Boston Parish Adult Faith Formation: Good and Bad

With pastoral planning in full gear and more focus supposedly going to adult faith formation and evangelization (at least on paper), at the suggestion of a reader, BCI takes a look today at what Boston parishes are doing for their Adult Faith Formation. What are some of the good and the bad programs?  As you might imagine, the good ones are very good, and the bad ones are, well, pretty bad.

In the good category, St. Patrick Parish in Lawrence is doing a six-evening series “Life and Light” exploring the Catechism of the Catholic Church, focusing on the sacraments. Each session includes a presentation by Fr. Paul O’Brien with “extensive opportunities for questions and answers.”

Also in the good category from St. Mary’s in Waltham, as seen in this recent bulletin notice (see 4th inside page), the parish has instituted a second afternoon of adoration and benediction for the fall, and will offer special fasting bread for parishioners. This makes two afternoons of Adoration a week, starting in September. Sounds pretty good to BCI. St. Mary’s also recently had a speaker talk about the benefits of fasting in the Catholic tradition. In principle that sounds good, but the connection between the presenter and his affinity for Medjugorje puts this latter initiative in the controversial category.

In the controversial or not-so-good category is the “Why Catholic?” program from RENEW International offered at many parishes across the Boston Archdiocese with the backing of Cardinal O’Malley. That merits a whole blog post for itself.  Suffice to say for now, BCI believes anything associated with RENEW is highly suspect. Read Site Review: Why Catholic or Renew International: Queries for now. Also, look at their leadership.  Their President, Sr. Theresa Rickard, O.P. is a Blauvelt, NY Dominican Sister, whose order is represented by the Leadership Council of Women Religious.  Sr. Terry holds a Doctor of Ministry Degree in Preaching from Aquinas Institute of Theology (St. Louis, Missouri) and a Master of Divinity Degree at Union Theological Seminary in New York City, a multi-denominational Presbyterian-founded school that describes itself as having “roots firmly planted in the Protestant, Reformed tradition. “Being informed by the insights of liberation theologians, the Seminary embraces and addresses the richness and realities of religious pluralism.”   We will revisit this in another post.

In the bad category are St. Susanna in Dedham, Holy Family in Concord and Blessed Sacrament in Walpole.

At St. Susanna in Dedham, Fr. Steve Josoma started the adult faith formation program this fall with a discussion of Buddhism.

September 24, 2012 – The Essence of Buddhism: Cultivating Inner and Outer Harmony. What are the central tenets of Buddhism and how is this ancient wisdom relevant today? Presenter: Wendy Garling, a Tibetan Buddhist practitioner, holds an M.A. in Sanskrit Language and Literature from the University of California at Berkeley. She has been teaching Buddhist thought and practice in the Boston area for over ten years. In this overview presentation we will learn about the Buddha’s insights into human potential and his teachings on helpful ways we can view and navigate the world we live in. Wendy will explore with us how we can use these tools to create a happier, more meaningful spiritual life.

Last Sunday, October 1, they discussed Mormonism, led by a life-long Mormon Church leader.  In November, there will be a session “Will the Real Nuns Please Stand Up?” about how nuns are under attack by the Vatican.

As for Holy Family in Concord, here is their brochure. The list features speakers from the recent Voice of the Faithful conference in Boston, including Thomas Groome and Richard Gaillardetz. Groome is a national co-chair of “Catholics for Obama” and a former priest. Groome’s upcoming talk is on his new book, “Will There be Faith?”  Also, Fr. Walter Cuenin and Fr. Austin Fleming will speak on the legacy of Vatican II, among others.  Fr. Cuenin is no stranger to controversy. Time does not permit us to go further there today.

At Blessed Sacrament in Walpole, under Adult Faith Formation on their website, we see that their Book Club recently read the fictional novel, Prodigal Summer, by Barbara Kingsolver.  Read these reviews at,, and the New York Times, and ask yourself how this belongs in any Catholic Church, let alone an “Adult Faith Formation” program.

Barbara Kingsolver’s new novel is all about sex, and she doesn’t waste much time on foreplay…”Every single thing you hear in the woods right now is just nothing but . . . males drumming up business,” Deanna explains. By chapter’s end she and Eddie are drumming up some of their own, falling on each other for a serious Gore-Tex-ripping mingling of gametes — the ”pursuit of eternity,” biological style.

“Having chosen a life of isolation after her marriage ends, her world is invaded by Eddie Bondo, coyote hunter and sex god, with whom she argues and makes love and through whom she comes to reevaluate her notions of independence. We may think of the natural world as a refuge, Kingsolver suggests, but if anything it places our own choices in sharper relief. Displaying a frank eroticism unusual for Kingsolver, this story held for me the most compelling passages in the novel.”

BCI wonders where the guidelines are for parish-based Adult Faith Formation. We will write to the Secretary for Faith Formation for the Boston Archdiocese to ask.  We find it odd that the archdiocese felt comfortable setting and propagating guidelines in early 2011 that said all Catholic schools must admit children of gay and lesbian parents, but we cannot find any guidelines that parish adult faith formation programs and speakers need to be Catholic and adhere to the teachings of the Catholic Church.  Anyone else find that problematic?

Are the adult faith formations programs at your parish good or bad?  Let us know what you think and are seeing via comments or Contact Us.  Have a blessed holiday weekend!

47 Responses to Boston Parish Adult Faith Formation: Good and Bad

  1. Lynne says:

    Oh dear! In checking out St Mary’s bulletin, I saw this…

    Lavalee’s Bakery of Waltham is promoting the practice of
    fasting. Andy Lavalee, the founder of Lavalee’s is certain
    that the Lord wants him to use his know-how of baking
    bread to promote fasting. He came to know this by visiting
    Medjugorie, where many who have visited believe our
    Blessed Mother is appearing and sending us messages from
    her Son. One of the messages is for the sons and daughters
    to increase fasting. This makes sense because we are
    awaiting the Second Coming of the Lord. Jesus said the first
    time he came that no one fasts while the Bridegroom is here.
    We desire the return of the Bridegroom to His Bride the
    church on earth, and fasting by its nature helps us live with
    that desire. Lavalee’s bakery has developed a bread that
    helps a person fast. The company is set to market and sell
    this bread so that those who wish to fast can be helped in this


    • ANNE says:

      Personal revelations that are NOT approved by the Church may not be taught.
      Contact your Paster and Your Bishop. If that does not work, contact the US Papal Nuncio in Washington DC, with a copy to the Vatican.
      Advertising for a privately owned company is not appropriate.

    • Stephen says:

      You want to know about the ‘bread’ ($) from Medjugorie?

      5 Emily lane, Peabody, Ma
      Sale price $835,000
      Owner of record; DRAGICEVIC, IVAN
      Profession: Seer, Full-time heretic, slanderer of the Mother of God, travel agent extraordinaire

      Italian sources say that the the Croation phoney paid off his American Hacienda in 6 months.

    • Chris says:

      I think it’s more about having a sturdy bread, not the white “Wonder” stuff, that will allow you to fast. The parish isn’t doing a whole Medjugorje thing, it’s just promoting fasting. Having a well-known devout parishioner who is a baker talk about fasting isn’t the worst thing in the world. They aren’t selling the bread; they gave some away with the talk. The whole point is to push fasting as a discipline.

      Why not focus on two whole afternoons of adoration? THAT is something all parishes could use. Most don’t bother at all.

    • Liam says:


      The pastor of St Mary’s in Melrose is a devotee of the Medjugorie apparations.

  2. saintpio1 says:

    Sounds like a special bread is just another way to make money. Fasting is meant to be a discipline, hurting by going hungry etc,. It can be by giving up a favorite and addictive food: coffee-chocolate-alcohols etc.etc.
    As far as programs you favor in some parishes: we have many and getting more – but all are getting out to the parish, especially at night and not being a family at home. My thoughts about being a better catholic is saying prayers before meals, at bedtime, little gestures -sign of the cross, kneeling at noon and saying the noon prayer like people used to do. I suggested the bell be sounded at noon and a priest felt it would be disturing to those sleeping, doing a night shift BUT the town fire dept has a siren going off at noon! Really loud!
    We need to promote a holier life at home. Something to be passed down through the ages with family traditions. We don’t need families pulled apart with programs at the church. Mom and Dad need to spend time at home with the kids. Praying with them at bedtime and the kids knowing they will be there when they are asleep. Kids need surety and being a holy parent is the best assurance a kid can get.

  3. When is the Pope going to give Cardinal Sean the pink slip? I am really disturbed by these activities that are allowed to happen with the blessing of the people who run the show at 66 Brooks Drive.

    • Liam says:

      Probably in 2022-2024.

      • ANNE says:

        It is up to the people who live in the Diocese who can document this garbage to get rid of a Bishop. Bishops can be removed from Office with cause – per Code of Canon Law.
        Be sure to send documentation.
        Here is contact info:

        Apostolic Nuncio to the United States
        Archbishop Carlo Maria Viganò
        3339 Massachusetts Avenue, N.W, Washington, DC, USA
        Telephone: (202)333-7121
        Fax: 202 337-4036

        Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith:
        Mailing Address: Piazza del S. Uffizio, 11, 00193 Roma, Italy

        Congregation for Bishops:
        Mailing Address: Palazzo della Congregazioni, 00193 Roma, Piazza Pio XII, 10

  4. David S. says:

    I looked at the Blessed Sacrament parish website and neither of the priests (Fr. Kelleher or Fr. Boutin) are dressed in clerical garb in their pictures on the Pastoral Staff Leadership page.

    That tells me everything I need to know about the Orthodoxy of this parish.

    • CB says:

      I didn’t know Fr. Boutin was back in the parish. He had been on a year’s suspension following a charge of ‘indecency” . The “victim” withdrew charges. See Headline story “Local Priest Charged with Indecency” in the Walpole Times, July 1, 2010.

      • Walpole Local says:

        I believe the “victim” did not withdraw charges–the “victim” refused to testify in the trial, and the DA ended up dropping the charges. Fr. Boutin is trying to get reinstated but the archdiocese has not yet done so.

    • Angry Parish Council member says:

      I too looked at the Blessed Sacrament parish website. Bill Dittrich is the Pastoral Associate responsible for Faith Formation and Religious Education. He was a Voice of the Faithful leader–I think in charge of their famous “Structural Change” committee that wanted to restructure the Catholic Church while he worked for the Archdiocese running programs that were “forming” DREs, pastoral associates and parish staff. Between the two priests in sportcoats and the VOTF person running faith formation, it’s no wonder that the parish is reading trash fiction. Janet Benestad (Secr. for Faith Formation) is a solid Catholic. I wonder if she even knows about this?

  5. Devoted Catholic says:

    Can anyone explain what the problem is the RENEW INTERNATIONAL? I never had their programs at my parish because of a lack of interest. So I’m not sure what is the problem with them?

    • Stephen says:

      Re: RENEW
      This from the Oath against Modernism;

      “I hold with certainty and sincerely confess that faith is not a blind sentiment of religion welling up from the depths of the subconscious under the impulse of the heart and the motion of a will trained to morality; but faith is a genuine assent of the intellect to truth received by hearing from an external source.”

      RENEW is quite intentionally about – a blind sentiment of religion welling up from the depths- This is exactly what the booklets are designed to foster. They do so very effectively.

      I have been in several RENEW groups and have met some wonderful people and made some lasting friendships. I also have been in a RENEW group where the groups prayer intention for the night was the healing of a cat’s urinary tract infection. There was nothing close to Catholic in that group.

      The RENEW material at best is a conversation starter with a dash of scripture and a heavy dose of liberation theology. Rather, discuss the lives of the Saints, share a few stories and skip the printed RENEW modernist propaganda.

      • ANNE says:

        The TRUTH of what the Church teaches is contained in the “CATECHISM of the CATHOLIC CHURCH, Second Edition”.
        If any teachings do not adhere to the CCC, they are false.

        “ The Catechism of the Catholic Church, which I approved … and the publication of which I today order by virtue of my Apostolic Authority, is a statement of the Church’s faith and of catholic doctrine, attested to or illumined by Sacred Scripture, the Apostolic Tradition and the Church’s Magisterium.
        I declare it to be a sure norm for teaching the faith and thus a valid and legitimate instrument for ecclesial communion. “
        – Pope John Paul II. (CCC pg 5)

    • Devoted Catholic,

      Good question. Time does not permit BCI to go into many details today. Check out this article and the related links, including Weaknesses at the bottom of the review.

      The books provided by this particular program are OK–but the concerns and questions regarding group facilitation and leadership, the background of RENEW itself, training by RENEW, and other resources provided by RENEW make it controversial.

  6. ANNE says:

    I think the Bishop and Parish Priests need to re-read Pope Benedict’s directions regarding Porta Fidei – Year of Faith starting with paragraphs # 11.

    This is just a small portion of paragraphs # 11.
    ” It is in this sense that that the Year of Faith will have to see a concerted effort to rediscover and study the fundamental content of the faith that receives its systematic and organic synthesis in the Catechism of the Catholic Church. ” – Pope Benedict.
    ” Through the harmonious and complementary efforts of all the ranks of the People of God, may this Catechism be known and shared by everyone, so that the unity in faith whose supreme model and origin is found in the Unity of the Trinity may be strengthened and extended to the ends of the earth.” – Pope John Paul II (CCC pg xv)

    Is this Diocese and Parishes suppressing the CCC ?
    Of course prayer and Eucharistic adoration are always extremely important.

    On internet with quotes from Popes, and other verifiable info on the CCC, go to: or search ” What Catholics REALLY Believe SOURCE. “

  7. Jack O'Malley says:

    It will only get worse. Pope Ratzinger is not going to remove Seáno. The scandals will grow and will eventually be manifest in schism.

    There is no solution except to stop funding the infamy. But the sheeple are under their fond delusions. That the modernist, masonic Church is necessary for salvation. The farce will endure. Souls will perish. O’Malley’s first and foremost.

    Actually, this farce transcends Pat O’Malley’s provincial bailiwick. Sciluna exiled to Malta. Müller kicking FSSPX ass. The LCWR in a lezzie hissy fit and unreprimanded. Küng feeling his superannuated oats.

    If I had not been baptised a Catholic, there is almost no chance I would convert to this post-conciliar religion. Actually, no chance at all. And my baptism was involuntary and therefore invalid.

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

    • Stephen says:

      How do we know when we are in schism?
      Better yet, how do we know that we are not currently in true schism? It sure feel that way sometimes.
      The issue of infant baptism has been settled, you are a lock.
      The desire and blood hypotheses are another matter.

      The FSSPX gang can take any punch Müller could possibly
      give them. I think it actually strengthens their resolve.

      Its a shame Bishop Williamson doesn’t get more press. I think he brings up more phlegm for the liberal modernists than our dear Feeny once did.

      Keep the Faith.

      • ANNE says:

        Stephen, you are mixing up two separate Orders that have the Latin Mass. Please be more careful.
        FSSP – The Priestly Fraternity of St. Peter is in full communion with our Pope. And they are training many American Priests to say the Latin Mass.
        The SSPX has unresolved issues.

        People who live in the Boston Diocese must document ALL abuses that violate the Church teaching as stated in the:
        “CATECHISM of the CATHOLIC CHURCH, Second Edition”;
        Code of Canon Law;
        or GIRM (General Instruction for the Roman Missal.)
        For links to GIRM, Code of Canon Law, etc go to: or
        search: “What Catholics REALLY Believe SOURCE “.
        You must report in writing and with documentation if possible to your Bishop, and if that does not work to the US Papal Nuncio with copies to the Vatican. Addresses have been provided in posting above.

        Merely complaining to each other will not solve any problems.
        Take appropriate action,
        or you will have no one to blame except yourself for the spread of the cancer within your own Diocese.

    • Jack O'Malley says:

      Just to clarify: the FSSPX/SSPX (Fraternitas Sacerdotalis Sancti Pii X) is Marcel Lefebvre’s society. It is not schismatic but its “canonical standing is irregular”. Its masses are valid though confessions and marriages are not because their priest “lack faculties”. Full disclosure: I am not an adherent of the FSSPX and have never attended one of their masses.

      The FSSP (Fraternitas Sacerdotalis Sancti Petri) was formed initially by John Paul “the great”(?) for priests who wanted to bolt from the FSSPX after the illicit episcopal consecrations. Other FSSPX priests split and formed the SSPV (Pius V) and other fringe groups. Many are sedevacantist.

      Stephen, I don’t think the concept of schism exists anymore. If Rowan the Druid can play priest on an altar at St. Peter’s, if Hans Küng has not been excommunicated, if Seán O’Malley allows the infamy to continue at Unni’s parish as Nichols does in Soho, there surely is no such thing as schism. Or heresy for that matter.

      Note: though Williamson can be entertaining, I think he is a screwball. As is any bishop who allows altar girls, has liturgical ladies passing out communion or washes ladies’ feet on Holy Thursday. At least Williamson says the True Mass.

      • ANNE says:

        It’s not this bad all over the USA. Some of it depends on the Diocese Bishop. When was the last time the Diocese Bishop actively and publically encouraged his Faithful to read the CCC ?

        Adult Formation of the literate (over age 16) is contained in the “CCC, Second Ed”. Sorry if I did not make it clear.

        CCC: ” 2089
        INCREDULITY is the neglect of revealed truth or the willful refusal to assent to it.
        HERESY is the obstinate post-baptismal denial of some truth which must be believed with divine and catholic faith, or it is likewise an obstinate doubt concerning the same;
        APOSTACY is the total repudiation of the Christian faith;
        SCHISM is the refusal of submission to the Roman Pontiff or of communion with the members of the Church subject to him.”

        Public figures (including but not limited to Catholic politicians) who gravely violate Church teachings as stated in the CCC are Catholic Heretics or Catholic Schismatics – per CCC definition.
        It’s time they be truthfully called that to slow the Scandals.

      • Stephen says:

        I love all of the Traditionalists. Most of my friends and acquaintances are screwballs anyway. We have been so inundated with fringe liberals I find the lunatic right positively refreshing. They also are very easy to be kind to, seem quite
        knowledgeable about the faith and love the Holy Sacrifice of the Alter. Authentic Catholic life has always been a little whacky and a little audacious. After all we still believe that the all knowing, all powerful, all loving God comes down from heaven in the form of bread. They have been saying since Christ started this Church – “you Catholic people are a little soft…Bread, really?”. To my observation it is only since V2 did the popularity and reasonableness of the faith become a concern. “I’m Catholic, but not THAT Catholic”

        I do believe we are in the midst of true heresy; Modernism, as described by St. Pius X (and Pope). I also believe we are in De Facto schism in many diocese. Fr. Z has recently suggested the dialogue has finally begun on Tradition and V2.

  8. ANNE says:

    I am not from MA, so I can tell you that all Diocese in the USA are not as bad as you describe for Boston
    If it got this bad, some of the blame is that of the Catholic people for not documenting and reporting abuses. Abuses of the Liturgy as required in GIRM, abuses of the teachings of the Church as required in the CCC.

    According to Canon Law Title IX, Chapter II, LOSS OF ECCLESIASTICAL OFFICE (4 different ways) Bishops can be removed from Office. And they are. Check it out.

    This is where the Faithful Catholic has an obligation – – – – –
    Canon ” 212 §3. According to the knowledge, competence, and prestige which they possess, they have the right and even at times the duty to manifest to the sacred pastors their opinion on matters which pertain to the good of the Church and to make their opinion known to the rest of the Christian faithful, without prejudice to the integrity of faith and morals, with reverence toward their pastors, and attentive to common advantage and the dignity of persons.”

    Good Catholics must report abuses of the Faith to the Diocese Bishop first.
    It is always best to provide documentation if possible – not just limiting oneself to dates, times, and locations.
    If after a reasonable time to allow for investigation, and if the abuse is not corrected, report it to the Papal Nuncio and the Vatican. – use the addresses that are provided above and state when it was reported to the Diocesan Bishop and that nothing has been corrected.

    Remember that at the Diocese level, the Bishop is responsibile for everything “Catholic’ that takes place within his own Diocese.
    He can not know everything that takes place since he is not a mind reader. So Catholics have an obligation to tell him first. You can not assume he knows.

    If the Bishop does nothing to correct the abuse, then write (with documentation) to the US Papal Nuncio and the Vatican.

    I’ll bet that faithful Catholics in Boston MA, have not done their job of reporting abuses over the years either. And things have festered and gotten worse like a cancer. You each have an obligation.

    It is helpful but not required if more than one person sign the complaint.

    Go to or search ” What Catholics REALLY Believe SOURCE “. Go to the Source page for links that you will find helpful – Canon law, GIRM, CCC, etc,.

    Parents have the prime responsibility for teaching their children the Faith (as you will also see on the above web site as quoted from the CCC). Ultimately you will be held responsible, so you are right that you can not trust your children to others only.

    To everyone who reads this – –
    1. When was the last time you read the “CATECHISM of the CATHOLIC CHURCH,Second Edition” in entirety?
    2. When was the last time you encouraged others to read the CCC?

    If you don’t know your Faith – you will not recognize all abuses, and will not be able to document all abuses. And the cancer will spread.
    You won’t be able to evangelize others accurately either.

    • Stephen says:

      Thanks for coming.
      The Vatican knows all about Boston.
      I too love the Catechism, the Baltimore, They Maynooth and The Catechism of Trent. I also have a copy of the latest, 1st edition; (not the 2nd) that is the one where it say that God made sodomites that way.

      Boston is a political and financial power-base of those who would re-form and deform the Church established by The Christ.
      The letter writing campaign to bring about change in our diocese ended a long long time ago.

      • ANNE says:

        Don’t give up. Documentation is important. The more that send doucumented info is important. Several Bishops around the world have been removed/replaced since Pope Benedict took office in 2005.
        Boston is not a poltical and power base for the USA, only the MA area. Boston has not been a power base for more than 150 years.

        For a link to Code of Canon Law, and brief history on the “Catechism of the Catholic Church”, on internet, go to: or search ” What Catholics REALLY Believe SOURCE “.

        There is only one OFFICIAL – – – “CATECHISM of the CATHOLIC CHURCH”.
        It is the “Second Edition, revised in accordance with the official Latin text promulgated by Pope John Paul II “.

        There have only been two catechisms of the Catholic Church. The Catechism of the Council of Trent of 1566, and the CCC which was first correctly published in the USA in March 2000.

        There have been many LOCAL catechisms around the world. For more info go to the site in this post.

    • Stephen says:

      You said “…or you will have no one to blame except yourself for the spread of the cancer within your own Diocese.”


      Your proposition is yet another misconception about the faith, in fact I find it uncharitable given our history here.

      It is totally understandable that you would believe that this blog is just another ‘ whine of the faithless’ group. It is not.

      Start here: Who were the 2 Cardinals responsible for the publication of the 1st Edition of your beloved (modernist tainted) CCC ? How and who do you think it got into production?

      Libreria Editrice Vaticana. 1992-10-11.
      JPII …declared that the Catechism of the Catholic Church was “a valid and legitimate instrument for ecclesial communion and a sure norm for teaching the faith, and stressed that it “is not intended to replace the local catechisms duly approved by the ecclesiastical authorities, the diocesan Bishops and the Episcopal Conferences”.

      That was: NOT intended to replace

      • Stephen says:

        Check on the SSPX is also know as FSSPX.

      • ANNE says:

        LOCAL catechisms must conform to the CCC.
        LOCAL catechisms are for age appropriateness, literacy levels, etc.
        If you are not literate, too young, or have a problem understanding then there is a good need for LOCAL catechisms.
        In the USA the literacy and understanding level for most people over age 16 is high enough.
        Remember that the CCC was written for the entire World, and is the same throughout the world.

        CCC: ” 24 By design, this Catechism does not set out to provide the adaptation of doctrinal presentations and catechetical methods required by the differences of culture, age, spiritual maturity, and social and ecclesial condition among all those to whom it is addressed. Such indispensable adaptations are the responsibility of particular catechisms and, even more, of those who instruct the faithful:
        Whoever teaches must become “all things to all men” (1 Cor 9:22), to win everyone to Christ. . . . Above all, teachers must not imagine that a single kind of soul has been entrusted to them, and that consequently it is lawful to teach and form equally all the faithful in true piety with one and the same method!
        Let them realize that some are in Christ as newborn babes, others as adolescents, and still others as adults in full command of their powers. . . . Those who are called to the ministry of preaching must suit their words to the maturity and understanding of their hearers, as they hand on the teaching of the mysteries of faith and the rules of moral conduct. ”

        Again this is all explained on the web site: ”
        or search: ” What Catholics REALLY Believe Source “.

        Any Catholic who does not support the teachings in the CCC is a heretic or schismatic.

      • ANNE says:

        Yes, Bishops and all of us are definately responsible for our own sins – – however – – –

        CCC: ” 1868 Sin is a personal act. Moreover, we have a responsibility for the sins committed by others when we cooperate in them:
        – by participating directly and voluntarily in them;
        – by ordering, advising, praising, or approving them;
        – by not disclosing or not hindering them when we have an obligation to do so;
        – by protecting evil-doers.

        Regarding Obligations and Rights of the Christian Faithful – – Code of Canon Law
        ” 212 §3. According to the knowledge, competence, and prestige which they possess, they have the right and even at times the duty to manifest to the sacred pastors their opinion on matters which pertain to the good of the Church and to make their opinion known to the rest of the Christian faithful, without prejudice to the integrity of faith and morals, with reverence toward their pastors, and attentive to common advantage and the dignity of persons. ”

        Regarding our own ignorance (including not reading the CCC provided by the Magisterium) –
        CCC: ” 1791 This ignorance can often be imputed to personal responsibility. This is the case when a man “takes little trouble to find out what is true and good, or when conscience is by degrees almost blinded through the habit of committing sin.”
        In such cases, the person is culpable for the evil he commits. ”

  9. Chris says:

    Anne, I think San Francisco and Chicago are just as bad or worse than Boston. So let’s rate the RCAB in the bottom three.

    • ANNE says:

      Agreed. SF just got a new Archbishop last week who hopefully will not overlook all the scandal and sin allowed to fester in the Diocese. He will probably need a new staff. He will need our prayers, due to the bad shape the Diocese was left in for many many years.
      Current Chicago Cardinal has cancer.

      • Stephen says:

        You said “Any Catholic who does not support the teachings in the CCC is a heretic or schismatic.”

        I soundly reject and do not support interpretations of church teaching found in the 1st edition of the latest CCC. If I died before the 2nd edition was published would I be hell bound as an unrepentant schismatic heretic?

        Lets not be silly. The language of modernism is intentionally ambiguous. The older Catechisms sound quaint and stiff by comparison because they do not shy away from Dogma. I am in good conscience even if I prefer other guidelines to the faith.

        We have a common enemy, lets stop trying to out-catholic one another.

      • ANNE says:

        No Stephen. The first edition of the CCC that you do not like (and neither would I) had several translation errors in the English version. The link to the translation errors are linked on that web site I pointed you to.
        Those errors are not and have NEVER been the REAL CCC from the Church Magisterium.
        Errors were not in all languages, but certainly in English.
        I think you are confusing translation errors with actual teaching errors which never happened in all languages.

        The accurate translation (second edition) is from the Church Magisterium. It is what they ORIGINALLY approved.
        Since you mentioned that you never read the real CCC (second edition), you can not make an informed statement.

        Now that the corrections have been made (first published in March 2000 – per the copyright page) – Yes it is heresy and/or schism to deny any of the teachings in the CCC. If you have a problem with a specific teaching, let us know.
        Remember that the CCC must be taken in entirety.

        “ The Catechism of the Catholic Church, which I approved … and the publication of which I today order by virtue of my Apostolic Authority, is a statement of the Church’s faith and of catholic doctrine, attested to or illumined by Sacred Scripture, the Apostolic Tradition and the Church’s Magisterium. I declare it to be a sure norm for teaching the faith and thus a valid and legitimate instrument for ecclesial communion. “ – Pope John Paul II. (CCC pg 5)

        “Through the harmonious and complementary efforts of all the ranks of the People of God, may this Catechism be known and shared by everyone, so that the unity in faith whose supreme model and origin is found in the Unity of the Trinity may be strengthened and extended to the ends of the earth.” – Pope John Paul II (CCC pg xv)

        “It is in this sense that the Year of Faith will have to see a concerted effort to rediscover and study the fundamental content of the faith that receives its systematic and organic synthesis in the Catechism of the Catholic Church.” – Pope Benedict XVI (Porta Fidei, Moto Proprio Data)

      • ANNE says:

        Stephen, a suggestion – if you still have the errant copy of the original translation into English of the CCC (first edition), it would be appropriate for you to tear it up at the binding and throw it in the trash.
        It has way too many errors, and therefore contains much that is false.
        It is not what was propogated from the Church Magisterium.
        I’m sorry that this was never explained in your Diocese, with the recommendation that they be destroyed.
        (If I remember correctly, they had a beige cover, not green.)

      • Stephen and Anne,

        BCI agrees with both of your most recent points.

        Stephen, you said, “We have a common enemy, let’s stop trying to out-Catholic one another.” BCI completely agrees with you! Sometimes in comments on this blog, that is a problem, so we appreciate you saying that.

        Anne and Stephen, you have both observed that the first edition of the latest Catechism of the Catholic Church (CCC) is problematic. You are in violent agreement there. Catholics should reference the SECOND EDITION.
        2nd Edition Catechism of the Catholic Church

        BCI knows of no problems or concerns with the Second Edition. We would expect that to be an appropriate reference for any parish-based adult faith formation programs–which is the topic of this post.

      • Stephen says:

        What if somebody finds my first edition when I toss it in the trash? Should I burn it instead? Are you telling me there was a copy right infringement on the 1st edition and it was not the CCC as it claimed on the cover?

        So if it was snuck into production who was the sneak? This is a knowable question.

        You can put dogma in a vise and it comes out truth, if you put obedience into a vise you never know what you’ll get.

        So how many angels can dance on the head of a pin anyway?

      • ANNE says:

        Can’t say that the copyright was ‘hi-jacked’ because I don’t know the circumstances – of sabatoge or just plain sloppy human error, but there were definately serious translation errors in the English edition of the first CCCs.
        When the Pope and others speak about the CCC they are referring to what in English is the Second Edition. There was no need for a Second Edition in many non-English speaking parts of the world because their translations were correct.

        I recommend making your first edition unreadable (whatever is easiest for you) and get rid of it so family members and others will never be confused by it.
        There are enough errors to make many of the teachings false. You were right to think it was wrong – because it was wrong in many but not all teachings.
        Before destroying anything check the cover for the verbiage in quotes below, and check the copyright page. The correct version was first published in March, 2000 by the USCCB. Holy See holds the copyright.

        COVER – ” Catechism of the Catholic Church, Second Edition ” – – – -“revised in accordance with the official Latin text promulgated by Pope John Paul II”,
        – – – has been in publication for 12 1/2 years. Too bad there are old versions around and the Diocese did not educate their Faithful on this.

        This CCC can help bring us all to the truthful Unity in the Church that most of us seek – in spite of poor catechesis elsewhere. And in helping all Catholics to form a good conscience.

        ” There are not a hundred people in America who hate the Catholic Church. There are millions of people who hate what they wrongly believe to be the Catholic Church — which is, of course, quite a different thing. ” – Abp Fulton J. Sheen

      • Anne and Stephen, BCI would ask that the discussion about what to with Edition 1 of the CCC be let go.

        If you have comments about the main topic of this post–adult faith formation in parishes–that is fine. But let us leave the detailed discourse on the CCC.

      • Stephen submitted a subsequent comment starting with:

        Sorry, there is a story here.
        The problem was not translation, it was the players involved in production.”…

        If there is more to the story, then it will have to be told at another time.

        We are sticking to the request that readers keep to the main topic of the blog post. Please respect that request and do not make it necessary for us to moderate comments 24 hours a day. If you would like to write you own blog on topics of particular interest, please feel free to do so.

  10. A reader has shared the following with us regarding “Catholics for Obama,” which has a co-chair, Thomas Groome, along with several pro-abortion politicians. (This was first reported in US News):

    The Catholic Association is taking to task a pro-Obama group for an “incredibly intolerant” polling effort in Ohio, suggesting Catholics should not support Mitt Romney because he’s a Mormon.

    A group calling itself “Catholics for Obama” is conducting push-polling in The Buckeye State, attempting to make Romney’s Mormonism an issue. Obama supporters making phone calls on behalf of the group have several Catholic organizations outraged about the nature of the calls. In a scripted phone message, Catholics are being asked: “How can you support a Mormon who does not believe in Jesus Christ?”

    Maureen Ferguson is senior policy advisor for The Catholic Association.

    “We’re deeply concerned about it, but frankly not that surprised given this president’s abysmal record on religious liberty,” says Ferguson. “He has chosen to pick a fight with people of faith over and over again in his administration. So it’s very disappointing and a very disturbing report.”

    Ferguson’s group has described Congressman Paul Ryan, the GOP vice-presidential candidate, as a “smart, serious Catholic [who] has been steadfast on issues of fundamental principle – defending religious liberty, life, and traditional marriage.” Contrary to what Catholics for Obama contend, Ferguson says many Catholics support the Romney/Ryan ticket.

    “This [polling by Catholics for Obama] is incredibly intolerant, not to mention the fact that the Constitution prohibits any religious test for office,” says the senior policy advisor. “And also just shocking in that it comes from a president who has done nothing but try to divide people based on religious grounds.”

    • ANNE says:

      “Catholics for Obama” and “Catholic Alliance for the Common Good” are heretical and schismatic groups.
      They do not conform to the CCC in regarding to the non-negotiables – such as abortion, euthanasia, homosexual marriage, and freedom of religion.
      They come up with convoluted ideas why Catholics should vote for Obama, always putting politics ahead of their Faith.

      Interestingly, a staff Member at Catholic University of America, the Bishops University, is a member of “Catholics for Obama” -Stephen Schneck, as well as one of their Board of Trustees –
      Mark Touhey.
      I have already written to my Bishop about this, and that I would not donate to the CUA collection until they started using the CCC as a required student text, so the students would be equipped to stand up to the bolgonia from Schneck.

      On the internet see: “Obama’s Counterfeit Catholics” by ChurchMilitantTV (formerly RealCatholicTV).
      This follows the money of funding of these type of groups back to athiest George Soros, and others.

  11. Alice Slattery says:

    With the dissident positions Thomas Groome is taking on the teachings of the Catholic Church, how can Thomas Groome continue to be the Chair of the Department of Religious Eduction and Pastoral Ministry and a senior professor of theology and religious education at Boston College? The Pilot, the newspaper for the Archdiocese of Boston, constantly advertises the program he leads,namely The Boston College School of Theology and Ministry Continuing Education events ( In fact in the Sept. 28 issue, The Pilot advertises ,under Fall Events,”Catholic Spiritual Practices: A Treasury of Old and New” Colleen M. Griffith and Thomas Groome,Tuesday,October 16,5:30 p.m.”
    If he continues to practice publicly opposing the Catholic Spiritual practices and teachings of the Catholic Church, why is he given the publicly prestigious position of being a major leader in the service of educating religious education teachers and pastoral ministry personnel in the Archdiocese of Boston? Cardinal O’Malley certainly has jurisdiction in the matter of the teaching of theology in the Boston Archdiocese. Even if Thomas Groome may have signed the Mandatum required for teachers of Theology in the Boston Archdiocese (and I don’t know if he did since Fr. Leahy stated in the Alumnae magazine that he was not going to ask the B.C. theologians to do this), Groome would not have been telling the truth since he publicly dissents against the teachings of the Catholic Church by his public actions.

  12. Chris says:

    Hi all,

    I feel this thread has been hijacked in part. I’m very interested in the original question: What are parishes doing for Adult Faith Formation? No one has piped in on that topic.

    Anne, I know you’re new around here and don’t know Boston. May I suggest you read the archives of this blog, and also the great Phil Lawler book “The Faithful Departed: The Collapse of Boston’s Catholic Culture.” What happens in the archdiocese has been of great concern to dedicated Catholics for many years. I don’t know why Rome hasn’t acted yet, but it’s not for lack of trying.

  13. ANNE says:

    Regarding Adult Formation – – –
    A Plenary Indulgence is available for those persons who study Vatican II Documents and the Catechism of the Catholic Church during this Year of Faith.

    Go to for links to the Vatican giving the exact particulars on this.

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