Boston Catechetical Congress, BCI Criticism

It looks like a few people have issues already with our post yesterday about the fitness program.  This comment from “tryingtofigurethisout” was thoughtful and insightful, and we felt bears reprinting to stand on its own.

tryingtofigurethisout says:
April 3, 2012 at 4:11 a

Hi BCI… been following the blog for a while now trying to figure out if I support the idea or not….I believe Sean O’Malley is a good man at heart and a true Vicar of Christ…Sadly, I think he has been surrounded by some people who are not serving him well and are often times giving him bad advice. This has unfortunately led me to conclude that , in spite of reading some dubious postings from BCI and more so from some posters, that the blog does indeed ” make solid contact with the ball ” quite often. The fitness story I’m not sure warrants a posting…but again , despite some reservations , you are providing a valid service . I understand that one of the main focuses of the blog is the financial / fiduciary issue(s) of the Boston Catholic Archdiocese….As you point out objectively in the post, there in all likelihood was some sort of financial gain for the Boston Catholic Archdiocese from their insurance provider for the program so that also contributes to my lack of support for the post. The financial / fiduciary issue is a very important one for sure. But I , as I know you are also, am also concerned with issues of Faith as well . The space for the fitness posting would have been better served , in my opinion exploring a discussion on something i noticed in this week’s pilot.

I’ll be brief as I know this is a long posting.

Page 1 into page 2 shows the following

“Sister Christina Wegendt, FSP, and Sister Hosea Rupprecht, FSP, gave a workshop called “Faith Formation for a Media Generation” in a classroom at the school. The sisters recommended that catechists see television shows and movies like “Glee” and “The Hunger Games” to provide an opportunity to connect with younger students.
Sister Christina stayed after the presentation to discuss the themes of some of the media addressed in the workshop, including the dystopian reality presented in the book and movie “The Hunger Games.”

I don’t know who these Nuns are or what their daily jobs entail but it strikes me as nothing less than an outrage that advocating a television show like ” Glee ” , which is at best an active Hollywood tool of propaganda which promotes things as good that our faith tells us are in fact dangerous and objectively evil and at the worst , a despicable bigoted anti Catholic broadcast. And it gets better. in the same issue of the pilot, the movie review section actually reviews the movie ” The Hunger Games ” . Here are a few quotes from the review..

“But sensibilities are not spared as the grim contest unfolds: painful injuries brought about by swords, arrows, hatchets and even the creative use of a hornets’ nest are all portrayed unblinkingly. On the upside, foul language is entirely absent, as too is any sensual activity beyond kissing. So, despite the elements listed below, “The Hunger Games” may possibly prove acceptable for mature adolescents.

The film contains considerable, sometimes gory, hand-to-hand and weapons violence and graphic images of bloody wounds. The Catholic News Service classification is A-III — adults. The Motion Picture Association of America rating is PG-13 — parents strongly cautioned. Some material may be inappropriate for children under 13.”

This is the kind of stuff that really gets me going… as the parent of a young child who is trying to educate and raise the child to love the church and to appreciate the teachings of the church as being divinely inspired by our Lord and savior Jesus Christ, to see this sort of hypocrisy is really disheartening… This is the kind of stuff that needs to brought to the attention of the Cardinal, Msgr Deeley , Father Parrish et al.

Another interesting aspect of this is that in the print edition of The Pilot there was a picture of someone named Father Ricardo Gonzalez . The photo shows what appears to be a Hispanic looking man wearing a suit and tie. Why would a catholic priest be wearing a suit and tie at a ” Catechetical Congress”?

Another interesting note is that Father J. Bryan Hehir served as the main Homilist for the event.

Again BCI I think what you do can serve our archdiocese well. I will continue to point out things that in my opinion need attention.

BCI must be brief in our response, but first wants to thank the “tryingtofigurethisout” for taking the time to write.  Adherence to the faith and teaching the core teachings of the Catholic Church are extremely important–certainly even moreso than sound finances.

BCI did not have time to review the Catechetical Congress (program found here), but has a few things to say in response.

  • Sister Christina Wegendt, FSP is Acquisitions Editor for the Daughters of St. Paul, and Sister Hosea Rupprecht, FSP is also with the Daughters. Without knowing everything they said, it is difficult to know the full context for their comments about “Glee. ”  Still, if they were discussing “Glee,” what they should have said and what The Pilot should be saying is along the lines of what this review conveys: “the show’s portrayal of human sexuality and the normative sexual behavior of American teens leaves much to be desired, to put it mildly. The show’s understanding of sexuality is generally morally ambiguous and often simply wrong….Also problematic from a Catholic and Christian perspective is the fact that a traditionally-Christian perspective on sexuality is more often than not mocked. In one recent episode of the show, the notion that teens might embrace chastity was derided as naïve and frigid…Finally, the show strongly seeks to normalize homosexuality, with several characters either explicitly gay or lesbian or struggling with same sex attraction…it is nonetheless disappointing to see such a strong effort to portray same sex relationships as good and moral during the “family hour” of primetime tv.”  If this was not communicated to the catechists, BCI agrees it would be grounds for outrage.
  • Regarding the movie, “Hunger Games,” we are not familiar with the book or movie at all. Based on your comment, we read the review in The Pilot, this review/report, “Priest calls ‘Hunger Games’ movie dangerously prophetic” by Fr. Robert Barron, a solid priest and host of the PBS-aired “Catholicism” series, and this one  The Hunger Games: A Catholic Parent’s Guide to Themes and Issues from a Catholic author. If the purpose of these reviews is in part to educate parents about what is or is not acceptable for their children to see and to let them know what their children might be exposed to, then clearly the reviews accomplish that purpose. (The one in The Pilot says up-front, “Though presumably targeted — at least in part — at teens, the dystopian adventure involves enough problematic content to give parents pause. Responsible oldsters will want to weigh the matter carefully before giving permission for clamoring kids to attend.”
  • Regarding Fr. Bryan Hehir as homilist for the Catechetical Congress, long-time readers may recall that we objected to him keynoting a session at the convocation for leaders of Catholic Schools last year (see Tone-Deaf Cardinal). Besides him being the one behind the fiasco back on 2005 of honoring the pro-abortion, pro-gay-marriage Mayor Menino of Boston at a Catholic Charities fund-raiser, in violation of USCCB guidelines that said Catholic politicians who oppose the church were not to be honored publicly, Fr. Hehir was also right up there keynoting the Catholic Healthcare Association’s annual conference where he praised the “intelligent, courageous leadership” after the CHA opposed the USCCB and Catholic bishops on Obamacare. The CHA is now at odds with the U.S. bishops on the outrageous contraception mandate.During his talk on “Catholic Identity” at the 2011 Catholic Schools leader convocation, Fr. Hehir made the following comment  “I always say that you learn to be a Catholic through the second collection, because if you listen to what we take up the second campaign for, it’s the Campaign for Human Development, Catholic Relief Services, Propagation of the Faith. We concern for the world as a whole, local, national, local and global.” (fast forward to 24:15):

Unfortunately, the Campaign for Human Development has its own controversies, so if Fr. Hehir feels you “you learn to be Catholic” by contributing to the CHD, that says something.  Crisis Magazine reported in  “Catholic Campaign for Human Development–Reform or Bust“, “In its 40-plus year history, the CCHD has funded many organizations and activities that are at best questionable and at worst downright reprehensible. Indeed, through the CCHD annual November collection, American Catholics have funded efforts promoting “reproductive justice”, (i.e., abortion) and “marriage equality” (gay “marriage”), among other causes.”  A review of their grants from the 2010-2011 year published here found that of the 218 organizations funded by CCHD, 14 are directly involved in activities contrary to Church teaching and 40 are actively involved in coalitions with such activities. Thus, 54 groups (24%) funded by CCHD are involved in anti-Catholic work. These 54 organizations received a total of $1,863,000 of the $7,608,000 distributed in CCHD grants in 2010-2011.

Cardinal Sean commended Fr. Hehir on his blog shortly after that talk last year, saying, “He gave an outstanding reflection on Catholic education and its role in shaping Catholic identity.”

Our last response to your comment concerns something you said early on. “Sadly, I think he [Cardinal O’Malley] has been surrounded by some people who are not serving him well and are often times giving him bad advice.”  Cardinal O’Malley is the one who has picked all of his senior leadership and continues to keep them in their roles. Many people have written letters, made phone calls, and sent emails complaining about some of these people. If the Cardinal has picked people who are not serving him well and giving bad advice and he hears the complaints but does not make changes, then is it really the advisers who are at fault? We continue to suggest changes and hope and pray for changes–but if there are none (or they are few and far between), then what does that tell us?

With this being Holy Week and the Triduum upon us shortly, this will be our last post for the week. Best wishes for a blessed Triduum and Easter from the BCI team.

32 Responses to Boston Catechetical Congress, BCI Criticism

  1. saintpio1 says:

    I didn’t take time to read the whole writing. I scanned it and found it a good read. It was to my happiness that our parish did NOT meet near the quest that our Bishop asked for the appeal this year!!
    We should be aware by now that communism is abounding in every aspect of our lives AND YES in our church. Read Good Bye Good Men and then 002 and if not found by that name search Fr Trosh. Fr Trosh is a well meaning protestor and heretic but his efforts have some good. The book is about the dairy of a young man who was a communist, sent by Russia to Canada to become a priest. His dairy was left after his death in a coma and his nurse looked in his briefcase to find it. He mentioned there were 1000 such “priests” at the time of his training over the world.
    Search Pope Leo XIII and see what his locution told him -and us. Then scan in your mind the difference in the world after that time which was in the 1880’s to now. The devil has had power given him to destroy humanity and God’s church. He has made a huge dent in it!!! Right after Pope Leo’s locution, he devised the prayer to St Michael.
    Our only weapon is PRAYER. Pray for wisdom. Pray often – all day. The BVM is asking for prayers. She gave Fr Gobi messages -read Our Lady Speaks to Her Beloved Priests. Fr Gobi started the Marian Priests at her wishes.
    The BVM said the communists and masons will destroy the world. Yes highest degree masons who have manipulated this world for a couple of generations. A fallen away mason was interviewed on EWTN and I have read 2 books -all different men, who have said how evil they are. The lower degree masons have no idea what is happening.
    DO NOT Trust anyone. The BVM said to Mej visionaries, America will be taken over by communists, They are here in our White House!!
    It only takes these words many times a day to pray.

    • Stephen says:

      Mej is a hoax and part of the destruction.
      You are correct on your other points.

  2. Grannyspeak......... says:

    Hunger Games. Read no reviews (they all have a leaning and I pefer to draw my own conclusions). Read the book (s), saw the movie and have the following comments: The Gladiators to the future….ours to change. Note well, in the “games”, we are victims of the enemy within. Young romance/love as I would wish upon my own; no urgency, respectful. No vulgarity; totally refreshing. Regarding brutality; it shows the end result which gives one food for thought unlike most present day depictions which show the act and the thrill of the act. Not so here. All about survival. Perhaps a lesson learned.

  3. jbq2 says:

    As Bill Clinton said, “it all depends on what the meaning of ‘is’ is”. The Archdiocese of Boston is spending money “hand over fist” with 17 employees making 150K. Sister Carol Keehan, the rebel against the bishops, makes 962K as CEO of the CHA. Using a logistics model, it is obvious that there is a blending of the social justice mission of the church with a socialist government based on a French government model. The problem is that Mr. Obama is a radical socialist and aided and abetted by radicals within the church such as Bryan Hehir. Here in St. Louis, any Latin Rite supporting seminanarians are given the “mark of Cain”. Catholic schools are given education grants for African-American non-Catholic students. My local Catholic school is now 70% non Catholic African-American within the suburbs with now the housing reflecting the school population. Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac failed because of the mortgage guarantees. The Catholic schools are becoming inherently dependent on government aid. The governance of the schools is shaping up on the “Boston model” of clusters of schools with a coordinator based on social justice. Parishes are moving in the direction of non priest administrators. There is an obvious phasing out of the priesthood and priests even now are viewed as little more than “mascots” at the discretion of social justice councils who run the parishes and follow the religious dictums of the pastoral associates who are being prepped to take over the entire religious system. Also here in St. Louis, there is a strong active gay priest lobby with the power to inflict change in the archdiocese which included the “running out of town” of now Cardinal Raymond Burke.

  4. Plain Patti says:

    If you missed Fr. Hehir at the Catechetical Conference you can catch him at the the Hynes on Friday April 13th as Keynote speaker at NCEA meeting
    (National Catolic Education Association.

    He does get around…..

    Plain Patti

    • BobofNewtn says:

      Interesting observation, Patti. Thanks.

      Fr. Hehir does seem to get a lot of invitations from and face time with a whole lot of Catholic organizations. They seem to like him and his views so what is it that we are missing? Food for thought.

      • BobofNewtn, That Fr. Hehir gets invited to give a lot of talks means nothing. Rep. Barney Frank gives a lot of talks too. So what?

        BCI recalls that not long ago, you expressed your approval in this space for the job Barney Frank has done in office. Frank has, objectively, one of the most anti-Catholic voting records on key moral issues in Congress. You had no problem with him or with Fr. Hehir speaking on a panel with him, so, it should be noted that apparently the lens through which you view certain Catholic moral teachings may be different from BCI, most of our readers, and the Magisterium of the Church. Just an objective observation.

        Did you check out the articles on the Campaign for Human Development? Are you OK with the sorts of orrganizations they are funding with Catholic donor contributions? What does it say about Fr. Hehir when he voices support for the CHD?

      • wondering says:


        Are you catholic?

      • BobofNewtn says:

        As Mitt Romney would say: Gee Wilikers, where did the $7,608,000.00 come from that funded these allegedly anti-Catholic causes to the tune of $1,863,000.00? Maybe we should re-focus our investigations about monetary abuse to that issue.

        Folks – I do not want to make fun of this issue about fiscal irresponsibility but, let’s face it: In my opinion much of the fiscal decisions made come from clerics who either do not have a clue or clerics who listen to lay “experts” who never before had a job in excess of a minimum wage. From my limited experience, I am of the opinion that many of the “lay experts” are no more than “special” friends (if you get my drift) of those who engineered their hiring.

        Getting back to Fr. Hehir, I do not know the guy but I think he has a good gig going with all his appearances and – if the Cardinal had a problem with his opinions, I am of the opinion he would be silenced in a moment.

        BCI – please do not misrepresent my opinion of Barney Frank: he does represent his electorate but I differ with him on certain matters. However, he is not running again so my opinion of his service means little. As a Conservative Republican, my vote goes to Elizabeth Childs if you care to know. Food for thought.

      • BobofNewtn, Here is what you had said about Barney Frank back on January 4:

        “As far as Congressman Frank is concerned, I am a constituant and feel he has done a great job for those in his District. He may not espouse what I support in terms of fiscal matters, he mirrors the opinions of those he represents and I admire him for doing so. Let’s concentrate on those issues that are relevant and let’s not work to try to dictate what people should do, think or speak in these United States. As Catholics, we have, trust me, much more important things to worry about.” -frank-panel/#comment-5284

        Did you not intend to voice your approval for the job he has done in office by this statement? BCI represented exactly what you said then. As you can see from the subsequent comments, quite a number of readers disagreed vehemently with you. Not only that, but the Obama administration, with help from Congressman Frank, who you said has done a great job, is trying to dictate exactly what Catholics should do right now. That is a very important thing for Catholics to worry about!

        As for the donations to the Campaign for Human Development, Catholics in the pews are encouraged to donate by their bishops each year. Cardinal O’Malley and the Boston Archdiocese encourage parishioners to donate here in Boston. How and why they get money is not the point, so please do not try to change the topic or deflect from your defense of Fr. Hehir.

        Here are a few more articles describing the situation with the CHD:

        Because you did not respond to our questions about the CHD and about your own faith, we will ask the questions again:

        Did you read the articles about the Campaign for Human Development?
        Are you OK with the sorts of organizations they are funding with Catholic donor contributions?
        What does it say or suggest about Fr. Hehir that he voices support for the CHD in view of the sorts of organizations they continue to fund?
        What does it say about Cardinal O’Malley that he allows and endorses the CHD collections?
        Are you a practicing Catholic? If so, where do you worship regularly?

        Bob, we have been very patient with you and your comments here, but based on the views you express, it sounds like you may not be in agreement with core teachings of the Catholic Church and may not even be Catholic. If that is the case, you should really find another venue.

      • Jimmy says:

        Regarding Wondering’s question, I’ll bet BobofNewtn is not actually Catholic but is a priest of Archdiocese of Boston.

  5. Stephen says:

    This is a definition from Wikipedia (I know it is a weak source)

    “Fundamentalism is the demand for a strict adherence to specific theological doctrines usually understood as a reaction against Modernist theology, combined with a vigorous attack on outside threats to their religious culture.”

    Hehir says we must NEVER be fundamentalists, NEVER.

  6. Michael says:

    Cognitive Dissonance … “we must NEVER be fundamentalists” — i.e., we must never demand strict adherence to God’s laws. Yes Fr. we will adhere to strictly what you demand of us. Moses was wrong.

  7. Stephen says:

    Part of the American Protestant churches’ history is the Fundamentalist–Modernist Controversy of the 1920’s. The modernists gained ground and protestantism splintered further.
    It is telling to note that at the 1930 Lambeth conference protestant churches further separated themselves from Rome by universally accepting…ready? Birth Control!

    The Hehir lecture posted above seems quite reasonable at the first or second pass. I’d like to deconstruct it a bit and note what is missing and why. What has been emphasized and what has been hidden. I’d also like to note: when Fr. Hehir says we must NEVER be fundamentalists, NEVER- there is a reason.

  8. BobofNewtn says:

    To Jimmy – That is a great answer.

    Happy Easter everybody!

    • BobofNewtn, Your continual avoidance of responding to the question “Are you a practicing Catholic?” is rapidly leading BCI to conclude that you are not. If so, it really is pointless for you to be participating in this forum and for anyone to take any time to respond to your comments. You have set yourself up to have any future comments moderated.

    • Jimmy says:

      I wasn’t being facetious. I bet you are a priest. People in the Archdiocese of Boston should understand that the clergy here are not representative of the clergy as a whole. I cannot recall a local diocesan priest upholding Church teaching on sexual morality or other matters that don’t jive with the popular culture. They drive people who want to practice their faith into the arms of Opus Dei and the like.

      An epiphany I had a short while ago that should have been self-evident: if a priest does not believe in the Church teaching on sexual morality, what does this say about his chastity and/or celibacy? This speaks to why the Archdiocese of Boston spends vast sums of the faithful’s hard earned donations on lawyers and settlements. Give your money to entities that actually support the Faith.

      • wondering says:


        I suppose there is no way to prove or disprove your claims.
        I think it would be horrible to be a target of these insults.

        If you think it is so easy to get up front of crowds at Mass
        and start talking about sexuality: Why don’t you do it, and,
        show them how it is done?

        Here is what I do know. For the past five years the priests at
        our church have been there every Sunday, every Christmas,
        every Holy Day and, every Easter.

        I think they have so much courage dealing with the bashing
        their profession has taken via the media. All of the parishioners love them, and, would reach out in their hour of need in a heartbeat.

        Did they run away and hide during the turbulence of the past decade? NO.

        Do you have any idea what civilization would be like without Christianity? Do you? Who ensures are society
        is not left barren without Christianity? Dedicated Priests and Pastors.

      • Jimmy, You have made some rather broad generalizations that do not apply to the many holy orthodox priests in Boston who do believe Church teachings on sexual morality and who talk about them in public and in private. Many follow this blog and they would justifiably feel insulted by your comment. BCI would urge you to be more careful in how you express your frustrations in this area. An apology to the solid priests for whom your comment does not apply would be a good idea.

  9. Jimmy says:

    If you don’t have the courage to do it from the pulpit, how about in the confessional, private conversations, the church bulletin, etc? The fact is, it is normal for clergy in the Archdiocese of Boston to undercut Church teaching in such circumstances.

    You enable what you don’t understand. I have no idea what your rant about the loss of Christianity is about. The point is, the Archdiocese of Boston is plagued and dominated by a heterodox clergy that acts as a subversive insurgency against the Vatican. Christianity will survive them.

    God bless the Boston Globe which did more good for the Archdiocese of Boston than the last three Cardinals. Walk in the light! We should have nothing to hide.

    • wondering says:

      You are correct that a more private venue is perhaps more comfortable for both clergy and parishoners.

      With regards to attacking their “courage”: Did it ever dawn on you that maybe they are reserved men, raised by parents with
      modesty and class?

      You cannot have it both ways? On the one hand they
      are not “conservative enough” for you, and, then in your next breath you want them to be a crass as Dr. Ruth.

      **What does heterodox mean?

  10. wondering says:

    never mind I looked it up.

    • Jimmy says:

      You have my opinion. Believe whatever you want. If you still have your dictionary open, you might want to also look up “clericalism” and consider how undue deference given to the clergy might lead to clerical corruption.

  11. Sue says:

    No one other than Our Lord and Savior can look into someone’s heart and cast judgement upon them. No one here is in a position to judge another as to who is Catholic and who is not. I am hurt by the generalizations about our priests. There are many holy, orthodox and good priests in this diocese. Please keep this in mind and keep them in your prayers.

    • Stephen says:

      How do you exercise the cardinal virtue of justice with out using judgement?

      Humans do not judge salvation God alone does.

      • Jimmy says:

        True. Saint Paul (and thus the Holy Spirit) directs Christians preserve the Faith through the judgement of others who claim to be of the Faith but live otherwise:

        I wrote to you in an epistle, not to keep company with fornicators. [10] I mean not with the fornicators of this world, or with the covetous, or the extortioners, or the servers of idols; otherwise you must needs go out of this world. But now I have written to you, not to keep company, if any man that is named a brother, be a fornicator, or covetous, or a server of idols, or a railer, or a drunkard, or an extortioner: with such a one, not so much as to eat. [1 Corinthians 5:11] [12] For what have I to do to judge them that are without? Do not you judge them that are within? [13] For them that are without, God will judge. Put away the evil one from among yourselves.

        Happy Easter.

      • Sue says:

        My understanding of the cardinal virtue of justice is that it not about judgment. It consists of the personal will to give correct due to God and your neighbor. Justice toward your neighbor disposes one to revere the rights of each other, promote the harmony that promotes equity with regard to other people and to promote the common good.

        My comment was in reaction to the previous post from Jimmy. His position upset me. As I reflect here, the cardinal virtue of Justice should be the basis of our comments, especially when the Cardinal, our bishops and our clergy are the targets of said comments. These are men who have dedicated their lives to promote our salvation. Happy Easter.

  12. BobofNewtn says:

    Very nice, Sue. I agree.

    This is the time for prayer and recollection and thankfulness that we share as Catholics. Let us not disturb that time with rancor, anger, and the fear that contrary thought or opinion will lead us astray.

    Have a Happy Easter Folks!

  13. Jimmy says:

    To the good and faithful priests of the Archdiocese of Boston who seek the salvation of souls through the unadulterated teaching of the Church, you have my deepest and sincere apologies for any offense that my postings may have caused. I have no doubt that you are out there, I just haven’t met you. I am sure you are acutely aware of the issues I mention and have suffered at the hands of such clerics.

    Stumbled across this last night:

    Now I beseech you, brethren, to mark them who make dissensions and offences contrary to the doctrine which you have learned, and avoid them. For they that are such, serve not Christ our Lord, but their own belly; and by pleasing speeches and good words, seduce the hearts of the innocent.

  14. wondering says:


    Thank you for the thoughtful post. It was perfect, and, struck just the right balance. When you write “and have suffered at the hands of such clerics.” Do you mean that the priests themselves were abused in many cases? I hope not.

    Even though I put such energy and passion in to defending
    the good priests, and/or who I perceive as good; your counsel is wise.

    Also, I have wondered why an employee of the archdiocese
    is not on this site or others defending the good priests.
    Have you ever in your life heard of an organization that leaves
    its most treasured out a limb? Do you think many priests in the archdiocese read this, and/or know it exists?

    Even though we sort of disagreed on yesterday’s post: I gave your entry serious thought. For that matter, I have absolutely no assurance that the priests whose reputations I work so hard to
    protect would do the same for me if the situation was reversed.
    —This alone should give me pause.

    Again, this recent entry you submitted was intelligent, well written
    and gives credit where credit is due.

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