BCI was just looking at the print edition of The Pilot as well as the online version of the Archdiocesan calendar. We noticed a few very interesting things we thought we would share in the hopes that it will help improve archdiocesan communications.
In the online version of the calendar for September (or click on picture below to expand), there are what look like a lot of excellent programs, such as First Friday Extraordinary form Mass and Young Adult social on Sept. 8, Candlelight Rosary in Hanover on Sept. 13, an Election Lecture with Brian Burch of CatholicVote on Sept 18, an evening in honor of St. Padre Pio on Sept 25, plus many more.
But go a bit deeper and a few things strike BCI as, well, rather questionable.
For example, “Voter Lecture” at Immaculate Conception in Newburyport had as the featured speaker, Fr. Kenneth Himes, of Boston College, who, naturally, appears in his official photo in a sportcoat instead of clerics, and who criticized Catholics who opposed Notre Dame’s decision to honor President Obama back in 2009. This Wall Street Journal column reports on how Himes said in 2009:
“There are some well-meaning people who think Notre Dame has given away its Catholic identity, because they have been caught up in the gamesmanship of American higher education, bringing in a star commencement speaker even if that means sacrificing their values, and that accounts for some of this,” said the Rev. Kenneth Himes, chairman of theology department at Boston College. “But one also has to say that there is a political game going on here, and part of that is that you demonize the people who disagree with you, you question their integrity, you challenge their character, and you brand these people as moral poison. Some people have…simply launched a crusade to bar anything from Catholic institutions that smacks of any sort of open conversation.”
Now read this 2006 Associated Press dispatch:
Nearly 100 faculty members at Boston College have signed a letter objecting to the college’s decision to award Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice an honorary degree.
The letter entitled “Condoleezza Rice Does Not Deserve a Boston College Honorary Degree,” was written by the Rev. Kenneth Himes. . . .
“On the levels of both moral principle and practical moral judgment, Secretary Rice’s approach to international affairs is in fundamental conflict with Boston College’s commitment to the values of the Catholic and Jesuit traditions and is inconsistent with the humanistic values that inspire the university’s work,” the letter said.
The Journal says, “Himes, it seems, is an expert on demonization.”
One might ask, why is the Archdiocese helping promote a talk by Fr. Himes on voting? Is he the best person available to address questions such as, “Is it possible to vote for a candidate and still have moral reservations about some of the candidate’s views?”
Elsewhere in the calendar we see a “Safe Driving Course” in Cambridge, and “Embracing Our Journey- Your Self is a Wellspring of Hope” at the Espousal Center. Neither strikes BCI as particular Catholic in focus. There are other listings that seem similarly secular.
Meanwhile, with all of the focus now on education about why Catholics should oppose Physician Assisted Suicide, there are no calendar listings for the talks given this past week on Tuesday Sept 25 in Quincy or Thursday Sept 27 in Waltham. A look at The Pilot Calendar for the week ahead does not say anything about the workshops coming up on Tuesday, October 2 at St. John the Evangelist, N. Chelmsford, 7-9pm, or on Wednesday, October 3 at St. Raphael, Medford, 7-9pm. Nor does The Pilot remind us about the Town Hall meeting Cardinal O’Malley is hosting on the topic this Thursday, Oct. 3, at 8pm. BCI wonders where the crack PR team of Terry Donilon and Rasky Baerlein are when you need them to get the word out. The Pilot has 20,000-plus readers a week–would you not want them to all to be reminded about these events? Is it just BCI, or does anyone else see calendar listings as basic blocking and tackling?
Anyway, our closing thought here is that BCI thinks the Boston Archdiocese might want to have someone take a little closer look at the listings they allow in the calendar on the archdiocesan website and also look at how well they are getting the word out on the matters related to the November election, including the ballot questions.
We have been asked by a number of readers to report on what is happening with opposition to physician assisted suicide and are hearing from readers they are confused about the various efforts underway. We will get to that soon. In the meantime, there is an excellent column by Cardinal O’Malley in this week’s edition of The Pilot, entitled “Suicide is Always a Tragedy.”