddy ballgame says:

Cardinal O’Malley, I think you know this, but morale at 66 Brooks is terrible. I know, I worked at RCAB and dealt with parishes, schools etc. on a daily basis. The negativity was palpable! The 4 Pastoral Operating Principles are not only ignored but trampled on every day. The backbiting,finger pointing, lying, and abuse of power that occurs is the worst I have ever seen. And this is the Archdiocese of Boston? The individuals responsible, McDonough and Gustavason, are a major part of the problem. Therefore I suggest you appoint a senior person to tackle this very serious problem.

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Objective Observer says:

You give a great homily.  You had us at your installation — watching as BCTV broadcast that homily in July 2003, cheers went up all over the Archdiocese.  You had us in the palm of your hand.  It had been a long haul for 18 months (for absolutely everyone) and we were ready for the bright hope you articulated on that rainy day in July.

What happened?  How did all that goodwill and affection become rancor and division?  How does your pastoral goodwill end up looking like bases loaded, but then you hit into an inning-ending double play?  And what is the best advice one could offer you now?

As CEO of Corp Sole, it appears that you have overseen some serious misconduct.  The buck stops on your desk… or in your case on your tray table.  Based on the public record, it looks like a reasonable grand jury could find fraud, conflict of interest, undue influence and misappropriation of funds, before they got warmed up.  It would appear that many of these questions are governed by state law, but in Boston we have a U.S. attorney who is willing to do the A.G.’s job for her when she looks the other way.  Just ask Mr. DiMasi.

Dropping the reins and allowing whoever head butts you the hardest to pick them up is not a defense at law or in equity.  Nor is the sham of empaneling endless committees to make “recommendations” that you “accept” and put into force by letting someone else sign your name.  So if any of that sounds familiar as an m.o., you might start asking around for the right counsel… and I mean lawyer as well as Gift of the Holy Spirit.

The people who actually have held the reins in your case, Bryan, Ann, Jim, Carol, Beirne, Bob and Jack, like we saw with the cronies of DiMasi, would gleefully turn state’s evidence rather than take the fall themselves, don’t you think?  There really are a lot of parallels between your situation and the former speaker’s.

Once these things get going, the AUSAs tend to want to hold onto your passport.  That’s OK, mounting a defense wouldn’t leave you much time for travel anyway… at least if you have worthy counsel.

And for the rest of us, we can watch a replay of that installation homily and mourn what might have been.  That’s plenty of expiation for letting it happen on our watch — priests and laity alike.

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Another former employee says:

I hope that Cardinal O’Malley will remember his promise to fund the priests’ and lay employees’ pensions.

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Anonymous says:

Clean house at the top (McDonough, Gustavson, Donilon, Grassa O’Neill and her staff, McEnness et al.

Take care of the rank and file employees who have been systemmatically mistreated over the past sevreal years.

Announce a plan to fund the lay pension plan.

Appoint good Catholics to the Finance council and get rid of people like Connors

Then resign, you are not competent to lead the Archdiocese.

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“Just Wondering” says:

“JUST WONDERING” says:  you forgot another dangerous person,  the one and the only J. Bryan Hehir.

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Jack O’Malley says:
Cardinal O’Malley,

Drive the mercenaries from the chancery as Christ did the money changers from the temple.   And purge the smoke of Satan from those sanctuaries where it swirls thickest.  You know which ones.

Esto Princeps Ecclesiae.  Duc fortiter.  Fideles volenter sequentur,

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Anonymous says:
As St. Patrick, the patron saint of the Achdiocese did, drive the snakes out of 66 Briooks Drive.

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Little Red Hen says:

Dear Cardinal O’Malley, please pay a visit to the superintendent and the staff of the Office of Catholic Schools and thank them for their service to the Archdiocese, tell them their service is no longer required, and send them on their way.  Then contact the Dominican Sisters of Mary, Mother of the Eucharist (www.sistersofmary.org) and tell them that you have a mission for them here, which is to restore meaningful catechesis and authentic Catholicity to the few schools that remain in the Archdiocese of Boston.

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Lazarus’ Table says:

Cardinal Sean,
I don’t suppose it is easy for any man to be a bishop, especially in these times and particularly in Boston.   For all its supposed conservatism, Boston Catholics (clergy & lay) sure can pick and choose what they want to believe and when they will stand by their bishop… or not.

Cardinal Sean, clean house.  You’ve already tried that earlier by sending some priests back into the parishes (for which, I’m sure, the parishes thank you…).  But I think you’ve been “taken” by people you trusted who have their own agenda and who’ve surrounded themselves with people of their mind, not yours.   The perceived scandal and mistrust of those in Braintree has so  had a paralyzing effect on us that I would hope some of those men would voluntarily resign on their own pro bono publico and allow for fresh air and a renewed start.  Can’t they admit their presence  is hurting not helping the Church?  It’s not good when they give rise to rumors that you and/or the archdiocese are being blackmailed or held hostage in some other way.

Cardinal Sean, clean house.   You owe it to yourself and us.  You’ve sacrifriced alot for the Church but the current state of affairs make it seem like the Church is sacrificing alot for you.  And I’m sure that is not what you want or intend.

Cardinal Sean, please let us know how we can help you in a personal way.  We pray for you, of course.  But do you need a friend?  Do you need to be reminded that “Sean” is loved and needed? Does your morale need a boost?  Are you healthy, Cardinal Sean? How can we help you?  How can we help you to help us?  We’ll be there for you, Cardinal Sean.  Please be there for us now.

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Anthony says:

I believe as an urgent matter that the Cardinal should, personally, look to correct the wrong done to the Hispanic children of Lawrence by the closing of the St. Mary of the Assumption elementary school. Though it is true that the Augustinians no longer wish to support the school, there are others who will. Please Cardinal Sean, we beg you to reverse this faulty decision to close St. Mary’s. A high proportion of the 250 students there will no longer have a Catholic school formation.

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TalkWalker says:

Cardinal O’Malley – You do many inspirational things.  The way you handled the victims of the Abuse Crisis was admirable and sincere.  Your pastoral letter and your efforts at evangelization are clear and good.  How can the same person -you- permit things like St. Cecilia’s to occur, amd let some of your key people (McDonough, Hehir, Kickam) turn the Archdiocese into a political cesspool?  None of your priests respect or trust any of them, yet you keep them around?  Why?

You still have time to leave the Archdiocese better than you received it from a spiritual perspective.  Please stop allowing the “money guys” and “priests that sell-out and dilute Catholicism”  tell you its all about money.  You speak often as responding to the sex abuse crisis and balancing the budget are the two legacies you’ll leave.  You don’t talk about anything related to helping Catholics overcome 2 bad generations of evangelization and formation.  Luckily you are only 67 and, God willing, have 10 more years to fix this course.  As you said well in your letter at Pentecost – the primary mission of the Church is evangelization.  Now your sheep are asking you to make it your top priority.  Please walk the talk.

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Boston Priest says:

Cardinal Sean,
I know your job is a tough one and you’ve intimated to many people that you don’t want to be here.

Until such time as you decide it’s time to move on from Boston, more than a handful of diocesan priests would find it a morale boost if you’d  wear the clerical suit/cassock of a diocesan bishop instead of your Franciscan habit (ie. as Archbishop Chaput has chosen to do). I know canonically you have the option to dress in conformity with your religious community and sacred calling and it’s your decision. I see where for formal occasions, and trips to Rome you wear the diocesan bishop cassock. But, we’re all diocesan priests here, so by dressing other than we do, it makes a lot of us feel like you’re not really bought into being our diocesan bishop. It’s like you’re somewhere else, like an itinerant wanderer and not appearing as though you’re the one responsible for the diocese. We’re treated similarly canonically, with many left hanging in limbo continuing to serve as pastors with no formal renewal of pastoral terms.

It’s a lot more than the attire, but the what you wear symbolizes something to everyone.

As long as you’re here, it would dignify the office of Archbishop of Boston and be a boost to morale for a lot of the guys if you’d dress the part of diocesan bishop that the Holy Father asked you to play here, rather than dressing for the part you might want to play somewhere else.

  • Michael says:

    It would also be quite dignified to not continuously contradict your previously stated positions as you have on several occasions.

  • Jack O’Malley says:

I agree totally with Boston Priest about the attire of the Archbishop of Boston.  The exemplar of Archbishop Chaput is particularly à propos.

As I posted earlier, you, Seán Cardinal O’Malley are a Prince of the Church.  Princeps.  Princeps Ecclesiae.  You understand the Latin.  Who was called a Princeps?  Be a Princeps.  And you will have the loyalty of true Catholics. The piskie wannabes will abandon you in droves.  Tantum melius!

Continue on the present course and you will have schism in your archdiocese.  We are fed up.  We will revolt.  Why do you think the FSSPX are expanding and you and your V2 novus ordo protestantised church is shrinking?

You have the classical education.  You have the traditional formation.  You are not much older than I.  You have the linguistic gift and training to preach the Evangelion to many peoples.  I exhort you to restore the Traditional Mass in all parishes of your bishopric.  You will have altar boys.  You will then have vocations.  You will then have faithful masculine priests.  And when you die, you will be assured of your reward when you confront our Saviour.  And you will be remembered here on earth as the true Franciscan Repairer of the Church of Christ once gone to ruin.

What is holding you back, your Eminence?  Why are you so timid?  Fear nothing!  Audax atque strenuus.  Vivat Christus Rex!

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Mack says:

Cardinal O’Malley:
I know  you have a difficult ministry and believe you are sincerely trying. Yet something is grievously wrong in this archdiocese. Recently after Mass I was briefly speaking to a priest he said that “the archdiocese is imploding.” He didn’t elaborate, but we all know what’s going on.

I would urge you to do three things:

1. Give priority to teaching the fullness of the Catholic faith, even on the tough issues. I was so saddened to see you at Ted Kennedy’s funeral standing on the sidelines and not giving any witness at all to the Church’s teaching on life. Kennedy was an ardent supporter of abortion legislation throughout his Senate career. To me it was a terrible scandal that the impression was given that a politician can work with all his might to promote the “culture of death,” as Pope John Paul termed it, and then receive accolades as if he was some kind of saint.  Another important issue is homosexuality, and the proposed “gay pride” Mass at St Cecilia’s is another situation you need to address.

2. Stop listening to the advisors you now have, and find some other persons with better judgment and the gifts of the Holy Spirit. Invest more time in personal prayer and make this a priority.

3. Publicly acknowledge the full extent of the injustice you did to the Daughters of St. Paul, and apologize to the sisters for: 1) having interfered in their internal affairs and brought serious trials to their leadership team and 2) for allowing the pension fund issue to drag on for 5 years. This sad situation shows how poorly you have led this archdiocese. The facts show that you did not intervene to help the sisters find justice when they and their employees were being unjustly treated. If you had used your influence, why would it have dragged on for 5 years? But when you received some negative publicity, you immediately called their superior general to complain because your ego was offended. I can only conclude from this that you care more about your public image than you do about doing justice. Shame on you!

  • Michael says:

To the contrary … Cardinal O’Malley was not “standing on the sidelines and not giving any witness at all to the Church’s teaching.”  He was on the field doing that trick play in football that we employed as kids … he stood on the field trying to make it look like he was standing on the sidelines – but instead he had a very big role in the play.

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JRBreton says:

Cardinal O’Malley, please tend to your priests.  They need your encouragement, and your discipline.  Consider, for instance, the great scandal caused by so many priests saying Mass in their own particular way.  That would not be the case if our priests were acting in personal Christi.  Nothing much good can be expected until we have a reformation of  our priests.  It is your job; please don’t shirk it.

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Anonymous Priest says:

Cardinal O’Malley,
Boston Catholic Insider has provided an incredible service to the Archdiocese of Boston. BCI has begun to confront the some of the corruption in this archdiocese . They do so in a manner that is professional, direct and charitable. The failure of this archdiocese to respond  responsibly to the issues raised by the BCI is a scandal which has a different face that the one of 2002 but nonetheless, still scandalous. The BCI discusses issues after doing  its homework and demonstrates a good knowledge of and commitment to the true mission of the church. Never relying on hearsay, it continues to speak the truth with  charity and clarity. Unfortunately, the archdiocese continues to dismiss the BCI as is  its customary response to people and ideas it does not like. It’s very encouraging for many of the priests  of this archdiocese to see  that the BCI will not be intimidated nor is it going to go away. If the archdiocese were willing to engage the BCI  and begin to “clean house” we could actually have a vibrant archdiocese. Please, Cardinal O’Malley, listen to the BCI.

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John A. Cronin says:

A suggestion if I may…..Advisors should be screened and one group who would help His Eminence would be the Franciscans of the Primitive Observance.  They are living the life of Francis, working the streets of Boston and Lawrence and should be asked advice on a timely basis, just to get to the truth.  Thier loyalty to Cardinal O’Malley is beyond questionable.

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H.O.T. says:

Dear Cardinal O’Malley,

I know you to be a good man, Your Eminence. I think you’re doing a basically good job administering the Diocese, these nattering carpers to the contrary. I understand you have a difficult job, and you’re caught between a rock and a hard place in terms of fixed assets you can’t liquidate, and immediate need and long-term debts.

I do think a lot of your advisers need to get replaced, though (for reasons different than most here). Inter alia, Fr. Hehir’s influence has been insidious for a long time, but it’s not just him. It might be time to just start over.

Outside of that, I wish there was even one person who is charged  with using your delegated authority to assure both the orthodoxy and fullness of doctrine is being taught and preached in the Archdiocese. It’s still not even close.

Your faithful son,

H.O.T.

———————————————————————————–
Kdgd says:

Dear Cardinal Sean,

What sorrow must fill your heart to see our Church shriveling away in Boston. Yet just like the rose bush is trimmed to an ugly stump to survive the winter, our church needs serious pruning. Only then can it thrive and bloom again in spring. There are many problems but top of the list is lack of formation & creeping secularization.

For starters, the CCD program in every parish and school needs to be evaluated. They teach that “God Loves You”, which is of course true, but little else. A love for the Eucharist and a basic understanding of the Catechism is scandalously lacking. Every parish needs adult formation, not just RCIA, but a “Catholic Answers” type forum to help answer the “why’s” of the what the Church teaches.  EVERY priest, Bishop and Cardinal should teach  CCD, confirmation, RCIA or adult formation classes.  At the present moment, our priests are asked to act more as fundraisers than evangelizers.  Who gives up a family for that?

Secularization has entered nearly all areas of the church, especially education and charity. Catholic schools and Catholic Charities have become almost indistinguishable from their secular versions. Recently a glossy Catholic Charities booklet was sent to my house- while professional looking, it didn’t mention one word about Christ and the Faith  in all its multicolor splendor.  Blessed Mother Teresa should be the roll model for service.

The Church is shrinking in Boston, but if it is secularized in hope that this will antagonize fewer people into leaving (and hence decrease the coffers even more) then there is no chance of renewal. Of the 20% of Mass going Catholics, how many attend less than 52 weeks a year, practice birth control, understand the Real Presence in Eucharist, understand the Church’s teaching on the Gospel of Life? How truly depressing – I cannot imagine presiding over this kind of decline. Even with bold leadership and action , renewal is unlikely to happen in our lifetimes, but it is the only hope.

———————————————————————————–
Marianne Keating says:

I agree with the many responses above about cleaning out the Chancery of the overpaid, scandalous, heretical employees.  Have courage, Cardinal O’Malley, and trust God to bring us through it all after the pieces fall!

On a positive note, I was delighted to hear Sr. Olga will be starting an order of nuns here in the Archdiocese.  Wonderful news as she is a holy and inspirational nun and will be a true blessing for our Archdiocese and the many lives she touches!

———————————————————————————–

Michael says:

Here is a suggestion if you are uncertain as to what to do.  Fire anyone stealing from the Archdiocese – that includes Mary Grassa O’Neill ($325,000/yr), her deputies and anyone making above a liveable salary — any salary does not clearly demonstrate a willingness to be a servant of Christ (i.e., anyone making over $50,000 – 60,000 a year).

Also, fire those new lawyers you got for giving you pathetic and wimpy legal advice — you know … the ones who say that HR cannot even ask a prospective employee whether or not the applicant is Catholic because doing so allegedly violates the law.

Hey smartypants lawyers — that is the most ridiculous legal advice ever offered.  With people like you boys fighting for us, who needs enemies.

———————————————————————————–

Bill Redmond says:

Dear Cardinal O’Malley,

Thank you for working with Holy Family Communications to bring WQOM to the Boston Archdiocese.  The Good Catholic Life program is wonderful.  I’d like to see a change in the format that would allow for callers to interact with Scott and the guests.

Bill Redmond

OK says:
Bill,
It’s not the format that would need to change their is a technical issue that doesn’t allow for taking calls from the general public…until that issue is resolved their will be no call ins.  I know this to be the situation.
———————————————————————————–
David says:

Thank you, Cardinal O’Malley, for coming to the Courage Conference held at Betania II in Medway in 2008.  The members of Courage and Encourage appreciate the work you have done publicly and behind the scenes in supporting our efforts to live chaste and holy lives.

———————————————————————————–

freda says:

Dear Cardinal O’Malley,

The media says that the Archdiocese has confirmed the re-scheduling of the St. Cecilia pro-gay-pride mass for July 10.  That is crazy.  How can you approve a mass in a holy place celebrating ANY sexual practices, let alone sexual practices that for 2,000 years the Church has called “intrinsically disordered”?  Even earlier,  much of the Old Testament teaches that God told the Israelites to stop pagan worships!   Pagan worship meant temple prostitutes and the celebration of adultery and  disordered sexual acts.  How can you possibly allow St. Cecilia’s to be turned into a pagan temple?????  How can you????  You really must stop this immediately.  It is scandalizing the faithful (and all converts and — imagine what message it is sending to all those Anglican and Episcopal priests bravely considering “coming home” to the Catholic Church!)

I have heard that the St. Cecilia mass  will now be called a “welcome” mass.  Are you kidding?  Do you think that lay Catholics are stupid? PLEASE put a stop to this.

  • anna says:

    Freda,  You bring up an excellent point about converts and Anglicans.  Losing converts is a price they are willing to pay to get the gays, lesbians and wealthy parishioners to achieve their big fundraising goals.

    But the thing is Freda, they are actually the stupid ones because they can’t figure out the reason why they are going bankrupt.  For every donor they get with their clapping fornication and sodomy mission statements, they lose 100 sane donors.

———————————————————————————–

anonymous reader

Dear Cardinal O’Malley:

A humble servant of Jesus is asking for your support on what I believe to be grave matters.

1.  Rebuilding the sanctity of St. Cecilia’s Parish in Boston.  In this case, I believe Fr. Unni, Bishop Hennessey are giving into a political culture rather than to the teachings found in the Old Testament.  No where in the New Testament does Jesus give approval of homosexuals living together.  This needs to be immediately addressed for the good of the whole Archdiocese.

Fr. Unni likened the circumstances to Love v Hate.  The Gay Pride ministry represents LOVE and those who object to the Holy, Catholic Church being used to chastise the Holy Eucharist are HATERS.  Nothing could be further from the truth.

Terry Donilon said that you approved of Fr. John Unni, Pastor of St. Cecilia’s, and that the Gay Pride Mass is going forward as previously scheduled.  What do you have to say about this??????

John Connors, caused scandal to us when he opened his home for a $2 million fundraiser for the most Pro-Abortion President.  Pres. Obama said he would let his daughters have an abortion if they found themselves pregnant out of wedlock.  Why then, would Mr. Connors want to host a hugh fundraiser for him.  Where is Mr. Connors on this issue???????

Would you please look into this and CANCEL THIS MASS.  Mass should never be offered for a cause.

2.  Recently Fr. Pavone, a good and holy man preached at St. Paul’s in Hingham.  Becasue a person held up a sign showing a 23 week old fetus being dismembered, someone called the police and they took his license plate number.  A call then came to Fr. Rafferty saying that he shouldn’t have allowed Fr. Pavone to come and speak.

Fr. Pavone is a wonderful priest in support of life.  Our Archdiocese is certainly in need of the presence of PFL.  Why, did a spokesperson from your office call to nix it?????

Thank you for your consideration of these important issues to the flock who is trying their best to be faithful to Christ and the Holy Eucharist.

———————————————————————————–

williamh says:

The leadership of the Catholic Church needs to make it perfectly clear that:  they do not support homosexuality in any way (Maureen Dowd, unfortunately, hit right on the head in NYT article about homosexuality in Church; they need to own up to it ; discover why it occurred so rampantly; how to squash and deal with it now;  they need to strongly defend marriage; always speak out against abortion; speak out against same sex marriage; homosexuality is an intrinsic disorder and homosexual practices are mortal sins.  Their mission is to:  teach, govern, and sanctify.  Many of them get an “F” on all three.  Why are they gutless and wishy-washy.  Why have there been so many “feminized” clergy within the last few decades.  What about the faithful, straight clergy standing up to the gay,clerical mafia in each diocese.  We need it; it can reestablish the faithful’s TRUST in their clergy, from the cardinals on down.

———————————————————————————–

Jane M. Finn says:

Dear Cardinal O’Malley,

I thought the mission of the Catholic Church was about “saving souls.”  How is that mission being fulfilled at St. Cecilia’s?  Their Rainbow Ministry, with full knowledge of the Archdiocese, is hosting a specially named Mass on July 10th.  This Mass will be celebrating those of a sexual persuasion, that if practiced, is against the 6th Commandment.  So, shouldn’t  the Archdiocese be concerned for their souls? Or has the Archdiocese eliminated the 6th Commandment? Should the Ten Commandments now be called the Nine Commandments?  There seems to be so much ‘double speak’ coming from the Archdiocese….CONFUSION.

Right now, I think, is the perfect time for the Archdiocese to give real evangelization by way of the Boston Media to millions and millions here and across the country that would certainly save some souls. They should give witness to the successful Catholic Church sponsored program for homosexuality called COURAGE for the homosexual and ENCOURAGE for his/her’s family members.  This is an opportunity that should not be waisted!

Only the TRUTH and LOVE of Jesus Christ brings true peace and quiets the restless heart.  Spin will only keep poor souls spinning and will not save them.

———————————————————————————–

Alice Slattery says:

Dear Cardinal O’Malley,
If you look carefully at the parish bulletins and the activities of the Rainbow Ministry that are promoted by Fr. John Unni as pastor of St. Cecilia’s parish in Boston  and compare them to those of Fr. Walter Cuenin’s in his parish bulletins at Our Lady Help of Christians parish in Newton (which are in the archives from the time when Bp. William Murphy was Moderator), you will see that they are practically identical in the way that they advanced the cause of the desires of the members of his parish who  promote the  LGBT agenda. In fact,  in June of 2006, Fr. Walter Cuenin received the Pride Interfaith Award during Gay Pride week for his advocacy for the desires of the LGBT advocates by his “gay-affirming ” efforts in his parish and  “the religious community” in  Boston.(“Catholic priest to preach at Boston Pride Interfaith Service”,Bay Windows,2/02/06). To my recollection, there was nothing critical of this fact  printed in The Pilot .
I may be wrong but I also  don’t recall anything critical in The Pilot when Fr. Cuenin joined Fr. Thomas Carroll,rector of the Jesuit Urban Center,Boston, when they opposed the ban on gay marriage before the Mass. State Legislature in 2002.(“Three priests oppose ban on gay marriage”,Boston Globe,4/11/02,p.p.B1.B10).
Now that the members of the Jesuit Urban Center have moved into St. Cecilia’s parish, is Fr. Unni accommodating their desire for  acceptance of gay marriage?
Since Fr. Unni is ‘walking in the footsteps’ of Fr, Cuenin,  and is recognized by the GLBT advocates for his efforts to advocate for their desires, will you remain silent as you did when Fr. Cuenin was honored by those who gave him the  GLBT Pride award?  Would you be in agreement if the recipient of the LGBT Pride award next year is Fr. John Unni?The perception of your silence regarding the impact that such advocacy has on the parishioners of the Boston Archdiocese is very confusing. Please, as our Shepherd, clearly explain your position.


Boston Catholic Insider: One Year Old Today

June 23, 2011

Readers,

Today, BCI is one-year-old.  We do not know whether it is best described as a “first anniversary” or “first birthday”– but suffice to say, it is one year since our first post.

Without really knowing where we would be heading or how long this blog would be around, we said at the time we were “a new blog that we hope will help people learn more about what is happening inside the Archdiocese of Boston.”

We believe we have succeeded at that. Today we would like to thank you for your continued readership, recap the past year and share a few thoughts for the coming year.

Why BCI?

The reason for BCI is as we said in our Open Letter to Cardinal O’Malley and archdiocesan leaders last August:

We write to you on behalf of thousands of people in the Archdiocese of Boston asking that you take steps to address concerns which undermine the mission of the Catholic Church in Boston…Our driving purpose with the blog in putting certain topics out in the light of day is simply to expose verifiable facts and matters that most people objectively feel should be addressed or corrected so that we can build a stronger Catholic Church in Boston and continue the good works of the Church…Our hope with the blog was to give a voice to laity, donors, and the many outstanding priests and people faithfully serving the Archdiocese who are frustrated and fed up with the corruption, cronyism, and general direction of the Archdiocese.

This still remains.  A few things have changed since then and lot has still not changed. So despite our desire to just have the archdiocese operate with integrity and transparency, that has largely not happened yet, so the BCI continues to have no shortage of material to write about.

First Year Significant Events

There are highlights and lowlights from the past year.  BCI posted 207 blog posts and they generated about 2,900 comments.Readers have had a lot to say to us and the archdiocese.

Our most recent survey asking for your input had some technical issues that prevented many readers from responding initially earlier this week. We asked readers one question: “Rate for each of the following, how serious you feel these mistakes, breaches of trust, or examples of corruption are that have been propagated by the leadership of the Archdiocese of Boston in the past year.”

Of the hundreds of responses received so far, here are the top ten. The column on the right represents the percentage of all respondents to each question who rated the seriousness of this issue the highest–4 on a scale from 1-4, meaning “Very serious, heads should roll.” (For example, 80% of respondents said “Mary Grassa O’Neill’s $325,000 annual salary” was a very serious problem).


Beyond the survey, in no priority order, here are some additional thoughts from BCI on what we see as highlights and lowlights from the past year.  BCI does not claim credit or blame for these.  We simply share these as events or things that occurred, which may or may not all have some connection to BCI.

  • Decision of archdiocese to block access to BCI for Pastoral Center employees in August of 2010. Terry Donilon and archdiocese criticize BCI for “unfounded claims” but never provide any basis for the criticism, making their claim of “unfounded claims” the real “unfounded claim.”
  • Caritas Christi sale/transfer to Cerberus: extensive conflicts of interest exposed, along with $25 million sellout provision for Cerberus dropping Catholic identity/ethical directives and permitting abortions at Caritas hospitals
  • BCI priest appreciation post: more than 70 priests were publicly recognized for their outstanding ministry by BCI readers
  • “Sham search” for new Secretary of Institutional Advancement undertaken under the chairmanship of Jack Connors and publicly announced to the archdiocese. Faithful Catholics and committee members were deceived into believing an “open search” was being undertaken when it was never intended. BCI called the “sham search” for what it was and announced the name of the insider pre-selected for the job, Kathleen Driscoll. The archdiocese acknowledged she was chosen to committee members and the public months after BCI questioned the integrity of the search and her name had been posted publicly on the blog.
  • Archbishop Timothy Dolan elected president of USCCB, defeating expected winner, Bishop Gerald Kicanas. The vote followed an aggressive “Red Alert” campaign by BCI and others that got people from across the country faxing and emailing bishops prior to the vote.
  • Archdicoese finally publishes names of Finance Council members and committee members on website. Archdiocese also starts signing letters with actual names of trustees of lay pension fund, instead of anonymously.
  • 2011 Pastoral Center operating budget published at BostonCatholic.org six months into the fiscal year
  • Compensation committee formed to address criticism of excessive six-figure salaries, though BCI thinks a committee hiring expensive consultants is the wrong solution and overkill.  The excessive six-figure salary problem continues unabated and appears to be getting worse, not better.
  • After archdiocese pressures former employees to accept lump-sum payout of pension benefits to save money, concerns with changes to lay pension plan and reduction in earned benefits to former employees were publicly exposed. Cardinal says as long as he has breath in his body he will work to fully fund the plan, but no changes were announced to refund the plan.
  • Catholic Schools Campaign fails to ever announce results of Jack Connors’ $70M 2010 campaign
  • 2010 Catholic Appeal raised $1.5M less than 2009 appeal with Jack Connors’ new “crackerjack” fund-raising team in-place
  • The announcement of Chancellor McDonough being appointed to another 5-year term was made immediately after hundreds of Catholics sent emails to Cardinal O’Malley and priests of the archdiocese asking for him to NOT be reappointed.
  • Archdiocese announces “balanced budget” for 2010–a deception, since millions of dollars to “balance” the budget came from a one-time drawing from insurance assets, not operating income.
  • Archdiocese announces anonymous whistleblower program and Code of Conduct policy, then sends dismissive responses to whistleblowers and completely ignores their own policy as applies to powerbroker/fundraiser Jack Connors.
  • New Vicar General, Msgr. Robert Deeley, named. The announcement gives many faithful Catholics hope that long-standing issues might be addressed in the future.

Who Reads Boston Catholic Insider

BCI is sharing stats on readership primarily so the archdiocese is aware of the extent to which a large cross-section of people are concerned about governance problems. Our readers include priests, religious, bishops, cardinals, Pastoral Center employees, Catholic school teachers, parish employees and volunteers, lectors, youth ministers, attorneys, government officials, parents, college students, and just about any Catholic in the pews.

In the past year, the blog has had 202,104 unique visits (meaning, from uniquely different IP addresses, most of which represent uniquely different people).    129,000 were first-time visits and 72,800 are repeat visits. About 80% are from Massachusetts.

More than 313,000 pages have been viewed in the past year, and that is not counting emails.

BCI cannot say all of these people are necessarily supporters of BCI or of what we are saying and doing.  But suffice to say, a lot of Catholics keep coming back to read BCI to stay on top of what is happening in the Boston Archdiocese, including the corruption, deception, cronyism, and ethical breaches of trust that have come to characterize certain parts of the Pastoral Center operation.

We know of no other archdiocese in the country that has a blog like this. Frankly, it is unfortunate that a need or basis is there for BCI to even exist. The odd thing is that BCI has repeatedly told the archdiocese very openly what will make BCI go away–just operate with integrity and transparency as the Catholic Church should.  That would deprive BCI of material to blog about, and the blog goes away.  Buh bye!

We have listed specific points and suggestions.  We have written open letters.  This may come as a surprise to many readers, but for the good of the Catholic Church in Boston, we want the archdiocese to operate in such a way as to put BCI “out of business.”  Sadly, there are few indications that the folks at 66 Brooks Drive get it yet, though the appointment of the new Vicar General gives cause for at least some hope.

BCI hopes and prays that the archdiocese can continue the saving mission of Jesus Christ. As we said early on, faithful Catholics would like to see an end to the corruption and deception mostly coming from 66 Brooks Drive so we can build a stronger Catholic Church in Boston and continue the good works of the Church. From what we have seen, it will take a lot more new leadership in the archdiocese beyond a new Vicar General to turn the ship.

We sincerely hope BCI has made a positive difference for our readers in the past year.  Despite the work of the blog, it is enormously gratifying to receive emails or comments from people who have told us that BCI gives you cause for hope in the future as well as comfort in seeing that concerns you thought you were alone with are shared by many more people than you realized.  Will BCI have reason to still be around a year from now to mark our 2nd birthday? We do no know. But with little indication the archdiocese “gets it” yet, we are going to keep at it with the same gusto and approach that characterized the past year.

That is our take on the past year.  What is yours?  Feel free to write your comments and perspectives on BCI below.

On behalf of the team at BCI, an enthusiastic “Thank You” to our readers, friends and supporters for their help and assistance and prayers over the past year.  We hope we have earned your trust and will continue to do so in the next year. Now, onward and upward!

ps. We will return next time with excerpts from your letters to Cardinal O’Malley, so you can keep those going.


BCI Requests Your Input on Message to Cardinal O’Malley

June 22, 2011

Tomorrow, Thursday June 23 is the 1-year anniversary for BCI.  To mark the day, you are invited to provide input towards our First Anniversary survey by clicking here We realize some readers had technical glitches with the survey, and if you were unable to access it, click here.

Today, we also invite your feedback on a message to Cardinal O’Malley.

Using comments below, please write whatever message you would like to deliver to Cardinal O’Malley–with the constraint that there be no personal attacks and no harsh language unsuitable for a public blog. BCI suggests the focus be on matters that will improve the ability of the Archdiocese to advance her mission.  (The mission of the Pastoral Center is “To continue the saving ministry of Jesus Christ”).  So, it could be a top priority or some top problems you would like for him to address, it could be a compliment, a criticism, a mix of positive and constructive feedback, a suggestion, or anything relevant to his pastoral leadership in teaching, sanctifying, and governing the archdiocese.  The goal in the comments is to share feedback or a message that you believe will lead to the archdiocese being better able to continue the saving ministry of Jesus Christ.

Type the comments below.  We will aggregate them and email them to the Cardinal and his staff later this week, and we will also plan to re-post the best of them tomorrow.

Guidelines for comments–please no personal attacks or harsh language.  (e.g. Do not post, “Cardinal O’Malley is word we have to delete). If you have a criticism, please do not make it personal but rather express in the form of behavior/action observed (or not seen happening) and then what you would like to see happen, and why.  If you have noticed your comments moderated or edited in the past, please do BCI a favor and avoid such language.  (You probably know who you are).

What would you like to say to the Cardinal that you think will help improve the ability of the archdiocese to better continue the saving ministry of Jesus Christ?


BCI First Anniversary Survey

June 20, 2011

Readers, as BCI approaches our 1-year anniversary, we have been pondering the best way to celebrate the dubious distinction of a year of blogging about the Archdiocese of Boston.  We have received a number of suggestions from readers and are trying one of them today.

We like surveys and polls, so this is a chance for you to weigh in on what you think are the most serious mistakes, breaches of trust, or examples of corruption
that have been propagated by the leadership of the Archdiocese of Boston in the past year.

To do this in a way that lets you rate the different choices on a scale from “no big deal” to “very serious: heads should roll,” we had to use a tool with the blog asks you to click on a button and it puts the survey up in a pop-up window.  Do not worry, there are no viruses.  It will take you only 2 minutes to answer the questions.

Click on the blue “Take BCI Survey” button immediately below and the survey will pop-up, or if you don’t see a blue button, click here for the survey

For your information, the items you are voting on with your ratings are below.

  • Transfer of Caritas Christi to Cerberus/Steward, $25M sellout clause for abandoning Catholic ethical directives on abortion, and associated deceptive communications
  • Blocking access to BCI from Pastoral Center computers last August
  • “Sham search” for new Secretary of Institutional Advancement and deception to faithful Catholics and the search committee that an “open search” was being undertaken when it was never intended.
  • Lay employee pension plan: intimidating past employees into taking less than their accrued pension benefit
  • Letting vigil parishes stay occupied after all canonical appeals were expired
  • Allowing Jack Connors to remain on Finance Council after multiple conflicts of interest and fund-raising for President Obama revealed
  • Publicly saying the 2010 archdiocesan budget was balanced when it really was not
  • Failure to ever announce results of Campaign for Catholic Schools 2010 campaign
  • 2010 Catholic Appeal raising $1.5M less than 2009 appeal with Jack Connors’ new “crackerjack” fund-raising team in-place
  • Mary Grassa O’Neill’s $325,000 annual salary
  • Diversion of reconfiguration funds to Jack Connors’ Brockton school project instead of repaying lay pension funds
  • Daughters of St. Paul lay pension fiasco: Archdiocese stonewalling Daughters for 5 years prompting lawsuit, then Cardinal O’Malley intervening with Superior General, contributing to removal of U.S. provincial leadership
  • Jim McDonough being reappointed to another 5-year term as Chancellor
  • Listing Holy Trinity Church for sale on Sothebys before any consultation/survey process as was done for churches in vigil.
  • Implementation of Ethicspoint anonymous whistleblower process without a process to go over and above Jim McDonough and the Cardinal
  • Finance Council forming a Compensation Committee comprised of business execs earning seven-figure salaries to review the problem of excessive six-figure salaries paid to archdiocesan business execs.
  • 2010 Pastoral Center layoffs of low-paid staff with a long history of faithful service to the archdiocese in favor of keeping high-paid lay executives
  • Catholic Schools office hiring 3 associate superintendents in addition to the existing six-figure-salaried associate superintendents, plus Mary Grassa O’Neill
    Failing to operate with integrity and good governance, and thus failing to deprive BCI of material to blog about.
  • Cardinal Sean’s continuing abdication of responsibility for leading and governing the diocese
  • [Update/addition] Persistent conflicts of interest under Bryan Hehir & Jack Connors (Caritas, seminary real estate, conversion of reconfiguration funds, interlocking boards)

Click on the blue “Take BCI Survey” button immediately below and the survey will pop-up, or click here

If you feel we have missed something important, feel free to let us know via comments below.  The survey will be open through midnight on the evening of Tuesday, June 21.  Vote early and vote often as they say.  Enjoy!


Happy Fathers Day

June 19, 2011

Today we pause from our normal fare to honor our fathers.

If your father is still alive and you have not yet spoken to him today, take one minute to read the prayer below and then either pick up the phone and call him or hop in the car and go visit him in-person if the distance permits. Stop reading BCI for today and send your father an eCard.

Now we offer a short prayer we liked in honor of our fathers:

Father, it is Your Commandment that we should honor our fathers;
Hear the prayers we offer You for them.
Grant them many years on earth and keep them in health of mind and body.
Bless their word and all they do.
Give them back a hundred-fold whatever they have done for us.
Inspire them with Your love and help them to fulfill Your holy law.
One day, may we be their comfort and support,
So that having enjoyed their affection on earth
We may have the joy of being with them forever in Your home in Heaven.
Through Christ our Lord.
Amen.

Happy Fathers Day to all fathers. Have a blessed day!

BCI


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