Hi BCI… been following the blog for a while now trying to figure out if I support the idea or not….I believe Sean O’Malley is a good man at heart and a true Vicar of Christ…Sadly, I think he has been surrounded by some people who are not serving him well and are often times giving him bad advice. This has unfortunately led me to conclude that , in spite of reading some dubious postings from BCI and more so from some posters, that the blog does indeed ” make solid contact with the ball ” quite often. The fitness story I’m not sure warrants a posting…but again , despite some reservations , you are providing a valid service . I understand that one of the main focuses of the blog is the financial / fiduciary issue(s) of the Boston Catholic Archdiocese….As you point out objectively in the post, there in all likelihood was some sort of financial gain for the Boston Catholic Archdiocese from their insurance provider for the program so that also contributes to my lack of support for the post. The financial / fiduciary issue is a very important one for sure. But I , as I know you are also, am also concerned with issues of Faith as well . The space for the fitness posting would have been better served , in my opinion exploring a discussion on something i noticed in this week’s pilot.
I’ll be brief as I know this is a long posting.
Page 1 into page 2 shows the following
“Sister Christina Wegendt, FSP, and Sister Hosea Rupprecht, FSP, gave a workshop called “Faith Formation for a Media Generation” in a classroom at the school. The sisters recommended that catechists see television shows and movies like “Glee” and “The Hunger Games” to provide an opportunity to connect with younger students.
Sister Christina stayed after the presentation to discuss the themes of some of the media addressed in the workshop, including the dystopian reality presented in the book and movie “The Hunger Games.”
I don’t know who these Nuns are or what their daily jobs entail but it strikes me as nothing less than an outrage that advocating a television show like ” Glee ” , which is at best an active Hollywood tool of propaganda which promotes things as good that our faith tells us are in fact dangerous and objectively evil and at the worst , a despicable bigoted anti Catholic broadcast. And it gets better. in the same issue of the pilot, the movie review section actually reviews the movie ” The Hunger Games ” . Here are a few quotes from the review..
“But sensibilities are not spared as the grim contest unfolds: painful injuries brought about by swords, arrows, hatchets and even the creative use of a hornets’ nest are all portrayed unblinkingly. On the upside, foul language is entirely absent, as too is any sensual activity beyond kissing. So, despite the elements listed below, “The Hunger Games” may possibly prove acceptable for mature adolescents.
The film contains considerable, sometimes gory, hand-to-hand and weapons violence and graphic images of bloody wounds. The Catholic News Service classification is A-III — adults. The Motion Picture Association of America rating is PG-13 — parents strongly cautioned. Some material may be inappropriate for children under 13.”
This is the kind of stuff that really gets me going… as the parent of a young child who is trying to educate and raise the child to love the church and to appreciate the teachings of the church as being divinely inspired by our Lord and savior Jesus Christ, to see this sort of hypocrisy is really disheartening… This is the kind of stuff that needs to brought to the attention of the Cardinal, Msgr Deeley , Father Parrish et al.
Another interesting aspect of this is that in the print edition of The Pilot there was a picture of someone named Father Ricardo Gonzalez . The photo shows what appears to be a Hispanic looking man wearing a suit and tie. Why would a catholic priest be wearing a suit and tie at a ” Catechetical Congress”?
Another interesting note is that Father J. Bryan Hehir served as the main Homilist for the event.
Again BCI I think what you do can serve our archdiocese well. I will continue to point out things that in my opinion need attention.
BCI must be brief in our response, but first wants to thank the “tryingtofigurethisout” for taking the time to write. Adherence to the faith and teaching the core teachings of the Catholic Church are extremely important–certainly even moreso than sound finances.
BCI did not have time to review the Catechetical Congress (program found here), but has a few things to say in response.
- Sister Christina Wegendt, FSP is Acquisitions Editor for the Daughters of St. Paul, and Sister Hosea Rupprecht, FSP is also with the Daughters. Without knowing everything they said, it is difficult to know the full context for their comments about “Glee. ” Still, if they were discussing “Glee,” what they should have said and what The Pilot should be saying is along the lines of what this review conveys: “the show’s portrayal of human sexuality and the normative sexual behavior of American teens leaves much to be desired, to put it mildly. The show’s understanding of sexuality is generally morally ambiguous and often simply wrong….Also problematic from a Catholic and Christian perspective is the fact that a traditionally-Christian perspective on sexuality is more often than not mocked. In one recent episode of the show, the notion that teens might embrace chastity was derided as naïve and frigid…Finally, the show strongly seeks to normalize homosexuality, with several characters either explicitly gay or lesbian or struggling with same sex attraction…it is nonetheless disappointing to see such a strong effort to portray same sex relationships as good and moral during the “family hour” of primetime tv.” If this was not communicated to the catechists, BCI agrees it would be grounds for outrage.
- Regarding the movie, “Hunger Games,” we are not familiar with the book or movie at all. Based on your comment, we read the review in The Pilot, this review/report, “Priest calls ‘Hunger Games’ movie dangerously prophetic” by Fr. Robert Barron, a solid priest and host of the PBS-aired “Catholicism” series, and this one The Hunger Games: A Catholic Parent’s Guide to Themes and Issues from a Catholic author. If the purpose of these reviews is in part to educate parents about what is or is not acceptable for their children to see and to let them know what their children might be exposed to, then clearly the reviews accomplish that purpose. (The one in The Pilot says up-front, “Though presumably targeted — at least in part — at teens, the dystopian adventure involves enough problematic content to give parents pause. Responsible oldsters will want to weigh the matter carefully before giving permission for clamoring kids to attend.”
- Regarding Fr. Bryan Hehir as homilist for the Catechetical Congress, long-time readers may recall that we objected to him keynoting a session at the convocation for leaders of Catholic Schools last year (see Tone-Deaf Cardinal). Besides him being the one behind the fiasco back on 2005 of honoring the pro-abortion, pro-gay-marriage Mayor Menino of Boston at a Catholic Charities fund-raiser, in violation of USCCB guidelines that said Catholic politicians who oppose the church were not to be honored publicly, Fr. Hehir was also right up there keynoting the Catholic Healthcare Association’s annual conference where he praised the “intelligent, courageous leadership” after the CHA opposed the USCCB and Catholic bishops on Obamacare. The CHA is now at odds with the U.S. bishops on the outrageous contraception mandate.During his talk on “Catholic Identity” at the 2011 Catholic Schools leader convocation, Fr. Hehir made the following comment “I always say that you learn to be a Catholic through the second collection, because if you listen to what we take up the second campaign for, it’s the Campaign for Human Development, Catholic Relief Services, Propagation of the Faith. We concern for the world as a whole, local, national, local and global.” (fast forward to 24:15):
Unfortunately, the Campaign for Human Development has its own controversies, so if Fr. Hehir feels you “you learn to be Catholic” by contributing to the CHD, that says something. Crisis Magazine reported in “Catholic Campaign for Human Development–Reform or Bust“, “In its 40-plus year history, the CCHD has funded many organizations and activities that are at best questionable and at worst downright reprehensible. Indeed, through the CCHD annual November collection, American Catholics have funded efforts promoting “reproductive justice”, (i.e., abortion) and “marriage equality” (gay “marriage”), among other causes.” A review of their grants from the 2010-2011 year published here found that of the 218 organizations funded by CCHD, 14 are directly involved in activities contrary to Church teaching and 40 are actively involved in coalitions with such activities. Thus, 54 groups (24%) funded by CCHD are involved in anti-Catholic work. These 54 organizations received a total of $1,863,000 of the $7,608,000 distributed in CCHD grants in 2010-2011.
Cardinal Sean commended Fr. Hehir on his blog shortly after that talk last year, saying, “He gave an outstanding reflection on Catholic education and its role in shaping Catholic identity.”
Our last response to your comment concerns something you said early on. “Sadly, I think he [Cardinal O'Malley] has been surrounded by some people who are not serving him well and are often times giving him bad advice.” Cardinal O’Malley is the one who has picked all of his senior leadership and continues to keep them in their roles. Many people have written letters, made phone calls, and sent emails complaining about some of these people. If the Cardinal has picked people who are not serving him well and giving bad advice and he hears the complaints but does not make changes, then is it really the advisers who are at fault? We continue to suggest changes and hope and pray for changes–but if there are none (or they are few and far between), then what does that tell us?
With this being Holy Week and the Triduum upon us shortly, this will be our last post for the week. Best wishes for a blessed Triduum and Easter from the BCI team.