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.


The Politics of Fr. Bryan Hehir

April 10, 2013

Fr. Bryan Hehir, Secretary for Social Services and Healthcare, is off to Washington DC April 9-10 for a conference on “peacebuilding.”  In view of this conference and a piece that appeared during the time of the papal conclave, “Another American pope candidate embraces the far-left”, we are highlighting some aspects of Fr. Hehir’s political leanings. Given these leanings and publicly expressed views–as well as the lack of any real job for Fr. Hehir do any more–one might reasonably ask Cardinal O’Malley and Vicar General Bishop Deeley why they keep Fr. Hehir around.

At a high level, there is no real job that requires Fr. Hehir in the Cabinet at the Boston Archdiocese. Catholic Charities of Boston (“social services”) has a full-time paid president who runs the organization. And there is no longer Catholic “healthcare” because Caritas Christi was sold off to Cerberus/Steward. Yet Fr. Hehir remains the most important advisor to Cardinal O’Malley and involved in almost every major decision. Since he spends part of his time in his roughly $200K/year job at Harvard and associating with people and organizations that support left-leaning Democratic politicians and causes, why should this archdiocese keep Fr. Hehir as a cabinet secretary?  After you read the piece, you will probably ask the same question.

Now, here are excerpts from the piece, published in the run-up to the conclave, It was also published with the title, “Is God a Marxist? Top American Catholics and the far left“:

A top aide to a left-wing American Catholic Cardinal, reportedly in the running for the job of pope, taught a course called “Matthew, Marx, Luke, and John” at a pro-Marxist think tank in Washington, D.C. The course included a discussion of “the future of the Christian alliance with Marxism” and the “theology of the oppressed.”

The aide, Fr. J. Bryan Hehir, is described in the book Religious Leaders and Faith-based Politics: Ten Profiles as “one of the most important and influential voices in U.S. Catholicism.” A professor at the Kennedy School of Government at Harvard University, Hehir spent 20 years working for the Catholic Bishops and crafting policy positions on a wide range of domestic and foreign policy matters.

Cardinal Sean Patrick O’Malley of Boston, who hired Hehir as the Archdiocese of Boston’s Secretary for Social Services in 2003, has been “generating buzz in Rome as a possible contender to be the next pope,” says a recent report from NBC News.

If Hehir follows O’Malley to Rome, he could be in a position to exercise considerable power from the Vatican over global affairs, such as by promoting President Obama’s vision of a world free of U.S. nuclear weapons. But even if O’Malley doesn’t get the nod, Hehir could be a force in the Vatican. He has connections to Cardinal Peter Turkson, another candidate for the papacy, and played a role in formulating a Vatican document calling for creation of a “central world bank.” One of Hehir’s Harvard courses is “The Politics and Ethics of the Use of Force,” reflecting his desire to be taken seriously as a global affairs expert.

Hehir led the bishops in writing a 1983 letter titled “The Challenge of Peace – God’s Promise and Our Response,” which called the building of nuclear weapons “a folly which does not provide the security it promises.” Hehir was a member of a Council on Foreign Relations (CFR) task force which produced a 2009 report on “U.S. Nuclear Weapons Policy” saying that while “the geopolitical conditions that would permit the global elimination of nuclear weapons do not currently exist,” steps could be taken “to diminish the danger of nuclear proliferation and nuclear use.”

But Cardinal O’Malley is not without controversy himself. He had to personally explain and defend himself after presiding at the funeral Mass for Senator Edward M. Kennedy, the liberal Catholic who undermined church teachings on social matters such as abortion and homosexuality and lived a personal life characterized by debauchery.

A controversial figure in the American Catholic Church, Hehir has been the subject of fawning coverage in the liberal press. But blogs run by conservative Catholics in Boston have targeted him for years, with the Catholic paper The Wanderer once urging his ouster from church affairs because of his “relentless advocacy of left-wing politics.”

It was the “Bryan Hehir Exposed” blog which noted that his left-wing activities included lecturing for “a Socialist, pro-Communist think-tank back in the 1980′s.”

That think tank, the Institute for Policy Studies (IPS), is where Hehir taught his course on “Matthew, Marx, Luke, and John.” Hehir was then the director of the Office of International Justice and Peace of the U.S. Catholic Conference.

The IPS came under strong criticism in the 1980s, even from a New York Times Magazine article “Think Tank of the Left,” for being a mouthpiece for anti-American and communist regimes from Cuba to North Vietnam. It conducted joint conferences with Moscow entities considered conduits for Russian KGB propaganda.

At the same time IPS was sponsoring the “Matthew, Marx, Luke, and John” course, it was featuring a “Liberation Theology Lecture Series” with Gustavo Gutierrez, author of A Theology of Liberation.

Hehir’s history of involvement in Marxist causes includes not only lecturing at the IPS on several occasions but receiving its 7th Annual Letelier-Moffitt Memorial Award in Washington D.C. in 1983. It was named for Orlando Letelier, a Marxist IPS fellow who was assassinated in 1976 in Washington by the Chilean government’s secret police. Letelier was exposed as a Cuban agent in briefcase papers found by law enforcement authorities after his death.

Hehir was known as a critic of U.S. foreign policy in the 1980s, when President Ronald Reagan was preventing a Communist takeover of Central America and countering the Soviet Union’s nuclear buildup by deploying U.S. nuclear missiles in Western Europe. The IPS was then the center of much of the opposition to the Reagan agenda.

For example, in Nicaragua, where a Marxist regime that included Catholic advocates of “liberation theology” had seized power, Reagan armed freedom fighters to take back their country. Hehir and the U.S. Catholic Bishops opposed the use of military force to stop the Communists in Central America or anywhere else.

Even without an O’Malley appointment as pope, Hehir has exercised considerable influence in the Vatican and can be expected to do so in the future. He participated in a symposium hosted by the Vatican’s Pontifical Council for Justice and Peace at the Vatican in October 2010.

This is significant because the Pontifical Council for Justice and Peace is the arm of the Vatican run by Cardinal Peter Turkson, another possible candidate for pope. In the 2011 document, “Towards reforming the international financial and monetary systems in the context of global public authority,” Turkson endorsed a “central world bank” that “regulates the flow and system of monetary exchanges, as do the national central banks.” It spoke of “the need for a minimum, shared body of rules to manage the global financial market which has grown much more rapidly than the real economy.”

A “world political authority,” a euphemism for a world government, was endorsed in Caritas in Veritate (“Charity in Truth”), a papal encyclical issued by Pope Benedict, who was considered “conservative” by some. The new global structure is supposed to “manage the economy,” bring about “timely disarmament,” and ensure “food, security and peace,” his document said.

The Turkson document expanded on this concept, saying, “In a world on its way to rapid globalization, orientation towards a world Authority becomes the only horizon compatible with the new realities of our time and the needs of humankind. However, it should not be forgotten that this development, given wounded human nature, will not come about without anguish and suffering.”

Hehir and Turkson are scheduled to participate in a major “Catholic peacebuilding” conference in April to commemorate the 50th anniversary of another paper encyclical, Pacem in Terris (“Peace on Earth”), and promote a “just world order.” More than a dozen Catholic universities and agencies are involved in the event.

Pacem in Terris called for world disarmament under the auspices of the United Nations and other global institutions. It said, “Nuclear weapons must be banned. A general agreement must be reached on a suitable disarmament program, with an effective system of mutual control.”

It also declared “[o]ur earnest wish that the United Nations Organization may be able progressively to adapt its structure and methods of operation to the magnitude and nobility of its tasks.”

All of this fits in perfectly with the global approach of the Obama Administration. Obama himself talked of a “world without nuclear weapons,” while his new Secretary of Defense, Chuck Hagel, was involved in the “Global Zero” approach that would eventually dismantle the U.S. nuclear deterrent.

Not surprisingly, another scheduled speaker at the upcoming “peacebuilding” conference is Stephen Schneck, the “Catholics for Obama” operative who serves as director of the Institute for Policy Research & Catholic Studies at the Catholic University of America. He had invited Cardinal Turkson and former AFL-CIO boss John Sweeney to one of his own left-wing conferences at CUA.

It looks like Stephen Schneck may have since dropped off the conference program , but a look at just a few other speakers confirms the concerns:

  • Scott Appleby (Notre Dame): said the Nobel committee chose “brilliantly” in selecting Obama for the Nobel Peace Prize.. He said, “consider a president who acknowledges human dignity based not on color, faith or citizenship, but inherent in our common humanity. Decidedly not a man who closes his eyes and ears to evil.”  How about the dignity of human life and the evil of abortion? Appleby also supported the decision of Notre Dame to have Obama as their commencement speaker in 2009.
  • John Carr (former Executive Director, USCCB Dept. of Justice, Peace & Human Development, now at Harvard’s Kennedy School): This piece, “The Scandal of John Carr at the USCCB” reports, “Mr. Carr has, while serving the USCCB, also chaired the board of the Center for Community Change, not to mention other leadership positions with this progressive, pro-abortion political group. During this time, the USCCB awarded $150,000 to the Center for Community Change through a 2001 Catholic Campaign for Human Development (CCHD) grant, promotes the group on its website, and has exchanged speakers at various events. Furthermore, at least 31 other CCHD grantees have worked with the Center, giving the Center’s political work unofficial but very substantial support from a powerful Catholic body.”
  • Fr. Drew Christiansen (editor of America magazine): This article describes how USCCB leaders clashed with America magazine over America’s criticism of the bishops’ strategy forcefully opposing the HHS contraception mandate.  America magazine apparently thinks the HHS mandate, though imperfect, fulfills Catholic social teaching and preserves the common good, and that the U.S. bishops were overreaching and being too political by threatening lawsuits and demanding the mandate be rescinded. Bishop William E. Lori of the Diocese of Bridgeport, Conn., chairman of the USCCB’s Ad-Hoc Committee for Religious Liberty, complained that the magazine’s editorial board believes the bishops are at their best when they speak in generalities and “go along to get along…Maybe Moses wasn’t at his best when he confronted Pharaoh. Maybe the Good Shepherd was a bit off his game when he confronted the rulers of his day.”

Not to be forgotten is this overview of Fr. Hehir’s history from “The Eminence Grise“, summarized with this passage:

 “At a moment when the Church is striving to launch a “new evangelization” in this Year of Faith, the Archdiocese of Boston under Fr. Hehir’s leadership is more concerned with conforming to the secular culture, appeasing a hostile liberal media, and protecting renegade pro-abortion Catholic politicians and their apologists in the Catholic community. Hehir calls this “rebuilding trust” with civil society, but that is a ruse for enabling dissent, as Fr. Hehir’s record over 40 years illustrates.

Many people have told Cardinal O’Malley he should remove Hehir. Yet he remains–with more power and influence than the Vicar General, Bishop Deeley. Hehir helps consolidate power in the Terry Donilon/Rasky Baerlein/Jack Connors coalition, does his best to thwart efforts around spreading the authentic truths and moral teachings of the Catholic faith, and ensures the continued inefficacy of the Mass Catholic Conference and or any efforts to communicate Catholic moral views in the public square and political process. And unlike diocesan priests who are paid about $42K/year with limited benefits, Hehir is paid an estimated $200K/year as a professor at Harvard (average full professor salary is $203K) with full pension and medical benefits.
BCI thinks Fr. Hehir should at last be set loose from his official Cabinet secretary role and duties. He can continue to collect his big paycheck from Harvard, but not sully the name of the Boston Archdiocese with his public excursions into left-leaning politics. We further suggest he be assigned as a parish parochial vicar in an inner city area such as Roxbury, Lawrence, or Chelsea where he can practice social justice much more effectively than living in the rectory at St. John’s in the affluent town of Wellesley.  Email this post to Vicar General Bishop Deeley at vicar_general@rcab.org.

Boston archdiocesan pay hits cathedral heights

March 18, 2013

The Boston Herald on Friday ran an article about the excessive pay for Boston Archdiocesan lay execs.  Coincidentally, on Saturday, Pope Francis said he wanted to see the church be poor, and for the poor. 

At the rate the Boston Archdiocese is paying salaries, giving pay increases to the already overpaid execs and running up debt, we are well on the path to being poor–but for reasons much different than Pope Francis apparently intends. The excessive salaries inhibit the ability of the Boston Archdiocese to carry out her mission–namely, salvation of souls and continuing the saving ministry of Jesus Christ.

Here is the Herald article.  The biggest thing to note after you read the article is the explanation for how the Boston Archdiocese is dealing with this situation. [Hint: to address a problem of excessive salaries, the solution should be to reduce them.]  Read on:

Archdiocesan execs pull in top salaries: Pay hits cathedral heights

Friday, March 15, 2013

Nearly one-third of the Archdiocese of Boston’s top execs ranked among the highest paid people in their field, according to a compensation study that prompted church officials to take a hard look at many of their six-figure salaries — and withhold some merit-based raises.

The study, performed by a third-party firm at the archdiocese’s request and released with its 2012 financial report, is the first in the archdiocese’s history, according to church officials, examining how their pay stacks up to nine comparable archdioceses, other Catholic organizations and a mixture of nonprofit and for-profit groups.

It found that five of the 16 lay executives making more than $150,000 are paid above the 75th percentile when compared to those in similar jobs, while six more make between the 50th and 75th percentiles.

The five remaining have “attributes that are unique to our archdiocese,” officials wrote in their financial report, adding that they are “paid comparably” to those with similar levels of responsibility.

The committee’s goal, officials said, is to have “most” of the top-earning executives be paid around the 50th percentile, though John Straub, the archdiocese’s chief financial officer and chancellor, acknowledged that can’t happen “overnight.” He declined to release additional details, including exactly where the executives fell in comparison or which ones outpaced their peers.

“I wouldn’t say anyone was surprised … about it,” Straub said. “It gave (the compensation committee) a clear path to make the recommendations they wanted to make.”

The findings, Straub said, have already prompted changes. No senior lay executive at or above median pay got a performance-based raise this fiscal year. Meanwhile, two new hires and one promoted employee — Straub — are being paid at the 50th percentile.

It still didn’t quiet critics, including Peter Borre, chairman of Boston-based Council of Parishes, who called the salaries “appalling, without getting into percentiles.” The archdiocese’s general counsel, for example, made more than $340,000 in 2011, its secretary of education more than $360,000 and eight others topped $200,000.

“In absolute terms, an institution that is downsizing itself with church attendances down … shouldn’t be lavishing money to this extent,” Borre said.

Readers probably know by now that it took years of public complaints in order for them to finally do this study. They then claim they are capping merit increases for people who are overpaid, meanwhile, they had just given a number of people salary increases before they decided to cap the excessive salaries.

Did they think that no one would notice how some of the bloated salaries have increased in the past year? Of the “senior lay executives,” some have salaries that have increased at a rapid pace. The committee writes about its “philosophy” in the annual report, and they claim the first step in dealing with excessive salaries is to withhold merit increases. But how does that explain the following?:

  • Mary Grassa O’Neill, schools superintendent, getting her pay increased from her $325,000 original salary now up to $343,705?
  • Beirne Lovely, general counsel, getting his pay raised from his original $300,000 now up to $311,219?
  • Carol Gustavson, exec director of benefits reported at $169.200, who was previously paid $149K, meaning her raise was at least 12.8%.
  • Terry Donilon, communications secretary. having his salary jump 13.4% from 2010 to 2011 ($162.5K to $184.4K)

As we wrote in “Fleecing the Flock,” Mass attendance continues to drop in Boston, Central Operations is running a $6M annual deficit, the diocese has almost a $140M debt, the financial situation in parishes continues to get worse with 40-50% unable to pay their bills, and Catholic schools are being closed. Yet, the salaries remain excessive and some are increasing.RCAB salaries 2012

Michael Voris explained the situation well in this recent video:

The right solution is to start reducing the salaries of the people. At 10% every three months, it will not take too long to get them all down to the right level. But that will not happen at the rate we are going.

Furthermore, it is clear that the Boston Archdiocese is violating the Motu Proprio from Pope Benedict XVI that says salaries and operational expenses are to be in “due proportion” to the analogous expenses of the diocesan Curia. The Boston Archdiocese says they want to be responsible stewards of donor funds, but overpaying lay execs would directly contradict that ideal. It is also clear that no one at the Pastoral Center, including Cardinal O’Malley or Vicar General Bishop Deeley, is going to take meaningful action.

For today and generations to come in the future, it is important that the Catholic Church have the financial resources to spread the Gospel of Jesus Christ and continue the ministry of Jesus Christ to save souls and help people grow in holiness, become saints and get to heaven. What can faithful Catholics do? Take a moment to forward this blog post to the Papal Nuncio, Archbishop Carlo Maria Vigano <nuntiususa@nuntiususa.org> and ask him to intervene to address this breach of fiduciary responsibility and squandering of precious donor funds.  Also, pray for Cardinal O’Malley and the diocesan leadership.

This is what BCI thinks. What do you think?


Conclave Commentary: Did Cardinal Violate Oath of Secrecy?

March 16, 2013

The hot news is mostly still about the conclave from this past week. BCI will share several news highlights for you today, among them, the question of whether certain cardinals openly violated the conclave oath of secrecy. Then we will be back to local Boston Archdiocese fiscal governance issues in our next post.

Comments from Cardinal O’Malley and Others After the Election

This Boston Globe article has a photo of Cardinal O’Malley taking the oath of secrecy before the election.  The oath says:

“In a particular way, we promise and swear to observe with the greatest fidelity and with all persons, clerical or lay, secrecy regarding everything that in any way relates to the election of the Roman Pontiff and regarding what occurs in the place of the election, directly or indirectly related to the results of the voting; we promise and swear not to break this secret in any way, either during or after the election of the new Pontiff.”

In view of that oath, what should we make of these post-conclave comments by Cardinal O’Malley and Cardinal Brady in the AP article, “So what really happened inside the papal conclave that selected Pope Francis? Here’s a cardinal’s-eye view“:

VATICAN CITY — Three rounds of ballots had been cast with no winner, but it was becoming clear which way this conclave was headed.

When the cardinals broke for lunch, Sean Cardinal O’Malley of Boston sat down next to his Argentine friend, Jorge Cardinal Bergoglio.

“He seemed very weighed down by what was happening,” O’Malley said.

Hours later, the Buenos Aires archbishop would step before the frenzied masses packed into St. Peter’s Square as Francis, the first pope from the Americas.

Cardinals take an oath of secrecy when they enter a conclave, promising never to reveal what goes on inside.

“The conclave is a very prayerful experience,” O’Malley said. “It’s like a retreat.”  Each man wrote a few words in Latin on a piece of paper: “I elect as supreme pontiff…” followed by a name.

One by one, they held the paper aloft, placed it on a gold-and-silver saucer at the front of the room, and tipped it into an urn.

“When you walk up with the ballot in your hand and stand before the image of the Last Judgment, that is a great responsibility,” O’Malley said.

And then the tallying began, with three cardinals — known as scrutineers — reading out the name on each slip.

When they finished counting, it was clear the field remained wide open, said Sean Cardinal Brady, leader of the church in Ireland. “There were a number of candidates,” he said.

A cardinal threaded the ballots together and put them in a stove.

Outside in St. Peter’s Square, as black smoke billowed from the chimney, the cheering crowd fell silent and began to thin.

***

On Wednesday morning, the cardinals filed in again and repeated the ritual of voting. There were two votes before lunch, and the field was narrowing. But the smoke was black again, and the crowd was again disappointed.

***

At lunch, O’Malley sat down besides Bergoglio.

“He is very approachable, very friendly,” he said. “He has a good sense of humor, he is very quick and a joy to be with.”

But with the vote going his way, Bergoglio was uncharacteristically somber.

***

The cardinals were getting close to a decision. They started over, and the scrutineers read out the names.

And it began to dawn on the men that their work was done.

In the Globe article, Cardinal O’Malley is quoted as saying that after the election, Francis seemed to be at peace.

Does it not occur to these Cardinals that they were sworn to secrecy regarding “everything that in any way relates to the election of the Roman Pontiff”?

Beyond this, we then see a comment from Cardinal O’Malley in the Globe about why he is glad he was not elected pope: “He’s a prisoner in a museum,’’ O’Malley said of the pope, drawing laughter from Boston area reporters. “It’s not a wonderful life.’’

This response feels like yet another lost teaching moment and opportunity for Cardinal O’Malley.  Last we checked, the role of the Holy Father was to be the Vicar of Christ on earth. He is the spiritual leader of the Catholic Church.  If you read Matthew 16:17-19, we see Jesus promised that He would build His Church on Peter and He gave the keys of the Kingdom of Heaven to Peter alone. “You are Peter and on this rock I will build my church, and the powers of death shall not prevail against it. I will give you the keys of the kingdom of heaven, and whatever you bind on earth shall be bound in heaven, and whatever you loose on earth shall be loosed in Heaven.”

The immensely important role of the successor to Peter is to ensure that the benefits of the Kingdom of Heaven can be attained by the faithful, as exemplified by the instruction “feed my lambs”, “feed my sheep.”  The Holy Father continues the role St. Peter instituted after the death and resurrection of Jesus Christ, who instructed Peter in establishing His Church on earth. Peter then handed down this authority from Pope to Pope until the present day.

To BCI, it seems that to publicly characterize the Vicar of Christ on earth as a “prisoner in a museum” who does not have a “wonderful life” is to misrepresent and diminish the nature of the role.


Boston Catholic Media and PR/Communications at the Conclave

This article in the Boston Herald discusses the presence of the Boston Catholic Media team at the conclave:

Cardinal Sean P. O’Malley’s moment in the papal sun in Rome this past week was beamed back to Boston thanks to a team of plugged-in assistants.

“My purpose in coming on this trip was to let Boston Catholics and other Catholics from the area experience the buildup for the announcement and the announcement itself,” said Scot Landry, secretary for Catholic Media.

Landry said cardinals from the U.S. tended to be much more open with the press than did their colleagues from the rest of the world.

“I would say there was a clash of cultures in terms of the way the church engages the media, particularly the secular media” he said. “When we first arrived, the American cardinals were going to press conferences and doing interviews every day. In a way, they felt honored that so many were there to cover them and through their coverage bring it home to Catholics around the world.”

Thanks for thinking of us back here, but for future reference, we were actually doing just fine by reading the hundreds of articles available to us in the regular news media.

As for the media briefings, it seemed to many people that the U.S. cardinals doing the briefings forgot that the main purpose of the pre-conclave meetings was for the cardinals to prayerfully consider the needs of the universal Catholic Church and the attributes for the next Supreme Pontiff, so they would each be prepared for the crucial vote. If we understand Landry correctly, the U.S. cardinals felt honored that the media was giving them attention?  In other words, their egos were stoked by the media attention, so they addressed that situation by engaging in the press briefings and interviews (which would have the effect of further stoking their egos) to “bring it home” for us?  Thanks again.

Even if it were the case that the cardinals arrived in Rome and suddenly discovered the media wanted stories, and the selfless cardinals could help us poor saps starving for news, how does that explain Terry Donilon and the Boston Archdiocesan PR team starting their media campaign weeks before Cardinal O’Malley travelled to Rome, and continuing with Terry live in Rome?

And how does that explain this shameless self-promotion of Terry Donilon in the Washington Post, suggesting that Terry Donilon could become a key aide to a new Holy Father if Cardinal O’Malley were elected pope, while Donilon’s brother was National Security Advisor to Obama?:

One Donilon brother “working for the most powerful man on the planet and the other one could work for the most powerful religious leader on the planet?” mused Terry.

We have one word for the above. Pathetic.

Another American Pope Candidate Embraces the Far Left

This article about Cardinal O’Malley and his senior aide/advisor, Fr. Bryan Hehir, made the rounds this past week. It opens by saying:

A top aide [Fr. Bryan Hehir] to a left-wing American Catholic Cardinal [Cardinal O'Malley], reportedly in the running for the job of pope, taught a course called “Matthew, Marx, Luke, and John” at a pro-Marxist think tank in Washington, D.C. The course included a discussion of “the future of the Christian alliance with Marxism” and the “theology of the oppressed.”

This last one will have to be the subject of a future blog post.


Follow

Get every new post delivered to your Inbox.

Join 558 other followers

%d bloggers like this: