Resignation Question

The word “resignation” is in the news a fair amount lately.  Since it is in the news outside of the Archdiocese of Boston, we thought we would bring up the topic here once again as we see an increasing need for at least one or more resignations to be happening inside the archdiocese.

The most obvious situation in the headlines where the resignation question is a hot topic is the scandal over NY Rep. Anthony Weiner. BCI will not repeat the salacious details here. BCI thinks he should resign–because of the underlying actions themselves, the public lies and deception, his bad judgment and flawed character to be representing the people, the scandal it has created, and a host of other reasons.

Another situation outside the archdiocese has been reported this week in the Chicago Tribune.  The paper reports that a recently appointed trustee of the University of Notre Dame, Chicago investor Roxanne Martino,  has just resigned from their board  after it was revealed that she had given $25,000 to Emily’s List, a political fund-raising organization committed to electing women who support abortion rights. This Op-Ed piece in the Tribune by Rev. Robert Barron, priest and theology professor at University of St. Mary of the Lake in Mundelein, offers some interesting insights:

The Cardinal  Newman Society observed that because Ms. Martino had donated $25,000 to Emily’s List, an organization whose stated purpose is “the electing of pro-choice Democratic women,” she would be unfit to serve in such an important position of governance at a Catholic university.  A controversy ensued, and Martino, concluded that it was in the best interest of Notre Dame for her to step down.

I believe that she made the right decision.

Catholic morality rests upon the assumption that certain acts are intrinsically evil, precisely because certain values are so fundamental that they can never be undermined.  The chief of these values is the cultivation of life, and this is why the direct killing of the innocent is so massively repugnant to a Catholic moral sensibility.

Those who claim that the abortion question is “one issue among many” simply fail to understand this centrality. Therefore, a person who has actively supported an organization pledged to fight for abortion rights in the political arena cannot in good faith participate in the governance of a university committed to Catholic doctrine and moral values.

To those who feel that Ms. Martino has been unjustly hounded from her position on the Notre Dame Board of Trustees, I would propose a simple thought experiment. Suppose that someone who had made substantial monetary contributions to an organization dedicated to the undermining of civil rights in America had been appointed to the Board of Trustees of the University of Notre Dame.  Would you support his or her candidacy? I think the question answers itself.

These two examples bring us back to the Archdiocese of Boston, and specifically Finance Council member and chair of the institutional advancement committee, Jack Connors.

Jack Connors has been party to a public deception of Catholics in the archdiocese. For those who do not recall, he chaired the “sham search” committee for the new Cabinet Secretary for Institutional Advancement (publicly announced last June) which never really intended to conduct a search and had already selected Connors’ crony and former Hill Holiday exec Kathleen Driscoll for the job, as we reported in “Biggest Boston Archdiocesan Sham Search Yet Now Announced.”

And he has also publicly demonstrated significant support for people who support abortion, as we have reported multiple times, including last month when we called for his resignation:

On May 18, a Finance Council member with oversight for fundraising and influence over Catholic schools, Jack Connors, hosted a highly-publicized $2 million fundraiser for President Obama at his home. Obama has voted against banning partial birth abortion and commemorated Roe v Wade in January 2011 saying he is committed to protecting women’s “constitutional right” to an abortion. Connors has been quoted in newspapers recently saying that he and his wife were “both smitten” and “really impressed’’ after meeting Obama in 2007 and believe he has lived up to their expectations in the White House. In 2009, Connors publicly endorsed pro-abortion political candidate Attorney General Martha Coakley, and he is also chair of Partners Healthcare, whose Brigham and Women’s Hospital is one of the largest abortion providers in Massachusetts.

BCI proposed a 30-day truce to the archdiocese on our criticism of Jack Connors and never received a response, so with the topic of resignation in the air, it is time to revisit this one.  It is our opinion that a person who has been party to public deception of the people of the archdiocese should not be participating in the governance of the archdiocese. (Yes, we know there are more individuals that meet this criteria than the one named here). Even more importantly, a person who has actively supported political candidates who support abortion and who serves as chair of a healthcare network that provides abortions cannot in good faith participate in the governance of diocese committed to Catholic doctrine and moral values.

BCI believes the word “resignation” needs to be discussed a great deal more in this archdiocese. Jack Connors is just one example.  His actions represent collaboration with and support for those who support taking the lives of the unborn. If this collaboration with moral evil is not sufficient to justify his resignation, his actions also create scandal and objectively violate the archdiocese’s own Code of Conduct, which disqualifies him from both membership on the Finance Council and involvement in any advisory capacity.  He should voluntarily resign or be asked to leave by the Archbishop of Boston.

If the Archbishop of Boston is too shy, out-of-touch, depressed, dependent on Jack and his minions for fundraising, over-controlled and browbeaten by his handlers, and/or afraid to take such action, then that obviously represents an even graver problem.

That’s what BCI thinks.  What do you think?

(Note: Please do not turn the comments into a discussion about Anthony Weiner. He was just used to exemplify the point and is not the subject of this post).

10 Responses to Resignation Question

  1. Priest says:

    I see headlines like this and get excited…what a letdown…Oh well, we can dream

  2. Carolyn says:

    Dear BCI,

    As we near your first birthday, let me be the first to offer you true congratulations and gratitude for your significant contribution to Catholic life in Boston. You have replaced despondency over the disarray in the central administration (primarily at the top) with clear-eyed discussion of what is amiss, and how it stands to be remedied. If it takes months or even years, your work will lead to the undoing of the miseries loosed by Connors/Hehir/McDonough.

    Though Pentecost is the season, I offer this from the Transfiguration: “It is good for us to be here.” While you have not promulgated the very image of God, you have shown us all the light.

    Ad multos annos, if indeed it takes years… you have the unblinking support of hundreds of concerned Catholics.

  3. Objective Observer says:

    Notre Dame fired the dream team of Bill and Elizabeth Kirk. OK they only fired Bill, they knew Elizabeth would follow her husband out of town, and they were perfectly happy to lose both these gems. Why fire the guy? Because Paul dared to attend the “alternate commencement” offered on campus as a witness to the protest of awarding Barrack Obama an honorary degree. The “alternate” people did not quibble with the right of the university to ask the president of the United States to speak. It was the honorary degree that galled.

    Bill Kirk was known on campus as the paradigm of a Notre Dame leader. He was Associate Vice-President in charge of Residence Life. He spent 20 years making sure that Notre Dame’s model dorm system was truly a Christian community, each with its own identity, and with students remaining in the same dorm throughout their time on campus. Bill Kirk developed a real utopia that countless people just loved.

    But as highly effective and universally loved as Bill was, his wife, Elizabeth, became the heart of making the word “ethics” on campus reflect a policy based squarely in Philosophy and Truth. The Center for Ethics and Culture was founded with Elizabeth in mind — she was the ideal academic to take on the challenge. Imagine, making a Philosopher your ethicist! (If BCI could shorten that link…)

    Note the prophetic statement of David Solomon in justifying the founding of the Center:
    “There are currently a number of different forces in the academy, as well as in the broader culture, that make it difficult to focus on the many threats to innocent human life in the womb and in its earliest stages.”

    To refresh the Notre Dame 2010 P.R. disaster: It began with Mary Ann Glendon declining the Laetare medal in protest of Obama’s award; ND announcing that another name would be pulled out of the hat within days to give the award, thereby tarnishing the medal; bitter reaction among alums; and for the Grand Slam, chasing the story as it spiralled downward instead of the university engaging the brain before operating its mouthpiece, President Jenkins. The man who should have been given the baton for the PR response is named Garvey, as he had literally written the story of the Center for Ethics and Culture, and could master a compelling response. Instead, to maintain its perfect record, the university left Garvey out of the decision of how to actually communicate with those who had the greatest interest in the rift. But the Chicago-heavy board of trustees couldn’t let their darling Barrack have his feelings hurt, so they just kept feeding Jenkins illogical non sequiturs.

    So, was the pressure to resign on Ms. Martino payback? Has a year without the Kirks highlighted the gaping wound the trustees inflicted on the university before, during and after commencement 2010? Was it time for the trustees to take their medicine? Had a sufficient number of trustees seen the disastrous line they were traveling? And that maybe high-rolling Chicago democrat donors weren’t the right pool for ND trustees?

    If Jack Connors, our high rolling Boston democrat, went away and took his pawns along, the comparison with ND’s folly and subsequent effort at healing would be complete.

    I like it.

    • Michael says:

      Actually, you missed one minor … okay gigantic … point. Arresting a Catholic priest on the campus for standing up for life. Absolutely shameful. Can’t get any more despicable than that.

    • Objective Observer says:

      Mea culpa… I wrote “Paul” attended the alternate commencement where I should have written “Bill.” Chalk it up to needing another cup of coffee!

  4. Time for a change says:

    John Kaneb is listed as trustee emeriti of Notre Dame. He is also chair of the Archdiocese Finance Council. Perhaps he should take note of what the Catholic institution did and suggest to the Cardinal that the Church might do the same??

  5. It is high time for the Archbishop to find his backbone and start acting like a true man of the cloth! Enough of this traveling the globe and doing picture opts. We need a Bishop who wants to take the reins and act like a true apostle of Jesus. His employing the Connors, Hehir, and the McDonough’s is condoning their sinful behavior and he will some day have to answer for that. Time to clean house and start to run this Archdiocese like a Catholic one and not some watered down politically correct one. Some resignations are definitely needed and way overdue!!!!

  6. Jerry says:

    Dump Jack!

  7. John A. Cronin says:

    I have to agree with Marianne Keatings comment. One thing needed in leadership, be it a bank, politics, parish or Archdiocese is COURAGE. You have to be able to say “No” and not be fearful of hurt feelings. Some in those serving directly His Eminence, have said things or added things to His Eminence’s remarks that have confused the media and the flock (Donilon) and greatly do the Cardinal a diservice. Their “turf” means power to them and they say things to try to protect their power positions. As a result the flock begin to question the direction of the Archdioces. Shame on them.

  8. Charles Donaldson says:

    While you folks focus on a donation for women candidates who also support keeping the abortion laws as they are now, you lose sight that according to some writers, the Catholic Church spent $2 billion on sex scandal lawsuit settlements and another $2 billion was lost through embezzlement, mismanagement and similar poor stewardship. That money could have done a great deal towards improving conditions for young families. If you folks really want to stop abortion, focus on the family. With so many young people working for less than a living wage, no wonder marriage rates are down and divorce is high.

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