The scandal over Archdioese’s Financial Council Institutional Advancement Committee chair, Jack Connors, having run a $2M fund-raising extravaganza at his Brookline home for President Obama continues, and if you have not yet signed the “Stop the Scandal” petition, we urge all readers to do so. (click the graphic to the right). Please also pass this on to your like-minded friends and family members.
As one commenter put it, “Advancing the most powerful supporter of abortion in this country is NOT what the chair of the Boston Archdiocese Finance Council Institutional Advancement Committee should be advancing.” That is not all that is at stake here. Although BCI has approached this in the area of our key focus, governance of the archdiocese, as “Objective Observer” objectively observed in comments today, there is much more to the story where Jack Connors, Cardinal O’Malley, and others could do better.
Here is the comment from “Objective Observer” (with minor BCI edits) which merits reading by Cardinal O’Malley, his cabinet, the Papal Nuncio, the Congregation of Bishops, and a lot more.
Abortion stops a beating heart. Period. Cardinal Sean O’Malley would come to tears telling you how passionately he feels about this. Real tears.
The question is, what does he DO about it?
The only point I would disagree with in this BCI posting is that there is a long list of action and inaction by Cardinal O’Malley that is inconsistent with promoting a culture of life — not just his pitiful obeisance to Jack Connors and Bryan Hehir. The cardinal archbishop of Boston demonstrates a pattern of lip service followed by a hollow fog, fading to darkness, in lieu of action.
My own view is not that Randall Terry is the answer, nor even legislative effort. Changing the way we understand abortion and the women who seek it, and changing the way we behave toward them and their children, will lead to an answer.
If indeed Sean Patrick is the “pastor” (think Latin) of his flock, he is called to consistently and frequently behave as if he believes that abortion stops a beating heart. He must publicly teach that the fragile women who seek abortions, and their children, not yet born, at risk of death, need everyone’s support. He needs to privately call out Jack Connors, and publicly ask him what he’s done lately to help the most vulnerable among us — women who can see no other solution than abortion, and their children who deserve life (and a good one at that). Are these not as worthy as those who receive face transplants, and “miracle” cancer cures at Jack Connors’ hospitals? Where’s the Partners Healthcare PR about supporting women at risk of abortion and their babies who need to breathe life?
But we need to change, too. We need to understand that the woman who is sufficiently desperate to seek an abortion will tell you that her primary “problem” is not that she is pregnant. It is homelessness, or violent physical abuse, or substance use, or some very real and desperate fear of the responsibility for this child, that takes her to an abortion provider. But once the abortion is over, the problems she took into the clinic with her remain. The only difference is that she isn’t pregnant. And she has a new problem… the day she eventually wakes up — and it is inevitable — and realizes that her child died. All in all, a messier conversation than, “Abortion is wrong.” Takes a lot more thought and work.
But Sean doesn’t want to do the work… to speak up. He doesn’t want to demand that his well-heeled friends support these women and their fragile, unborn children. Why? Because Bryan Hehir won’t LET him. Hehir will let him walk in the Boston Life Walk in October (though note Hehir, who oversees “Life” from his cabinet position, does not appear), and he will let him “march” in DC in January. But that’s about it. No point “offending” people and “marginalizing” himself by stirring up the conversation that Hehir proclaims (and I heard him say this) “will never be solved in our lifetime.” If that’s the most rigorous intellectual argument Hehir can raise for the cardinal’s cowering at a public discourse on alternatives to abortion, the Kennedy School of Government is not getting its money’s worth letting Hehir occupy an endowed chair.
To Bryan Hehir: Among problems that will not be solved in your (or my) lifetime: Homelessness, cancer, and not even baldness. But WE will be judged — not on some progress measured by the arbitrary yardstick of our lifetime — but by the quality and effectiveness of our efforts to provide another way for these women and their children.
Sean flunks the test because he demonstrates a consistent and longstanding pattern of mere lip service to an abortion conversation, and utterly fails to rally the likes of Jack Connors in the support of abortion alternatives in Boston. Why? He fails to act solely in deference to Bryan Hehir’s undue influence and insatiable addiction for political expediency. Sean doesn’t flunk merely by bowing down to Jack Connors, and failing to send him packing from the Finance Council. He fails utterly because he has a longstanding pattern of failing to act to find another way for these women and their children. FACTA NON VERBA, Sean.
And that’s why you who read BCI should write to the nuncio.
With that, here is how to do something about this situation. Click on the “Stop the Scandal” graphic to the right, fill out the form with your name and whatever other information you feel comfortable entering, click “Send the Letter”, verify your information is correct, and click “Submit.” An email or fax will then be sent to the Holy Father, Cardinal O’Malley, the U.S. Papal Nuncio Archbishop Sambi, the Prefect of the Congregation of Bishops, the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith, and the Congregation for Clergy.
For BCI readers who like the typical fare of excessive salaries, deception and corruption, we will get back to that shortly.