Stand Up For Religious Freedom

There are two parts to this post.

Part 1: Stand Up for Religious Freedom Rally, Friday March 23 at 12pm in Boston (intersection of Park St and Beacon Street)

The Nationwide Rally for Religious Freedom is being held Friday, March 23 at noon in 140 locations across the country– outside federal buildings, Congressional offices and historic sites across the country. The theme for the Rally is “Stand Up for Religious Freedom—Stop the HHS Mandate!”

It is expected that thousands of Americans of all faiths will be participating in these peaceful rallies across the country, organized by the Pro-Life Action League and Citizens for a Pro-Life Society to oppose the new mandate from the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) that requires all employers provide free contraceptives, sterilization and abortion-inducing drugs through their health plans, even in violation of their consciences.

Cardinal O’Malley has criticized the Obama administration ruling, saying:

In its ruling, the Administration has cast aside the First Amendment to the Constitution of the United States, denying to Catholics our Nation’s first and most fundamental freedom, that of religious liberty.

In Boston, the rally is taking place just outside the State House on Boston Common, at the intersection of Park Street and Beacon Street, from 12pm-2pm.  We do not know who the speakers will be, but wanted to pass along word of the event to those who might be able to swing by during their lunch hour. People of all faiths should oppose the Obama administation ruling for this unconscionable mandate.

Part 2: Priest who Endorsed HHS Secretary Speaking at St. Catherine of Siena in Norwood

Given that the Boston Archdiocese feels comfortable offering yoga in the Pastoral Center to employees despite Vatican warnings of the dangers of the practice, it should come as no surprise that they also feel comfortable that a priest who publicly endorsed Kathleen Sebelius for Secretary of the Department of Health and Human Services is speaking at a Boston parish on the topic of Catholics, Politics, and Conscience: the 2012 Election.

Fr. Thomas Massaro, of Boston College, was one of 26 Catholics who signed a statement endorsing the pro-abortion politician Kathleen Sebelius for HHS Secretary in 2009.  She had been admonished by more than one bishop to not receive Communion for her “30-year history of advocating and acting in support of legalized abortion.” is publicly calling for Fr. Massaro and his colleagues to either disown Sebelius or Catholicism:

Nearly 3 years ago, 26 liberal Catholics still crowing over their successful campaign to elect Obama actually felt the urgent need to form a group “Catholics for Sebelius”to support the nomination of that rabidly pro-abortion woman for HHS Secretary. They not only supported her, they called her a model pro-lifer who “lived and acted according to” her agreement with Church teaching against abortion.

It was a false claim even then. Now that Sebelius has finalized her rule forcing religious organizations to fund abortifacient drugs, contraception and sterilization, including drugs that kill embryos, it is a shameless lie. And their letter openly advocated that Sebelius pass and implement Obamacare, which is the instrument of her attack on religious freedom.

But these 26 “Catholics for Sebelius,” to this day, remain prominently listed on their open letter supporting the anti-Catholic HHS Secretary.

So the honorable choice for these persons is simple.

Take your names off that letter, or take Catholic off your names.

It will be interesting to hear on Monday night how Fr. Massaro feels about his endorsement of Sebelius and the public call for him to renounce his endorsement for her.

His recent piece in America magazine,Time to Cool Down”  suggests the sort of approach he will discuss on Monday evening in Norwood:

I have no novel opinion or particular expertise to share on the divisive topic of whether Catholic institutions should accept the Obama administration’s compromise on conscience clause provisions. I wish simply to relate my fear that we as a religious community are choosing to walk the wrong path. I am addressing not the outcome of the policy debate, but the regrettable style of our recent engagement of this issue.

A superior option would be to trade the culture warrior agenda for one of diplomacy…De-escalate the overblown rhetoric that paints opponents with the brush of idiocy, poor judgment or willful deception….Invite others into civil conversations that emphasize mutual respect and a willingness to listen, even when that proves uncomfortable.

Whatever policy outcomes unfold this year or next or further down the line, those of us lucky enough to be given a longer span of life by our Creator will find ourselves sharing the Eucharist (and much else) with thousands of those with whom we are not currently seeing eye to eye. Should our future sharing of the bread of salvation be compromised by our current failure to share a modicum of civility?

The problem with his arguments is that moral teachings such as abortion and contraception are “non-negotiable.”  That he has “no opinion” on whether the Catholic Church should accept the Obama administration contraception mandate says it all. As one commenter to his column wrote:

“The “polarization” in the Church is due to the view that it’s OK for Catholics to decide for themselves what is right and wrong and ignore the dictates of Conscience-which is exactly the power that the Devil tempted Adam and Eve with, the power to decide for themselves what is good and evil.”

With writings and opinions like Fr. Massaro has expressed, BCI would suggest that he does not appear to be an appropriate speaker about Catholics, Conscience, Politics and the 2012 electionnor is he likely to advise people to stand up for our constitutionally guaranteed religious freedom, as the U.S. Catholic bishops and Pope Benedict XVI have rightly urged us to do.

31 Responses to Stand Up For Religious Freedom

  1. DBP says:

    Does anyone think Msgr. MacRae would have invited this buffoon to speak?

    • Angry Parish Council Member says:

      There is no way that the former pastor, Msgr. MacRae would have invited Fr. Massaro to speak.

      Massaro spoke at the Archdiocesan Social Justice Conference in 2010. I was among those who complained to the Vicar General at the time, Fr. Erikson, and I know the complaints got to Cardinal O’Malley. I read somewhere that the Cardinal defended Massaro speaking at the conference based on his lifetime of service to the Church or something like that.

      Msgr. Garrity, sadly, is no better. He and Massaro are two peas in a pod.

  2. Bill Redmond says:

    The speakers:

    Fr Jeremy Paulin OMV; Director of Vocations

    Clarivel Marin de Dragas, Mother, Wife and American Citizen; Clarivel has a most compelling story to share!

    Edwin J. Shanahan, Executive Director of Massachusetts Citizens for Life

    C.J. Doyle, Executive Director Catholic Action League of Massachusetts

    Scot Landry, WQOM (1060 AM)

    Special Guests to be named at event!

    And guitarist “Michael McDuffee”

  3. ItIStheOrientation says:

    Why is there a big religious freedom rally on Friday afternoon – I guess the same church leaders who have Frank Pavone cooling his heels in a convent this election don’t really want it noticed. I fail to understand how people who should know better fall again and again and again for this bull crap that accomplishes nothing but wastes time and money.

    • parishoner says:

      To: “ItiStheOrientation”

      I am going to assume you think you are brilliant.

      However, there are many, many personality types
      and mannerisms of both men and woman that do not fall neatly
      into a stereotype. The fact is I know many accomplished, refined men (i.e. flyfishing versus beer can crunching) on a weekend, appreciating fine art versus what you probably think is fine art but is not, and, performing delicate surgery versus
      taking delight in a barbaric fight.

      I am so thankful that someone with a mindset or thinking pattern
      such as yours had no say or opportunity to intervene in their careers.

      Lets assume we can find a reasonably normal psychiatrist and/or psychologist to back up what you insinuation:

      Should we gather a group of females to assess whether or
      not the psychiatrist/psychologist is “straight” enough according
      to our standards or desires?

      In other words, if the thought of
      being close to the individual who imagines he can decide
      “the orientation” of another human being is conducive to nausea: What do we conclude about the diagnostician?????

      There is an enormous difference in an individual who actively
      participates in the “gay parade” activities versus an
      individual who chooses to keep their private life private.

      The basic flaw in your logic is that if every single man you
      suspect is “gay” because you cannot understand his
      personal, private life then we must conclude every sexually active unmarried man or woman in church are pimps and whores.

      But you will not say or imply that. Why? You are a bully.

      • parishoner says:



      • “parishoner”

        BCI would like to ask that you stick to the topic of the post. It is not clear why exactly you introduced other topics, unless you are reacting to the identity/screen-name of the commenter, and not the comment itself.

        As far as we can see, “ItIStheOrientation” merely questioned the merits of a rally on a Friday afternoon in his/her comments. Regardless of the screen-name the commenter chose to use and whether that is intended to imply something, if we look objectively at the comment itself, it was a criticism of having a rally, doing so on a Friday afternoon, and what the commenter feels was wasting time and money. (Implicit in the comment is perhaps an opinion that there are more productive ways to stand up for religious freedom and fight the HHS ruling, and if so, please share those thoughts).

        We would ask that in commenting and responding here, everyone please focus on the comment itself–which was relevant to the topic of the blog post–and not veer off topic just because of the screen-name of a commenter. If you disagree with the commenter about the merits of the rally to stand up for religious freedom, please feel free to comment on that topic. But BCI sees no reason to accuse someone of bullying or anything else just because they said they thought a rally was not a good idea.

    • Anni says:

      First, this is a nationwide rally and is not being run by “the church”, so your conspiracy theory already has holes in it.

      I suspect that it is being held on a Friday afternoon because 1) that’s probably the easiest time of the week for many people to skip out of work early and 2) at least some government employees and legislators will be in their offices and will see the rally. If you hold it on a weekend, no one notices. All the rallies across the country will be held outside government offices.

      That’s why the March for Life is held on a weekday even when Jan. 22 occurs on a weekend, like this year.

    • If a rally draws a big crowd, then it can be one vehicle to call public attention to a cause. It also gives people a chance to express their constitutionally-guaranteed freedom of speech. BCI supports the right to religious freedom, as should all Americans, and when we learned about the nationwide rally we decided to post about it so interested readers might attend.

      The rallies in various locations were to be attended by 23 bishops, and statements from another 7 bishops were read at rallies. None of these 30 bishops are responsible for keeping Fr. Frank Pavone confined to a convent during this election. As best as we understand, that blame lies solely with the Bishop of Amarillo, TX.

    • Capt Crunch says:

      Wasting time and money is subjective. I guess you disagree with the premise of this rally, so while it may be a waste of time and money to YOU at least give the people that disagree with you the respect to have their own opinion and express it according to their first amendment rights, for that brief time that the first amendment is still available.

      Your opinion is not my reality.

  4. Publilius says:

    Anyone can hold the helm while the sea is calm.

  5. saintpio1 says:

    This is a man who escalates HIMSELF because of his superior use of the english language. He really writes very well but what he is saying is not done by a brain that is thinking by itself. It is controlled by satan and satan knows how to move one’s brain in the direction he wishes. He is a useful idiot for satan. I would like to credit that phrase to satan rather than Lenin or Stalin whichever one said it.

  6. Boston Priest says:

    By Fr. Massaro saying he essentially has no opinion on WHETHER Catholic institutions should surrender their consciences and capitulate to the Obama administration HHS mandate, he’s effectively saying that he disagrees with the U.S. bishops that the ruling must be opposed.

    By Fr. Massaro not renouncing his prior public endorsement of Kathleen Sebelius, he’s effectively saying he still supports her and her anti-Catholic agenda.

    He sounds like he does not care about achieving an outcome that respects the Word of God and is faithful to Catholic teachings on abortion, life and contraception, and instead justs wants everyone to sit around the table, hold hands, sing “Kumbaya” and dialogue in a discussion group to reach common ground. Jesus didn’t dialogue to reach common ground–he preached the truth, whether it was “civil” or not. He turned over the tables on the moneychangers in the temple

    Even Fr. Massaro’s theology is bad. It’s preposterous for him to suggest that the “future sharing of the bread of salvation” is compromised if all receiving do not see eye to eye!! He must be unfamiliar with the Last Supper (Luke 22: 24) “Then an argument broke out among them about which of them should be regarded as the greatest.” Right after that argument, Jesus welcomed all of the apostles to celebrate the Institution of the Holy Eucharist.

    The good parishioners of St. Catherines should stand up and demand that this talk be cancelled and that their pastor be removed for allowing a talk by a speaker like this.

  7. truthseeker says:


    IF THE USER NAME “ItIstheOrientation” is as benign as
    you claim, and, only pertains to this issue: Why has that user(s)
    used this name several times before? Check you own database.

    Thank you.

    • BCI is aware that person has posted comments here before. If yoi look at their previous comments, none of their comments have had anything to do with sexual orientation, and they have all been relevant to the topics of the blog posts.

    • Jack O'Malley says:

      Please, let us grant a modicum of mercy to ItIstheOrientation. After all, Cardinal Martini has now come out and endorsed “oriented” living arrangements as had Cardinal Schoenborn before him.

      It is just a matter of time before the RC Church caves into the demands of those of a rectal orientation. At least they are facing East and not versus partnerum.

      If bum boinking is a sin that cries out to heaven for vengeance (it must have been common among the Jews to get a mention in Leviticus, I mean, who bans a sin that no one commits?) then unless Martini and Schoenborn are excommunicated for rank heresy and grave moral delicts, I am out the door. Who can tolerate this any longer?

      But I will not apostatize. I will simply excommunicate the pope. I don’t wish to be part of a church which “tolerates” the True Mass. Screw Summorum Pontificum. Not that any of the sodomite masonic bishops pay attention to it anyway. So good luck to Joe Ratzinger on his south of the border trek. May he break out in hives from a surfeit of guacamole.

      BTW, BCI, there is no such right as that to “religious freedom”. It is Catholic doctrine that error has no rights. To support the right of a Protestant or a Jew or a Mohammedan to worship as he pleases is as evil as to offer sacrifice to the pagan gods of Rome. A pinch of incense for Father Jove? A foreskin for Yahweh? A sola scriptura for Luther? A shrill shahada for Mo the Jew murderer? Think again about what you are advocating. The proper response is to ignore the rally and preach the Word of God. And I don’t mean the masonic New Evangelisation.

      Hinduism is exempt from censure however. Ramakrishna Guru Deeley has ordained it.


  8. truthseeker says:

    Dear BCI

    What “exactly” do you think the user means?????

    • truthseeker,
      Hopefully, you and others would give BCI some credit for having a sense of where people are coming from in their comments after nearly 2 years with this blog.

      We are well aware of what a screen-name such as “ItISthe Orientation” might imply by the choice of screen-name; however, the person did not state anything in their comments other than about the rally, so BCI cannot speculate on what they “mean” by the screenname. We have looked at other comments by “ItISthe Orientation” here at BCI and all of them were relevant to the post topic (ie. pastoral planning, opposition to abortion), and reflected no other other intent or agenda. We have googled that screenname and found other comments at other blogs that all were highly supportive of Church teachings on key moral issues, including most recently the decision of Fr. Guarnizo in Washington, DC to deny communion to a “married” lesbian at her mother’s funeral:

      There is no better witness to the destruction “of the teachings” of VCII than the complete moral collapse of this family, which is the moral collapse of our Church and society. As we approach Palm Sunday may Cardinal Wuerl and the rest of the hierarchy (including all their defenders) think about how they have TAUGHT an entire generation to just walk up and hold out their palms…

      Meanwhile, Rev. Marcel Guarnizo is the first priest who seems to have cared about this family’s salvation in a long time.

      Here is another by “ItIStheOrientation”

      It is macabre to me how many bishops have come out recently saying they fear they are going to be persecuted or put in jail for the faith while because of their cowardly silence and refusal to do the job God gave them for the past 40 years thousands of children have been murdered daily literally by being torn apart limb from limb. These babies’ grisly murder continues even as we write about “meetings” and “talk”. The faithful look to the actions of their pastors and if the pastors hand these blood encrusted politicians’ hands the body of Jesus Christ and if Cardinals bury these unrepentant sinners as Catholics, then the faithful are right in concluding that they too can get away with murdering their babies, parents and any other relative whose care is costly or inconvenient.

      “ItIStheOrientation”, can you elaborate on why you use that screen-name?

      This post is about standing up for religious freedom via the rally and about the talk in Norwood on Monday by a priest who endorsed a politician that is now infringing on our religious freedom. We always ask that readers keep their comments relevant to the topic of the post. The commenter whose intent you are questioning posted a comment relevant to the topic of the post and has always done so in a half-dozen comments here with no evidence of any other meaning. BCI is seeing considerable evidence the person commenting with this screenname is an orthodox Catholic, and we would ask that those who are critical of the screenname of the commenter withhold further judgment here at BCI and focus on their comments on the topic of this blog post.

      • BobofNewtn says:

        Hi – Getting back to the rally: how many people attended, who was there from the RCAB (e.g the Cardinal), what was said, any politicians, etc.?

        Thank you.

  9. Stephen says:

    Ya a rally, sorry I’ve got to catch up on laundry…

    The Girl Scouts have a long well documented history of association with and support of Planned Parenthood. Cardinal O’Malley recently celebrated together with this organization in the Cathedral.

    Below find three links that clearly indicate something diabolically wrong in the diocese. &

    YET This Madness? –

    I’m sorry the splashing about in the blood of the aborted is too much for me to take.

    He is led about like a poodle on a leash with the chain of vanity walking him briskly from photo opportunity to photo opportunity.

    May St. Joseph smote him upon his head and awaken him in a cold sweat from a deep sleep.

  10. […] follow-up of our most recent post, BCI has received several reports that the Boston “Stand Up For Religious Freedom Rally” […]

  11. James Joyce says:

    Fr. Massaro gave a wonderful talk tonight. God bless him and all the open minded people in the Catholic community.
    If one of the assets of being human is free will, then i rejoice in my humanity. And, I’ll pray for all the lemmings that blindly follow with no original thought at all.
    God bless the thoughtful people of
    God. Sorry for the rest of you bloks….

    • S Newark says:

      did massaro offer anythng meaningful to his previous profession of faith in HHS? Lemmings is far too insulting a description to be worthy of issue.

    • S Newark says:

      you’d be better off praying for yourself

  12. bostoncatholicinsider says:

    James Joyce,
    Sounds like you are new here. Instead of giving us a “feel good” comment that “Fr. Massaro gave a wonderful talk,” could you please share the facts and logic instead?

    During the talk, did Fr. Massaro justify his decision to endorse a Catholic politician who was clearly pro-abortion and had actively opposed the Catholic Church on abortion for many years and was told to not receive Communion by multiple bishops? Now that politician is seeking to interfere with our Constitutionally-guaranteed right to religious freedom. Are you not troubled by the HHS mandate? Are you not troubled that Fr. Massaro is ambiguous on whether he thinks the Catholic Church should violate our consciences and allow a violation of our freedom to practice our religion? Are you of the mindset where you would willingly vote for or endorse a pro-abortion politician yourself?

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