A few days ago we asked BCI readers to write their messages to Cardinal Sean O’Malley, specifically concerning 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”). We said readers could submit a top priority or some top problems you would like for the Cardinal to address, it could be a compliment, a criticism, a mix of positive and constructive feedback, a suggestion, or anything relevant to his pastoral leadership in teaching, sanctifying, and governing the archdiocese. The goal was to share feedback or a message that you, our readers, believed would lead to the archdiocese being better able to continue the saving ministry of Jesus Christ.
We originally thought we would pick just a few of them to share, but found it tough to decide which ones to include vs exclude. So we went with all except any that suggested a change in Catholic Church teaching. We will also send these along to Cardinal O’Malley via email over the weekend and invite his response to them.
Thanks to all for taking the time to write your thoughtful and insightful messages.
Time for a change says:
Cardinal Law left when it was clear that he could not serve. It’s time to go. You know that.
Cardinal O’Malley, I would urge you to clear your schedule and spend several days in Adoration in front of the Blessed Sacrament, asking for the wisdom and discernment to perform your duties in a manner pleasing to the Lord.
dotty banks says:
Please do something to help the many dedicated and grossly underpaid lay workers throughout your archdiocese. Many have served for forty or fifty years, knowingly accepting lower wages, without union protection, because of their devotion to Christian values. It is unjust to punish them by cutting their modest pensions while paying six figure salaries to numerous, newly hired, administrators.
Jesus would be ashamed of the way you’re allowing your workes to be treated! So please do something !!!!!!
Take the time to adress this problem instead of continuing to ignore it. It won’t go away!
teddy ballgame says:
Cardinal O’Malley, I think you know this, but morale at 66 Brooks is terrible. I know, I worked at RCAB and dealt with parishes, schools etc. on a daily basis. The negativity was palpable! The 4 Pastoral Operating Principles are not only ignored but trampled on every day. The backbiting,finger pointing, lying, and abuse of power that occurs is the worst I have ever seen. And this is the Archdiocese of Boston? The individuals responsible, McDonough and Gustavason, are a major part of the problem. Therefore I suggest you appoint a senior person to tackle this very serious problem.
Objective Observer says:
You give a great homily. You had us at your installation — watching as BCTV broadcast that homily in July 2003, cheers went up all over the Archdiocese. You had us in the palm of your hand. It had been a long haul for 18 months (for absolutely everyone) and we were ready for the bright hope you articulated on that rainy day in July.
What happened? How did all that goodwill and affection become rancor and division? How does your pastoral goodwill end up looking like bases loaded, but then you hit into an inning-ending double play? And what is the best advice one could offer you now?
As CEO of Corp Sole, it appears that you have overseen some serious misconduct. The buck stops on your desk… or in your case on your tray table. Based on the public record, it looks like a reasonable grand jury could find fraud, conflict of interest, undue influence and misappropriation of funds, before they got warmed up. It would appear that many of these questions are governed by state law, but in Boston we have a U.S. attorney who is willing to do the A.G.’s job for her when she looks the other way. Just ask Mr. DiMasi.
Dropping the reins and allowing whoever head butts you the hardest to pick them up is not a defense at law or in equity. Nor is the sham of empaneling endless committees to make “recommendations” that you “accept” and put into force by letting someone else sign your name. So if any of that sounds familiar as an m.o., you might start asking around for the right counsel… and I mean lawyer as well as Gift of the Holy Spirit.
The people who actually have held the reins in your case, Bryan, Ann, Jim, Carol, Beirne, Bob and Jack, like we saw with the cronies of DiMasi, would gleefully turn state’s evidence rather than take the fall themselves, don’t you think? There really are a lot of parallels between your situation and the former speaker’s.
Once these things get going, the AUSAs tend to want to hold onto your passport. That’s OK, mounting a defense wouldn’t leave you much time for travel anyway… at least if you have worthy counsel.
And for the rest of us, we can watch a replay of that installation homily and mourn what might have been. That’s plenty of expiation for letting it happen on our watch — priests and laity alike.
Another former employee says:
I hope that Cardinal O’Malley will remember his promise to fund the priests’ and lay employees’ pensions.
Clean house at the top (McDonough, Gustavson, Donilon, Grassa O’Neill and her staff, McEnness et al.
Take care of the rank and file employees who have been systemmatically mistreated over the past sevreal years.
Announce a plan to fund the lay pension plan.
Appoint good Catholics to the Finance council and get rid of people like Connors
Then resign, you are not competent to lead the Archdiocese.
“Just Wondering” says:
“JUST WONDERING” says: you forgot another dangerous person, the one and the only J. Bryan Hehir.
Jack O’Malley says:
Drive the mercenaries from the chancery as Christ did the money changers from the temple. And purge the smoke of Satan from those sanctuaries where it swirls thickest. You know which ones.
Esto Princeps Ecclesiae. Duc fortiter. Fideles volenter sequentur,
As St. Patrick, the patron saint of the Achdiocese did, drive the snakes out of 66 Briooks Drive.
Little Red Hen says:
Dear Cardinal O’Malley, please pay a visit to the superintendent and the staff of the Office of Catholic Schools and thank them for their service to the Archdiocese, tell them their service is no longer required, and send them on their way. Then contact the Dominican Sisters of Mary, Mother of the Eucharist (www.sistersofmary.org) and tell them that you have a mission for them here, which is to restore meaningful catechesis and authentic Catholicity to the few schools that remain in the Archdiocese of Boston.
Lazarus’ Table says:
I don’t suppose it is easy for any man to be a bishop, especially in these times and particularly in Boston. For all its supposed conservatism, Boston Catholics (clergy & lay) sure can pick and choose what they want to believe and when they will stand by their bishop… or not.
Cardinal Sean, clean house. You’ve already tried that earlier by sending some priests back into the parishes (for which, I’m sure, the parishes thank you…). But I think you’ve been “taken” by people you trusted who have their own agenda and who’ve surrounded themselves with people of their mind, not yours. The perceived scandal and mistrust of those in Braintree has so had a paralyzing effect on us that I would hope some of those men would voluntarily resign on their own pro bono publico and allow for fresh air and a renewed start. Can’t they admit their presence is hurting not helping the Church? It’s not good when they give rise to rumors that you and/or the archdiocese are being blackmailed or held hostage in some other way.
Cardinal Sean, clean house. You owe it to yourself and us. You’ve sacrifriced alot for the Church but the current state of affairs make it seem like the Church is sacrificing alot for you. And I’m sure that is not what you want or intend.
Cardinal Sean, please let us know how we can help you in a personal way. We pray for you, of course. But do you need a friend? Do you need to be reminded that “Sean” is loved and needed? Does your morale need a boost? Are you healthy, Cardinal Sean? How can we help you? How can we help you to help us? We’ll be there for you, Cardinal Sean. Please be there for us now.
I believe as an urgent matter that the Cardinal should, personally, look to correct the wrong done to the Hispanic children of Lawrence by the closing of the St. Mary of the Assumption elementary school. Though it is true that the Augustinians no longer wish to support the school, there are others who will. Please Cardinal Sean, we beg you to reverse this faulty decision to close St. Mary’s. A high proportion of the 250 students there will no longer have a Catholic school formation.
Cardinal O’Malley – You do many inspirational things. The way you handled the victims of the Abuse Crisis was admirable and sincere. Your pastoral letter and your efforts at evangelization are clear and good. How can the same person -you- permit things like St. Cecilia’s to occur, amd let some of your key people (McDonough, Hehir, Kickam) turn the Archdiocese into a political cesspool? None of your priests respect or trust any of them, yet you keep them around? Why?
You still have time to leave the Archdiocese better than you received it from a spiritual perspective. Please stop allowing the “money guys” and “priests that sell-out and dilute Catholicism” tell you its all about money. You speak often as responding to the sex abuse crisis and balancing the budget are the two legacies you’ll leave. You don’t talk about anything related to helping Catholics overcome 2 bad generations of evangelization and formation. Luckily you are only 67 and, God willing, have 10 more years to fix this course. As you said well in your letter at Pentecost – the primary mission of the Church is evangelization. Now your sheep are asking you to make it your top priority. Please walk the talk.
Boston Priest says:
I know your job is a tough one and you’ve intimated to many people that you don’t want to be here.
Until such time as you decide it’s time to move on from Boston, more than a handful of diocesan priests would find it a morale boost if you’d wear the clerical suit/cassock of a diocesan bishop instead of your Franciscan habit (ie. as Archbishop Chaput has chosen to do). I know canonically you have the option to dress in conformity with your religious community and sacred calling and it’s your decision. I see where for formal occasions, and trips to Rome you wear the diocesan bishop cassock. But, we’re all diocesan priests here, so by dressing other than we do, it makes a lot of us feel like you’re not really bought into being our diocesan bishop. It’s like you’re somewhere else, like an itinerant wanderer and not appearing as though you’re the one responsible for the diocese. We’re treated similarly canonically, with many left hanging in limbo continuing to serve as pastors with no formal renewal of pastoral terms.
It’s a lot more than the attire, but the what you wear symbolizes something to everyone.
As long as you’re here, it would dignify the office of Archbishop of Boston and be a boost to morale for a lot of the guys if you’d dress the part of diocesan bishop that the Holy Father asked you to play here, rather than dressing for the part you might want to play somewhere else.
I agree totally with Boston Priest about the attire of the Archbishop of Boston. The exemplar of Archbishop Chaput is particularly à propos.
As I posted earlier, you, Seán Cardinal O’Malley are a Prince of the Church. Princeps. Princeps Ecclesiae. You understand the Latin. Who was called a Princeps? Be a Princeps. And you will have the loyalty of true Catholics. The piskie wannabes will abandon you in droves. Tantum melius!
Continue on the present course and you will have schism in your archdiocese. We are fed up. We will revolt. Why do you think the FSSPX are expanding and you and your V2 novus ordo protestantised church is shrinking?
You have the classical education. You have the traditional formation. You are not much older than I. You have the linguistic gift and training to preach the Evangelion to many peoples. I exhort you to restore the Traditional Mass in all parishes of your bishopric. You will have altar boys. You will then have vocations. You will then have faithful masculine priests. And when you die, you will be assured of your reward when you confront our Saviour. And you will be remembered here on earth as the true Franciscan Repairer of the Church of Christ once gone to ruin.
What is holding you back, your Eminence? Why are you so timid? Fear nothing! Audax atque strenuus. Vivat Christus Rex!
I know you have a difficult ministry and believe you are sincerely trying. Yet something is grievously wrong in this archdiocese. Recently after Mass I was briefly speaking to a priest he said that “the archdiocese is imploding.” He didn’t elaborate, but we all know what’s going on.
I would urge you to do three things:
1. Give priority to teaching the fullness of the Catholic faith, even on the tough issues. I was so saddened to see you at Ted Kennedy’s funeral standing on the sidelines and not giving any witness at all to the Church’s teaching on life. Kennedy was an ardent supporter of abortion legislation throughout his Senate career. To me it was a terrible scandal that the impression was given that a politician can work with all his might to promote the “culture of death,” as Pope John Paul termed it, and then receive accolades as if he was some kind of saint. Another important issue is homosexuality, and the proposed “gay pride” Mass at St Cecilia’s is another situation you need to address.
2. Stop listening to the advisors you now have, and find some other persons with better judgment and the gifts of the Holy Spirit. Invest more time in personal prayer and make this a priority.
3. Publicly acknowledge the full extent of the injustice you did to the Daughters of St. Paul, and apologize to the sisters for: 1) having interfered in their internal affairs and brought serious trials to their leadership team and 2) for allowing the pension fund issue to drag on for 5 years. This sad situation shows how poorly you have led this archdiocese. The facts show that you did not intervene to help the sisters find justice when they and their employees were being unjustly treated. If you had used your influence, why would it have dragged on for 5 years? But when you received some negative publicity, you immediately called their superior general to complain because your ego was offended. I can only conclude from this that you care more about your public image than you do about doing justice. Shame on you!
To the contrary … Cardinal O’Malley was not “standing on the sidelines and not giving any witness at all to the Church’s teaching.” He was on the field doing that trick play in football that we employed as kids … he stood on the field trying to make it look like he was standing on the sidelines – but instead he had a very big role in the play.
Cardinal O’Malley, please tend to your priests. They need your encouragement, and your discipline. Consider, for instance, the great scandal caused by so many priests saying Mass in their own particular way. That would not be the case if our priests were acting in personal Christi. Nothing much good can be expected until we have a reformation of our priests. It is your job; please don’t shirk it.
Anonymous Priest says:
Boston Catholic Insider has provided an incredible service to the Archdiocese of Boston. BCI has begun to confront the some of the corruption in this archdiocese . They do so in a manner that is professional, direct and charitable. The failure of this archdiocese to respond responsibly to the issues raised by the BCI is a scandal which has a different face that the one of 2002 but nonetheless, still scandalous. The BCI discusses issues after doing its homework and demonstrates a good knowledge of and commitment to the true mission of the church. Never relying on hearsay, it continues to speak the truth with charity and clarity. Unfortunately, the archdiocese continues to dismiss the BCI as is its customary response to people and ideas it does not like. It’s very encouraging for many of the priests of this archdiocese to see that the BCI will not be intimidated nor is it going to go away. If the archdiocese were willing to engage the BCI and begin to “clean house” we could actually have a vibrant archdiocese. Please, Cardinal O’Malley, listen to the BCI.
John A. Cronin says:
A suggestion if I may…..Advisors should be screened and one group who would help His Eminence would be the Franciscans of the Primitive Observance. They are living the life of Francis, working the streets of Boston and Lawrence and should be asked advice on a timely basis, just to get to the truth. Thier loyalty to Cardinal O’Malley is beyond questionable.
Dear Cardinal O’Malley,
I know you to be a good man, Your Eminence. I think you’re doing a basically good job administering the Diocese, these nattering carpers to the contrary. I understand you have a difficult job, and you’re caught between a rock and a hard place in terms of fixed assets you can’t liquidate, and immediate need and long-term debts.
I do think a lot of your advisers need to get replaced, though (for reasons different than most here). Inter alia, Fr. Hehir’s influence has been insidious for a long time, but it’s not just him. It might be time to just start over.
Outside of that, I wish there was even one person who is charged with using your delegated authority to assure both the orthodoxy and fullness of doctrine is being taught and preached in the Archdiocese. It’s still not even close.
Your faithful son,
Dear Cardinal Sean,
What sorrow must fill your heart to see our Church shriveling away in Boston. Yet just like the rose bush is trimmed to an ugly stump to survive the winter, our church needs serious pruning. Only then can it thrive and bloom again in spring. There are many problems but top of the list is lack of formation & creeping secularization.
For starters, the CCD program in every parish and school needs to be evaluated. They teach that “God Loves You”, which is of course true, but little else. A love for the Eucharist and a basic understanding of the Catechism is scandalously lacking. Every parish needs adult formation, not just RCIA, but a “Catholic Answers” type forum to help answer the “why’s” of the what the Church teaches. EVERY priest, Bishop and Cardinal should teach CCD, confirmation, RCIA or adult formation classes. At the present moment, our priests are asked to act more as fundraisers than evangelizers. Who gives up a family for that?
Secularization has entered nearly all areas of the church, especially education and charity. Catholic schools and Catholic Charities have become almost indistinguishable from their secular versions. Recently a glossy Catholic Charities booklet was sent to my house- while professional looking, it didn’t mention one word about Christ and the Faith in all its multicolor splendor. Blessed Mother Teresa should be the roll model for service.
The Church is shrinking in Boston, but if it is secularized in hope that this will antagonize fewer people into leaving (and hence decrease the coffers even more) then there is no chance of renewal. Of the 20% of Mass going Catholics, how many attend less than 52 weeks a year, practice birth control, understand the Real Presence in Eucharist, understand the Church’s teaching on the Gospel of Life? How truly depressing – I cannot imagine presiding over this kind of decline. Even with bold leadership and action , renewal is unlikely to happen in our lifetimes, but it is the only hope.
Marianne Keating says:
I agree with the many responses above about cleaning out the Chancery of the overpaid, scandalous, heretical employees. Have courage, Cardinal O’Malley, and trust God to bring us through it all after the pieces fall!
On a positive note, I was delighted to hear Sr. Olga will be starting an order of nuns here in the Archdiocese. Wonderful news as she is a holy and inspirational nun and will be a true blessing for our Archdiocese and the many lives she touches!
Here is a suggestion if you are uncertain as to what to do. Fire anyone stealing from the Archdiocese – that includes Mary Grassa O’Neill ($325,000/yr), her deputies and anyone making above a liveable salary — any salary does not clearly demonstrate a willingness to be a servant of Christ (i.e., anyone making over $50,000 – 60,000 a year).
Also, fire those new lawyers you got for giving you pathetic and wimpy legal advice — you know … the ones who say that HR cannot even ask a prospective employee whether or not the applicant is Catholic because doing so allegedly violates the law.
Hey smartypants lawyers — that is the most ridiculous legal advice ever offered. With people like you boys fighting for us, who needs enemies.
Bill Redmond says:
Dear Cardinal O’Malley,
Thank you for working with Holy Family Communications to bring WQOM to the Boston Archdiocese. The Good Catholic Life program is wonderful. I’d like to see a change in the format that would allow for callers to interact with Scott and the guests.
It’s not the format that would need to change their is a technical issue that doesn’t allow for taking calls from the general public…until that issue is resolved their will be no call ins. I know this to be the situation.
Thank you, Cardinal O’Malley, for coming to the Courage Conference held at Betania II in Medway in 2008. The members of Courage and Encourage appreciate the work you have done publicly and behind the scenes in supporting our efforts to live chaste and holy lives.
Dear Cardinal O’Malley,
The media says that the Archdiocese has confirmed the re-scheduling of the St. Cecilia pro-gay-pride mass for July 10. That is crazy. How can you approve a mass in a holy place celebrating ANY sexual practices, let alone sexual practices that for 2,000 years the Church has called “intrinsically disordered”? Even earlier, much of the Old Testament teaches that God told the Israelites to stop pagan worships! Pagan worship meant temple prostitutes and the celebration of adultery and disordered sexual acts. How can you possibly allow St. Cecilia’s to be turned into a pagan temple????? How can you???? You really must stop this immediately. It is scandalizing the faithful (and all converts and — imagine what message it is sending to all those Anglican and Episcopal priests bravely considering “coming home” to the Catholic Church!)
I have heard that the St. Cecilia mass will now be called a “welcome” mass. Are you kidding? Do you think that lay Catholics are stupid? PLEASE put a stop to this.
Dear Cardinal O’Malley:
A humble servant of Jesus is asking for your support on what I believe to be grave matters.
1. Rebuilding the sanctity of St. Cecilia’s Parish in Boston. In this case, I believe Fr. Unni, Bishop Hennessey are giving into a political culture rather than to the teachings found in the Old Testament. No where in the New Testament does Jesus give approval of homosexuals living together. This needs to be immediately addressed for the good of the whole Archdiocese.
Fr. Unni likened the circumstances to Love v Hate. The Gay Pride ministry represents LOVE and those who object to the Holy, Catholic Church being used to chastise the Holy Eucharist are HATERS. Nothing could be further from the truth.
Terry Donilon said that you approved of Fr. John Unni, Pastor of St. Cecilia’s, and that the Gay Pride Mass is going forward as previously scheduled. What do you have to say about this??????
John Connors, caused scandal to us when he opened his home for a $2 million fundraiser for the most Pro-Abortion President. Pres. Obama said he would let his daughters have an abortion if they found themselves pregnant out of wedlock. Why then, would Mr. Connors want to host a hugh fundraiser for him. Where is Mr. Connors on this issue???????
Would you please look into this and CANCEL THIS MASS. Mass should never be offered for a cause.
2. Recently Fr. Pavone, a good and holy man preached at St. Paul’s in Hingham. Becasue a person held up a sign showing a 23 week old fetus being dismembered, someone called the police and they took his license plate number. A call then came to Fr. Rafferty saying that he shouldn’t have allowed Fr. Pavone to come and speak.
Fr. Pavone is a wonderful priest in support of life. Our Archdiocese is certainly in need of the presence of PFL. Why, did a spokesperson from your office call to nix it?????
Thank you for your consideration of these important issues to the flock who is trying their best to be faithful to Christ and the Holy Eucharist.
The leadership of the Catholic Church needs to make it perfectly clear that: they do not support homosexuality in any way (Maureen Dowd, unfortunately, hit right on the head in NYT article about homosexuality in Church; they need to own up to it ; discover why it occurred so rampantly; how to squash and deal with it now; they need to strongly defend marriage; always speak out against abortion; speak out against same sex marriage; homosexuality is an intrinsic disorder and homosexual practices are mortal sins. Their mission is to: teach, govern, and sanctify. Many of them get an “F” on all three. Why are they gutless and wishy-washy. Why have there been so many “feminized” clergy within the last few decades. What about the faithful, straight clergy standing up to the gay,clerical mafia in each diocese. We need it; it can reestablish the faithful’s TRUST in their clergy, from the cardinals on down.
Jane M. Finn says:
Dear Cardinal O’Malley,
I thought the mission of the Catholic Church was about “saving souls.” How is that mission being fulfilled at St. Cecilia’s? Their Rainbow Ministry, with full knowledge of the Archdiocese, is hosting a specially named Mass on July 10th. This Mass will be celebrating those of a sexual persuasion, that if practiced, is against the 6th Commandment. So, shouldn’t the Archdiocese be concerned for their souls? Or has the Archdiocese eliminated the 6th Commandment? Should the Ten Commandments now be called the Nine Commandments? There seems to be so much ‘double speak’ coming from the Archdiocese….CONFUSION.
Right now, I think, is the perfect time for the Archdiocese to give real evangelization by way of the Boston Media to millions and millions here and across the country that would certainly save some souls. They should give witness to the successful Catholic Church sponsored program for homosexuality called COURAGE for the homosexual and ENCOURAGE for his/her’s family members. This is an opportunity that should not be waisted!
Only the TRUTH and LOVE of Jesus Christ brings true peace and quiets the restless heart. Spin will only keep poor souls spinning and will not save them.
Alice Slattery says:
Dear Cardinal O’Malley,
If you look carefully at the parish bulletins and the activities of the Rainbow Ministry that are promoted by Fr. John Unni as pastor of St. Cecilia’s parish in Boston and compare them to those of Fr. Walter Cuenin’s in his parish bulletins at Our Lady Help of Christians parish in Newton (which are in the archives from the time when Bp. William Murphy was Moderator), you will see that they are practically identical in the way that they advanced the cause of the desires of the members of his parish who promote the LGBT agenda. In fact, in June of 2006, Fr. Walter Cuenin received the Pride Interfaith Award during Gay Pride week for his advocacy for the desires of the LGBT advocates by his “gay-affirming ” efforts in his parish and “the religious community” in Boston.(“Catholic priest to preach at Boston Pride Interfaith Service”,Bay Windows,2/02/06). To my recollection, there was nothing critical of this fact printed in The Pilot .
I may be wrong but I also don’t recall anything critical in The Pilot when Fr. Cuenin joined Fr. Thomas Carroll,rector of the Jesuit Urban Center,Boston, when they opposed the ban on gay marriage before the Mass. State Legislature in 2002.(“Three priests oppose ban on gay marriage”,Boston Globe,4/11/02,p.p.B1.B10).
Now that the members of the Jesuit Urban Center have moved into St. Cecilia’s parish, is Fr. Unni accommodating their desire for acceptance of gay marriage?
Since Fr. Unni is ‘walking in the footsteps’ of Fr, Cuenin, and is recognized by the GLBT advocates for his efforts to advocate for their desires, will you remain silent as you did when Fr. Cuenin was honored by those who gave him the GLBT Pride award? Would you be in agreement if the recipient of the LGBT Pride award next year is Fr. John Unni?The perception of your silence regarding the impact that such advocacy has on the parishioners of the Boston Archdiocese is very confusing. Please, as our Shepherd, clearly explain your position.