Boston Catholics call on archdiocese to end relationship with Obama-backing multi-millionaire

LifeSite News has an excellent piece that adds more color to the issues with Jack Connors we brought up in our last post. As readers recall, BCI posted a response by the Boston Archdiocese to an Ethicspoint complaint about Connors’ fund-raising for President Obama (whose policies violate our religious freedoms and work against the Catholic Church), while Connors also serves on the Finance Council with responsibility for Institutional Advancement and raises money for Catholic schools.

As we know, an anonymous critic recently submitted a complaint to the archdiocese over Connors’ Obama fundraising on the whistleblower site, EthicsPoint, and the archdiocese responded that a Finance Council member’s support for a pro-abortion politician who is actively working to violate our religious freedom was not a problem for them.

“Finance Council members are not obligated to make public the rationale behind their decisions to support various organizations, programs, and persons. That a Finance Council member may offer his/her backing to a politician or political candidate who is in support of pro-choice policies does not define or exhaust a Finance Council member’s position on issues pertaining to respect for life. Instead, it objectively speaks to the Finance Council member’s willingness to engage with and find value and merit in the opinions, ideals, and visions of individuals with a wide variety of moral stances, which at various times are more or less in line with the teachings of the Church. Furthermore, though he/she may provide his/her time and support to certain institutions which allow for individuals to elect to participate in activities that do not respect the Church’s teaching on the sanctity of life, no current Finance Council member has publicly advocated abortions as suitable moral options for these individuals. To assume that a Finance Council member is pro-choice and actively in support of abortions because of his/her political affiliations and/or institutional support is an unfair assumption and not one the Archdiocese is willing to use in judging candidates for the Council.

…Cardinal O’Malley trusts that the moral convictions of the Finance Council members are firmly rooted in Catholic social teaching and are designed to uphold the dignity of human life from conception to natural death. The Archdiocese believes that the decisions the Finance Council members make as citizens and as Catholics, although opposed by some, are neither in violation of Catholic teaching nor do they bring about scandal.

In Boston Catholics call on archdiocese to end relationship with Obama-backing multi-millionaire, LifeSite News took this a step further with additional revelations:

Among Connors’ philanthropic projects is the Connors Center for Women’s Health, which The Globe described as his favorite among Connors Family Foundation beneficiaries “closest to the family’s heart”: it was named after Connors’ mother, Mary Horrigan Connors, and is where his eight grandchildren were born.

At the helm of the Connors Center is its co-founder Paula A. Johnson, a former chairman of the board for the Planned Parenthood League of Massachusetts, who also served on the board for the Center for Reproductive Rights. When the HHS mandate for free birth control began this month, the Connors Center celebrated the news and Johnson appeared on local media as an expert touting the mandate’s benefits: Johnson herself was a member of the Institutes of Medicine Committee that recommended the contraception mandate to HHS Secretary Kathleen Sebelius in 2011.

Among the Connors Centers’ top goals is “training the next generation of leaders in the field of women’s health,” including future abortion providers: its Family Planning Fellowship, led by abortionist and Planned Parenthood League of Massachusetts (PPLM) head researcher Alisa Goldberg, partners with PPLM to offer a nationally-recognized two-year program to “improve access to, and the quality of, pregnancy termination services through research and training.” The Center’s only other fellowship, the Global Women’s Health Fellowship, was expected to merge with the Family Planning Fellowship as of 2009.

Jack Connors has not always been a favorite with Boston’s Catholic hierarchy: the two experienced a falling-out involving the 2002 sex abuse scandal. When Cardinal O’Malley sought his help for the schools project three years later, Connors, in the Globe’s words, accepted on condition that he “use his ideas, not the Church’s.” Since then, Connors’ ideas have also surfaced in pastoral decisions: he joined condemnations of a Boston school that removed a third-grade student because his parents were lesbians, something the archdiocese also criticized. “I am disappointed that … this faith that I love seems to find new ways to shoot itself in the foot,” said Connors.

The Archdiocese of Boston declined a request for comment.

Judie Brown of the American Life League said that, whether or not Cardinal O’Malley intended it, keeping up appearances with Connors was a serious scandal for the Catholic faithful.

Brown faulted the archdiocese for overlooking Connors’ connections in favor of his financial prowess. “These things don’t happen in a vacuum. Someone is very aware of his interconectedness with the Culture of Death. There’s no way they could not be,” she said.

“The worst damage always happens to the Church from within.”

Judie Brown is correct.  “Someone” needs to take responsibility for allowing this situation to continue, not just the amorphous “archdiocese.”  The Tenth Crusade has a suggestion and specifically identifies who that someone would be.

Reader, “Angry Parish Council Member” also put it well in a comment on our last post.

The Archdiocese and Cardinal O’Malley are also speaking out of both sides of their mouth. In 2007, Cardinal O’Malley said:

“I think the Democratic Party, which has been in many parts of the country traditionally the party which Catholics have supported, has been extremely insensitive to the church’s position, on the gospel of life in particular, and on other moral issues,” O’Malley said.

Acknowledging that Catholic voters in Massachusetts generally support Democratic candidates who are in favor of abortion rights, O’Malley said, “I think that, at times, it borders on scandal as far as I’m concerned.”

However, when I challenge people about this, they say, ‘Well, bishop, we’re not supporting [abortion rights],’ ” he continued. “I think there’s a need for people to very actively dissociate themselves from those unacceptable positions.”

http://www.boston.com/news/nation/articles/2007/11/15/omalley_draws_line_with_democrats/?page=full

I don’t get it. If Mr. Connors is tied to the Democratic party, which has been extremely insensitive to the Catholic church’s position on the gospel of life, and he’s raising money to support Obama’s reelection, when Obama has been very insensitive to the Catholic church’s position on life, why should Cardinal O’Malley trust Mr. Connor’s moral convictions?

If it “borders on scandal” for Catholics to vote for Democratic candidates who are in favor of abortion rights, how can a Finance Council member raise money for Obama, who favors abortion rights, and not bring about scandal? Is he bringing about something that “borders on scandal” but is not real scandal?

I guess it all depends on what the definition of “is” is.

BCI thinks it is time for Cardinal O’Malley and/or Vicar General Msgr. Deeley to have a private sit-down with Jack Connors. The purpose of this discussion is to thank Jack for his help with fundraising for the Catholic schools, and to educate him about the truths of abortion, the reality of how the Obama HHS mandate violates our religious freedoms and will harm Catholic institutions (including those Connors claims he supports), and the consequences of Connor’s actions on his own mortal soul, on the unborn, on the Catholic Church, and on society for generations to come. If there is no change of heart, conversion or commitment on the part of Jack to disassociate himself from the unacceptable positions his political fundraising and philanthropy are advancing, then BCI believes it is necessary for Cardinal O’Malley to disassociate the Boston Archdiocese from Jack.  If you agree, then hit Share and send a copy of this email to Vicar_General(at)rcab.org.

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16 Responses to Boston Catholics call on archdiocese to end relationship with Obama-backing multi-millionaire

  1. jbq2 says:

    NCAA football started Saturday and Boston College played Miami. At halftime, there was a recruiting gig with short spiels from famous BC graduates. This included Chris O’Donnell of NCIS Los Angeles followed by Jack Connors. Jack Connors projects an enthusiastic image and obviously has a lot of prestige and influence.

  2. Anonymous says:

    With O’Malley, it’s only about the money.

    HYPOCRITE!

  3. mary T says:

    I think my classmate Jack Connors is awesome. He has put himself and his resources out there to help those in need.

    • Mary T, Sounds like you are new here. We ask that people posting comments make them relevant to the topic of the post.

      This post is not about what various individuals might think of Jack Connors. It is about his actions and financial support of those who work against the Catholic Church and the unborn—and the associated scandal. Are millions of unborn children not in need of help every year? How much more “in need” or vulnerable could one be than that? How does Jack Connors help them vs harm them?

      • mary T says:

        Actually I am a long time reader and former responder as well. I think my reply right on topic which seems to be about Jack and his time, talent and treasures….I think he sees ” whatever you do for the least of my breathern” im terms other than birth control.

    • Michael says:

      Mary T
      Do you think Jack Connors’ supporting the murder of innocent children is “awesome?” Or should we all just let that go because he is “awesome.” What a ridiculous statement to make. And no your post has nothing to do with the topic of the blog.

  4. Lazarus' Table says:

    Years ago Barney Frank made a statement that was shocking/scandolous but which turned out to be true. He said, “The Catholic church believes in the sanctity of life, from the first moment of conception until birth.” The church is not pro-life; it is pro-birth. How has it respected the lives of the children its priests have abused? How has it respected the lives of priests who were accused, found completely innocent, but who are still left out there to dry? How has it respected the lives of parishioners whose parishes they closed? How has it respected the lives of elderly and sick priests whose funds they lost? Do you want the archdiocese to respect your life and the lives of your loved ones the way it has respected the lives of others?? In practice, people like Jack Connors have respected people’s lives for more effectively than our hierarchy.

    • Boston Priest says:

      Lazarus’ Table,
      I agree with you that this archdiocese has not respected the lives of many priests found innocent of abuse charges and left to hang out and dry, and the same with elderly priests, and many victims of sexual abuse. But your logic falls apart in several places.

      You’re suggesting you believe several wrongs make a right–you’re saying because the Archdiocese of Boston has not done a great job protecting children, innocent priests, or elderly priests as well as could have be done, that it’s OK for Jack Connors to support the Culture of Death. Really?
      More problematic in your logic is that you are comparing an objective standard–the objective, non-negotiable evil and immorality of murder, abortion and the taking of an innocent life, vs a highly subjective standard like the care of victims of sexual abuse or the elderly. In Catholic Church doctrine, abortion and the taking of innocent life is a non-negotiable moral issue. There is only one right teaching. That’s not the case with the other issues you raised. Here are a few references:

      “It is impossible to further the common good without acknowledging and defending the right to life, upon which all the other inalienable rights of individuals are founded and from which they develop. A society lacks solid foundations when, on the one hand, it asserts values such as the dignity of the person, justice and peace, but then, on the other hand, radically acts to the contrary by allowing or tolerating a variety of ways in which human life is devalued and violated, especially where it is weak or marginalized. Only respect for life can be the foundation and guarantee of the most precious and essential goods of society, such as democracy and peace.” Pope John Paul II, Evangelium vitae (1995), no. 101

      “The inviolability of the person which is a reflection of the absolute inviolability of God, finds its primary and fundamental expression in the inviolability of human life. Above all, the common outcry, which is justly made on behalf of human rights-for example, the right to health, to home, to work, to family, to culture- is false and illusory if the right to life, the most basic and fundamental right and the condition for all other personal rights, is not defended with maximum determination.” Pope John Paul II, Christifideles Laici (1988), no. 38
      Utilitarianism

      “We urge those Catholic officials who choose to depart from Church teaching on the inviolability of human life in their public life to consider the consequences for their own spiritual well being, as well as the scandal they risk by leading others into serious sin. We call on them to reflect on the grave contradiction of assuming public roles and presenting themselves as credible Catholics when their actions on fundamental issues of human life are not in agreement with Church teaching. No public official, especially one claiming to be a faithful and serious Catholic, can responsibly advocate for or actively support direct attacks on innocent human life. [N]o appeal to policy, procedure, majority will or pluralism ever excuses a public official from defending life to the greatest extent possible. As is true of leaders in all walks of life, no political leader can evade accountability for his or her exercise of power ( Evangelium Vitae, 73-4). Those who justify their inaction on the grounds that abortion is the law of the land need to recognize that there is a higher law, the law of God. No human law can validly contradict the Commandment: “Thou shalt not kill.”” Living the Gospel of Life: A Challenge to American Catholics (1998), no. 32

      • Lazarus' Table says:

        Bostonpriest, you are absolutely correct, and my logic is indeed flawed but I’m not suggesting several wrongs make a right. Logic, like truth, does not have a play in the archdiocese. I’m suggesting the administration of the archdiocese of Boston is the greater ‘evil’ because it knowingly and intentionally ‘disregard God’s commandments in favor of human tradition”, i.e., its own institutional survival for the benefit of clerical ambition. Can you honestly see Sean O’Malley shielding his priests or laity from unjust persecution/prosecution? Would this shepherd actually lay down his life for his sheep? Can you see priests or laity even getting an appointment to see O’Malley? A fish rots from the head down. Jack Connors, and others like him, do good according to the ‘lights’ they have. The archdiocese extinguishes lights. It prefers darkness to light so that its deeds will not be seen. Bishops swear not to do anything that would embarrass the Church. Would that they swore not to do anything to embarrass/discredit the Gospel. Look at the broken lives and spirits the archdiocese leaves in its wake. Bring back Christ. Remove the bushel baskets from the lamps. As it will go easier for Sodom and Gommorah on the day of judgement, so will it go easier for Jack and others than for the archdiocese.

  5. qclou says:

    pro life as a policy is lost in today’s environment in most of the developed countries of the world. Piling on to criticize Jack Connor’s activities misses the REAL problem with the acceptance of contraception [ which, regrettably, is viewed as an aspect of abortion by some people ] is that the people who DON”T practice it will eventually out breed those who don’t !! Did anyone ever notice the number of children the average Muslim family has ?? in fact, look at the size of the average Mormon family in the USA.. from a practical way, that is the driving force for the Church’s opposition to contraception IMHO, especially when you take the 2000 year view !

  6. Anyone who is working for corrupt institutions -is corrupt himself. Wouldn’t one wonder if all the money that is supposed to go to catholic schools, didn’t end up in the coffer of Obama’s direction???!!

  7. jay says:

    All these apologists for Jack Connors have enveloped themselves in the mantra of social justice.
    Their vision is confined to the tunnel from which they refuse to emerge. Social justice rules!
    The contraception/abortion road to self genocide is not even to be considered. The choice of this man of wealth will focus specifically and exclusively on that part of Catholic teaching which suits his ideological and political agenda. May his effusive pride be soon tempered with a strong dose of humility of which we are all in need.

  8. onewhoknows says:

    Slightly tangential but…
    The notion that RCAB panders to Jack Connors because of all he gives, is not sensible. Close inspection would show that he is not particularly generous to the RCAB annual fund. The 2010 initiative was his baby, and while he may have spearheaded it, He did so separate from the Archdiocese and the Cardinal he said was” Not the right choice for the job.” When it started bleeding money, and came up short (far short) of its goals, he unloaded his pricey organization (3-4, 100k salaries) onto the RCAB payroll by engineering the ouster of Scot Landry and insertion of his staff ( after a national search of course HAHAHA). And he still hasn’t stepped to the plate financially, all the while laughing at the Cardinal as he stumps for Obama and serves as Chairman of the Board of Directors of Partners HealthCare System, the the largest abortion providing network in the state. The Cardinal doesn’t disassociate from Connors, because Hehir, Donilon, Kickham and Driscoll tell him he shouldn’t, and give him some lame ethicspoint way to defend the position. Just Sad!

  9. George Williams says:

    Nancy Keenan, president of the National Abortion Rights Action League, gave a thumbs up to delegates at the Democratic National Convention. The purveyors of death are welcome at the DNC and by our current president.

  10. Mack says:

    The statement said: “The Archdiocese believes that the decisions the Finance Council members make as citizens and as Catholics, although opposed by some, are neither in violation of Catholic teaching nor do they bring about scandal.”

    So let me get this straight: even though Connors is supporting the most radically pro-abortion president ever, and now with the HHS mandate is effectively taking away the first amendment right to free exercise of religion, this RCAB has no problem with this? REALLY? What WOULD they have a problem with?

  11. Jimmy says:

    The Archdiocese of Boston is very sick and in great need of prayer.

    “Zagiew Priest”: A Catholic priest who betrays his vocation, Church and flock by accomodating dominant secular culture to curry favor with elites through various forms of subversion of the truths of Catholicism.

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