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


Cardinal O’Malley Should Resign USCCB Pro-life Post for Honoring John Kerry at BC Graduation

May 23, 2014

The decision by Cardinal O’Malley to attend the Monday Boston College Commencement that honored Sec. of State John Kerry defies any logical explanation.  His decision to participate in honoring one of the leading pro-abortion political figures of our time is a baffling contradiction of his decision last year to boycott the commencement that honored Irish Prime Minister Enda Kenny, who supported abortion rights legislation in Ireland.   The decision is so scandalous in its contradiction of the USCCB’s own guidelines and basic moral principles that it appears Cardinal O’Malley has no choice but to resign as Chair of the USCCB’s Pro-life Committee. Here is a photo of Cardinal O’Malley shaking hands with John Kerry.

We all know that USCCB guidelines for Catholics in Political Life 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.

That was exactly the reason Cardinal O’Malley gave when he boycotted last year:

Since the university has not withdrawn the invitation and because the Taoiseach (prime minister) has not seen fit to decline, I shall not attend the graduation,’’ O’Malley said in a statement released this afternoon. “It is my ardent hope that Boston College will work to redress the confusion, disappointment and harm caused by not adhering to the Bishops’ directives,” he added, referencing the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops instruction that Catholic institutions not honor those whose views are inconsistent with the Church’s teachings.

Continued Cardinal O’Malley’s statement:

The Irish Bishops have responded to that development by affirming the Church’s teaching that  “the deliberate decision to deprive an innocent human being of life is always morally wrong” and expressed serious concern that the proposed legislation “represents a dramatic and morally unacceptable change to Irish law.”

How can Cardinal O’Malley justify boycotting last year for Enda Kenney, but not boycotting this year for John Kerry, who has done far more damage over his political career by acting in defiance of Catholic moral principles? In case Cardinal O’Malley needs a reminder of Kerry’s background, here is one from the Catholic Action League of MA:

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.

More disturbing however, was Kerry’s August, 2003 attack on Pope, now Saint John Paul II in the pages of 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.

“Nothing in Kenny’s position on abortion begins to remotely compare however with John Kerry’s 30 year, wide ranging, career long, lockstep support for Planned Parenthood and NARAL.”

There are only a few possible explanations for Cardinal O’Malley attending the commencement this year:

  • He is intentionally trying to corrupt the Catholic Church from within.
  • His advisors are corrupted and pressuring him to do things he knows he should not do (and in fact has not done in the past)
  • He is allowing money or some other forces to influence his decisions

Any of these three choices are BAD.  Cardinal O’Malley has no moral authority to lead the Pro-Life Committee of the USCCB when he refuses to uphold their most basic guidelines himself.  Furthermore, the time has now come for him to declare that Boston College may no longer call themselves Catholic.

Readers should send an email to the U.S Papal Nuncio, Archbishop Carlo Maria Viganò <nuntiususa@nuntiususa.org> and respectfully ask him to intervene in this situation to request that Cardinal O’Malley both apologize to faithful Catholics in Boston for his mistake and to also resign as Chair of the USCCB Pro-Life Committee. You can also call the Nuncio on Tuesday at (202)333-7121.


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.


Boston pastor praised by Cardinal O’Malley puts Holy Family on par with homosexual couples

January 6, 2014

The pastor of St. Catherine of Siena parish in Norwood, MA, Msgr. Paul Garrity, published a letter in his bulletin last weekend that puts the Holy Family at parity with families that have two mothers and two fathers.  Incidentally, Cardinal O’Malley had commended this same pastor months earlier for his focus on promoting Catholic education. This is yet another example of the ongoing problem of Cardinal O’Malley and his senior staff coddling pastors who promote homosexuality.

So much is wrong here that we hardly know where to start, but we will focus on these topics:

  • Heresy by the pastor and insult to the Blessed Virgin Mary and Holy Family by his message
  • Other moral shortcomings of his message
  • The pastor’s refusal to respond to complaints made by parishioners that have been escalated to Aux. Bishop Walter Edyvean, and
  • Negligent episcopal leadership by Cardinal O’Malley in this situation

Heresy by the pastor and insult to the Blessed Virgin Mary and Holy Family

The letter from Msgr. Garrity opens by talking about how he felt that early TV shows such as “Leave It To Beaver” and “The Ozzie and Harriet Show depicted family life in an unrealistically idyllic way. Then he talks about how difficult and different family life must have been for Jesus, Mary, and Joseph.  Here is where he goes off the rails:

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.

To say that we need to applaud the virtues of families with two gay parents is heresy on its own. To say the example of the Blessed Virgin Mary, Joseph and Jesus is reason for us to applaud families with two gay parents is beyond heresy–it is an insult to the Blessed Virgin Mary and the Holy Family, it has no basis in Catholic theology, and it is so out there that the Boston Archdiocese needs to take action to put this pastor out to pasture.

As a counter to this heresy, read this excerpt from St. Louis De Montfort’s beautiful “True Devotion to Mary“:

5. Mary is the supreme masterpiece of Almighty God and he has reserved the knowledge and possession of her for himself. She is the glorious Mother of God the Son who chose to humble and conceal her during her lifetime in order to foster her humility. He called her “Woman” as if she were a stranger, although in his heart he esteemed and loved her above all men and angels. Mary is the sealed fountain and the faithful spouse of the Holy Spirit where only he may enter. She is the sanctuary and resting-place of the Blessed Trinity where God dwells in greater and more divine splendour than anywhere else in the universe, not excluding his dwelling above the cherubim and seraphim. No creature, however pure, may enter there without being specially privileged.

6. I declare with the saints: Mary is the earthly paradise of Jesus Christ the new Adam, where he became man by the power of the Holy Spirit, in order to accomplish in her wonders beyond our understanding. She is the vast and divine world of God where unutterable marvels and beauties are to be found. She is the magnificence of the Almighty where he hid his only Son, as in his own bosom, and with him everything that is most excellent and precious. What great and hidden things the all-powerful God has done for this wonderful creature, as she herself had to confess in spite of her great humility, “The Almighty has done great things for me.” The world does not know these things because it is incapable and unworthy of knowing them.

How can anyone try to tell us that the Blessed Virgin Mary and her family serves as a reminder that we need to applaud situations where two men or two women are having sex with each other?  It is scandalous for a pastor to teach this and communicate it anywhere–let alone in a parish bulletin read by families and children.

Other moral shortcomings of his message

Msgr. Garrity fails to communicate anything of what the Catechism of the Catholic Church tells us about homosexuality:

2357  Basing itself on Sacred Scripture, which presents homosexual acts as acts of grave depravity,141 tradition has always declared that “homosexual acts are intrinsically disordered.”They are contrary to the natural law. They close the sexual act to the gift of life. They do not proceed from a genuine affective and sexual complementarity. Under no circumstances can they be approved.

2358 The number of men and women who have deep-seated homosexual tendencies is not negligible. This inclination, which is objectively disordered, constitutes for most of them a trial.

2359 Homosexual persons are called to chastity.

Msgr. Garrity communicates nothing from the Vatican’s “CONSIDERATIONS REGARDING PROPOSALS TO GIVE LEGAL RECOGNITION TO UNIONS BETWEEN HOMOSEXUAL PERSONS” such as:

4. There are absolutely no grounds for considering homosexual unions to be in any way similar or even remotely analogous to God’s plan for marriage and family. Marriage is holy, while homosexual acts go against the natural moral law. Homosexual acts “close the sexual act to the gift of life. They do not proceed from a genuine affective and sexual complementarity. Under no circumstances can they be approved”.(

Sacred Scripture condemns homosexual acts “as a serious depravity… (cf. Rom 1:24-27; 1 Cor6:10; 1 Tim 1:10). This judgment of Scripture does not of course permit us to conclude that all those who suffer from this anomaly are personally responsible for it, but it does attest to the fact that homosexual acts are intrinsically disordered” (5) This same moral judgment is found in many Christian writers of the first centuries and is unanimously accepted by Catholic Tradition.

From the biological and anthropological order

7. Homosexual unions are totally lacking in the biological and anthropological elements of marriage and family which would be the basis, on the level of reason, for granting them legal recognition. Such unions are not able to contribute in a proper way to the procreation and survival of the human race. The possibility of using recently discovered methods of artificial reproduction, beyond involv- ing a grave lack of respect for human dignity,(15) does nothing to alter this inadequacy.

Homosexual unions are also totally lacking in the conjugal dimension, which represents the human and ordered form of sexuality. Sexual relations are human when and insofar as they express and promote the mutual assistance of the sexes in marriage and are open to the transmission of new life.

As experience has shown, the absence of sexual complementarity in these unions creates obstacles in the normal development of children who would be placed in the care of such persons. They would be deprived of the experience of either fatherhood or motherhood. Allowing children to be adopted by persons living in such unions would actually mean doing violence to these children, in the sense that their condition of dependency would be used to place them in an environment that is not conducive to their full human development. This is gravely immoral and in open contradiction to the principle, recognized also in the United Nations Convention on the Rights of the Child, that the best interests of the child, as the weaker and more vulnerable party, are to be the paramount consideration in every case.

Back November 23, 2005, Cardinal O’Malley published a Letter from Cardinal Sean O’Malley on Homosexuality, where he said:

In the Gospel when the self-righteous Pharisees bring the adulteress to be stoned, Jesus says let he who is without sin cast the first stone. Then to make sure they got the point Jesus wrote their sins on the ground. The stones fell from their hands and they fled. Jesus said: “Neither do I condemn you”, but He added, “Go and sin no more.”

If we tell people that sex outside of marriage is not a sin, we are deceiving people. If they believe this untruth, a life of virtue becomes all but impossible. Jesus teaches that discipleship implies taking up the cross each day and following Him with love and courage.

It is never easy to deliver a message that calls people to make sacrifices or to do difficult things. Sometimes people want to punish the messenger. For this reason we priests at times find it difficult to articulate the Church’s teaching on sexual morality. It is important to express the moral teachings of the Church with clarity and fidelity.  We must teach the truths of the Gospel in season and out of season. These recent times seem to us like it is “out of season”, but for that very reason it is even more urgent to teach the hard words of the Gospel today.

We know that friends and relatives of homosexual Catholics sometimes feel torn between their allegiance to Christ and their concern for their loved ones. I assure them that these goals are not incompatible. Calling people to embrace the cross of discipleship, to live the commandments and at the same time assuring them that we love them as brothers and sisters can be difficult. Sometimes we are told: “If you do not accept my behavior, you do not love me.” In reality we must communicate the exact opposite: “Because we love you, we cannot accept your behavior.”

In none of his parish bulletins has Msgr. Garrity communicated the above messages. The Vatican says there are absolutely no grounds for considering homosexual unions similar or even remotely analogous to God’s plan for marriage and family, yet Msgr. Garrity has created his own grounds.

Pastor’s refusal to respond to complaints made by parishioners

Parishioners have been complaining about Msgr. Garrity since shortly after he arrived to replace the previous pastor, the orthodox Msgr. Cornelius McRae.  Garrity unilaterally changed the parish mission statement–to include that all are welcome, regardless of sexual orientation–and he routinely changes words in the Mass to suit his fancy. BCI is told that despite complaints by parishioners, when Bishop Edyvean called him on it, he essentially thumbed his nose and continued on. Bishop Edyvean has spoken to Msgr. Garrity about the complaints and has acknowledged the problems Msgr. Garrity regularly presents.  Msgr. Garrity responded in writing to Bishop Edyvean, and copied all the families who complained, basically telling his Bishop, “Tough Luck” nothing will change.  It is obvious to all involved that nothing will likely change in terms of Msgr’s future at St Catherine’s, in large part because of his tight relationship with Cardinal Sean O’Malley.

Negligent episcopal leadership by Cardinal O’Malley

Little recourse is expected from Cardinal O’Malley in this situation. It is common knowledge that the normal process to replace Msgr. McRae as pastor was bypassed when he left for Rome. Msgr. Garrity had announced he was leaving St. Mary’s in Lynn after 18 years to take a “sabbatical” and help care for his elderly sister. Then Garrity heard the pastor job at St. Catherine’s was open, he lobbied Cardinal O’Malley, and the Cardinal gave it to him, ending the normal process to find a replacement that would have considered other candidates.  This was discussed in comments in this June 2011 BCI blog post, including comments by Msgr. Garrity himself and others familiar with the situation.  Most recently, Cardinal O’Malley commended Msgr. Garrity in May of 2013, saying he did an extraordinary job at St. Mary’s in Lynn, and “is very focused on promoting Catholic education in Norwood.

News of the Norwood situation came to us just days before we learned that Cardinal O’Malley’s office told a faithful Catholic that they feel PFLAG, an organization that advocates for same-sex sexual activity and that spoke at St. Cecilia’s in Boston, is “in accord with the teaching and practice of the Roman Catholic Church.

We need to pray for the conversion of Msgr. Garrity, but meanwhile, until such time as acknowledges his own errors, corrects them, and apologizes, he needs to be removed from his role as pastor  lest he continue to lead souls towards sin and away from salvation.  Forward this message to:

Vicar General Bishop Deeley: vicar_general@rcab.org
U.S. Papal Nuncio Archbishop Carlo Maria Viganò: nuntiususa@nuntiususa.org

and ask them to intervene to address this scandalous situation.


$350K/Year Boston Catholic Schools Superintendent Leaving

July 21, 2013

It is official.  Praise God–our prayers at BCI have been answered! Mary Grassa O’Neill, Secretary for Education in the Boston Archdiocese, is stepping down.  Earning $343,000 a year, she has been the “poster child” for excessive six-figure salaries paid to lay executives in the Boston Archdiocese in recent years.  BCI and others have been complaining about her and her salary for three years now.  Here is what the Boston Globe reported about her departure:

O’Neill said that she decided to leave her job after her five-year contract expired in June and that she will be looking for a position outside the district. Her annual salary package is $343,705, according to archdiocesan records.

She described her tenure as exhilarating and challenging, and said she was proud of her work in helping students prepare for college and career.

“I loved every single moment of my time in the archdiocese,” she said.

Her work apparently had so impressed Cardinal Sean O’Malley that he had tried in vain to persuade her to stay, according to archdiocesan spokesman Terrence Donilon.

‘The Catholic schools in the Archdiocese of Boston are in a much better place today because of Dr. O’Neill’s dedication and commitment.’

“I came here to work for five years for the cardinal,’’ said O’Neill. “And the time has flown by. I had to decide if I should stay or make a change.”

O’Neill said she is leaving the school system in a stronger place than when she took over in 2008.

She took charge after decades of sweeping demographic change, as schools were closing and consolidating to deal with a steady tide of urban parishioners moving out to the suburbs. In the 1960s, the archdiocesan schools taught more than 150,000 students. Now the enrollment is 41,000, said Donilon.

Archdiocesan officials said that central to her tenure was reorganization of the Catholic Schools Office, which focused on increasing early education enrollment, supplying tools and data to help the district thrive, and reducing isolation by expanding partnerships between the central office and schools.

Under her watch, early education enrollment increased by 17 percent, and Catholic school enrollment rose 2 percent in Boston.

O’Neill’s department teamed with local colleges and assisted in the formation of Catholic academies in Lawrence, Quincy, South Boston, Dorchester, and Mattapan. The Catholic Schools Office also implemented the cardinal’s strategic plan for Catholic education.

“Our schools have realized significant improvements in academics while continuing to strengthen their Catholic identity and faith formation,’’ O’Malley said in a statement. “The Catholic schools in the Archdiocese of Boston are in a much better place today because of Dr. O’Neill’s dedication and commitment.”

We are delighted that Mary Grassa O’Neill has decided to move on.  Still, we are disappointed to hear that the Cardinal tried to keep her. We would very much to see the Cardinal’s strategic plan for Catholic education, as we have yet to see that publicly anywhere.  We would also be remiss to not point out the problems during her rein and things not stated in the announcement of her departure:

  • How overall Catholic schools enrollment and the number of parish-based Catholic schools DROPPED during her tenure. Enrollment was about 43,000 students when she started in 2008 and is at 41,000 now.
  • The number of parish-based Catholic schools that closed during the past five years
  • The flat out lie to everyone in the archdiocese and country underlying the Catholic School policy to admit the children of homosexual parents. (See Diocesan Deception in Catholic Schools Admission Policy).
  • How she has all but eliminated local control over selection of would-be principals. On at least two occasions, local committees have forwarded one and only one candidate for a principal, and she rejected the choices.
  • How she has violated Canon law and principles of subsidiarity by overruling sitting pastors in the selection process for school leadership
  • How she exercised favoritism and cronyism to exclude qualified candidates for Catholic school roles, while putting forward people she wanted for roles who were less qualified.
  • How she hired a friend of hers as principal for a parish-based school, despite concerns at that principal’s two past jobs–financial mismanagement allegations at a Boston Catholic Academy where she departed suddenly, and a guilty finding in a lawsuit and 5-figure settlement paid as a result of her having forged a teacher’s letter of resignation while n the Boston Public Schools
  • How she has pushed the unproven Common Core curriculum into Boston Catholic schools  and refused to meet with concerned parents who opposed the move.
  • How she has failed to implement policies or guidelines for school principals
  • How there is no evidence whatsoever that she strengthened the “Catholic identity and faith formation” in Catholic schools. In fact, it appears that Catholic identity in Catholic schools is steadily declining.
  • How she ignored problems with advancement of the homosexual agenda at Sacred Heart School in Kingston
  • How she ignored issues with harassment of a teacher at St. Catherine School in Norwood by other teachers at the school, including one who is a convicted felon

Vicar General Bishop Deeley said the following in his announcement about her departure on Friday:

Among her achievements are the reorganization of the Catholic Schools Office and the priority of support for pastors, principals, faculty and staff at the schools. Her contributions have brought great benefit to the more than 41,000 students who are enrolled in Catholic schools in the Archdiocese.  She has put us on the path of revitalizing and reinvigorating Catholic education throughout the Archdiocese by developing and implementing the Cardinal’s Strategic Plan for Catholic Education.

Blah blah blah. If we are on the path to revitalizing and reinvigorating Catholic education, where is the actual evidence of that? Regarding a replacement for Grassa O’Neill, Bishop Deeley 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.

 We hope and pray that people like Fr. Bryan Hehir and Sr. Janet Eisner are kept far away from the search committee for her successor. We also hope that Cardinal O’Malley insists on a devout Catholic for the role–and that both the search committee and all candidates for the role affirm their acceptance of all teachings of the Roman Catholic Church.


Boston “Catholic” Hospital Flying Rainbow Flag

July 17, 2013

BCI has been on vacation for the past two weeks. We came back to find an inbox full of issues to be addressed.  These include Steward Health Care’s flagrant disregard for their commitment to maintain the Catholic identity at the Caritas Christi hospitals they acquired in 2010. The poster child for this problem is Carney Hospital in Dorchester, which has been flying the rainbow flag that symbolizes “gay pride” and so-called  lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender (LGBT) pride and LGBT social movements.  A Catholic Action League press release tells us they flew the rainbow flag from the flagpole in front of the hospital for two weeks following the June 26th U. S. Supreme Court decision on DOMA and California’s Proposition 8.  According to a report from a concerned Catholic who called the Carney, a hospital representative said it was being flown to “celebrate” the court ruling.

Photos can be found below and more information is here.

Even though the hospitals are owned and operated by Steward Health Care, they are legally bound to maintain a Catholic identity. The person on Cardinal Sean O’Malley’s leadership team responsible for overseeing their maintenance of Catholic identity is Fr. Bryan Hehir, Secretary for Social Services and Health Care.  Are both the Cardinal and Fr. Hehir aware of this?  What have they done?

In addition, as reported at The Tenth Crusade, Carney Hospital just gave financial support to some kind of sex-themed carnival in June sponsored by a local homosexual political activism organization, DotOUT, that featured “strong men and fortune tellers”:

Carney Hospital, which is supposed to be maintaining a Catholic identity, was a Corporate/Platinum sponsor of the carnival.  We are not making this up.

To help Cardinal O’Malley, Fr. Hehir, and Vicar General Bishop Deeley remember the terms of the sale agreement, we excerpt from a few BCI posts and The Pilot:

In Removing Christ from Caritas Christi (2011), we wrote:

The goal of the stewardship agreement that set out conditions of the sale was said at the time to preserve the Catholic identity of the hospitals forever.

Christopher Murphy, a spokesman for the network, said the stewardship agreement would be designed to permanently maintain the hospital’s Catholic identity….“The main point is that it’s designed to last forever,” he said. “That’s the prevailing hope of everyone involved, that . . . the Catholic tradition of Caritas Christi stays in place forever.”  (Boston Globe, April 28, 2010)

“We announced yesterday that an agreement has been reached with Cerberus that ensures the Catholic identity of the Caritas Christi hospitals… this stewardship agreement was a key component for us because it will preserve the Catholic identity of Caritas.” (Cardinal Seans blog, May 7, 2010)

In “Caritas Christi: Is Catholic Healthcare in Boston Being Sold-off for a Few Silver Coins?” (2010) we wrote:

9. Does the Archdiocese acknowledge or deny that the Catholic identity for Caritas will likely disappear after 3 years?

A blog at the Wall Street Journal said, “In Hospital deal, How Much is a Catholic Identity Worth: Just 3%.”  Despite comments by Vicar General Fr. Richard Erikson and Fr. Bryan Hehir saying the stewardship agreement “memorializes” the commitment to maintain the Catholic identity of Caritas Christi and represents a strong commitment to operate the hospitals according to Church religious and moral directives, the exit clause that allows Cerberus to pay $25 million to drop the Catholic identity negates what both officials have said.  So, let us be realistic that the proposed guarantees for maintaining the system’s Catholic identity beyond 3 years are lacking in substance and credibility. It feels like the tale of “The Emperor Has No Clothes.”  Everyone says the emperor looks handsome in his new clothes.  Perhaps it would be better to stop pretending this arrangement is something which it clearly is not.

The Catholic Action League message on this one from 2010 seems to merit repeating, just as a reality check:

This impending transfer of ownership means that the future of 150 years of Catholic health care in Boston will be within the discretionary authority of a non-Catholic, for profit, out of state, capitalist corporation.  It is now clear that Caritas Christi will be rapidly secularized, that such iconic Catholic institutions as Carney Hospital and St. Elizabeth’s Medical Center will no longer defend the culture of life, and Catholic and other pro-life doctors, nurses, and administrators will lose their conscience protections.”

This comes just five years after Catholic Charities withdrew from adoption services in Greater Boston.   Beautiful and historic churches are being closed, the parish based Catholic school system is being effectively downsized into ‘consolidated’, lay-governed regional academies, and now the Catholic hospital system, which dates back to 1863, is about to be abandoned.  A two hundred year legacy of Catholicism in Boston, as reflected in an institutional infrastructure, is being systematically dismantled and improvidently discarded.

Then there is this, the pièce de résistance from The Pilot, “Agreement will assure Catholic identity of Caritas hospitals” (May 2010):

BRAINTREE — After a lengthy process, the Archdiocese of Boston says it has reached an agreement with a venture capitalist firm that will keep hospitals of the Caritas Christi Health Care afloat as well as maintain their Catholic identities.

“The Stewardship Agreement memorializes Steward’s commitment to maintain the Catholic identity of the Caritas Christi Healthcare system and its fidelity to the mission of the Church’s healthcare ministry,” Father Richard Erikson, the archdiocese’s vicar general and moderator of the Curia, said in a May 6 statement announcing the agreement.

Father J. Bryan Hehir, the archdiocese’s health and social services secretary, said that the ethical and religious directives provide the framework by which Catholic health care operates in the United States. They include sacramental and pastoral care for all patients regardless of religious denomination as well as contain key social justice components and bioethical provisions aimed at preserving the sanctity and dignity of human life.

The recently-signed agreement between the archdiocese and Steward provides that the Archbishop of Boston will oversee that the Caritas hospitals run in accordance with the bishops’ directives. The agreement allows the archbishop to have final authority in disputes involving the directives.

“This is a substantive and structural commitment by the archdiocese and Steward to operate this hospital system by the religious and moral directives of the Catholic Church,” said Father J. Bryan Hehir.

The agreement may be terminated by the archdiocese if it finds the hospitals are not being run according to Catholic practices. However, the archdiocese must provide 90 days notice for Steward to correct the problem.

Conversely, Steward would also be allowed to opt out of the contract if complying with the bishops’ directives is found to be “mutually burdensome.” Murphy said that clause was inserted into the deal in case future medical advances hampered efforts to comply with Catholic directives.

Today, the Catholic Action League said:

Under Section 1 of the Agreement, “all hospitals will be operated in accordance with the moral, ethical and social teachings of the Roman Catholic Church as expressed in the Directives (Ethical and Religious Directives for Catholic Health Care Services, of the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops) and as interpreted solely and exclusively by RCAB.” These directives mandate adherence to the “Catholic moral tradition.”

Under Section 2.3 of the agreement, the hospitals are required to “maintain appropriate signage and other symbols of Catholic identity.”

Public display of the Rainbow/Pride flag at Carney Hospital clearly violated the Stewardship Agreement, contravened the Ethical and Religious Directives and compromised what remained of Carney’s Catholic identity. It was also a brazen act of defiance to Catholic moral teaching and an insult to faithful Catholics, living and dead, who supported the Carney for the last one hundred and fifty years.

Is there any question that by flying the rainbow flag and supporting organizations who advance positions contrary to Catholic teachings the hospitals are NOT operating by the religious and moral directives of the Catholic Church?  Assuming we all agree on this point, then the Boston Archdiocese can terminate the agreement and is supposed to tell Steward they have 90 days to correct the problem.

Have Cardinal O’Malley or Fr. Hehir put Steward on notice?  Not likely, but we will ask.  What do you think about this situation?


Cardinal O’Malley bans dissident priest from speaking at Dedham Catholic parish

June 25, 2013

We are very pleased to report that Cardinal O’Malley is banning a dissident Austrian priest from speaking at St. Susanna in Dedham.  Here is an excerpt from one of two pieces that appeared in the Boston Globe:

Cardinal Sean P. O’Malley is banning a dissident Austrian priest from speaking at a parish in Dedham, prompting a coalition of reform-minded Catholics who invited the priest to move their event to a nearby Unitarian Universalist church.

The Rev. Helmut Schuller was invited to speak at St. Susanna Parish on July 17 as part of a 15-city tour of the United States called “The Catholic Tipping Point,” sponsored by a coalition of progressive Catholic organizations, including the Needham-based Voice of the Faithful.

Schuller is the founder of the Austrian Priests’ Initiative, which advocates for women’s ordination, optional celibacy for priests, and greater lay participation as ways of addressing a priest shortage in Western Europe. About 1 in 10 Austrian priests now belong to the group, the Austrian Independent newspaper reported this month. Similar groups have sprung up elsewhere, including the United States.

Terrence C. Donilon, a spokesman for the Roman Catholic Archdiocese of Boston, said in a statement released to the Globe: “It is the policy of the Archdiocese of Boston, and the generally accepted practice in dioceses across the country, not to permit individuals to conduct speaking engagements in Catholic parishes or at church events when those individuals promote positions that are contrary to Catholic teachings.”

BCI commends Cardinal O’Malley for the decision to ban this talk and speaker from a Catholic church. We also commend the Boston Archdiocese for publicly issuing this policy statement.  We have been hoping and praying for a policy like this for many years, and we view it as a very encouraging sign that the Boston Archdiocese is now going to enforce a policy that will not permit any individuals who promote positions contrary to Catholic teachings to speak in Catholic parishes or at church events.


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!

 


Boston Catholic Schools Implementing Controversial Common Core Curriculum

May 30, 2013

BCI is getting an increasing number of complaints from Boston Catholics about several important areas lately important to the future of the Boston Archdiocese–pastoral plan execution and Catholic schools. The concerns with changes in the so-called “Catholic” schools under the leadership of Superintendent Mary Grassa O’Neill are so extensive it is difficult to know where to start. For today, we address the tip of the iceberg with the controversial unproven “Common Core” curriculum making its way across the U.S. and in Catholic schools. After you digest what is going on over our next several posts, it will become increasingly clear that there is a big problem.

It is difficult for BCI to even distill all of the problems down to one blog post. You will need to read some of the following articles to get the gist of the problem. That Mary Grassa O’Neill refuses to meet with concerned local parents gives a very clear indication that her leadership must be questioned Consider the following pieces:

Two Moms vs Common Core (Catholic Exchange)

Indiana has become the first state to retreat from the Common Core standards, as Governor Mike Pence has just signed a bill suspending their implementation.

A great deal has been written and spoken about Common Core, but it is worth rehearsing the outlines again. Common Core is a set of math and English standards developed largely with Gates Foundation money and pushed by the Obama administration and the National Governors Association. The standards define what every schoolchild should learn each year, from first grade through twelfth, and the package includes teacher evaluations tied to federally funded tests designed to ensure that schools teach to Common Core.

Over 40 states hurriedly adopted Common Core, some before the standards were even written, in response to the Obama administration’s making more than $4 billion in federal grants conditional on their doing so. Only Texas, Alaska, Virginia, and Nebraska declined. (Minnesota adopted the English but not the math standards.)

Here is my prediction: Indiana is the start of something big.

Just a year ago Common Core was untouchable in Indiana, as in most other places. Common Core had been promoted by conservative governor Mitch Daniels, and the state superintendent of public schools, Tony Bennett, was a rising GOP education star.

How did the bipartisan Common Core “consensus” collapse?

It collapsed because some parents saw that Common Core was actually lowering standards in their children’s schools. And because advocates for Common Core could not answer the questions these parents raised.

In Indiana, the story starts with two Indianapolis moms, Heather Crossin and her friend Erin Tuttle.

In September 2011, Heather suddenly noticed a sharp decline in the math homework her eight-year-old daughter was bringing home from Catholic school.

“Instead of many arithmetic problems, the homework would contain only three or four questions, and two of those would be ‘explain your answer,’” Heather told me. “Like, ‘One bridge is 412 feet long and the other bridge is 206 feet long. Which bridge is longer? How do you know?’”

She found she could not help her daughter answer the latter question: The “right” answer involved heavy quotation from Common Core language. A program designed to encourage thought had ended up encouraging rote memorization not of math but of scripts about math.

Heather was noticing on the ground some of the same things that caused Stanford mathematics professor R. James Milgram to withhold his approval from the Common Core math standards.

Professor Milgram was the only math content expert on the Validation Committee reviewing the standards, and he concluded that the Common Core standards are, as he told the Texas state legislature, “in large measure a political document that . . . is written at a very low level and does not adequately reflect our current understanding of why the math programs in the high-achieving countries give dramatically better results.”

The Common Core math standards deemphasize performing procedures (solving many similar problems) in favor of attempting to push a deeper cognitive understanding — e.g., asking questions like “How do you know?”

In fact, according to a scholarly 2011 content analysis published in Education Researcher by Andrew Porter and colleagues, the Common Core math standards bear little resemblance to the national curriculum standards in countries with high-achieving math students: “Top-achieving countries for which we had content standards,” these scholars note, “put a greater emphasis on [the category] ‘perform procedures’ than do the U.S. Common Core standards.”

So why was this new, unvalidated math approach suddenly appearing in Heather’s little corner of the world, and at a Catholic school?

Heather was not alone in questioning the new approach. So many parents at the school complained that the principal convened a meeting. He brought in the saleswoman from the Pearson textbook company to sell the parents. “She told us we were all so very, very lucky, because our children were using one of the very first Common Core–aligned textbooks in the country,” says Heather.

But the parents weren’t buying what the Pearson lady was selling.

“Eventually,” Heather recalled, “our principal just threw his hands up in the air and said, ‘I know parents don’t like this type of math but we have to teach it that way, because the new state assessment tests are going to use these standards.’”

That’s the first time Heather had heard that Indiana had replaced its well-regarded state tests, ISTEP (Indiana Statewide Testing for Educational Progress–Plus) in favor of a brand-new federally funded set of assessments keyed to Common Core. “I thought I was a fairly informed person, and I was shocked that a big shift in control had happened and I hadn’t the slightest idea,” she says.

Erin Tuttle says she noticed the change in the math homework at about the same time as Heather, and she also noticed that her child was bringing home a lot fewer novels and more “Time magazine for kids” — a reflection of the English standards’ emphasis on “informational texts” rather than literature.

These standards are designed not to produce well-educated citizens but to prepare students to enter community colleges and lower-level jobs. All students, not just non-college-material students, are going to be taught to this lower standard.

I want to pause and highlight the significance of Heather and Erin’s testimony. Heather Crossin and Erin Tuttle did not get involved in opposing Common Core because of anything Michelle Malkin or Glenn Beck said to rile them up, but because of what they saw happening in their own children’s Catholic school. When experts or politicians said that Common Core would not lead to a surrender of local control over curriculum, Heather and Erin knew better. (Ironically, the leverage in Indiana was Tony Bennett’s school-choice program, which made state vouchers available to religious schools, but only if they adopted state tests — which were later quietly switched from ISTEP to the untried Common Core assessments.)

A STEALTH CAMPAIGN TO BYPASS PARENTS

At first Heather thought maybe her ignorance of Common Core was her fault. Maybe, with her kids (as she imagined) safely ensconced in good Catholic schools, she hadn’t paid attention.

That’s when she and Erin started contacting people — “and we found out something more shocking: Nobody had any idea,” Heather told me.

The same has happened in Boston. You have to read the rest of the above article here. Then read the following piece:

Saving the Uncommon Core of Catholic Education (Crisis Magazine, May 17, 2013)

As Catholic institutions have come under unprecedented pressure from government to trim their religious and social mission, it seems incredible that Catholic educators would consider voluntarily placing their schools under an onerous federal yoke. But that incongruous prospect may be nearing reality as over one hundred Catholic dioceses have signed onto the Common Core Standards Initiative (CC).

There is no mistaking what the Common Core is all about. Developed by handpicked, federally funded nonprofits and two national associations of state executives, the Common Core is an attempt by a subset of education “experts” to write k-12 standards and, ultimately, dictate curricula that will foster a uniform educational experience in the United States. The justification for this nationalization, according to CCSI advocates, is to create a generation of college- and career-ready students who can compete in a global economy.

The Obama Administration, naturally enough, is deeply enamored of the idea of removing local authority over classroom content and shifting it to centralized bureaucracies, much as it has done with the U.S. economy and health care. Equally naturally, some politically connected big businesses champion the Common Core, eyeing the practical benefits of gearing the nation’s classrooms to be trade schools for their vision of the world’s future workforce.

And at bottom, the Common Core embraces essentially a trade-school mentality. Even in English class—where the heart of humanist education should beat most strongly—the curriculum is to be redesigned to offer less classic literature and more nonfiction “informational texts.” After all, if a student is unlikely to encounter Paradise Lost in his future job, why waste time on it now? Better to focus on the technical manuals or government documents that he might grapple with in the corporate world.

Common Core Validation Committee member Sandra Stotsky, perhaps the nation’s premier expert on English language arts (ELA) standards, refused to sign off on the Common Core standards because they “weaken the basis of literary and cultural knowledge needed for authentic college coursework.” And the math standards are similarly deficient. Stanford mathematics professor James Milgram concluded that it is “almost a joke to think students [who master the Common Core] would be ready for math at a university.”

Why Catholic schools, which have a centuries-old vision of the purpose of education, and a track record only the most elite secular institutions can match, should embrace this olive-drab doctrine of uniformity and utilitarianism is not at all clear…

Now, more than ever, is the time to embrace classical Catholic education and shun secular fads like the Common Core.

In addition to these articles, also read:

The Great Education Power Grab

Propagandizing the Plebs: The Common Core Curriculum Meets The GED

The dismissive behavior and attitude of Mary Grassa O’Neill’s regional superintendents at a recent meeting of parents concerned about the rollout of Common Core in the Boston Catholic Schools will be the topic of a future post. BCI has already gotten an earful on this, but any parents familiar with the concerns can post comments below.


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