Call for removal of Boston pastor who put gay couples at parity with Holy Family

January 8, 2014

As news spreads of the Norwood, MA pastor who preached and published a letter in his bulletin putting homosexual couples on par with the Holy Family and saying we should admire the virtues of same-sex-parent families, calls are growing for the removal of the pastor.  Watch the first 4 minutes of this video from ChurchMilitant.tv

This message was published and preached by pastor, Msgr. Paul Garrity, at all of the Sunday Masses to adults and children alike:

It is very easy to forget that Mary would have been an unwed mother were it not for Joseph. It is also easy to forget that Joseph was not the natural father of Jesus but became his foster father and protector, along with his new bride Mary. And the circumstances surrounding the birth of Jesus should fill us all with a deep respect and empathy for the poor and unwed mothers of our day. Taken all together, the first family of Christianity reminds us that there is no such thing as normal. Every family is different and this means that we need to broaden our understanding of family life beyond TV sitcoms and applaud the virtues of family living wherever we find them: two parent families, single parent families, blended families, families with two mommies or two daddies and adoptive families.  What is most important is that we continually hold up the family as the instrument that God has chosen to communicate God’s unconditional love to the youngest and most vulnerable members of our society.

Here are a few of the comments by Michael Voris at ChurchMilitant.tv about this scandalous situation and specifically Msgr. Garrity:

How is this man still in a Roman collar and being allowed to present himself as a priest? It is beyond disgraceful. For him to say that the evil of children being raised in a same-sex household should be accepted by Catholics is disgusting.

Why or why, when or when is this constant pandering to the sin of Sodom on the part of of so many clergy going to end? You cannot look at the situation and conclude anything other than this priest has no supernatural faith.

To even think that the Holy Family, the incarnation, the Immaculate Conception and St Joseph could in any way be compared to a homosexual couple sodomizing each other with children around says all you need to know about the state of his faith.

St. John of the 4th Gospel, St. John, beloved apostle would not even stay in the same building as the heretic Cerinthus. St. John went into the public baths one day and learned by chance in a discussion that Cerinthus was in the same building—he immediately got up and left, and publicly and loudly denounced Cerinthus on the way out.  That’s how heretics should be treated. Heresy must be attached and called out.  Those who preach it certainly should not be allowed to wear Roman collars

Wasn’t there enough physical child abuse in the Archdiocese of Boston that we now have to tolerate spiritual child abuse by having priests say they can be raised in these evil situations?

The long night of corruption in the Church is nowhere near the end. It has been institutionalized. And you have to get mad about it!

We are asking all readers to get madder than hell about this.  Even if you have already contacted Aux. Bishop Edyvean or the Vicar General’s office about this, we need you to take an additional step. Forward this blog post today via email to Cardinal Sean O’Malley and the U.S. Papal Nuncio Archbishop Carlo Maria Viganò and place two phone calls asking for action on this scandalous situation and removal of the pastor:

Cardinal Sean O’Malley
archbishopsean_o’malley@rcab.org
617-782-2544

Archbishop Carlo Maria Viganò
nuntiususa@nuntiususa.org
(202)333-7121

If no action is taken to protect and defend the Catholic faith by Cardinal O’Malley and the Boston Archdiocese by this weekend, we will have no choice but to encourage people to write to Pope Francis, the Congregation for Bishops and the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith.


What would you like to ask of Cardinal Sean O’Malley?

June 21, 2013

BCI is coming up shortly on the 3-year anniversary of the start of the blog. To mark that occasion, we are inviting readers to share comments they would like passed along to Cardinal O’Malley and/or Vicar General Bishop Deeley. We did this 2 years ago and had phenomenal responses so we’re going to try again.

We repeat almost exactly what we asked 2 years ago:

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 violation of the diocesan Code of Conduct, 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 by Sunday evening at 12 midnite.  We will aggregate them and email them to the Cardinal and his staff early next week, and we will also plan to re-post the best of them by Monday or Tuesday at the latest.

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). If you need any ideas to stimulate your thinking, you can look at what readers said in 2011.

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

Ideally, post your comments below in comments, anonymously or with your name. You can also send them via email to bostoncatholicinsider@gmail.com  Readers, have at it!

 


Cardinal O’Malley Silent on Pro-Abort Commencement Speaker at Boston College

May 10, 2013

As Boston College continues with plans to honor the pro-abortion, anti-Catholic Prime Minister of Ireland at their commencement with an honorary degree on May 20, what we are seeing and hearing from Cardinal Sean O’Malley, Archbishop of Boston, and chairman of the USCCB Committee on Pro-Life Activities is…

Absolutely nothing.  He has been completely silent.  Perhaps he and his staff are unaware of the grave problems with the speaker and scandal of what is to happen. Here are a few details as described in LifeSite News in this article, “PM foisting abortion on Ireland to be honored by Jesuit Boston College.”

BOSTON, May 6, 2013 (LifeSiteNews.com) – While Ireland’s Catholic bishops and the pro-life movement are fighting desperately to keep the government from enacting legislation to permit abortion, Boston College, a Catholic institution in Massachusetts, is honoring the head of the same government.  Irish pro-life leaders say they are incredulous at the news. Niamh Uí Bhriain of Ireland’s Life Institute told LifeSiteNews that the Jesuit college should withdraw its invitation.

The Catholic Action League of Massachusetts also condemned the college for selecting Republic of Ireland Taoiseach (Prime Minisster) Enda Kenny as its 2013 Commencement Speaker. The university will also confer an honorary Doctor of Laws degree on Kenny during commencement exercises on May 20th.

On April 30th, Kenny’s coalition government introduced legislation with the Orwellian title “The Protection of Life during Pregnancy Bill 2013,” which would legalise abortion in Ireland under the guise of preventing the suicide of pregnant women. As there is no gestational age limit to the measure, criticis say it would mean abortion on demand, under threat of suicide, through all nine months of pregnancy.

Catholic hospitals would be forced to comply with the proposed law. The bill has also been criticized for containing no conscience clause protections for physicians, nurses, and other health care workers.

“Ireland has a long and proud record of protecting human life and Mr Kenny is using the European Court to foist abortion on Ireland. This is a shameful and horrendous proposal and that needs to be recognised and highlighted, ” Uí Bhriain said.

The Catholic Church in Ireland has denounced the measure and called upon the Irish people to lobby their elected representatives to oppose it. Cardinal Sean Brady, the Primate of Ireland, said the bill, if approved, would “make the direct and intentional killing of unborn children lawful in Ireland.”

Kenny has threatened to expel pro-life Catholic TDs (members of parliament) from his Fine Gael parliamentary party if they refuse to vote for measure, which is expected to be acted upon in July.

Last year, Kenny’s government published legislation—The Criminal Justice (Withholding of Information on Offences Against Children and Vulnerable Persons) Bill—which would impose criminal penalties, including imprisonment up to five years, on priests who refuse to violate the seal of the confessional in cases of sexual abuse.

Boston College said Kenny represents the “progressive center” and is committed to “social justice.”

The Catholic Action League called Kenny’s selection “an astonishing, appalling, disgraceful and deplorable act of betrayal.”

Catholic Action League Executive Director C. J. Doyle, an alumnus of Boston College, said: “Even for a university whose Catholic identity is as compromised as that of BC, this decision is shameful and dishonorable. Boston College has gone beyond promoting dissent against Catholic teaching to giving aid and comfort to the enemies of the Church. Every faithful Catholic in this country ought to protest against this odious perfidy.”

Responding to a request for comment, the Archdiocese of Boston noted that Cardinal Sean O’Malley was not scheduled to attend the Commencement due to another commitment.

Is that it?  All the Boston Archdiocese has to say about this is that Cardinal O’Malley had another commitment already?

In 2009, the bishop of Ft. Wayne, Indiana denounced Notre Dame’s plan to honor President Obama at their commencement. Bishops all across the country joined the criticism. Anna Maria College withdrew their invitation to honor Victoria Reggie Kennedy at their commencement last year after objections by their bishop due to Kennedy’s positions on abortion and other moral issues.  Why is Cardinal O’Malley silent?

The USCCB’s statement, “Catholics in Political Life” says, “Our obligation as bishops at this time is to teach clearly.”  It clearly states:

“The Catholic community and Catholic institutions should not honor those who act in defiance of our fundamental moral principles. They should not be given awards, honors or platforms which would suggest support for their actions.”

Cardinal O’Malley said during his ad limina visit homily in Rome in 2011 that bishops needed to have courage:

In his homily, the cardinal told his fellow bishops that after Jesus’ arrest in the garden of Gethsemane, “Peter flees. He’s trying to follow the Lord at a safe distance, something we all try to do at one time or another. But Peter discovers it’s impossible; you can only follow the Lord up close..”Each of us has gone through a ‘quo vadis’ (Where are you going?) moment or two in our vocation as bishops.  Hopefully, our being together at the tomb of Peter…will renew us in our generosity, courage and faith in following Jesus up close.”

We agree. Pray for Cardinal O’Malley and ask him directly to have courage in this situation and not just flee from the problem. Instead, to avoid scandalizing the faithful, Boston College must be pressured by Cardinal O’Malley and the Vatican to uninvite the Prime Minister of Ireland, and if that fails, Cardinal O’Malley needs to declare the Boston College can no longer call themselves “Catholic.”

To voice your objections, here is what you can do. Call and/or email the following people:

U.S. Apostolic Nuncio Archbishop Carlo Maria Vigano
nuntiususa@nuntiususa.org
202-333-7121

Cardinal Sean O’Malley
ArchbishopSean_O’Malley@rcab.org
617-782-2544

Vicar General Bishop Robert Deeley
vicar_general@rcab.org
617-746-5619

His Eminence Cardinal Marc Ouellet, Cardinal Prefect
Congregation For Bishops
011 39 06 6988 4217
011 39 06 6988 4300 FAX
011-39-0669-885303 FAX

Defend the Catholic faith and help Stop the Scandal by contactng these people today.


Boston Pastoral Planning Problems

April 30, 2013

As Phase One of the new Boston pastoral plan, Disciples in Mission, is being rolled out, early indicators are that the plan is going to be anywhere from somewhat to highly problematic. This is the plan that will group Boston parishes into collaboratives staffed by a single pastor, with a shared pastoral service team (PST). For a while, BCI tried to stay neutral, if not cautiously optimistic about the plan, but each week as we see and hear more about the rollout, the more concerned we become.

BCI sees multiple problems.  At a high level, they include:

  • Promotion of the agendas and beliefs of those who dissent from the faith, pretending it is part of the “new evangelization”
  • Failure to plan for former pastors who will no longer be pastors
  • Unnecessary reductions in Mass schedules and availability of the sacraments
  • Unresponsiveness to the concerns of faithful Catholics by Cardinal O’Malley, Vicar General Bishop Deeley, and Assistant to the VG Fr. Bryan Parrish
  • Lack of understanding of the key success factors for evangelization (as exemplified by the meeting in Braintree this past Saturday)

It will take many posts for us to go into all of these.  We will start with just a preview of the first two areas today.

As seen here, the pastors for all of the Phase One collaboratives were announced recently:

Pastors of the Phase One Collaboratives

As of last week, all of the Pastors for the Phase One Collaboratives have been named. Each one has responded generously and willingly to implement the Pastoral Plan as Pastor of one of the Collaboratives. We promise them our prayers and support in the days and months ahead. These new Pastors are:

1. Saint Luke and Saint Joseph, Belmont ~ Fr. Thomas Mahoney
2. Saint Mary, Saint Margaret and Saint John, Beverly ~ Fr. Mark Mahoney
3. Saint Mary, Saint Theresa, and Saint Andrew, Billerica ~ Fr. Shawn Allen
4. Saint Mary, Brookline ~ Fr. Brian Clary
5. Saint Mary of the Angels, Saint Thomas Aquinas and Our Lady of Lourdes,
Jamaica Plain ~ Fr. Carlos Flor
6. Saint Mary and Sacred Heart, Lynn ~ Fr. Brian Flynn
7. Our Lady of the Assumption and Saint Maria Goretti, Lynnfield ~ Fr. Paul Ritt
8. Saint Lucy and Saint Monica, Methuen ~ Msgr. William Fay
9. Saints Martha and Mary, Lakeville and Sacred Heart, Middleboro/Rochester
~ Fr. John Sheridan
10. Sacred Heart and Our Lady Help of Christians, Newton ~ Fr. John Sassani
11. Saint James, Saint John, Immaculate Conception and Sainte Anne, Salem,
~ Fr. Daniel Riley
12. Saint Jerome and Immaculate Conception, Weymouth ~ Fr. Joseph Rossi

About 3/4 of the present group of pastors are new to their collaborative. Apparently Fr. Paul Soper, Director of Pastoral Planning, (who had a Voice of the Faithful group at his most recent parish for several years), is driving this and is largely getting his way with the pastoral appointments.  BCI is told they want hand-picked “chosen” ones in collaboratives, so in some cases the normal pastoral appointment process is bypassed and politics kick in.

BCI is going to share brief comments on just one appointment to exemplify our point about promotion of dissident agendas and beliefs–Fr. John Sassani.   He offers yoga in his parish, despite the known objections of the Vatican and risk to the spiritual health of participants. His history of allowing promotion of agendas that dissent from the Catholic faith is well documented in his parish bulletins.  Just take a look at the books his parishioners are encouraged to read in their book club, and see this comment from Newton church-hopper:

BCI you should look closer at Our Ladys. Besides glass vessels for the blood of Christ, look at the kinds of faith formation programs they have.

Our Ladys Book Club was reading “sister” Joan Chittister’s “In Search of Belief” last fall.
http://www.ourladys.com/3communications/12_OLbulletin1117.pdf
Chittister is a dissident nun, 60′s leftist and new-ager, supports women’s ordination, speaks at Call to Action conferences.

http://forums.catholic.com/showthread.php?t=160011

What an insult to the Blessed Virgin Mary for Fr. Sassani to have “Our Ladys Book Club” reading a book by a dissident nun who disobeyed the Vatican’s request she not speak at a women’s ordination conference!!!!:
http://www.catholicculture.org/culture/library/view.cfm?id=4090&CFID=32341358&CFTOKEN=68695370

There are many other examples we will have to cover in a future post. Readers tell BCI that Our Lady’s is very much a “new age” type parish–far from orthodox in liturgies and ministries. They are now paired with a parish that had been led by a very orthodox pastor.  All in the Boston Archdiocese should ask why a pastor who allows and encourages his parishioners to read this garbage would now be made pastor of a collaborative. Is this an early indicator for future collaboratives?

Then there is the new problem created–we have too many priests for the available pastor slots, so a number of former pastors are now sitting on the sidelines. 50 priests were forced to resign their roles this spring to make way for Phase 2 collaboratives.  (Normally, maybe 10 pastors change at this time of year, so 50 is a big number). There were 12 open roles for pastors of collaboratives, plus some additional openings not formally a part of the collaborative effort.  Because a lot more pastors were forced to resign from parishes than there are available pastor roles, a number of former pastors now have no place to go. The reasons are varied–some parishes cannot afford a second or third priest, some of the new pastors do not want certain of the former pastors as parochial vicars, some former pastors do not want to now be a parochial vicar, and there are issues and agendas on both sides (whether real or perceived).

To deal with this new problem, sources tell BCI that the office of Clergy Personnel has hired a new psychiatrist to coordinate the treatment of priests’ issues, including those associated with displacement and moving assignments. We are not kidding.

BCI has been praying for the success of the pastoral planning effort in Boston, and still hopes it is successful. But we are beginning to have very serious concerns about execution of the new pastoral plan, and the implications for the typical Boston parish. Readers are invited to share their initial reactions to what they are seeing of the implementation so far.


Deception at Boston Marathon Bombing Interfaith Service?

April 22, 2013

In follow-up of our last post , Cardinal O’Malley Hosting Obama at Cathedral for Interfaith Prayer Service, and the 100+ public and private email comments it generated at BCI and at this Catholic forum, BCI has been prayerfully reconsidering that last post.  Some long-time readers and BCI supporters strongly disagreed with the post, and some were in agreement.  Even with the two bombing suspects no longer at large, many people are still feeling pain.  Should we blog even once more about the interfaith service?  We thought not, but something happened there that we feel needs to be reported, and we have some open questions from last post. The possibility of national deception by one of the speakers should not be overlooked.

First, just to clarify our perspective at BCI, we said multiple times that prayers were needed and we agree 100% with readers who said in the wake of the senseless evil bombing at the Marathon, Boston needed a strong spiritual moment. We still need prayers and to pray. The interfaith service on Thursday at the Cathedral of the Holy Cross appeared to have provided a strong spiritual moment to promote healing for the victims and the city.  Many churches have celebrated Masses or prayer programs/vigils in the days following the bombing and through the weekend.  In our opinion, it is a very good thing that the Catholic Church has been involved, and remains involved, in marking this tragedy in various ways and extending love and prayer for the community.

With that said, if you want to feel good about the interfaith service, we suggest that you stop reading here.  The questions of deception and scandal come next.

As reported in the Boston Globe and other publications, one of the speakers on Thursday, Nasser Weddady, director of civil rights outreach for the American Islamic Congress, read a verse from the Koran, from Surat Al-Maida verse 32, that he said brought him comfort in the past and may bring comfort today. Here is the exact text from his talk and passage he cited: “Whoever kills a soul, it is as if he killed mankind entirely, and whoever saves a life, it is as if he saved all of mankind.”

The problem is, the Quran does not exactly say this. And what it does say instead is rather troubling when you look closely–there is an exception and justification for murder that the speaker conveniently left out.  BCI merely Googled Surah 5:32. Here is one translation:

On that account: We ordained for the Children of Israel that if any one slew a person – unless it be for murder or for spreading mischief in the land – it would be as if he slew the whole people: and if any one saved a life, it would be as if he saved the life of the whole people.

Here is an explanation from WikiIslam:

This verse  is one of the most often-quoted verses purportedly taken from the Qur’an, thus proving the incompatibility of Islam with all forms of terrorism.

This verse has become so popular among Islam’s apologists that the President of the United States, Barack Obama, even quotes it in his speech delivered at Cairo University in June 4, 2009. Visiting the countless pro-Islamic websites, forums and blogs on the net, you are almost guaranteed to be confronted with this verse.

But try as you might, you will not find it in a Qur’an. The reason for this is quite simple: the verse in question does not exist.

What you are actually presented with by Muslims is a distorted, out-of-context paraphrasing of the following verse:

On that account: We ordained for the Children of Israel that if anyone slew a person – unless it be in retaliation for murder or for spreading mischief in the land – it would be as if he slew all mankind: and if anyone saved a life, it would be as if he saved the life of all humanity.  Qur’an 5:32

Analysis of Verse 5:32 from WikiIslam

Firstly, this verse is written in past tense (Ordained, not Ordain) and does not apply to Muslims but to “the Children of Israel” i.e. the Jews who, according to Islam, received an earlier set of scriptures.

Secondly, when the clause which allows killing is reinserted and we read it in context with the following two verses directed at Muslims (notice the reference to Allah’s messenger and the switch to present tense), what first appeared on the surface to be a peaceful message, is in actual fact a chilling warning to non-believers:

The punishment of those who wage war against Allah and His Messenger, and strive with might and main for mischief through the land is: execution, or crucifixion, or the cutting off of hands and feet from opposite sides, or exile from the land: that is their disgrace in this world, and a heavy punishment is theirs in the Hereafter; Except for those who repent before they fall into your power: in that case, know that Allah is Oft-forgiving, Most Merciful.
Qur’an 5:33-34

Even if one allows that WikiIslam is a site critical of Islam, a rebuttal of that criticism at the site Islamic Life is still concerning. Here is how they explain what qualifies as “mischief through the land”:

In Surah Al-Qasas Allah has said that Fir’awn made mischief in the land. He oppressed the people and made life difficult for them, and he divided them into sections and groups. One of them he harassed very much.
BCI is not expert at Islam, so we could use some help from an Islam expert. Does this appear to say, if a person or entity does not accept Islam and “makes mischief” (along the lines of the above), it is permissible in Islam for them to be murdered or have their hands and feet cut off?  The passage from the Koran was offered as a source of comfort from the pulpit at the Cathedral of the Holy Cross in the aftermath of the bombing that claimed innocent lives and left people with limbs gone. A more careful study of the passage suggests that instead, the passage could be condoning or calling for violence.
How does that make you feel about the Thursday service?
Beyond that, we also learn from this report that the imam of a mosque managed by the Muslim Brotherhood-founded Muslim American Society (MAS) was initially invited to speak at Thursday’s interfaith service,  but that invitation was later rescinded by Massachusetts Governor Deval Patrick’s office:

The Islamic Society of Boston Cultural Center’s (ISBCC) Imam Suhaib Webb, according to a series of Twitter posts, was replaced as the representative of Boston’s Muslim community at the service—whose keynote speaker was President Barack Obama—in favor of Nasser Wedaddy.Webb posted on his Twitter account Thursday, “Sorry, Muhammad Wedaddy from the American Islamic Congress will represent Boston Muslims.” Asked by another Twitter user who Wedaddy was, Webb wrote, “No idea. I was informed last night at 9pm that he was replacing me? lets focus on the service.” Webb later tweeted, “I was told the governor’s office made the call.”

MAS-affiliated Web sites “have featured articles advocating jihad and suicide martyrdom.” ADL also cites individuals involved with MAS including radical Muslim Brotherhood spiritual leader and terrorism supporter Yusuf al-Qaradawi, who is the chairman of Islamic American University, an MAS subsidiary in Michigan, and the Islamic Society of Boston’s founding president Abdurahman Alamoudi, who is “serving a 23-year prison sentence for illegal dealings with Libya and his involvement in a plot to assassinate Saudi Crown Prince Abdullah.”

Does the above raise enough questions?

We could stop there, but we return to a topic and questions raised in the comments on our last post: Exactly how far should Catholics go in welcoming certain individuals to speak from the pulpit in a Catholic Church, even if it is outside the Holy Sacrifice of the Mass? This is an edited version of our response to comments by “Attaboy:

  • Would someone who overtly called for murder of innocent people, or was affiliated with groups who supported the murder of innocent people be permitted to speak in a Catholic Church?
  • In the 1940s, would a rabbi have been expected to welcome a figure such as Adolf Hitler into a temple, out of respect for the office of chancellor of Germany?
  • If a featured speaker on Thursday was complicit in, supportive of, or actively involved in the systematic, state-sponsored persecution and murder of six million Jews by the Nazi regime, would they be have been welcome to speak at the interfaith service at the Cathedral?
  • If a featured speaker was complicit in or supportive of the systematic dismemberment and brutal murder of 5 million young children in the past 4 years alone, would they have been allowed to speak at the interfaith service?
  • What if the person openly and proudly supported the sexual abuse of minors?
  • What if the person proudly supported the Rwandan genocide in 1994 when more than 500,000 people were killed in 100 days?
  • What is the person was driving moves that will require Catholics to act against our faith and morals, as described in this piece from CNS?

No doubt, good was done by people coming together in prayer as a community. But, specifically what sort of actions by a political leader would cause you (Attaboy), rank-and-file Catholics, or Cardinal O’Malley to conclude the person should not be a featured speaker at any Catholic Church or Catholic program? Exactly how bad must they be where we all say, “NO”?

Questions still remain for BCI with regard to the interfaith service. More importantly, we all have questions about the senseless evil of the bombing. In the absence of answers and amidst the pain of this tragedy, we pray that God bring hope and healing to all affected by the Boston Marathon bombing.


Cardinal O’Malley Hosting Obama at Cathedral for Interfaith Prayer Service

April 17, 2013

The Cathedral of the Holy Cross is hosting an Opinioninterfaith prayer service on Thursday at 11am in memory of the victims of Monday’s horrific Boston Marathon bombing.  President Obama is headlining the event. Gov. Deval Patrick, and Boston Mayor Tom Menino will be there, along with Cardinal O’Malley.

We absolutely need to pray for the victims of this evil act. Within hours after the blast, Cardinal O’Malley issued a statement, “The Archdiocese of Boston joins all people of good will in expressing deep sorrow following the senseless acts of violence perpetrated at the Boston Marathon today.”  The 8-year-old boy who died in the blast was identified as Martin Richard, whose family belongs to St. Ann Catholic Parish in Dorchester. His mother and sister were seriously injured.

It also makes sense to promote a message of hope in response to the tragedy to those who are both Catholic and of other faiths. Cardinal O’Malley also said in his statement, “We stand in solidarity with our ecumenical and interfaith colleagues in the commitment to witness the greater power of good in our society and to work together for healing.” Hopefully, people across the country are praying in their own places of worship and according to their respective faiths.

It also is understandable that President Obama, Gov. Patrick, Mayor Menino, and Cardinal O’Malley would make public appearances in support of the victims, their families and all who are affected by the horror of what happened on Monday.

But this headline news is troubling: “Obama to Lead Interfaith Service in South End on Thursday.” Despite the good intentions, an “interfaith prayer service” headlined by President Obama at the Catholic Cathedral of the Holy Cross just feels bad for a number of reasons–practical, political and spiritual.

On a practical basis, one obvious concern as stated at The Tenth Crusade is that instead of looking for the murderer, police power and resources now shift to a Presidential appearance.

Politically, although it is appropriate for the President of the United States to make an appearance in Boston to offer condolences and support, the effect will likely be a political boost to his popularity. And he is doing so in a Catholic Church and the Mother Church of the Boston Archdiocese with the permission, support and imprimatur of Cardinal O’Malley.

We have Obama as no doubt the most anti-Catholic President in history–he is pro-abortion and favors the killing of children in the womb, and his HHS mandate threatens religious freedom for the Catholic Church, Catholic organizations, and any business or organization that operates with Catholic values. Under Obama, the U.S. Army Reserves recently published a training brief on “Extremism & Extremist Organization,” (covering militias, neo-Nazis, Islamic extremism, terrorism and gangs) which listed Catholicism and evangelical Christianity as examples of religious extremism, along with groups including al Qaeda, Hamas and the Ku Klux Klan.  His actions–and those of his administration–give the very clear message that he hates the Catholic Church and opposes our teachings and moral values.  Despite this, on Thursday, we will have the most pro-abortion anti-Catholic president in history, appearing with one of the most pro-abortion governors in the country and the pro-abortion Mayor of Boston, complemented nicely for photo opps by the chair of the USCCB pro-life committee, Cardinal O’Malley, all talking about the senseless loss of life. What message does this give? When it is the senseless murder of adults it is wrong, but we will forget about the senseless murder of the unborn for today’s photo opp?

More important than the practical and political concerns are the spiritual ones of such an interfaith gathering. As we all know, our church teaches us that outside the Catholic Church there is no salvation, because salvation is the Church. This is the dogma of extra ecclesiam nulla salus, which literally means, “outside the church there is no salvation.”  This dogma and its infallibility have been reaffirmed on many occasions. Pope Pius IX said in 1854: “We must hold as of the faith, that out of the Apostolic Roman Church there is no salvation; that she is the only ark of safety, and whosoever is not in her perishes in the deluge.”

Given that reality, how it that Cardinal O’Malley can be comfortable with any “common language for us to pray together” representing the breadth of religious traditions in the city that those organizing the service hope to find–and that happening in the Mother Church of the archdiocese ?  Those involved as of now include the Massachusetts Council of Churches, the Roman Catholic Archdiocese of Boston, the Greater Boston Interfaith Organization, the Jewish Community Relations Council, the Islamic Society of Boston Cultural Center, and clergy from First Church Cambridge, Old South Church, Trinity Church, Arlington Street Church and First Church Boston.

How can there be a “common language” for prayer amongst Catholicism, Judaism, Islam, Protestantism and other faiths?

Is it at any time appropriate for there to be an “interfaith service” in a Catholic Church, let alone the Cathedral? Will the Body of Christ still be reserved in the Sanctuary too?

In this interfaith service, will there be any mention that the Catholic Church is the Church founded by Our Lord, and it is necessary to be in it for eternal salvation?

Will there be any mention that the Protestants and people of other faiths in attendance are in error, which could condemn their souls to Hell?

One could argue that gathering people together of all faiths to mourn and pray together is a good thing, and that in this time of tragedy, non-Catholics would not take well to being evangelized by the Catholic Church.  Both are valid points and reasons to criticize BCI for this post. But those arguments ignore the fundamental error of the interfaith gathering in a Catholic Church.

To not oppose error, and not instruct people in a charitable and pastorally kind way that they are in error would be to support that error and/or be an accessory to that error. For Catholics who participate, it also risks giving the appearance we are okay with polytheism.

People of all faiths should pray for the victims of the Monday tragedy and for the conversion of the soul of the murderer. If folks want an interfaith gathering to pray for the victims of the horrible tragedy of Monday, that should simply not be in a Catholic Church. And since dialogue with Obama (ie. Notre Dame commencement, the Al Smith Dinner, private negotiations over the HHS mandate) has not moderated his anti-Catholic positions, BCI believes we should not create scandal by having him speak as a featured guest and publicly-acknowledged “leader” of the interfaith service at the Cathedral of the Holy Cross with the imprimatur of the Archbishop of Boston.


NEWSFLASH: Cardinal O’Malley named to Vatican Reform Committee

April 13, 2013

Today, the Vatican announced that Pope Francis has set up a committee of eight cardinals from around the world to advise him on how to reform the Roman Curia. Cardinal Sean O’Malley is one of the eight.  Here is the Vatican statement:

The Holy Father Francis, taking up a suggestion that emerged during the General Congregations preceding the Conclave, has established a group of cardinals to advise him in the government of the universal Church and to study a plan for revising the Apostolic Constitution on the Roman Curia, ‘Pastor Bonus’.

The group consists of:

- Cardinal Giuseppe Bertello, president of the Governorate of Vatican City State;
– Cardinal Francisco Javier Errázuriz Ossa, archbishop emeritus of Santiago de Chile, Chile;
– Cardinal Oswald Gracias, archbishop of Bombay, India;
– Cardinal Reinhard Marx, archbishop of Munich and Freising, Germany;
– Cardinal Laurent Monsengwo Pasinya, archbishop of Kinshasa, Democratic Republic of Congo;
– Cardinal Sean Patrick O’Malley O.F.M. Cap., archbishop of Boston, USA;
– Cardinal George Pell, archbishop of Sydney, Australia;
– Cardinal Oscar Andrés Rodríguez Maradiaga, S.D.B., archbishop of Tegucigalpa, Honduras, in the role of coordinator; and
– Bishop Marcello Semeraro of Albano, Italy, in the role of secretary.

The group’s first meeting has been scheduled for 1-3 October 2013. His Holiness is, however, currently in contact with the aforementioned cardinals.

News reports say that the committee will advise Pope Francis on how to reform the Catholic Church’s “troubled central administration.”  Reports say, “The basic failings of the Curia were aired, sometimes passionately, at closed-door meetings of cardinals before they retired into the conclave that elected Francis.”

BCI finds it ironic that Cardinal O’Malley has been appointed to a committee to reform the Roman Curia, when his own central administration is troubled and he has failed to effectively govern and reform it for the past decade.  Someone just suggested to BCI that Cardinal O’Malley serving on a committee to help reform the Roman Curia would be kind of like Hillary Clinton serving on a committee to help reform international embassy security.

In Boston, for nearly 3 years we have been documenting the ongoing problems of:

  • Nearly $4M annually in excessive six-figure salaries paid to lay executives
  • Moving around of funds from originally designated purposes to someplace else
  • Skyrocketing administrative expenses
  • Cronyism in hiring
  • Deception in communications and in policy making
  • Retention of Finance Council members and key advisers to the Cardinal who work against Catholic Church teachings
  • Routine violations of the archdiocesan Code of Conduct
  • Incompetence by high paid cabinet members
  • Draining of capital reserves to pay operating expenses
  • $140M in unpaid debt, with no plan to be able to repay the debt
  • 34% decline in Mass attendance between 2000 and 2012
  • 40-50% of parishes operating in the red
  • Abdication of leadership by Cardinal O’Malley and a failure by him to teach through his actions and words.

Other than those minor matters, everything is just great in Boston.  Just a few of these problems are described in this recent blog post.

As Cardinal O’Malley embarks on this new assignment, we humbly put forward the Gospel of Matthew 7:3-5:

Why do you notice the splinter in your brother’s eye, but do not perceive the wooden beam in your own eye? How can you say to your brother, ‘Let me remove that splinter from your eye,’ while the wooden beam is in your eye? You hypocrite,remove the wooden beam from your eye first; then you will see clearly to remove the splinter from your brother’s eye.

We hope and pray that Cardinal O’Malley takes time during the next 5-6 months before the Vatican committee meets to first clean up the house in Boston and remove some of the largest wooden beams here.


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