Diocesan Demolition: Tomb of Cardinal O’Connell

UPDATE: This post has been updated as of 9pm on August 3 to reflect new information.

BCI has been writing about the moral, ethical, and fiscal demolition of the Boston Archdiocese and squandering of patrimony for more than a year now.  For those who find it difficult to believe that all of the astonishing things we write about at BCI are really happening–and they are– we offer today an unexpected continuation of our series on the relocation of the remains of the late Cardinal O’Connell by showing you a few pictures of the physical demolition of the Chapel of the Blessed Virgin Mary.

To be fair, the land is owned by Boston College and BCI was not sure of exactly who retained and managed the demolition crew when we first wrote this post. (Wednesday evening, a commenter said that in fact it was the RCAB who hired the demolition team).

Here, once again, is a photo of the chapel before the demolition, and then several pictures sent to us yesterday by “Brighton Neighbor” from during and after the demolition.

Below are pictures of the site after the chapel was demolished.
War zone?
Even though the staffs on the statues of the angels were damaged before the demolition, BCI is appalled at the clear evidence of disrespect shown for these sacred statues and objects by those responsible for removing the chapel. How can faithful Catholics be asked to trust our Catholic leaders? Were there no other efforts possible and practical to preserve these statues and the cross, so that perhaps they could have been used at the new burial location or elsewhere?  Fr. Leahy at Boston College and the leaders at the Archdiocese of Boston (to the extent they were involved in this) owe an explanation to the faithful for why they allowed this to happen, what the consequences will be, and what steps are being taken to ensure that all sacred objects from religious buildings that are no longer kept open are preserved for use elsewhere and treated with the appropriate degree of respect.

68 Responses to Diocesan Demolition: Tomb of Cardinal O’Connell

  1. Hmmm says:

    What a travesty!

  2. Mark Frances says:

    Do the Jesuits even believe in angels?

  3. lost in boston says:

    This entire thing is a symbol of what is happening to this Archdiocese. Piecemeal dismantling of everything our previous generations built and paid for. Sometimes it’s obvious, like this demolition. Other times, it’s subtle, like the deception. Please, Brooks Drive, don’t wonder why your benches are empty and your coffers are dry. Just look around

    • Bob Villa says:

      Your benches are empty because the parishoners of the diocese of Boston stopped going to mass and/or didn’t raise their children effectively enough so that they would go to Mass. Just look around. Specifically in a mirror.

  4. David S. says:

    I don’t know why we should be shocked when we consider the way the Blessed Sacrament is treated in many Catholic Churches throughout this Archdiocese.

    When the Body, Blood, Soul and Divinity of God Himself is freely given to pro-abort “Catholic” politicians, the desecration of religious statues and crosses in such a profane manner seems trivial in comparison.

  5. Carol says:

    This is beyond belief and the Archdiocese wonder why the churches have emptied. How much more do the Traditional Roman Catholics have to endure at their hands. It is very, very troubling and we seem to be uterly at their mercy. Wake up and do your job you profess to do.

    Carol

  6. A. J. Constantino says:

    It is indeed sad the remains of William Cardinal O’Connell were moved and his rest disturbed. If I could put a “somewhat humorous spin” on this rather disrespectful development, do any of you know where several of the early Bishops of Boston have been laid to rest? Outside a Men’s Room, on the lower level, of the Cathedral of the Holy Cross. Perhaps that’s why O’Connell built the Chapel for his remains.

    In fairness, Father O’Leary has done a fabulous job restoring the lower level of the Cathedral. I have not ventured to see how the site of the old crypts may have been restored.

    Several days ago, I commented on ACCOUNTABILITY, here is certainly a case where there is a question of accountability.

    I realize the Chapel had not been taken care of for many years, however these photos are appalling. I cannot understand why, in the years, before this was settled, no arrangements were made for a respectful transition of the property and its contents. Regardless of who technically owned the Chapel – we have accountability to the People of God.

    The question that needs to be asked is how can we protect the historic integrity of the RCAB? What else is “for sale”?

    • Reid Yikulous says:

      A.J. – It’s a guess, but a fairly solid one, that the crypt chapel existed at the Cathedral before plumbing did. So some previous rector added a bathroom right next to the crypt. Idiocy both for the awful symbolism but also to locate plumbing that might leak next to a crypt chapel.

      It does seem like Fr. O’Leary is fixing up the Cathedral section-by-section, from the problems he inherited, but he just hasn’t gotten to the creation of enough new bathrooms yet to replace those by the crypt.

      • Mack says:

        Those bathrooms are pretty pathetic. When Cardinal Law was here he wanted to encourage people to attend the cathedral. But the washroom facilities were always abominable.

    • jwsr says:

      Actually, the Bishop’s crypt and Chapel was the first part of the Cathedral that was restored and renovated. It contains the original Altar of the first Cathedral, and has been used as a Chapel, and for Requiems on the anniversaries of the Bishops of Boston. As a side answer to Jack, on Bishop Fitzpatrick’s and Archbishop Williams’ Requiems, the Subvenite IS sung.

    • Lazarus' Table says:

      Does that explain the euphamism for a bathroom’s “throne”??

  7. Serviam says:

    1. For starters this is the fruit of a group of material pragmatists that clearly demonstrates little or no appreciation for what has been passed on to them. One wonders if the “Jesuit tradition” remains linked to Catholic Tradition.

    2. A Campaign of Publicity should be initiated, targeting BC and RCAB decision makers that led to this moral outrage. In clear terms we must convey that current ‘solution’ is wholly unacceptable and requires a solution commensurate to a former Cardinal Archbishop of Boston. Alumni and Benefactors of BC should be made aware that the administrators of their alma mater have been grossly delinquent and should be morally required to provide an appropriate resolution.

    3. In terms of remaining collective patrimony, a resounding outcry by should be made to preserve and reopen Sacred Space, as the shuttered Holy Trinity Church (a former Jesuit church) in Boston’s South End, whose cultural and historic importance to the Church in New England, or perhaps this Country transcends any parochial or diocesan interest. At the moment, HTC remains intact. It’s destruction (particularly the interior) would be tantamount to the scrapping the USS Constitution by U.S. Navy as a cost savings measure. Some things are obviously ‘out of bounds’, this would be one of them. Likewise we MUST reassess the current material pragmatism targeting truly historic Church properties or precious little may be passed to our descendents. That would be shameful. Faith built the Church not the ‘Bottom Line’.

  8. Anonymous says:

    I notice an altar inside, it can be assumed based on the age that the altar contained relics.

    If that is the case were they removed?

  9. Reid Yikulous says:

    Why wouldn’t the Archdiocese show that they did this with the utmost care to prevent any sense of scandal or fears of desecration of the tomb? Does it owe the Catholic community at least that much?

    Yet this seems to be done in secrecy without the proper care. The statement from the Archdiocese basically said nothing and as BCI pointed out was misleading (either by intention or by incompetence).

    If the Archdiocese treats its longest standing Archbishop in such a shabby way, no wonder why they have treated its priests in a shabby way for so long in regards to the pension and the entire community for the last five years by lies after lies.

    Here’s hoping the new vicar general brings a broom from Rome…

  10. Jack O'Malley says:

    My sources tell me that the destruction of the statues of the angels was a mistake. They were destined for the new lavatories at the cathedral. In fact they were slated to be stationed in the interim outside a couple of porta-johanneses during construction. One was to be called the St. Michael’s Lavabo and the other the St. Raphael’s Vidi Aquam.

    Sometimes my sources are in error however.

  11. Serviam says:

    Two other notes:

    This was not only the tomb of Cardinal O’Connell, this was a chapel of the Blessed Virgin Mary. The demolition of this chapel, especially the manner of its demolition, dishonors her, and the One Who honors her the most, her Divine Son. I propose a 20-decade Rosary of reparation on the site of the demolition.

    Second, I know that the “vigils” at the closed parishes are extremely unpopular among readers of this website. However, I believe that when these vigils began in 2004 – 2005, the affected faithful expected their parishes to be demolished immediately in the manner that the chapel housing the remains of Cardinal O’Connell has just been demolished. Although many of the “vigiling” faithful are influenced by “Voice of the Faithful” and modernist Catholic philosophy, they are baptized members of the Body of Christ, reborn in His image, given the sevenfold Gifts of the Holy Spirit. These faithful retain enough “sensus Catholicus” that they have the “gut feeling” that to reduce the House of God and Gate of Heaven to rubble for profit is wrong. The “sign value” of a destroyed church is that God does not really matter; that the needs of Man are more important; that the Catholic Church does not really care whether its faithful attend Holy Mass every Sunday as required; that Catholicism, like so many other ideologies, can become obsolete. Fighting to retain the sacred status of the closed churches witnesses that the Church is still the Body of Christ extended in time and space to this day, and that Catholicism is not an ideology but the Sacrament of Salvation that transmits Christ’s life through tangible signs.

  12. Frank says:

    SACRILEGIOUS!

  13. anna says:

    What did they do? Gun it with a bulldozer? It was probably the only building left on the BC campus that didn’t have a rainbow flag on top of it.

    Funny thing about the potty next to the crypt in the Cathedral – it never worked right. It was always backing up. If you got within ten feet of it you could smell the human waste. The walls and pipes were frequently covered with dew.

    I hope the dirty scoundrels responsible for this sacrilegious act suffer the same fate!

  14. Mack says:

    This is a disgrace. I don’t blame the workmen as much as those responsible for lack of supervision. The workers need to be given proper instructions on handling sacred objects, and obviously they were not.
    And why was that so hard to do?

    • jbq2 says:

      The Boston Globe of August 2 states that the demolition was done by the Division of Cemetaries for the Archdiocese of Boston.

  15. Jane says:

    Fallen angels and a broken cross………..is this a picture of the Catholic Church in Boston? Shameful. Disgraceful.

  16. Br. Charles says:

    The Sulpicians have their revenge!

  17. Voice of Reason says:

    The Archdiocese of Boston hired a professional firm to assist in the dismantling of the mausoleum, which had fallen into disrepair after 67 years, and the reinterment of the late Cardinal O’Connell, in accordance with an agreement between the RCAB and the late Cardinal’s next of kin.

    Boston College had no involvement with this project. The RCAB’s involvement was limited to hiring the firm, Cemetery Services, Inc. Witnesses have stated that the cross and the angels were already broken and could not be saved. Any sacred item that was salvageable was saved. This blog, which deals in innuendo and slander, takes nastiness to a new level. As a Catholic, I am ashamed of your conduct.

    • Voice of Reason,

      Thank you for your comments. We are pleased to respond to each of your points.

      First, we have carefully double-checked some other older photos and determined that the staffs of the angels were indeed already damaged before the demolition of the mausoleum. We apologize for that error and will issue a correction to that point. That being said, BCI does not understand why these sacred objects “could not be saved.” What exactly has become of the cross and the statues? BCI maintains that the handling of the sacred objects as depicted in the photos amidst the other rubble from the demolition still speaks for itself.

      As for the statement that Boston College had no involvement with this project, the public and private record would contradict that point. The request or demand to relocate the remains of Cardinal O’Connell came from Boston College, not from the RCAB. Perhaps you are not aware that prior to the sale of the property, BC President, Fr. Leahy, refused to meet with or communicate with the family members, when this thorny issue could have been made to go away. This is validated by the June 2008 article, “Over His Dead Body,” http://www.bostonmagazine.com/articles/over_his_dead_body/page2, it is reported that BC would not tell the family why they wanted the Cardinal relocated:

      “Since it [the archdiocese] no longer owns the land, it has no jurisdiction over its contents or inhabitants, which means it can’t tell O’Connell’s family what to do with his remains. Technically, BC isn’t similarly restrained, but on a practical level, exhuming O’Connell presents its own problems. “BC, the owner, has not informed us, the family, about the reason why they would want him removed,” says O’Connell’s great-nephew, Edward Kirk. “We didn’t see any real reason why he couldn’t stay where he is.” Even if the family did support a bid to take a jackhammer to Uncle Cardinal’s mausoleum, a probate judge would still have to find a compelling reason why BC couldn’t live with the cardinal’s bones up on the hill. BC hasn’t articulated that to anybody yet.”

      This article from The Pilot states that the sale agreement between BC and the RCAB:
      “says the archdiocese is to pay for the disinterment. The archdiocese also has ‘the right, but not the obligation’ to move the mausoleum surrounding the remains as well. Also according to the sale agreement, BC was to withhold $2 million to be given to the archdiocese upon removal of the late Cardinal’s tomb.”

      So, your claims that BC had no involvement, and the RCAB’s involvement was limited to hiring the firm, would seem to suggest that you feel NO ONE was ultimately accountable and responsible. BC owns the land and the former mauseleum and could do whatever they wanted, including directing the demolition and salvaging of sacred objects, or even waiving the provision requested in the original sale agreement that the RCAB had to help move the remains and releasing the $2 million held back.

      This blog does not deal in innuendo and slander. If your concern is this series of posts or a different post on another topic, please let us know which points you are specifically objecting to so that we might address them.

    • Serviam says:

      Really? I am very familiar with the process of documenting, dismantling, re-erecting and conserving historic properties.

      Believe it or not the damaged cross and statues pictured were largely intact and could have been conserved and eventually restored.

      What is the Cemetery Services, Inc? Have they produced measured documentation, including plans and elevations with fully numbered mapping of stonework for eventual re-erection? Where are the dismantled materials being stored?

      BTW, the equipment pictured is typically used for indiscriminate demolition and not focused removals. The T&E for both preparation and execution of a professional hand dismantle is a costly and measured process that is fully documented. I am anxious to review the procedure.

      BTW, using a tracked excavator on is akin to using sledge hammer to remove a marble altar. It provides very poor control on a site with potential historic (archaelogical) value, where valuable information can be easily destroyed. This “professional” firm strikes me as a Demolition Contractor.

    • Anna says:

      “Voice of Reason”,
      Fallen into disrepair after 67 years. You do realize that Catholics have buildings close that are thousands of years old, right? Things can be fixed.
      The angels are right there before our eyes in the ditch with trees on top of it, with only a staff and a few chips missing here and there. To say it was beyond repair and could not be salvaged is a lie.
      Boston College had no involvement with this project?
      What breathtaking audacity. You insisted upon digging the man up out of his grave because you didn’t want him to spoil the view of your… parking garage. You didn’t want your brain interrupted with the vision of the Cardinal’s crypt – so that you would be reminded to pray. That was his intention. You disrupted his body after death to circumvent his needs for prayer. His body is tucked into the corner of a building where dogs do their business, without so much as a piece of cardboard with his name on it, much less the altar and holy relics that were driven over with an excavator.
      Innuendo and slander – give me a break.
      You’ve got one hell of a nerve to try to wash your hands of it and show up here all indignant about the people looking at the disgraceful handling of your gravedigging.
      There’s a word for you but I am too much of a lady to say it.

      • Michael says:

        Yes no cardboard. A gravestone probably takes all but a couple hours to install and mark.

    • Witness to the demolition says:

      “Voice of Reason,” you sound more like “Voice of BC Trying to Shift the Blame.”

      How can you say “Boston College had no involvement with this project” when BC owns the property and BC staff were there on-site during the demolition? I saw them, and think some of them even took photos. If you’re going to misrepresent reality by saying BC had no involvement in this when they really did, I think you have no basis for labeling yourself “Voice of Reason” or for casting aspersions at others.

    • Carolyn says:

      Whoa! Voice of Reason, there really isn’t slander or innuendo here, with the exception of some of the outer edge comments.

      RCAB stated in their news release that their Catholic Cemeteries Association moved the remains. No one has denied that BC leveled the chapel. Two members of my husband’s family who walk there each day told us of the day the move was made — two small dark objects were retrieved. No effort was made to salvage anything else. The transfer of the remains took less than an hour, and the demolition was complete at the same time the next day when they returned for their walk. They took no photos, but having walked there virtually every day for years, were keen observers.

      BC would not be foolish enough, given the significant pedestrian traffic through that area, to contradict eyewitnesses. I’m sure their preference is for the whole story to just go away. And likely it will.

    • rf5580 says:

      Please demonstrate specifically where BCI deals in slander, innuendo and nastiness.

  18. Blub Blub says:

    Is Cardinal O’connell the one who had the deceased Sulpicians removed from the cemetery they had established on the grounds of St. John’s Seminary?

    • Objective Observer says:

      Yes, he expelled the Sulpicians, living and dead. No rational person could argue that O’Connell was beloved in Boston… abundant documentation exists to the contrary.

      • Liam says:

        Indeed, the evidence is that the rot (in terms of corruption by wielding of secular power and influence) in the American hierarchy began with O’Connell’s monarchical-curial culture, and spread outward from Boston over the past century.

  19. Anna says:

    Blub Blub,

    What exactly is your point?

    That what we are looking at is some form of justice?

    Is this act of desecration of the dead some kind of a hearty har har to you?

    We are oppressed by savages and pagans who think nothing of digging up and throwing bodies, relics, and altars, Chapels into gutters and ditches.
    The sight of it should make you weep.
    Get on your knees and ask for the virtue of empathy.

    • Michael says:

      We are oppressed by savages and pagans … and their address is 66 brooks drive braintree

  20. Anonymous says:

    The Sulpicians continue to come up.

    It is true that O’Connell replaced the Sulpicians with Diocesan Clergy to staff the Seminary, it is rumor that he said “take your dead with you”, it could have been a decision made by the order.

    He was not a man without sins, there is the controversy surrounding his nephew who was at one time Chancellor, it is pretty well documented. Professor O’Toole covered it quite well in “Militant and Triumphant”.

    I’d like to think a persons sins die with them, but that is another is more of a philosophical discussion.

    The issue at hand is whether it is right or wrong to move a grave under so much controversy and level a Chapel that could have been moved.

    I do know when the controversy arose, my Uncle, a Diocesan Priest said : “not even the poorest begger would have his grave sold out from under him.”

    It all comes down to respect for the Dead (who Catholic Theology teaches are part of the Communion of Saints) and destruction of Catholic/cultural Patrimony of the Archdiocese of Bosotn.

  21. Hmmm says:

    I had occasion to speak with some Sulpicians about a year ago down in Baltimore and indeed he did ask them to “take your dead with you”, however this in no way justifies what has been done to the Cardinal’s last resting place…what’s next, selling Catholic cemeteries so condos can be erected?

    • Anonymous says:

      I can easily believe he said it, I merely chose to refer to it as “rumor” because I have never presonally seen an documentation.

  22. HCC says:

    When will it end, Lord? My Jesus, mercy.

  23. pen says:

    Looks to me like they just crapped all over all the prayers that where ever said their

  24. Michael D. says:

    Looks like some anti-Catholics and barbarians are loose and running amok in Boston!

  25. […] caught these photos of the destruction of a historic chapel in Boston: BCI has been writing about the moral, […]

  26. Mikel says:

    A careless way to dispose of a holy chapel. From the photos, you’d imagine that whoever ran the equipment had a great deal of fun smashing it apart. Sad, indeed.

  27. Greg says:

    The whole sad incident symbolically reflects the spiritual demolition of the Boston archdiocese itself, in my opinion. God help us.

  28. Anonymous says:

    What a contrast! O’Malley officiates at Ted Kennedy’s funeral and then trashes Cardinal O’Connell’s burial site.

    • Michael says:

      Hey that’s not fair. He was only in the Church listening to Obama and the Kennedy family crap all over the Church. He was not “officiating” anything. Wasn’t it clear that he only happened to be there that day but did not officially condone anything happening at the time?

  29. Anonymous says:

    What symbolism! The fallen angel and the fall of RCAB. How appropriate!

  30. Reid Yikulous says:

    Archdiocesan officials have often called names at this blog and others. Calling the authors “cowards” for remaining anonymous.

    I’ll let readers determine whether the name “hypocrite” applies to those in the Chancellor’s office that executed this plan if they can’t own up to the decision. Both the Archdiocese and Boston College are not being accountable for this act.

    It seems clear that the 3 parties (RCAB, BC, O’Connell family) were okay with the moving of the tomb. Why couldn’t they do it in a way that was fitting for the longest serving Archbishop in RCAB history?

    Why can’t someone from the Chancellor’s office or Communications office address the perception (or fact) that this was poorly executed and not appropriate to the memory of Cardinal O’Connell? Why couldn’t they have a headstone for the new grave all set?

    Cardinal O’Malley beware – these cowardly “leaders” will turn on you and spit on your memory the same way they have to Law and O’Connell. Medeiros is likely next. Cushing will be saved though because his tomb is on the South Shore near the powers-that-be…

  31. Brad says:

    The broken cross is heartbreaking. Every cross is soaked in the Lord’s blood as well as the blood of martyrs, past and current, even including today, 8/4/2011, in places on the globe. We only ponder (passingly and with stony hearts) white martyrs now, but the world is red, red, red.

  32. This is very painful and difficult to endure. How much longer will this go on for? There is nothing Catholic about these “Jesuits” any longer, there’s nothing Christian about them either. Who would permit the desecration of a cross or a statue of an angel besides a non-believer? Vatican, please do something about this. This is intolerable.

  33. James Hughes says:

    When I die I will be buried beside my parents ,in the family plot, and I used to joke that it was the only bit of real estate that no-one would be anxious to take from me . Now, having read the above I am not so sure. Anyway in Scotland you need a court order to disturb a grave. Why was there any need to move the chapel in the first place ?

  34. Another Priest says:

    Cardinal Medieros is safe…he’s buried in the Fall River Diocese!

  35. […] follow-up of our posts about the demolition of the mauseleum that housed the remains of the late Cardinal O’Connell and the moving of the tomb of the late […]

  36. Stan Zorin says:

    What did Pope Paul VI. say ?… The smoke of Satan has entered the sanctuary ( the Church). And this from a reporter, of protestant background, commenting on the 2nd Vatican Council : …if protestants wanted to demolish Catholic Church (from the inside) , they could not have done better job. And the last ,… after the Council the communist press in Europe , East and West, praised to heavens John XXIII. and the work of the commissions and the experts (a lot of people would almost call them commissars) writing the conciliar documents. They rejoiced,: …the Catholic Church is abandoning medievalism and backwardness and embracing modernity… .Think of it, THE WOLVES PRAISING THE SHEPHERDS – the Pope and the bishops. The work of the chaotic, ill timed Council, (Jews played the hand of christian guilt over the very recent 2nd World war and “the holocaust” brilliantly) and with the bishops unprepared, when the official documents were deliberately loaded with “bombs”- vague definitions, ambiguous words, phrases and paragraphs intended for modernists to twist, reinterpret and change the Church’s teaching and dogmas and thus blow up the edifice of the faith, the work of this council bears its fruit. The destroyed chapel is the symbol of the ruin the Church is falling into. Seeing what has been happening last 40 or so years Benedict XVI. now wants to reinterpret the 2nd Vatican council. A claim is emerging from Rome that certain documents were misinterpreted by “reformists” (The correct term should be “reformers”, because that is exactly what it is all about. As one of them said : The reformers -Luther, Calvin etc.- made a mistake. They should not have left the Church, they should have stayed in the Church and finished the job. We won’t be making the same mistake again.). Well, good luck and prayers for the reinterpretation, but it won’t get anywhere unless it is admitted that certain documents of the council are not only worthless but outright defective and malignant. And the hand of Christ can be seen in this semi-darkness; the Council at the opening stated clearly that it is of pastoral nature only, its purpose is not to define new dogmas or further develop some theological assertions. Partisans of the “New church” for the New age, with their “perfected” understanding of history, dismissing those unenlightened who were before them, and claiming and using the documents of the Council in question as the source and the justification for spreading old and new heresies should be run out from their positions within the Church and its associated bodies. They should be found, identified and a dossier of the errors and of the poison they spread should be created/collected.They should be reported and denounced to the local bishop and if he is not helpful then to the papal nuncio and then to Rome. The bishop who is not doing his pastoral duty should be reported as well. Denounce and report the clergy, minor and major, nuns, brothers, demented teachers and management of “catholic” schools, treacherous “catholic” media, bureaucrats of the local diocese, all those wrecking the Church. We should make life miserable for the impostors of the Catholic faith. They have been doing that to us for decades now, Let us push back lava from Hell engulfing the Church. Holy Father Benedict XVI. needs on his desk a big pile of letters, petitions, reports, demands to discipline, retire or dismiss malefactors. He needs the voices of the faithful to stand against the legion of error, the voices to help him to reinterpret the Council within the norms of the Tradition. He is pretty much alone in this struggle. The struggle to stop demolition of chapels, of churches and of the Church.

    • Stan Zorin says:

      oops.!…please excuse some typing errors, typing was done in a hurry. Also, english is not my first (or “birth” so to speak) language, but the fifth. thanks. s.

  37. This is a most vivid and compelling demonstration of the complete and total disregard for the Faith and the focus of that Faith, Our Lord Jesus Christ, His Blessed Mother and the Angels and Saints in Heaven, symbolized by those sacred objects; for the Sacred Office held by the late Cardinal, even if one did not respect or praise the man himself; and a contempt for each and every one of the Catholic Faithful of this Archdiocese, past, present and future. This is the “legacy” of the desecrators and iconoclasts responsible for this wanton destruction. Canon Law (at least until recently) carefully regulated the care, protection and the integrity of each and every sacred item whether consecrated or simply blessed and attached the penalty of sin to those who sacrilegiously handled, mishandled or traded in the destruction of such items as they are dedicated to Almighty God and are the inheritance and patrimony of the Catholic Faithful as a whole and not of any individual cleric, lay member or organic body such as a parish, diocese or chancery, college, seminary or Religious Order. The disrespect shown here is not only for the “Temple of God” erected by human hands, but also the “Temple of the Holy Ghost” which was the soul of the late Cardinal, as is true with all the Baptized. Thus the desecration was directed at both the physical as well as the spiritual truths and focus of our Catholic Faith.

    When I was first told of the possibility of the exhumation and reburial of the late Cardinal O’Connell, I told several people that the most appropriate manner of doing such and still respecting the wishes of the late Cardinal and showing deference to his family, the rights of Boston College and the patrimony and legacy of the Faithful of the Archdiocese, would have been to have the Archdiocese purchase a plot in one of our Catholic cemeteries (such as St Joseph’s), remove the Chapel of the Blessed Virgin Mary and the soil it sat in, and rebuild it on that purchased lot. Re-dedicate the Chapel and then GIVE the deed for the cemetery to the late Cardinal’s family. That way, Boston College could have its “precious land -sans the Cardinal’s mausoleum”, the Archdiocese would have done its proper duty of respect and devotion to one of the early leaders of the Catholic Church in this country, whether he was or is beloved or not; The Cardinal’s wishes would have been respected as he wished to be buried in that chapel and in the soil of St John’s cemetery; and the family would then have ownership rights for the grave and could prevent any further disrepect or dishonor from being shown towards their family member and themselves. All would have benefited, none would have lost, and the Faith would have been held in the highest respect and esteem.

    But then, who am I to question the powers that be? I am but a simple Bishop of an Old Roman Catholic jurisdiction who has had his fill of the hypocrisy that passes today in the “established and recognized” church as pastoral care and empowerment. I prefer to be right with God and wrong with man, than to be right with man and wrong with God. And if I have to do so outside of the established jurisdiction in order to maintain, preserve and provide for the propagation of the traditional and historic Catholic Faith, then I will do so to the uttermost of my ability.

    To those responsible for this sacrilege, whether directly or indirectly, deliberately or indeliberately, I remind them of the sacred injunctions of the Popes when issuing their decrees and thereby commanding respect and observance of them and I hereby quote the closing line of almost all Papal Bulls and Apostolic Constituions from the ages of true Catholic belief and practice: “Accordingly, no one whosoever is permitted to infringe or rashly contravene this notice of Our permission, statute, ordinance, command, direction, grant, indult, declaration, will, decree and prohibition. Should any person venture to do so, let him understand that he will incur the wrath of Almighty God and of the blessed Apostles Peter and Paul.”

    May the desecrators, despoilers and iconoclasts responsible for this outrage suffer the same fate…and let the Faithul beware lest they suffer a similar treatment at the hands of these same persons.

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