Vatican S.O.S. – Ask for Stronger Episcopal Leadership in Boston

BCI readers know that we have asked Cardinal O’Malley and the leadership of the Boston Archdiocese multiple times to address concerns over the direction and leadership of the Boston Archdiocese  and have gotten no response.  And, as has been exemplified many times in recent years, what happens in Boston affects the rest of the country. In view of this, as well as our canonical responsibility to make our needs known to our pastors, it is time for an S.O.S. to the Vatican.

As a follow-up to the recent “ad limina” visit by Cardinal O’Malley and his auxiliary bishops to the Vatican, we are hoping that perhaps messages from faithful Catholics in Boston and other parts of the country to the Vatican might help Cardinal O’Malley better understand the urgency of these matters.

Those items listed below are ones that BCI has posted about previously and that readers have said matter to them. There are more that are no doubt important to BCI readers, and you can feel free to still address those to the Vatican yourself directly.

If you agree with the letter/petition below, click on the link to ask the Vatican for stronger leadership in Boston to address these concerns. A fax or email will be sent to the U.S. Apostolic Nuncio, and the Prefects for the Congregation of Bishops, Congregation for the Clergy, Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith, Apostolic Signatura, and Pontificial Household.

I respectfully request that the Holy See take steps to address the ongoing problem of weak episcopal leadership in the Boston Archdiocese.

In Boston today, we face challenges including declining Mass attendance (only 17% of Catholics attend Mass regularly), a declining number of priests, declining financial stability for parishes (one third of parishes operating with annual deficits), declining enrollment in Catholic schools, and declining influence of the Catholic Church’s voice in public policy. At the same time, in recent years, Boston Catholics have seen the following shortcomings in episcopal leadership in the areas of teaching and governance:

  1. Cardinal O’Malley publicly criticized pro-life Catholics in 2009 for their objections to a Caritas Christi hospital joint venture that would have required referring patients to abortion providers, saying the pro-life Catholics were “doing a disservice to the Church.”  The arrangement was later rejected due to the exact concerns raised by those who Cardinal O’Malley publicly criticized.
  2. Cardinal O’Malley presided over the nationally-televised rite of Christian burial for the late Sen. Ted Kennedy which violated Catholic funeral rite guidelines–including three eulogies and politicized prayers of the faithful–and criticized pro-life Catholics who complained about his role in the public coronation of Kennedy. The tone of the funeral liturgy and public comments by Cardinal O’Malley also failed to teach Catholics that the Church, through the funeral rite, was to be praying for the forgiveness of Kennedy’s sins and the repose of his soul.
  3. Cardinal O’Malley has allowed a retired business executive, Jack Connors, to serve on the Finance Council and as chair of the Institutional Advancement Committee, despite Connors serving as Chair of Partners Healthcare, which profits by being one of the largest abortion providers in Massachusetts, and Connors confusing Catholics and publicly creating scandal by raising money for pro-abortion political figures such as President Obama and Attorney General Martha Coakley, whose policies result in taking the lives of the unborn.
  4. Cardinal O’Malley, through his spokesman, failed to clearly articulate Church teachings on sexual morality, marriage, and the salvation of souls in the recent situation of St. Cecilia’s in Boston, where the pastor planned to celebrate a Mass commemorating Boston’s Gay Pride Month. Ambiguous and conflicting statements and actions by the archdiocese allowed a local and national scandal to erupt as a consequence and failed to teach the faithful about the path to salvation.
  5. Since 2006, Cardinal O’Malley has squandered donor funds at the expense of ministry programs by paying millions of dollars in excessive six-figure salaries to lay archdiocesan executives , while the standard paid by other dioceses for these same roles is much lower than Boston is paying.  The archdiocese spends $1 million annually on salaries and benefits to just 3 late-career executives–including  $325K to the Catholic Schools Superintendent–and $2.7 million on compensation and benefits to just 10 lay executives.
  6. In 2007, Cardinal O’Malley approved the sale of St. John’s Seminary land and buildings to Boston College, against the recommendation of the Vatican’s Apostolic Visitation committee.  Furthermore, the archdiocese has failed to repay St. John’s Seminary for the land and buildings sold to Boston College according to terms of the agreement, and has failed to put a plan in place that will provide for repayment of some $40 million due to the seminary.
  7. For seven years, Cardinal O’Malley failed to force vigil protesters to leave closed church buildings they had been occupying at a cost of millions of dollars to the Catholic faithful.  Beyond this governance concern, neither the Cardinal, nor his spokespeople, ever publicly cautioned the protesters and their followers that those who miss regular weekly Sunday Mass are placing the salvation of their souls at risk.
  8. Cardinal O’Malley allowed a widespread deception to take place in 2010 over the hiring of a new Secretary of Institutional Advancement by announcing an open search and installing a search committee, when the person slotted for the job, a protégé of Jack Connors, had already been identified and no open search ever was intended or occurred.
  9. Cardinal O’Malley approved cutting promised pension benefits to lay employees by tens of millions of dollars, while not collecting what was due in pension contributions from participating employers.
  10. The Clergy retirement plan remains underfunded by several hundred million dollars, and no plan has been articulated for how this gap will be closed so as to provide for the retirement of our dedicated priests.
  11. A provision in the 2010 sale of the Catholic Caritas Christi hospital network to a private equity firm allows them to abandon the Catholic identity and begin providing abortions at these hospitals for a mere $25 million paid to a charity.
  12. Recent financial disclosures show that Finance and Administration expenses have increased to 36 % of the annual $28M Central Ministries operating budget, while  in the year  ahead that Pope Benedict XVI has declared a “Year of Faith,” the Faith Formation and Evangelization budget has been reduced to 14% of the total operating budget.  

Much good is happening the Boston Archdiocese. However, the actions described above have breached trust with the Catholic faithful and have compromised the ability of the archdiocese to continue carrying out her mission of continuing the saving ministry of Jesus Christ.

With the future of the Boston Archdiocese and the salvation of souls at stake, I respectfully request that you act decisively in whatever way you deem appropriate to address these concerns over the episcopal leadership of the Archdiocese of Boston.

Canon 212 §2 and §3 tell Catholics we have “the right to make known their needs, especially spiritual needs, and wishes to the Pastors of the Church, and “the right, indeed at times the duty to…manifest to the sacred Pastors their views which pertain to the good of the Church.”  That is what we are doing.

Hit the “S.O.S.” button to the right, fill in your name and other information (optional) and hit “Sign the Letter.”  A fax and/or email will be immediately sent to the offices named, and only to those offices.

Please share this with your like-minded friends and family members and ask them to also sign the letter.

54 Responses to Vatican S.O.S. – Ask for Stronger Episcopal Leadership in Boston

  1. Mark Frances says:

    I agree with everything that you have written and it is a very oogd posting. However, I sympathize completely with those you mentioned in number 7. This dovetails with the same issue nationally. The poor and downtrodden lower middle class individuals which included Irish scrub women gave their wouls to these parishes as well as their monetary savings only to be thrown out on the streets and not allowed to pray to their God. Many are old and frail and have no way of getting to Sunday Mass. The Churches were closed irregardless of their feelings and based only on monetary concerns. There could have been regional chapels established and transportation concerns addressed for Sunday Mass and other devotions.

    • Mary Reilly says:

      Several of the “occupied” parishes are in wealthy areas (ie. Wellesley, Scituate). One of them in a poorer area (Everett) will remain open as a oratory.

    • JUST WONDERING says:

      Get with it, Mark Frances. The process was done with Parish Councils and laypeople from all the Parishes involved. Let’s be honest (because I had to do it two times) the Diocese had to make some decisions and I can assure you that at least in my area parishioners from all Parishes in the vicariate were involved
      It was painful for everybody involved, believe me, I know the pain. But it was necessary. What will we do when we come to “Round Two”?????


    • Downhill says:

      It is not the vigil parishes ONLY that are costing the Archdiocese millions; ALL churches closed since 2004 and yet to be sold incur monthly maintenance fees. In most if not all cases, the faithful in these parishes are pursuing their canonical rights to appeal: first parish suppression (with the suppression of all affected churches definitively upheld by the Vatican) and now reduction to profane use (where the cases are only in their first level of appeal, and final decisions may not be issued for several more years).
      BCI has exposed, not only excessive salaries paid to lay employees, excessively expensive contracts for software and other services. (A search of this site would turn up the details.) Would you be willing to investigate the contract the Archdiocese signed with the tthen-Codman company in 2004? What was the monthly charge for services? Is it excessive?
      The Archdiocesan legal team has also been faulted for its actions during the legalization of so-called same-sex marriage. The Archdiocese pays hundreds of thousands of dollars per year in property taxes to municipalities in which closed churches reside – yet the possibility exisits that the Vatican may order some of these to be reopened when it renders decisions against reduction to profane use. Why has the Archdiocesan legal team not successfully argued that, because the Vatican has yet to definitively rule on the closure of the churches, their tax-exempt status should be maintained?

  2. Gabriel Austin says:

    Why is it so difficult to believe that Cardinal Sean has lied? He is as human as any of us. And when he gets into a corner, he takes the standard fallen human way: he lies.
    Perhaps it is not the lie direct; it sounds rather like the lie indirect, chiefly by failing to respond to serious questions. As one says in Confession: “what I have failed to do”.

  3. qclou says:

    Don’t we all wish that rather than petitions, etc. [ no matter how well intentioned ! ] we had a :’Board of Directors’ like Penn state University has ?
    When presented with a breach of ethics [ legality , justice, call it what you will ] the Trustees FIRED Paterno AND the President !
    what a resounding statement for what is the right way to handle ‘bad’ stuff ! not by promoting Cardinal LAw to a prestigious position .

    If a similar action was taken, do you think the position of our Church today might be a bit better in the eyes of the community/country/world ??

  4. Barbara says:

    Please list the tax incurred per donation (or percentage)
    in the parishes.

    • Carolyn says:

      It comes to between 18% and 21% (depending on your school situation) of all income from any source derived (offertory, rent, real estate sales, etc.) with the exception of bequests. In other words, in order to keep RCAB from skimming your donation, you have to die first.

      Easier to just take an invoice off the pastor’s desk and pay it on behalf of the parish. It’s tax deductible that way and your hard-earned dollars won’t end up lining the pockets of the many scandalously paid honchos on Brooks Drive.

  5. Fr. Bill says:

    When I think of the Episcopate I am reflecting on Dante’s suggestion concerning the pavement of the road to hel …

    • Gabriel Austin says:

      The description of the road to hell being paved by the skulls of bishops was made by St. John Chrysostom

      • Jack O'Malley says:

        I have been trying for years to verify the source of that quote. Can you cite the work in which it is to be found?

        BTW, the allusion is the the floor of hell’s being paved with the skulls of rotten bishops. The other quote is that the road to hell is paved with good intentions.

      • Gabriel Austin says:

        Is there not a touch of pedantry in wanting a source for a quotation?

        But take your pick: St. John Chrysostom; St. John Eudes, St. Athanasius, and undoubtedly others. They may be quoting each other.

        But none of this diminishes the truth.

        There is another aspect: the road to hell is lit with the skulls of priests.

        And another: never trust a bishop. [v. the sex scandals in the Church].

      • Jack O'Malley says:

        And what, pray tell, my good sir, is wrong with pedantry? Indeed, if can be said that pedantry comports the demand for the accurate attribution of a much distorted quote and one, at that, whose protreptic tendentiousness is the pinnacle of polemical ostentation?

        There is yet another saying, more pithy and of greater moment:

        Don’t trust them with your money. Don’t trust them with your children. Don’t trust them with your soul.

        P.S. I have the Latin original and the source if you are interested.

      • Gabriel Austin says:

        If you cannot see what is wrong with pedantry, there is no explaining. Scholarship, by the way, is not pedantry.

        My point is that little purpose is served by knowing the author of the metaphor. What is at question is the truth of the metaphor.

  6. Disappointed in BCI says:

    To BCI:

    It’s unbelievable that you are essentially calling for the resignation of your bishop.

    You are weakening the INSTITUTION of the Archbishop’s office which will make it much more difficult for this Archbishop and his successors to convey the tough teachings of the Church. Y

    ou are also completely imbalanced in your evaluation of Archbishop O’Malley. You try to cover yourselves by stating one line “Much good is happening in the Archdiocese of Boston.” Unfortunately that’s not good enough. You are acting like employees in a company that always criticize the boss for whatever they do and don’t, or kids ALWAYS criticizing their parents, not realizing how difficult it is to make tough decisions.

    You take for granted all the good things O’Malley has done. Pray for a moment on what things would be like here if we had a bishop like Mahoney or Weakland. You write as if O’Malley is AWFUL and never does anything good. What do you think of his recent homilies to the Red Mass and White Mass? Do you want to slam those too?

    It’s like you’ve turned into the Herald or the NYPost just trying to do something “sensational” and therefore are comfortable just presenting one side of the story.

    BCI has had some very insightful and informative posts over the past year. BCI can play a helpful role in the Archdiocese if you go back to your thoughtful analytical pieces. But this is an attack piece. Time for a BCI examination of conscience.

    • Objective Observer says:

      Dear Disappointed,

      What you do not know can seriously hurt you. Sean O’Malley is not a leader. For “leader” as a bishop, see Dolan of New York.

      When I heard Sean O’Malley’s homily at his installation Mass (I was one of the 2000 people there), a great relief came over me. From that day forward, he has consistently disappointed me due to his inability or unwillingness to be accountable for how the Archdiocese is run, and his utter lack of understanding of the life of a parish priest.

      So while he’s a great homilist, a man of prayer and has a certain charm in superficial situations, he is not a leader. Boston needs and deserves a leader.


      • Objective Observer says:

        PS – to the extent that his auxiliary bishops have enabled the situation, they should seek a penitential rite

    • Disappointed,

      Thanks for your message. It sounds like you are a regular reader. Just to clarify, we are not calling for the resignation of our bishop–we are stating issues and concerns that have gone unaddressed for many years and we are expressing our need and desire for stronger leadership by our bishop. Faithful Catholics who have brought these issues to the attention of the Cardinal and his leadership team find they cannot get a response. How long should we wait?

      What has been done about the excessive six-figure salaries for the late-career executives like Mary Grassa O’Neill, Jim McDonough, and Beirne Lovely and the other six-figure salaries that are out-of-line with other dioceses and that take money from ministry programs?

      Why is Finance and Administration costing more and more each year, while funds for campus ministry, youth and young adult ministry, prison ministry, faith formation, and other important areas are cut?

      What has been done about Jack Connors, and the consolidation of fund-raising power and influence for a range of diocesan organizations in an entity he apparently controls–while at the same time, in his public life he supports organizations and individuals who work against the mission of the Catholic Church?

      What is being done about the muddled and confusing communications coming through Terry Donilon, who is the mouthpiece and spokesman for the archdiocese? Those who have agendas other than the good of the Catholic Church have been coddled by Mr. Donilon (e.g. VOTF, GLBT organizations like St. Cecilia’s Rainbow Ministry), while those who support church teachings, sound governance and the good of the Church are publicly criticized and thrown under the bus. BCI will give examples of this in an upcoming post. Since the Cardinal has continued to allow Mr. Donilon to serve as his spokesman since 2005, it is logical after 6 years to conclude that the Cardinal approves of what Mr. Donilon is saying and doing and is comfortable that communications by Donilon represent his own views and those of this Catholic archdiocese.

      Comments by the Cardinal at the Red Mass and White Masses were excellent. You give us a good reminder that we should feature those. He often gives a great homily. But beyond the homily, it seems to stop.

      If you have a better suggestion for how faithful Catholics can finally get Cardinal O’Malley to do something about these concerns, BCI is all ears.

      • BobofNewtn says:

        Hi – I declined to sign the message to the Vatican because I could not agree with several of the charges contained therein. I would, however, be interested to see how many of the signers get a substantive acknowledgement.

        With respect to the charges, I am intrigued by the statement about the 17% who regularly attend Mass and wonder if our efforts might better be spent inquiring why 83% do not attend services regularly. If they are “faithful” who do not attend because they are disgusted by people like Jack Connors, Father Unni, Mary Grasso’s salary, etc., I doubt their Faith because Mass attendance is a requirement. If, on the other hand, the 83% are turned off by the message the Church is promoting and want “change”, I doubt their wisdom because no one can force change in any form by sitting on the outside looking in. If some of the 83% are distracted by other pursuits, the RCAB better learn how to become competitive in that arena. Regarding the charge against Jack Connors, I know, like and respect him and do not doubt his Faith in any way. From our days at BC, over 50 years ago, he was always a leader and I think we should be glad that he is using his talents to better the RCAB. Have a good week!

      • BobofNewton, Signing the letter is obviously optional. We cannot please everybody all of the time, so no offense taken.

        With regard to Jack Connors, BCI has not criticized his business skills or leadership abilities. Rather, we have questioned how he can be publicly supporting individuals or organizations whose programs/policies work AGAINST important aspects of the mission of the Catholic Church, while at the same time he is supposedly trying to advance the mission of the Church. Scripture tells us we cannot serve both God and mammon. It is for this reason that we continue criticizing his ongoing involvement in the Finance Council, Catholic Schools, and Institutional Advancement.

      • BobofNewtn says:

        Thank you.

    • Angry Parish Council Member says:

      sorry for the typo in my response to “Disappointed in BCI”. Here’s a correction.

      I’m disappointed in Cardinal Sean. He’s a seasoned bishop. This isn’t his first diocese–it’s his 4th episcopal role. He should know exactly what to expect when he brings people like Bryan Hehir, Jack Connors, and Sr. Janet Eisner into the fold and renews the term of the Chancellor for another 5 years.

      I think BCI’s posts have been exceptionally valuable and informative over the past year and BCI has commented about most of this stuff so often it’s become ad nauseum. The problem is that nothing’s changed–except we’ve now got a new Vicar General.

      BCI said they hoped messages from Catholics to the Vatican might help Cardinal O’Malley better understand the urgency of these matters. That doesn’t sound like a call for resignation–it’s sounding like a call to the Cardinal to start leading and stop parading around the world taking photos at every stop to post to his blog.

      I’d prefer we NOT have a bishop like Weakland or Mahony, but for the record, I’d also prefer we had a stronger, more courageous leader like Dolan, Chaput, Olmsted, Vasa.

    • Michael says:

      Disappointed in BCI says: What do you think of his recent homilies to the Red Mass and White Mass?

      My answer: They are window dressing.

      I have a better question for you. What do you think of his past homilies to the Red Mass … say for example in 2004?

      If you read what he says vs. what he does, you will quickly realize that “lip service” is simply a skill he has honed and substance is utterly missing.

      On December 17, 2003, speaking to the priests of the archdiocese, Cardinal O’Malley talked about protecting marriage. He said: “If a redefinition of marriage is enshrined in the law of the Commonwealth, it will be a tragedy for the entire country. And if it happens because of our cowardice or inertia, we shall have to answer before God.” Then on January 11, 2004, at the Red Mass, O’Malley said : “We cannot afford to be asleep at the switch. We cannot afford to run for cover. Today, at this Red Mass, I call on you, our Catholic lawyers and jurists, to live your baptismal commitment… Your baptism and your profession invest you with a great responsibility. Use your wisdom to defend the truth, to defend marriage. Do it with a passion and do what is right.”

      Yet his own legal team failed in an astounding way, completely missing the most basic legal issue. Notwithstanding their admission that the Commonwealth was in a Constitutional crisis at the time … when their error was brought to their attention … one of the lawyers tried to argue that article 29 of the Massachusetts Constitution contradicts article 30 of the Massachusetts Constitution! Huh? Really? John Adams contradicted himself while writing the Massachusetts Constitution. What kind of fool would make that argument?

      Another lawyer (one of the most highly paid members of the Cardinal’s legal team) said:
      1. a lawyer’s oath is meaningless (meaning he had no duty to do anything about the error), and
      2. Even if the legal team had missed the most obvious legal issue in the most important case of their career, “what did it matter?” now because “What could the Cardinal do about it?” since the mistake had already been made! Ridiculous.

      O’Malley while agreeing to meet about this issue, avoided ever scheduling a meeting (even after several requests).

      Cardinal O’Malley in my estimation is a fraud. However, the possibility exists that he is simply a coward. But a coward who knows the truth and avoids his personal responsibility is nontheless a fraud.

    • Anna says:


      I am flabbergasted by your post.

      Much good is being done? BCI is weakening the institution of the archbishop’s office?

      Please forgive my candor…

      The diocese is in shambles. The Cardinal is not a well man and his years here have been spent in a coma, being shuffled from one pot luck supper or swanky event to another. He doesn’t have the foggiest notion what is going on and that is the way he likes it. He has surrounded himself with people who ensures his willful ignorance is protected.

      The results are in: The authority, governance, money and teachings of the Catholic Church have been transferred from the authority of an archbishop to the Democratic National Committee. have silenced the teachings of the Church in every school and parish.

      Other than that, Mrs. Kennedy, how was the parade?

      There are a handful of cronies Cardinal Sean relies upon to tell him he is doing a good job and in return, he supplies them with flattery, power, awards or a three figure salary. He even grants the croniies in this mutual affection society carte blanche to wreak havoc upon souls. You must be a card carrying member of this mutual affection society because there isn’t any way you are out here in the real world experiencing the ramifications of what Cardinal Sean is doing to the teaching authority of the Catholic Church and the sanctification of those entitled to Its inheritance.

    • Boston Priest says:

      Dear Disappointed: You’ve got the order of events wrong–Cardinal O’Malley himself weakened the institution of the Archbishop’s office, which makes it more difficult for this Archbishop and his successors to convey the teachings of the Church. If we are to have a stronger Archbishop’s office, Cardinal O’Malley could start by dropping the Franscisan robe like Archbishop Chaput did years ago and dress like a diocesan bishop, then stop traveling around like an itinerant wanderer and instead spend time learning what life is like for a diocesan Boston priest. Then after that spend a few days at St. Johns Seminary (rather than at BC with Fr. Leahy and crew) seeing the good work being done at SJS despite the best efforts of the Chancellor to raid seminary funds.

      • I agree, rector Bishop Arthur Kennedy is a good man, and should focus more on his seminary duties. St John’s is undergoing restoration as I post this. BC across the street is run by Jesuits, most of them are heretics and want to destroy BC’s “Catholic identity.” Most Jesuits “priests” don’t wear even a basic Roman collar, and don’t want to be identified as priests. (But I know a Jesuit seminarian who wears the cassock all the time.) My parish priest wears a cassock all the time; most priests in Boston don’t. In terms of Cardinal O’Malley wearing his Franciscan habit, he wears it because he is a member of the Capuchins, and is allowed to wear it, despite him being a cardinal. I don’t think Sean wearing the habit is the problem, as other priests and nuns don’t even dress like their holy offices.

  7. Cardinal Sean and all his auxiliaries should be removed. I signed the petition.

    • Peter Arnoldy says:

      Where is it?

    • rf5580 says:

      Bishops Kennedy and Edyvean are both excellent but O’Malley just wants them to do Confirmation with the others. The others are useless.

      • Unfortunately, an auxiliary bishop generally only does confirmations that the ordinary cannot perform for whatever reason. A bishop (ordinary, auxiliary, or even retired) is needed for the Sacrament of Confirmation. Most auxiliaries don’t ordain priests, since there is no surplus of diocesan priests that have to be ordained.

        Historically, major Archdioceses like Boston, NYC, and Chicago have had a surplus of auxiliary bishops; these generally eventually become diocesan bishops in other dioceses.

        Also, auxiliary bishops are generally “fill-ins” when the bishop is out of his diocese.

  8. dismas says:

    Sorry – I do not see a place where I can sign. would be pleased to.

  9. Stephen says:

    Its a set-up people. What you have here is the errors of the modernist mind. A constant asinine attempt to balance opinions, political positions and power bases. It is intentional, see there is not truth with the modernists. An objective observer of this classic Boston ‘tempest in a teapot’ would see that there are enemy forces at work here. The Harvard connection and the Hollywood level funny money that gets tossed around clearly points to true enemies of the Church who have not only infiltrated but actually have usurped the leadership. God bless Cardinal O’Malley, but his quite public vice that has been played like a fiddle is Vanity. At this point the only gesture that would indicate he has even a clue would be for him to dropped the Brown robe and take up the habit of a Roman Catholic Cardinal.

  10. Barbara says:

    Thanks for the answer about tax rate (18-21%).

    The policies of radical feminism (if what you state about administrative salaries are true) are
    making a mockery of manhood in general, and of priests in particular. The policies also make a mockery of working woman and stay at home moms who “volunteer” to teach CCD.

    It would be delightful for a “female” administrator of awesome
    talent to make the rounds at every church on Sunday mornings
    and explain to us (in explicit detail) why 200 working woman and/or
    stay at home mothers should not receive a $1,000 stipend to teach
    and instead she should receive her $200,000 salary. Actually, with benefits the payout is probably higher.

    The message is clear: Parents encourage your sons and daughters
    to become administrators!!!!!!

    God Help US

    • First of all, these people don’t deserve anything to teach CCD because the kids aren’t learning their Faith the way they are supposed to.

      Secondly, these are “volunteer” positions, and you may have a rare exceptional CCD teacher who teaches orthodoxy, but most likely his or her boss is a heretic. How sad. The “boss” was supposedly hired by the pastor, which could vary the situation if the priest is orthodox or not.

      Finally, it’s about time that we bring back the nuns and establish REAL Catholic schools, not the post-concilliar bailouts out of the public schools for families with $$$. Since I attend the Latin Mass I wrote to Dr. Mary O’Neil, the Supt., asking that a Catholic school be established based on the Pre-Vatican II days, she never responded. Massachusetts law requires kids aged 6-16 attend school daily and ontime, and most parents can’t homeschool because they don’t have a teaching background! Why not have a school for Traditionalist families?

      • Michael says:

        Mary Grass O’Neill has no interest in doing what is good for “traditionalist catholic families.” She and her team have an interest in their salaries and in turning parochial schools that are under the direct supervision of a pastor into Academies that are not under the direct supervision of a pastor.

        Next step is to bring gay indoctrination more explicitly into Catholic “Academies” and then remove the Catholic Academies from the Church (like the Illinois Catholic Charities team is removing itself from any Catholic oversight so that they can perform same-sex adoptions without any flak … for the “best interests of the children”).

        Mary Grass O’Neill is a joke … but her tour of the chapel at 66 Brooks drive (a monument to closed Catholic churches) is fantastic. You should try and catch it. I think it is daily at 10:00am 11:30am and 3:00pm (except on Wednsedays when they carry an extra tour at 1:00pm because of the crowd). Get there early.

      • Mack says:

        Bring back the nuns? From where? In 1965 there were about 180,000 American nuns; now their numbers are around 55,000, and the majority are old (and their orthodoxy sometimes questionable). True, there are some newer orders with vocations, but nowhere near what would be needed!

  11. Barbara says:

    Chirs Whittle: Well Put

    Okay, how about place an advertisment for “qualified” teachers.

    Then who would be more deserving of the money?

    By the way, even the good natured, poorly qualified “volunteers”
    would probably vomit if they knew the disparity of income/salaries
    that exists. So, if the average CCD teacher is………….how shall we
    put it…”slow”….”special” “dumb”: What are they training children to do? Support these salaries?

  12. Stephen says:

    psst. Its the Modernists.
    We live in world where our churches are being burned to the ground in the Middle East by Mohammedans, human trafficking of our young is common-place in Africa. In Catholic Mexico they now are battling cartels that publicly execute whistle-blowers .

    “… have breached trust with the Catholic faithful ..With the future of the Boston Archdiocese and the salvation of souls at stake…”

    If you actually mean what you say the answer is not to write a few more ‘serious’ letters.

    A suggestion.
    To start actual reform, a group of Catholic men needs to go into the Braintree modernist headquarters and tip over the desk of $325K to the Catholic Schools Superintendent.

    Lets have Jack O’Malley lead the charge.
    You have my email.
    I am totally serious.

    BCI is very quickly becoming cyber-whiners.

    • Stephen, Thank you for your comments. A lot of people say they read BCI because they find our approach of publicly documenting the problems in the Boston Archdiocese to be worthwhile. Obviously, we cannot please everyone, and if you do not like our approach to letting faithful Catholics communicate their concerns pubicly and to Vatican officials, you need not read the blog or sign the petition.

      If you or other Catholics have other ideas on how to start “actual reform” which you think are better than what BCI is doing, there is nothing about this blog that prevents you from pursuing them. It seems to BCI that tipping over the desk of the Catholic Schools Superintendent is more likely to get you forcibly removed from the Pastoral Center than to bring about “actual reform.” Regardless of what path you or others decide to pursue to bring about “actual reform,” BCI would simply urge readers to not do anything violent or unlawful.

      • BobofNewtn says:

        I agree BCI and, unfortunately, it looks like this subject has run its course (with some proposing disruptive actions while others counsel us to “bring back the nuns” (from where I would counter?)). If the Catholic schools are a train wreck as some allege, the solution is simple: do not send your kids there. If the schools are felt to be good, find out how good they actually are and, then, expect to pay for excellence. However it is folly to simple rage on and propose illegal actions or to seek the return of a group of people who no longer exist!

    • Jack O'Malley says:


      While I appreciate the offer of being the standard bearer for the revolution, I must respectfully decline the mantle of leadership of a bout of mayhem and hooliganism at the chancery. In all honesty, I would be more inclined to help her set her desk aright again. She is probably a very nice woman and doesn’t deserve a tipped-over desk. We have to distinguish between the individual and her salary as a symbol of the corruption of the chancery and the lack of oversight by the cardinal.

      Now if you want to tip over the desk of the chief collection-plate swindler who authorized that exorbitant salary, I’ll not object to your rearranging his furniture.

      • Stephen says:

        Jack, when found in a position of leadership…lead.
        The matter of the desk would be symbolic, the violence would likely involve shifting an oak table 45 degree vertically and displacing a phone, a pencil holder, some papers and a few nicknacks. Symbols are important. The $324K is important, BCI has pointed out that OUR school superintendent is the highest paid… in the known universe.

        If the figure was $3.2mil would the desk then deserve a good tipping? What a sad Catholic day, when a little furniture rearranging is seen as a violent unlawful act and 4,000 babies executed in the womb per day is seen as a difficult and compassionate ‘choice’. The Modernists have poisoned our minds and are laughing at the faithful…I see that Dolan is meeting with Obama this week – gag.

  13. Stephen says:

    Thanks for the note.
    Read scripture, there is a time and place to tip over tables.

    • Thank you for your note back. We are well aware of the scriptural passage about Jesus turning over the tables to chase the money changers out of the temple. There are obvious similarities with the situation in the Boston Archdiocese and Pastoral Center. Nonetheless, we stand by our previous response and have nothing more to add to it.

  14. Little Red Hen says:

    BobofNewtn: there are new and thriving orders of teaching sisters who don’t have enough room in their novitiates for the number of women who want to join them. Two of these orders are the Dominican Sisters of Mary, Mother of the Eucharist in Ann Arbor, Michigan and the Dominican Sisters of St. Cecilia in Nashville. As for the rest of your post, you write like one who has no experience of the situation. It’s no good to tell people not to send their children to Archdiocesan schools if they are a “train wreck” — if the schools fail in their mission, it is the duty of the Archdiocese to repair the system and build it up again. Moreover, the tuition at Catholic schools is more than most families can afford, especially if they have more than two children. Chris Whittle is absolutely right — our Catholic schools have become comparatively affordable alternatives to the public system.

    • BobofNewtn says:

      Thanks for highlightightning the progress of two Orders owithinc our nunery.

      Regarding my thought process involving my two daughters, at that time, they were in Newton and both went to private schools (Chestnut Hill School, The Church of the Redeemer and The Meadowbrook School in Weston). When it came time for high school. I carefully measured the academic backgrounds of the faculties between the Catholic High Schools for girls in the area and the available private schools. Hands down, I chose The Winsor School for my older daughter and Beaver Country Day for my younger. Both graduated and went on to Ivy League colleges, law Schools, and graduate schools and, thankfully, both are successful and are at the top of their professions in California and in Boston.

      Regarding “family values Education”, I never
      relegated that to the school or classroom but, rather, considered that to be a parents’ responsibility – interestingly, one of my daughters is pro-choce and a proud supporter of Gay Marriage the other is exactly in favor of the opposite. Go figure but I love them both! LOL!

    • Mack says:

      Red Hen, the two orders you mention together have around 400 members. And they are in areas all over the country. Even if there were 4000 of them, that’s nowhere near the number that would be needed to staff all the Catholic schools in this country. Face reality, the glory days of nuns-a-poppin all over the place are gone.

  15. […] governance problems we have been chronicling for more than a year, and we are continuing the “Vatican S.O.S. – Ask for Stronger Episcopal Leadership in Boston” effort described in our last […]

  16. Ray Neary says:

    With regard to Number 11, Catholics seem to be completely oblivious to the fact that a clause agreed to in the agreement allows the Roman Catholic identity of the entire Caritas Christi hospital system to be ended if it is found to be “materially burdensome” any time after two more years Is there anyone who feels that is a difficult condition to prove? The assumption of all the assets of the hospital system when it is met, reduces the sum total of the sale to 25 million dollars, which is the amount to be donated to a designated charity of the Archbishop. Thank you for reiterating this.

  17. […] Catholics would expect from a leader of the Church. Now the Boston Catholic Insider has launched a S.O.S. Appeal to the Vatican, asking for Stronger Episcopal Leadership in […]

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