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: 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.


Cardinal O’Malley: Pro-Life Hypocrite

June 27, 2014

News that the U.S. Supreme Court unanimously ruled to overturn Massachusetts’ abortion clinic buffer-zone law is welcome by those who respect life all across the country!  Cardinal Sean O’Malley issued a statement hailing the ruling as a free-speech victory for pro-life Americans. 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.”

Here are BCI, we are glad to hear the Cardinal voiced his concern about attacks on pro-life American’s freedom of speech. But frankly, he is being a hypocrite. When the Supreme Court makes a ruling to protect the rights of pro-lifers to gather outside of an abortion clinic, there he is front and center with a statement.  Yet, the same Cardinal O’Malley was also front and center honoring one of the worst pro-abortion politicians in the U.S. a month ago at Boston College’s commencement, in direct violation of the USCCB’s own guidelines that say Catholic institutions should not honor pro-abortion politicians.  When was the last time Cardinal O’Malley said a word publicly about the scandal of pro-abortion Catholic politicians?  2007.  Besides being a hypocrite by honoring Kerry last month, he also is apparently violating the Boston Archdiocese’s own Code of Conduct and presiding over a corrupted Code of Conduct violation reporting system.  A Catholic reported the Code of Conduct violation a month ago, and cannot get a response, even though O’Malley himself is quoted as saying they will respond “promptly.”

Below is the Ethicspoint report sent to us by a Catholic reader who says the Code of Conduct is a sham.

The organization does not have any questions or comments at this time.

Report Submission Date

5/24/2014

Reported Company/Branch Information

Location               Boston College

City/State/Zip    Chestnut Hill, Massachusetts, 02465, United States

Violation Information

Issue Type

                Misconduct or Inappropriate Behavior

Please identify the person(s) engaged in this behavior:

                Sean O’Malley – Archbishop of Boston

Do you suspect or know that a supervisor or management is involved?

                Do Not Know / Do Not Wish To Disclose

Is management aware of this problem?

                Yes

What is the general nature of this matter?

                Cardinal O’Malley participated in the honoring of Sec. of State John Kerry at the Boston College commencement on May 19 in violation of both USCCB guidelines and the RCAB’s own Code of

Where did this incident or violation occur?

                Monday, May 19 at Boston College

Please provide the specific or approximate time this incident occurred:

                Monday, May 19.

How long do you think this problem has been going on?

                Once

How did you become aware of this violation?

                Other

If other, how?

                All over the news media

Details

                That Cardinal O’Malley participated in the commencement is obvious here:

http://www.bc.edu/content/bc/offices/pubaf/news/2014-may-jun/secretary-of-state-kerry-addresses-boston-college-class-of-

2014.html

https://www.flickr.com/photos/statephotos/14222888684/

The Code of Conduct says:

All Church Personnel must uphold Christian values and conduct and work diligently to serve and enhance the mission of the Church. This Code provides a set of standards for conduct in certain situations and is designed to deter wrongdoing and to promote honest and ethical conduct.

The public and private conduct of Church Personnel can be a source of inspiration and motivation, but it can also scandalize and undermine the faith of the people that are served. Church Personnel must at all times be aware of the responsibilities that accompany their work. It is essential, therefore, that anyone who undertakes a position of ministry, employment or leadership in the Archdiocese or for any Archdiocesan Affiliated Organization, be ever mindful of the trust that has been placed in him or her. The faithful discharge of the responsibilities that accompany this work requires constant and prayerful reflection since all of us must be sustained by God’s goodness and grace.

Responsibility for adherence to the Code rests with each individual. This responsibility requires all Church Personnel to periodically take a personal inventory. It is hoped that the Code will assist in this task. Church Personnel who disregard or violate this Code will be subject to remedial action. This action can take several forms, from an oral or written warning to removal and termination of employment or services, depending on the nature and circumstances of the offense.

Principles of Ethics and Integrity

As representatives of the Archdiocese or any Archdiocesan Affiliated Organization, and regardless of the pressures inherent in conducting Church affairs, all Church Personnel must act responsibly and in a manner that will reflect favorably on the Archdiocese.

Accordingly:

Church Personnel will conduct themselves in a manner that is consistent with the teachings of the Roman Catholic Church as enunciated by the Holy Father and the Bishops in communion with him; more specifically, Church Personnel shall, in all such matters, accept, rely upon and defer to the teaching authority of the Archbishop in all matters of faith and morals.

Church Personnel will exhibit the highest Christian ethical standards and personal integrity.

Church Personnel will continually and objectively examine and evaluate their own actions and intentions to ensure that their behavior promotes the welfare of the Archdiocese and each applicable Archdiocesan

Affiliated Organization and exemplifies the moral traditions of the Church.

The definition of “integrity” is any of the following:

adherence to moral and ethical principles; soundness of moral character

the quality of being honest and having strong moral principles;moral uprightness.

n. 1. Steadfast adherence to a strict moral or ethical code.

Integrity is a concept of consistency of actions, values, methods, measures, principles, expectations, and outcomes.

Cardinal O’Malley chose to boycott the BC commencement in 2013 that was honoring Irish Prime Minister Enda Kenney for his support of pro-abortion legislation because of USCCB guidelines that that say “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.” He made a public statement to that effect.

Then comes along John Kerry in 2014. Secretary Kerry is a  supporter of legal abortion, the public funding of abortion, partial  birth abortion, abortions at military hospitals and buffer zones  limiting free speech around abortion clinics. He has also endorsed  contraception, cloning, embryonic stem cell research, physician  assisted suicide, same gender marriage, federal gay rights  legislation, the distribution of condoms to minors, family planning  programs as part of U.S. foreign aid, and taxpayer financing of both  Planned Parenthood and the U. N. Fund for Population Activities.  As a U.S. Senator, Kerry received a 100% rating from NARAL Pro- Choice America. As a presidential candidate in 2004, Kerry was  endorsed by the Planned Parenthood Action Fund, and promised,  if elected, to appoint only those jurists who agree with Roe v. Wade  to the U.S. Supreme Court, effectively disenfranchising believing  Catholics from high judicial office. Kerry, in August, 2003, attacked  Pope, now Saint John Paul II in the the Boston Herald. Kerry  accused the recently canonized pontiff of “crossing the line,” of  violating the American separation of church and state because of a  Vatican exhortation to Catholic political leaders to oppose same  gender marriage. For 30 years, John Kerry has in total support for  Planned Parenthood and NARAL.

That Cardinal O’Malley ignored USCCB guidelines in 2014 to  Honor Sec. of State John Kerry, who unarguably has committed far  worse in defiance of our fundamental moral principles than Enda  Kenney violates many principles of the Code of Conduct:

This conduct scandalizes and undermines the faith of the people  that are served. If the Cardinal Archbishop of Boston participates in  honoring on of the Catholics in political life in the U.S. who is most  defiant against our moral values, how is that not scandal and how  does that undermine the faith of Catholics served. If the Chair of  the Pro-Life Committee of the USCCB cannot uphold USCCB  guidelines that scandalizes the faithful.

This conduct is not consistent with the teachings of the Roman Catholic Church as enunciated by the Holy Father and the Bishops in communion with him

This conduct demonstrates a low Christian ethical standard and a complete absence of integrity—there is no consistency of actions and values (even from one year to the next), and Cardinal O’Malley  has undermined Catholic moral values to millions of Catholics in  Boston and hundreds of millions worldwide.

The Code of conduct says those who violate it may be warned or may face removal and termination of employment or services, depending on the nature and circumstances of the offense. I  would like to hear specifically what repercussions are ordered  against Cardinal O’Malley.

Follow-Up Notes

Jun 03, 2014, 3:48 PM

When might I expect a response?

Jun 09, 2014, 1:34 AM

It’s been about two weeks since I filed my report of misconduct. When can I expect to get a response?

Jun 16, 2014, 1:20 PM

Is anyone monitoring this? Is the Archdiocese of Boston ignoring my complaint? Are they not obliged to respond to complaints of misconduct and violations of the Code of Conduct? Or have you concluded that there is simply no plausible explanation for the scandal and violation of the Code of Conduct by Cardinal O’Malley, so you’re not going to attempt to give one?

Jun 26, 2014, 10:47 AM

Is anyone ever going to respond? Or shall I tell some of the Catholic blogs that the Ethicspoint program and Code of Conduct is nothing but a sham?

BCI will forward this post to the Cardinal.  We urge other readers to do that same. You can send it to the following people:

archbishopsean_o’malley@rcab.org
vicar_general@rcab.org (Bishop Peter Uglietto)
Terrence_Donilon@rcab.org (Communications Secretary
nuntiususa@nuntiususa.org (U.S. Papal Nuncio)

Ask how the Cardinal can justify his actions. Let us know if you get any response


Boston Archdiocese Search Firm Looking for Schools Superintendent in the Wrong Place

March 28, 2014

A number of readers have asked us to share a bit about what is happening in the Archdiocese of Boston’s search for the new Superintendent of Schools.   As you may recall, Mary Grassa O’Neill stepped down from the position last summer.  She went back to Harvard.  At that time, the archdiocese said: “A process will be implemented for the selection of a new Secretary for Education/Superintendent and further announcements will be made regarding an interim appointment for this position.”  Now we find that the search firm retained by the Boston Archdiocese is advertising to fill the role in none other than the National Catholic Reporter, a publication known for professing views that are against Catholic Church teachings.rcab_superintendent of schools

The search is being run by Bellwether Education, and the position description can be found here.  The first responsibility listed is: “Strengthening the Catholic identity and the quality of religious education in the schools.”  That is great!  (though other aspects of the job description raise questions for us).  So,if they want to strengthen Catholic identity in the schools, it is exactly why the search firm would be advertising in a publication read by people who like to read a paper condemned by the local bishop last year, who admonished that it should not advertise itself as a “Catholic” publication:  

In a column appearing in his diocesan newspaper, Bishop Finn notes that he, as the bishop of the diocese in which the Reporter is located, has the duty to “call the media to fidelity.” He cites the Code of Canon Law, which (in #1369) calls for “a just penalty” for anyone who “excites hatred of or contempt for religion or the Church.”

The National Catholic Reporter, Bishop Finn remarks, has taken an editorial stance that puts the publication at odds with the Church, by “officially condemning Church teaching on the ordination of women, insistent undermining of Church teaching on artificial contraception and sexual morality in general, lionizing dissident theologies while rejecting established Magisterial teaching, and a litany of other issues.” He reveals that he has received numerous complaints about the Reporter’s editorial policies.

One might reasonably ask, who from the Boston Archdiocese is leading the search?  Who is on the search committee, and who is leading the search?  Is it someone such as Sr. Janet Eisner (again) or Fr. Bryan Hehir? Why must an outside search firm have been engaged–at a cost of typically 20-25% of the annual salary for the position–which will probably amount to some $40-50K?  Is the Boston Archdiocese aware that the search firm they have engaged is advertising in a newspaper known for dissent from Catholic Church teaching?  What do they plan to do about that?  Is the search firm also advertising in the National Catholic Register and other pubs known for Catholic orthodoxy? Will it be made a requirement for the job that the person not only be a “practicing Catholic” but that they also accept and support all of the teachings of the Catholic Church?

Authentic Catholic education is very important, and it is extremely important that the Boston Archdiocese gets the right candidate for this role, who enthusiastically embraces and supports all of the teachings of the Catholic Church.  If you have a moment, drop an email to the new Vicar General, Bishop Uglietto (vicar_general@rcab.org) and let him know you would like for a leader of Catholic Schools who supports all Catholic Church teachings, and ask him the questions above while you are at it.


Cardinal O’Malley has baptism “reaffirmed” by Methodist minister

January 15, 2014

This past Sunday, Cardinal O’Malley preached at a Methodist church in Sudbury.  This Boston Globe article gives many of the details, making it seem like a glamorous event.  What the Globe neglected to mention was that Cardinal O’Malley proactively asked the female Methodist minister to “reaffirm” his baptism with an “anointing” at the Protestant church.

During a special ecumenical worship service in Sudbury, Cardinal Sean O’Malley asked the Rev. Anne Robertson of Plymouth to administer a baptism reaffirmation ritual to him. (George Martell/Pilot New Media)

As RORATE CÆLI observed, the Patriot-Ledger, reported on the female Methodist minister’s “completely unexpected” request from the cardinal here:

“What moved me was not so much that I was anointing him,” she said. “It was him being willing to accept that from my hand – to ask me, as a woman in ministry, to do that.”
A Rhode Island native, the Rev. [Anne] Robertson was the only female clergy member who assisted at a special 50th anniversary worship service at Sudbury United Methodist Church….
As part of Sunday’s anniversary service, the 500 who filled Sudbury United Methodist to overflowing were invited to receive a drop of consecrated water on their forehead and be told, “Remember your baptism and be thankful.” The ritual resembles the ceremonial receiving of ashes on Ash Wednesday, but isn’t a formal United Methodist sacrament.
Cardinal O’Malley and New England United Methodist Bishop Sudarshana Devadhar led the ritual in the sanctuary. The Rev. Robertson and a Catholic priest were on their way with small bowls of water to a side room, for others watching the service on a large-screen TV.
She paused with the priest at the cardinal’s pew, so they could receive the baptism water from Cardinal O’Malley. The next moment, the cardinal quietly asked the Rev. Robertson to administer the water for him.
“My heart immediately went to my throat,” she said. “To be asked that by the man who might be pope someday – I was stunned. I was choking back tears for hours.”

RORATE CÆLI as well as BCI were stunned as well.


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.


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