Take Action: Stop ISIS and Genocide in Iraq, Help those Persecuted

September 9, 2014

For many weeks now, we have heard the tragic news of the slaughter of thousands of innocent people in Iraq by ISIS, while the response from the U.S government has been tepid and ineffective. In this post, you will learn exactly what you can do to help stop ISIS and the genocide of Christians in Iraq, and help aide those affected in Iraq. Your action on this is critical!

Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel calls ISIS an “imminent threat” to every interest we have. Two American journalists have been beheaded. Reports of brutality and evil are so horrific they are beyond words–innocent children beheaded, men crucified, women being raped, people forced from their homes if they do not renounce their Christian faith and convert to Islam. But despite these evil acts, there is a sense that the outrage of the average citizen and a mass outrage by society is not being voiced or heard as much as it could be and needs to be.

On August 29, Chaldean Catholic Church “AFTER A MONTH OF THEIR DISPLACEMENT,  THE CHRISTIANS IN IRAQ ARE GOING EXTINCT!”leader, Patriarch Louis Raphael Sako authored this letter with an impassioned plea to the international community to speak up and act in defense of Iraqi Christians and other persecuted minorities in the country. He is begging the international community to help:

Patriarch Sako: One Month Since Their Displacement, Iraqi Christians Are ‘Becoming Extinct’

Patriarch Sako says pressure must be put on “decision-makers at home and abroad to ensure a life, free and safe, for them in their own Iraq.

A whole month passed after the plight of Iraqi Christians and Yezidis and other minorities, as if it was meant to be. The curtains have been drawn on the painful events, and 120,000 Christians are uprooted from their historical homeland because the Political Islam does not want them there, and the world is silent, standing still, either because it approves or because it is incapable of acting. This encourages ISIS to move forward with its ferocious war against culture and diversity and threatening the intellectual and social security. The suffering of the displaced Christians and other minorities is mounting: their needs are escalating and their fears of an unknown future of their shocked children, seized towns, and looted houses keep them sleepless! These people were living in their hometowns in prosperity, pride and dignity; in the blink of an eye, they were ousted from their homes, terrified and fleeing on foot in search of a shelter. It is a scene that takes us back to the dark centuries of the past although it has become a horrific reality of our present civilization!

What these peaceful Christians and loyal citizens experienced is a real genocide, a sad ending, and a proof of the privation of the religious, human, moral, and national values. Therefore, it is a shameful stain in history. Everybody should know is a threat for all!   (more)

 ISIS has already declared they will go after western targets next. What can you do?  Plenty. Here is what you can do immediately:

  1. Contact the White House to urge stronger action against ISIS and to protect Iraqi Christians. Specifically, call President Obama’s deputy national security advisor, Ben Rhodes. Phone: 202-456-9301.  (Note, the phone will probably be answered as “Resource Center.” Ask for Ben Rhodes’ office to be passed to his administrator so you can leave a message.  Here is a suggested message, but feel free to modify and make it your own:

“Hi, my name is ____ calling from ___ [state]. I’d like for Mr. Rhodes to pass my feedback to President Obama. I’m calling to urge the President to take the strongest direct military action possible to destroy ISIS in both Iraq and Syria, and to also act to provide the most extensive humanitarian assistance possible to the 120,000 Christians and other minorities forced from their homes and persecuted by ISIS for their religious beliefs.  Can you assist me by giving this message to Mr. Rhodes?”

2. Contact your U.S. Senators and Reps by phone asking them to urge the President to take stronger action.  Use the same message as above, but say you are calling to ask the Senator/Rep to ask the President to take the strongest action possible to destroy ISIS in Iraq and Syria and to help the 120,000 Christians and other minorities forced from their homes and at risk of genocide.  Click here to find the phone number for your Senator or Rep. (just enter your zip code, or click on your state)

3. Make a donation to support humanitarian relief to the Iraqi Christians.  Click here for the website of HelpIraq, which will let you make a donation to the medical emergency relief fund for Christian Iraqis. All donations will go to help the Chistian refugees in Iraq, who desperately need your help.

4. Share this message.  Ask others to take action by forwarding this email to friends, family members and co-workers. Share this post on Facebook, Twitter, or other social media sites.  Forward it to your favorite blogger or news outlet and ask them to post it.

5. Email Cardinal Sean O’Malley and ask him to ask the US Catholic Bishops to all run a second collection to support humanitarian relief for the Iraqi Christians. Send to these two emails:  archbishopsean_o’malley@rcab.org and Terrence_Donilon@rcab.org.

6. Pray.  Pray a Rosary today, and start a 54-day Rosary Novena for the intention of the Iraqi Christians and the destruction of ISIS.

It is said that evil triumphs when good men do nothing. We cannot allow the evil of ISIS to continue.  Your actions can make a difference, so do take the time today to let Washington know you feel it is urgent the President take action, share this message with others, and also please do whatever you can to support the persecuted Iraqi Christians and minorities.

 


Boston’s Holy Trinity Church Up for Sale

August 27, 2014

We are sad to report (belatedly) that Boston’s beautiful Holy Trinity (German) Church is up for sale. For decades, it was home to the German Catholic community and Traditional Latin Mass.  We wrote about the relegation to profane use of the neo-gothic style 1877 church building back in 2011.  The property went on the market in June, but we never got the chance to report it at the time. Here is the For Sale listing. The Boston Archdiocese believes it could sell for up to $4M to a residential developer.

An anonymous BCI reader submitted the following piece about the fate of Holy Trinity, and we are publishing it unedited.

The Stripping of Holy Trinity Has Begun

The appearance at the Cathedral of the Holy Cross of several items that had belonged to Holy Trinity Church in the South End has signaled the beginning of the stripping of Boston’s historic German church.  When this winter the Archdiocese learned that the Apostolic Signatura had upheld the relegation of Holy Trinity to profane use with no further possibility of appeal, the Rector of the Cathedral, to which all Holy Trinity property now belongs, began to bring items to the Cathedral, most notably the baptismal font, which was used at this year’s Easter Vigil.  Holy Trinity’s former parishioners appreciate the pastoral care they have received from the Rector of the Cathedral and his concern to find suitable homes for the religious items.

Overall, however, the Archdiocese is the poorer – much poorer – both spiritually and financially for the closure.

Is There Room for God in the New South End?

In the increasing spiritual vacuum that is the South End – at least three other churches, both Catholic and Protestant, have been converted to housing there within the last five years – Holy Trinity had a unique draw on young adults who appeared to not be practicing any faith.

One mild Saturday afternoon in December 2005, when parishioners were cleaning the church in preparation for Christmas, a young man and woman passing by gaped through the open doors.  The parishioners cleaning the glass doors in the vestibule – doors etched with the phrase “This is the House of God and Gate of Heaven” – invited the couple inside, but only the young man accepted the invitation.  He walked about the nave in astonishment – he had no idea this church in his neighborhood was so beautiful – and was incredulous at the parishioners’ explanation that the Archdiocese planned to close the church. 

Years later, at the closing Mass in June 2008, a clump of young adults (both men and women) watched the service from folding chairs in the choir loft.  They lived in the neighborhood and “always wanted to see the church.”

More like them are coming to the South End.  According to the Boston Redevelopment Authority web site, the South End will soon hold almost 1900 new condominiums and apartments, including 62 condominiums in the former Immaculate Conception Church, the Jesuit church across from Boston City Hospital.

Shortly after the closure of Holy Trinity, its adjacent neighborhood was re-zoned as an “Economic Development Area.”  The acceptable height of buildings neighboring buildings may now be as high as 150 feet, and the ratio of building size to lot size increased as much as 63%.  An example of this is the 11-story office and retail building that has been approved for development a few hundred feet away from Holy Trinity.  The building’s developer, Ron Druker, also owns the 1-story warehouse immediately to the left of Holy Trinity and the parking lot immediately behind it.  In an area to be transformed into an extension of downtown, is it unreasonable to speculate that he might want to purchase the church and demolish it to build another glass and steel tower on the combined lot?

As things stand now, however, these new residents and office workers will not have the opportunity to worship at Holy Trinity as did generations of South End residents (even those who were not German) before them.

The Costs of Closure

While Holy Trinity Church was open, parishioners paid all expenses, including maintenance and repairs, without any subsidy from the Archdiocese of Boston.  Holy Trinity has since incurred well over $350,000 in expenses merely because it is closed.  The largest of these are property taxes assessed by the City of Boston beginning in 2011, which have totaled $246,708.99 through June 2014.  Maintenance fees, including contracted property management fees with the Newmark Grubb Knight Frank firm and the erection of a barbed-wire fence and other minor repairs due to break-ins by vagrants, are estimated at $125,000 at this time.  (The total was $88,000 as of May 2012.)

Now, the cost of stripping the church can be added to the total.  The removal of some items before they have a buyer, especially the rare stained glass windows, could cost thousands of dollars.  (The high altar and pews have been sold to another Catholic church that will remove them at its own expense.)

Who has paid these expenses?  As announced by the rector in May 2012 parish council meeting, the Cathedral Parish, one of Boston’s poorest, has been forced to assume them by taking a loan, which at the time totaled over $212,000.  The loan would be repaid from proceeds of the sale of Holy Trinity.  In the interim, the debt has been a great strain on the Cathedral Parish.  Note that the Cathedral Grammar School closed in June, 2013; this strain may have been one factor in its closure.

Thus, no one has benefitted financially from the closure of Holy Trinity.  Expenses have been incurred, not eliminated.  Even the City of Boston may not have benefitted; if 15 or more former Cathedral Grammar School students transferred to the Boston Public Schools, the cost of educating them ($17,000 per student according to 2010 figures) would exceed the tax revenues collected from Holy Trinity to date.

The Costs Were Avoidable

Unknown to Holy Trinity parishioners fighting its closure, a vigorous church preservation movement was saving churches around the country, especially in the Midwest.  Over 50 of these groups have been at work since as early as the 1920’s, preserving churches that are in some cases the only building remaining in their now-abandoned town.  One of the most well-known of these, Saint Joseph Shrine in Saint Louis, Missouri, once so dilapidated that the droppings of nesting birds covered pews and statuary, has been completely restored by a preservation group that has raised over $4 million since 1979.  Mass is held there weekly.

As soon as they learned about this movement, Holy Trinity parishioners formed a preservation group in October 2013.  Their plan, modeled on the plans of other preservation groups, was to assume all the maintenance costs of Holy Trinity Church in return for the Archdiocese authorizing one Mass there per year.  When the offer was made by telephone to Fr. Paul Soper, Director of the Office of Pastoral Planning, he rejected it, saying that parishioners needed to “move on.”

Had the plan been implemented at the time of closure, the Cathedral Parish would have incurred no expenses on account of Holy Trinity.  An annual Mass would have eliminated taxation by the City of Boston, as the church would still be in religious use.  A group that was able to gather annually would have collected enough money to pay the property management and maintenance fees.

Although the Holy Trinity’s relegation to profane use was upheld despite the founding of the preservation group, another group has had its church’s relegation to profane use overturned by the Vatican.  The fact that parishioners of Saint Ann’s Church in Buffalo, New York had raised hundreds of thousands of dollars for its preservation was cited by the Congregation for the Clergy (the first appeal step) as evidence that the bishop did NOT have a grave reason to relegate the church to profane use.  Money talks at the Vatican.

Is It Too Late For Holy Trinity?

The best hope for Holy Trinity Church to continue evangelizing in the twenty-first century and for the waste of closure expenses to end is to sell it to a religious order.  They would staff the church and, with the help of the Holy Trinity Restoration Society, bear the maintenance and repair costs of a 135-year-old building.  Proceeds from the sale would repay the loan taken by the Cathedral Parish with the surplus to be used as the rector sees fit.

Anyone interested in this effort is invited to visit Holy Trinity Boston Restoration Society on Facebook and to pray to Our Lady Undoer of Knots:  Novena to Mary, Undoer of Knots


Archdiocese of Boston uses parish funds to repay sexual abuse settlement costs

August 5, 2014

The stories about St. Francis of Cabrini continuing to protest their closing and occupy the church  ten years after it was ordered closed and comments by Communications Secretary Terry Donilon merit a response.  In particular, the deception by Donilon about how the Archdiocese of Boston uses parish funds just cannot sit uncontested. Donilon said a fund of resources of parishes cannot be tapped by the archdiocese for any purpose the archdiocese chooses. Maybe that is true. But if so, then how exactly does Donilon explain how closed Brighton parish properties were recently transferred from the archdiocese to another related entity to help pay off sexual abuse claims?  Later in this post, we also show how little progress the Boston Archdiocese has made with these church squatters.

First, regarding the Scituate situation, here is an excerpt from one article with the Donilon quote:

Canon law consultant Peter Borre of the Council of Parishes, who’s been helping diehard parishioners of deconsecrated Mount Carmel Church in East Boston stave off a wrecking ball, told several dozen supporters — some openly weeping — “the whole rationale for turning this church into condos” is contradicted by the Archdiocese of Boston’s latest public annual report, which he said shows the nonprofit reaped $41 million in surplus revenues in Fiscal Year 2013.

Archdiocese spokesman Terrence Donilon responded, Mr. Borre is misleading people. The $41 million is mostly money raised by parishes for the parishes. So even though it shows up on the combined statements of the archdiocese’s books, it can not be tapped by the archdiocese for any purpose it chooses (i.e., their suggestion to reopen St. Frances). These are the resources of the parishes.

BCI agrees that Borre is misleading people–the Boston Archdiocese has no operating surplus. And we are not supporters of him or the Scituate squatters. But Terry Donilon is also apparently misleading people.  Terry, if what you said is really the case, then how do you explain the recent transfer of the closed Our Lady of Presentation and St Gabriel parish properties in Brighton to St. John’s Seminary to pay off $3.9M worth of a promissory note to the seminary–a note which is repaying money the Boston Archdiocese got from selling off St. John’s Seminary property in order to pay sexual abuse claims?

Loans that Funded Sexual Abuse Settlement Paid for with Parish Property

Most people know how the Archdiocese of Boston took out a number of loans between 2002-2003 to stay afloat and pay off sexual abuse claims, including $37M from the Knights of Columbus and $97M from a combination of commercial banks, the Clergy Fund and the Cemetery trust. The lion’s share of the funds to repay the archdiocesan debts came from the sale of the former Chancery property and St. John’s Seminary property. As we reported here at BCI in this 2010 post:

“… in 2004, the Boston Archdiocese was under heavy pressure to pay additional sex abuse claims, and was without the resources to do so….Assets of approximately $56 million were transferred from the seminary to RCAB so that it could pay its claimants, and at that time, the Cardinal pledged that $30 million would be given to the seminary so that an endowment could be begun. RCAB received a smaller payment from its insurance companies than it expected, such that it could give the seminary only $21 million and a promissory note for $4.8 million (that came due in 2011).”

In 2007, almost all of the remainder of the St. Johns Seminary property was sold to BC for $65 million, and the proceeds of the sale went not to the seminary but instead to the Boston Archdiocese to be applied “where it is needed.”   In the end after the two sales of Seminary property valued at a total of $111 million and repayment of $21 million, what was promised to St. Johns Seminary as future repayment were two notes: one for $4.8 million (due in 2011) and another for $36.4 million (due in 2017).

To repay the $4.8 million note, in 2013 the Boston Archdiocese transferred property from the closed Our Lady of Presentation and St. Gabriel’s parishes to the Seminary.  Here are the references in the 2013 Annual Report (p. 21):

Corporation Sole agreed to canonically transfer all of its rights, title and interest in Our Lady of Presentation
Church, Rectory and parking lots and the St. Gabriel rectory and school to the Seminary. The properties have a
collective appraised value of approximately $6,070,000 and a book value of $566,000.

During the year ended June 30, 2013, Corporation Sole transferred the Our Lady of Presentation property with an
appraised value of $2,850000 to the Seminary to discharge a portion of the note. In accordance with the MOU, the
Seminary agreed to forgive the remaining note balance of $1,038,000 which is included in gain on settlement of note
payable in the statement of activities.

So, despite Cardinal O’Malley’s comment in the National Catholic Register in a 2012 interview that the financial transparency implemented early in his tenure in Boston was intended to help “demonstrate that we were not using parish funds, parishes were not being closed to pay for the sex-abuse crisis,” in 2013, parish property was indeed used to pay for some costs of the sexual abuse crisis, by means of parish property repaying a sexual abuse settlement loan.  And there are precedents for the Archdiocese of Boston taking funds or property canonically intended for one purpose and using it for another purpose (e.g. St. Johns Seminary property sold to fund the RCAB and sexual abuse settlements; St. Gabriel and Our Lady of the Presentation property transferred to the Seminary to repay a loan, diocesan Revolving Loan funds used to finance construction of a Catholic school in Dorchester).

So, Terry, back to you.  How do you explain this apparent contradiction?  When exactly was it that the policy changed and it became OK to use parishes to pay off sexual abuse settlement costs, such as loans used to pay the claims? Why should anyone believe the $41M in parish funds referred to above is safe from being used for purposes other than the parishes, when the precedent is already set for that happening elsewhere?

The Insanity Over the Scituate Squatters

Beyond the matter above, both Terry Donilon and the Scituate squatters continue to propagate some level of insanity over the situation.  Donilon should look back on his previous quotes in the press over the past few years:

  • In December 2008, Terry Donilon was quoted in the Boston Globe saying: “These vigils have to end at some point. It’s an issue of fairness to the parishes that are open and struggling to serve people.”
  • In July 2011,  Donilon was quoted in the Globe saying: “We’re not looking for a confrontation, but at some point, the vigils are going to have to end.”
  • On August 2, 2014, Donilon was quoted in the Boston Herald saying, ““We’re going to work for a peaceful and prayerful resolution, but this is not going to go on forever. It can’t go on forever.”

Terry, the vigil has been going on for almost ten years, and you have been saying the same thing about the situation for nearly six years. When are you guys going to end it?

And as for the squatters, their having volunteers leading lay services, and the idea of operating St. Frances X. Cabrini as an “independent Catholic church” outside the archdiocese and the church hierarchy as a breakaway, progressive “American Catholic Church” are silly and just not Catholic. Are these folks attending their own lay services and committing a mortal sin every week by missing Sunday Mass? Terry Donilon and Cardinal O’Malley should remind these folks that the Holy Sacrifice of the Mass is where Catholics encounter our Eucharistic Lord. Here’s a passage from a great work by St. Leonard-Port Maurice, The Hidden Treasure of the Holy Mass:

The principal excellence of the most Holy Sacrifice of the Mass consists in being essentially, and in the very highest degree, identical with that which was offered on the Cross of Calvary: with this sole difference, that the Sacrifice on the Cross was bloody, and made once for all, and did on that one occasion satisfy fully for all the sins of the world; while the Sacrifice of the Altar is an unbloody sacrifice, which can be repeated an infinite number of times, and was instituted in order to apply in detail that universal ransom which Jesus paid for us on Calvary.

We worship God at Mass. We receive graces from God by being nourished by the Word of God—God’s eternal truth revealed to us under the inspiration of the Holy Spirit. We remember and profess our faith in the mystery of our salvation, that Jesus Christ, the Son of God, suffered, died, and rose for our salvation. The saving actions of Holy Thursday, Good Friday, and Easter Sunday come together in the Holy Sacrifice of the Mass. The Constitution on the Sacred Liturgy says, “For it is the liturgy through which, especially in the divine sacrifice of the Eucharist, ‘the work of our redemption is accomplished,’ and it is through the liturgy, especially that the faithful are enabled to express in their lives and manifest to others the mystery of Christ and the real nature of the true church”  If we we are in a state of grace, we can receive our Lord in the Holy Eucharist. As Catholics, we believe that our Lord is present in the Holy Eucharist, and that we receive His body, blood, soul, and divinity in Holy Communion. Not only does the Holy Eucharist unite us intimately with the Lord, but also unites us in communion with our brothers and sisters throughout the universal Church.

Do the squatters realize this is what they are missing?  Terry, do you realize this is what they are missing?

Furthermore, does anyone realize that the Rogers’ who lead this vigil/occupation and other occupation leaders are folks who were not regular Mass-goers at St. Francis before it was ordered to close?  The Mass-going couple who filed the original appeal in Scituate went to the receiving parish. They have had nothing to do with the Rogers’ and the occupation.  BCI is told that the Rogers’ are abutters and appear to want control over who was or is allowed to buy the property and how it would be developed.  BCI is also told that when the first appeal that was filed by the faithful parishioners failed, Peter Borre asked the Rogers’ to take it over.  Then there is the matter of abuses of the Blessed Sacrament that have taken place there: we are told that the Blessed Sacrament has been present during social gatherings and sleepovers on or around the altar; dinners have been held with pizza on the altar set out like a buffet.  But Terry, Fr. Bryan Hehir and the PR folks at Rasky Baerlein don’t know know how to talk about these topics either.

Bottom line: the Boston Archdiocese set a precedent in 2013 for using parishes to fund repayment of a sexual abuse settlement loan. This is clearly described in their 2013 Annual Report. If they will redirect funds in that manner and have done so in other situations, there is nothing to stop them from doing similar again. And the Scituate occupancy should be ended–for the sake of the souls of those occupying the church and because this thing has more than run its course through all canonical appeals.

This is what BCI thinks. What do you think?

 


Cardinal O’Malley blasts new Mass. buffer zone Law he failed to oppose

August 4, 2014

Cardinal Sean O’Malley continued his failure to publicly walk the talk on abortion by issuing a statement on his blog opposing the recent enactment of a new buffer zone law in Massachusetts–yet he did nothing in advance of the law’s passage to even try to oppose it.

We see here in the news that Cardinal O’Malley posted a statement on his blog after the evil new buffer zone law passed:  Here is the statement on his blog:

In spite of a unanimous decision of the United States Supreme Court declaring unconstitutional the Massachusetts law enforcing a 35 foot “buffer zone” around abortion clinics, the Massachusetts legislature acted with unseemly haste to establish what amounts to a new buffer zone of 25 feet.

After both branches of the legislature sent the bill to the Governor who signed it into law, the effect again is to make it very difficult for citizens seeking to offer alternatives to women contemplating an abortion.

The civil law must balance the rights and duties of all individuals and we must be vigilant to ensure the safety of all people, regardless of their position on this most serious issue.

I recognize the struggle for all involved, but I believe preventing any reasonable possibility for dialogue is a misguided use of civil law. The Supreme Court seldom is unanimous in our day; the fact that it was on this question gives me hope that the judiciary will once again correct what I regard as an unjust limitation on free speech in Massachusetts about a fundamental moral and human issue.

Yet, while the measure was working its way through the legislature, O’Malley said not a word, as we noted previously in this post. The Mass Catholic Conference finally issued an email appeal for faithful Catholics to contact legislators the day before the final vote and The Pilot had an article about the issue, but there was never a statement by O’Malley or the Massachusetts Catholic Bishops on the issue. He did of course, take the time to appear in May at the Boston College commencement that honored pro-abortion anti-Catholic “Catholic” Secretary John Kerry, in opposition to USCCB guidelines that ban such honors, and he also took the time recently to appear with Gov. Deval Patrick and other pro-abortion politicians to serve as a human prop in support of housing illegal immigrants. 

It may have been an uphill battle to defeat this measure.  Still, evil triumphs when good men do nothing. The Cardinal did nothing. Then he opines after the fact that he hopes the judiciary will once again correct the bad law–what, 7 years later and at a cost of hundreds of babies aborted and millions of dollars in legal costs to pro-lifers?  Thanks very much for the empty words and inaction, Cardinal Sean. Will you ever be done appearing with all of the politicians who hate the Catholic Church and the non-negotiable moral principles we stand for and instead be available to stand up for those non-negotiable principles before they are further eroded?


URGENT: Contact Mass Legislators to Oppose New Buffer Zone Legislation

July 22, 2014

We have just learned that the Massachusetts House will be voting tomorrow (Wednesday) on the terrible new buffer zone legislation that passed the Mass Senate last week. (We wrote about this measure in our last blog post–the new law, if passed, will establish a new buffer zone and penalize pro-lifers with fines and potential jail time).   It is critical that everyone contact their Massachusetts House Rep immediately (tonight or better still, first thing Wednesday morning) and ask them to vote against this legislation. Below are email alerts with contact information for legislators that just came out today from Mass Citizens for Life and the Mass Catholic Conference (yes, even MCC has finally sent something out!).


From Mass Citizens for LifeMCFL_logo_072u-485u_600ppi_1_-smaller.jpg

At the hearings last week, legislators said how proud they were to be behind a Planned Parenthood bill, almost all the people testifying in
favor of the bill said they were on the staff of Planned Parenthood.  Only one person never mentioned that he had served on the Board of Planned Parenthood.  That was Governor Patrick.  Talk about the fix!

As you know, the Senate voted unanimously for the New Buffer Zone (now that it is a real bill, it is S 2283).

We just received word that the House will vote on it tomorrow.  Some of the pro-life legislators are going to try to get it amended – a noble endeavor which, if successful, will make the bill less bad.

If you have not called your representative, please do so with this message, “I am a constituent calling in opposition to S 2283.  The Supreme Court spoke about trying the current laws before passing new ones.  I encourage you to do that and to put off the vote until next session.  If you must vote now, please support the amendments which will be proposed.”

To make the calls: After you are on:  http://masscitizensforlife.org/get-informed/legislation/, if you know the names of your State Rep, click onto “State Representatives” for his/her phone number.  If you do not know the name of your Representative, click onto “Look Up Your Legislator.”

Calls or personal visits are the way to go – emails are easily ignored. I am afraid the rest of the country will copy this New Buffer Zone, so what we do is very important!

From Mass Catholic Conference

 Mass Catholic
Action Alert!
PROTECT FREE SPEECH – CALL YOUR STATE REPRESENTATIVE TODAY

The Massachusetts Catholic Conference urges you to contact your State Representative regarding the scheduled vote tomorrow on a bill to limit free speech at abortion clinics.  The bill is titled “An Act to promote public safety and protect access to reproductive health care facilities.”  It is Senate bill 2283.

Tell your Representative that you agree with the Supreme Court’s decision that eliminated the 35 foot buffer zone, and any legislative steps to weaken the Court’s ruling is wrong.  It is particularly troubling since it is being rushed through both branches at the eleventh hour of the legislative session without the benefit of a full debate.

Click here to find your State Representative.

Click here to read Cardinal O’Malley’s statement on the Supreme Court decision.

Click here to read Bishop McManus’s statement on the Supreme Court decision.

This is BCI now. Please pick up the phone and either leave a message tonight or call first thing in the morning.  Have your husband or wife call too. Also, please forward this message to your like-minded friends and relatives and ask them to call. And pray a Rosary tonight and tomorrow morning asking the Blessed Mother to intervene in tomorrow’s vote.


Cardinal O’Malley: housing illegals more important than protecting unborn

July 19, 2014

Cardinal Sean O’Malley appeared with liberal Democratic Gov. Deval Patrick on Friday to voice support for Patrick’s proposal to house illegal immigrants and offer Catholic social service assistance for illegals, while the Cardinal said nothing all week about a heinous law advancing in the Mass legislature to penalize those who try to prevent women from aborting their children. In our opinion, the Cardinal is yet more clearly showing his stripes as being a tool of the liberal Democratic pro-abortion establishment, and a hypocrite when it comes to protection of life.

On June 27,  Cardinal O’Malley came out in support of the Supreme Court decision that unanimously struck down the previous Massachusetts abortion clinic buffer zone law as unconstitutional. Never had Cardinal O’Malley been seen praying in front of an abortion clinic, but still, his statement was welcome and appreciated when he said that pro-life Americans who “peacefully pray for and offer alternatives to pregnant women approaching abortion clinics” have the same constitutional protections as anyone else  “This discriminatory law barred these citizens from gathering on nearby public sidewalks, while exempting ‘clinic escorts’ trained to expedite women into (abortion clinics),” he said. “Clearly this was an attack on pro-life Americans’ freedom of speech, and we welcome the Court’s decision to overturn the law.”

That was June 27.  Then this week, the Mass Legislature introduced legislation that is far worse for pro-lifers than the previous law struck down by the Supreme Court. Details of the legislation are posted here by MassResistance:

  1. Creates a new “buffer zone.” The bill creates a 25-foot buffer zone substantially similar to the one which the US Supreme Court recently struck down.
  2. Has a “Dispersal” clause. The bill allows police to define any two or more people standing near an abortion clinic as a “gathering.” Any law enforcement official may arbitrarily decide that this “gathering” is in some way impeding access, and may order them to “disperse” and to stay outside of the buffer zone for at least eight hours. This can be done with no legal hearing or due process, threatening them withunusually severe penalties of arrest, prosecution, criminal fines, and jail time for not complying. In addition, a court can later impose civil fines, large punitive damages, attorney’s fees and “expert witness fees”. [First time who "impede a person's access to or departure from a reproductive health care facility with the intent to interfere with that person's ability to provide, support the provision of or obtain services at the reproductive health care facility" face a fine of $1,000 or six months in jail]
  3. Harsher punishments for one group over another. The bill places unusually high punishments for anyone threatening, intimidating, assaulting, blocking, or otherwise impeding people entering or leaving abortion clinics. But these high punishments do not apply to people entering or leaving the clinics (or anyone else) who are perpetrators of assaults of intimidation against pro-life advocates.

A hearing was held on Wednesday, and the measure quickly passed the Mass Senate. What did Cardinal O’Malley say or do about this publicly? Nothing. On short notice, Mass Citizens for Life had erected billboards and asked people to call legislators and to attend and speak at the hearing. Other organizations including FRC and MassResistance rallied pro-lifers.  What did O’Malley, the Mass Catholic Conference and Massachusetts bishops do? Nothing. Nada. Zero. Zip. The last legislative alert sent out by the do-nothing MCC was six months ago. It is truly pathetic.  It is clear that the Cardinal’s rhetoric of June 27 was empty, and Cardinal O’Malley simply does not care about this issue–or whether pro-lifers wanting to help prevent women from taking the lives of their unborn children are fine, arrested or jailed.

Instead, O’Malley cares more about the photo opp and chance to get federal or state funding to have Catholic Charities help with housing illegal immigrants.  He also basically lied at the Friday press conference about the reasons for the illegal immigration border crisis.

Here’s the photo and Boston Herald article. Cardinal O’Malley said the Catholic church has long assisted “immigrants and refugees often fleeing from danger.” “We are willing to enter a collaborative relationship with the government to met this urgent need,” O’Malley said. “We do not have church facilities that are appropriate but we do have social service agencies in the Archdiocese with skilled resources to provide programs of assistance and support within a framework of a larger state and federal program.”

Cardinal O’Malley, please don’t lie to us. A new intelligence assessment concludes that misperceptions about U.S. immigration policy – and not Central American violence – are fueling the surge of thousands of children illegally crossing the Mexican border. Here are more details:

The 10-page July 7 report was issued by the El Paso Intelligence Center (EPIC), which according to the Justice Department website is led by the DEA and incorporates Homeland Security. Its focus is on the collection and distribution of tactical intelligence, information which can immediately be acted on by law enforcement.

“Of the 230 migrants interviewed, 219 cited the primary reason for migrating to the United States was the perception of U.S. immigration laws granting free passes or permisos to UAC (unaccompanied children) and adult females OTMs (other than Mexicans) traveling with minors,” the report said.

Cardinal O’Malley took the time to appear with Gov. Deval Patrick to voice support for housing illegals in Massachusetts in the same week where he did not take even a moment to voice opposition to the heinous bill moving swiftly through the Mass Legislature that will penalize pro-lifers for the “crime” of trying to prevent women from aborting their babies. The Boston Pilot had an article about the situation on Friday, but there was no quote or statement from O’Malley.

We hope and pray he changes his mind over the weekend and mobilizes the Catholic bishops, Mass Catholic Conference and laity to contact House Reps and the Governor and try to still stop this evil measure from passing.


Newsflash: Supreme Court Rules in Favor of Religious Freedom for Hobby Lobby

June 30, 2014

The Supreme Court ruled 5-4 this morning that closely held corporations with religious objections to the “contraception mandate” in President Obama’s health-care law cannot be forced to offer birth control coverage.  The answer to our prayers!

Here are a few articles with additional details:

http://www.usatoday.com/story/news/politics/2014/06/30/supreme-court-hobby-lobby-religion-contraception-obama/11473189/

http://www.nbcnews.com/news/us-news/supreme-court-rules-some-employers-dont-have-cover-birth-control-n144321

Major kudos to Hobby Lobby for pressing this issue to the Supreme Court!

The courage and persistence demonstrated by Hobby Lobby stands in sharp contrast to the tenacity Cardinal O’Malley has voiced publicly on this same issue.  In May of this year, he was quoted as saying the contraception mandate “violated God’s law”, yet when pressed whether Americans should obey it, he hedged, back-pedaled and said it’s up to each person’s conscience.  Using language that sounded straight from the mouth of Fr. Bryan Hehir, here is what he said:

CNSNews.com asked: “As an unjust law, should Americans obey it?”

Cardinal O’Malley said: “This is a very complicated issue and it’s something that the church is struggling with right now, and trying to come up with a moral analysis in order to be able to allow people to form their consciences and to go forward.”

He also said the question of whether Catholic politicians could vote for a bill that funded implementation of the regulation was “complicated.”

CNSNews.com asked: “If Congress brings up a government-funding bill that funds implementation of the HHS regulation, and permits the administration to force people to buy coverage for abortion-inducing drugs, can a Catholic member of Congress vote for that bill?”

The cardinal said: “Well, Catholics must always take into account their own faith and their conscience. What we’re asking people to do is to look at the whole consequences of these. It’s a complicated issue because the Church does want people to have health insurance.

This quote is yet another example of Cardinal O’Malley, the pro-life hypocrite. in 2011, he preached to his fellow bishops during their ad liminia visit to Rome about the need for them to have courage:

Peter’s love for the Lord brought him to Rome, the cardinal said, but — according to legend — as persecution grew Peter decided to flee again. Leaving the city, he saw the risen Lord and asked him, “Quo vadis?” (“Where are you going?”), and Jesus replied he was going to Rome to be crucified again. Peter renewed his faith and returned to the city where he met a martyr’s death.

“Each of us has gone through a ‘quo vadis’ moment or two in our vocation as bishops,” the cardinal said. “Hopefully, our being together at the tomb of Peter and close to Benedict will renew us in our generosity, courage and faith in following Jesus up close so that we can say with all our hearts what Peter said, ‘Lord you know all things. You know that I love you.’”

At that time, we said, “if we bring this back to Boston for a moment, it is impossible to not observe that the words of Cardinal O’Malley in Rome are not particularly well matched to his actual actions and leadership over recent years. We cited a number of examples of when our Cardinal Archbishop “fled” or not demonstrated courage….It is good that the Cardinal is praying for more courage, and we would urge readers to join with him in that prayer!  At the same time, it is not clear to us if he understands and acknowledges his actions have often not been matched with his words and where he has fallen short so he can do better in the future.”  We urge Cardinal O’Malley to re-read his preaching from 2011, and we urge Catholics to continue to pray for him to have the same level of courage in his actions that he preaches about in his words.  In other words, we pray that he finds the courage  to walk the talk.

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