Parallels between Vatican politics/corruption and Boston diocesan corruption

In follow-up of the abdication announcement by the Holy Father, a number of news reports about Vatican politics and corruption have coincidental parallels to what we have been seeing in Boston in recent years.

This piece discusses how “Pope Benedict XVI’s leaked documents show fractured Vatican full of rivalries.”

VatiLeaks, as the scandal came to be known…exposed the church bureaucracy’s entrenched opposition to Benedict’s fledgling effort to carve out a legacy as a reformer…

“We can reveal the face of the church and how this face is, at times, disfigured,” Benedict said in his final homily on Ash Wednesday. “I am thinking in particular of the sins against the unity of the church, of the divisions in the body of the church.” He called for his ministry to overcome “individualism” and “rivalry,” saying they were only for those “who have distanced themselves from the faith.”

A radical transformation of the culture is unlikely. “We’re talking about people who have given their life to this institution, but at the same time the institution has become their life,” said one senior Vatican official. “Unlike parish priests, who have the personal rewards that come with everyday contact, their lot is not as human. It’s bureaucratic, but it becomes all-consuming.”

The Washington Post piece reiterates information published elsewhere previously about how the powerful #2, Vatican Secretary of State, Cardinal Tarciscio Bertone, has consolidated power and pushed out Archbishop Carlo Maria Vigano, who was helping drive financial and operational reforms desired by Pope Benedict XVI. The pope’s butler sought an unconventional way to get the pope’s attention by leaking confidential memos, in the hopes that a shock, “perhaps through the media, could bring the church back on the right track.”

We also hear separately, from Cardinal Joachim Meisner of Cologne, that he had pleaded with Pope Benedict XVI to replace the Secretary of State, Cardinal Bertone, but the Pontiff firmly refused:

Cardinal Meisner told Frankfurter Rundschau that he approached the Pontiff, speaking on behalf of several cardinals, to demand a change at the Secretariat of State because Cardinal Bertone had proven incapable of handling his office. The German cardinal said that Pope Benedict dismissed the suggestion immediately, showing his loyalty to Cardinal Bertone. Cardinal Meisner recalled:

During the Williamson affair, I even once, on behalf of a number of cardinals, went to the Pope and said: “Holy Father, you have to dismiss Cardinal Bertone! He’s in charge–as would be the responsible minister in a secular government.” He looked at me and said, ‘Listen to me carefully! Bertone remains! Basta! Basta! Basta!” After that I never brought up the subject again.”

A number of pundits and writers are opining that Benedict has been a great teaching pope, but he has a mixed record as a manager, governor and administrator.  Do long-time BCI readers see any parallels with Boston?

Cardinal Sean O’Malley gives a good homily. He writes a good pastoral letter. When he spends time and energy on teaching–which BCI thinks is insufficient–he can be a good teacher. But governing is another story. He has created a bureaucratic diocesan hierarchy and organization where internal politics rule far above anything having to do with the saving mission of the Catholic Church.  He has surrounded himself by people whose actions in many cases suggest they have distanced themselves from the faith or care little about the Catholic faith.  When people have complained about the bad eggs in the cabinet and problems with some of his senior cabinet officials, in all but one case, he has ignored them and kept supporting the problematic officials.  To his credit, he brought in a new Vicar General, who moved out the former Chancellor. That is the only one of many needed changes he has allowed.

But look at who still remains:

  • Fr. Bryan Hehir, who by his own admission at a talk several years ago, “couldn’t organize a 3-car funeral procession.”  This piece, The Eminence Grise, explains many of the problems. He has had his fingers in nearly every public scandal or fiasco since he returned to Boston to work for Cardinal O’Malley–honoring Mayor Menino at a Catholic Charities fundraiser, inserting himself into decisions on parish reconfiguration of 2004 and mucking-up that process, insisting that parish vigils not be broken up–thus costing millions of dollars to maintain and heat the occupied properties, hiring a lobbyist to head the Mass Catholic Conference who had given donations to pro-abortion politicians, advising the Cardinal to attend the Ted Kennedy coronation funeral, engaging and keeping Jack Connors, being involved in the initial Caritas/Centene deal that would have had Caritas profiting from referrals to abortion services, and the list goes on. Given his track record of mismanagement at St. Paul’s in Cambridge as pastor and at Catholic Charities Boston, as well as his history of involvement in Marxist causes and views on suppression of the Catholic Church’s moral views in the public square, he belongs on a list of people to not have in a Catholic archdiocesan cabinet. As written in The Eminence Grise, “At a moment when the Church is striving to launch a “new evangelization” in this Year of Faith, the Archdiocese of Boston under Fr. Hehir’s leadership is more concerned with conforming to the secular culture, appeasing a hostile liberal media, and protecting renegade pro-abortion Catholic politicians and their apologists in the Catholic community. Hehir calls this “rebuilding trust” with civil society, but that is a ruse for enabling dissent, as Fr. Hehir’s record over 40 years illustrates.Yet despite many people telling Cardinal O’Malley he should get rid of Hehir, he remains, with more power and influence than the Vicar General, Bishop Deeley.  Hehir helps consolidate power in the Terry Donilon/Rasky Baerlein/Jack Connors coalition (which is all about political power and money), does his best to thwart efforts around spreading the truths of the Catholic faith, and ensures the continued inefficacy of the Mass Catholic Conference and of communicating Catholic moral views in the public square and political process.
  • Terry Donilon: now paid $184K in salary alone, up from $166,304 a few years ago. Challenged by spelling, grammar, and basics of the Catholic faith, he is now overpaid by at least $70K for this role.  He is an excellent example for how the Compensation Committee report flat-out lied about performance and compensation of diocesan staff.
  • Jack Connors: multi-million dollar Obama fundraiser and abortion supporter, as a key member of the Finance Council and Catholic schools fundraiser
  • Carol Gustavson: Executive Director Lay Benefits:paid  $169,190. A proud ex-Catholic who lacks qualifications for this job (prior experience was as a labor attorney for a newspaper), paid about double what the position would be paid elsewhere, and who was  unable to respond to basic questions about pensions in 2011 public meetings around cuts to the lay pension funds.

We could go on and on about the problems. As a parallel to VatiLeaks, this blog was created for the main purpose of exposing the moral and financial corruption and deception in the Boston Archdiocese, in the hopes that perhaps through public exposure of the problems, we could help bring the Catholic Church in Boston back on the right track.

Despite the similarities, there is one big difference. The Holy Father, Pope Benedict XVI said it was his declining mental and physical strength that led him to abdicate the papacy and resign from the office. The next step is a conclave in March where a new pope will be elected.  Cardinal O’Malley long ago abdicated governance of the Boston Archdiocese.  The next step for Boston is….?

48 Responses to Parallels between Vatican politics/corruption and Boston diocesan corruption

  1. Time for a change says:

    The Holy Father and Bernard Cardinal Law cared enough to leave two of the best offices in the world, when they knew they were not the best man in the world for the job. They did this for the good of the Church. This should be a lesson for the Cardinal/Archbihop of Boston who clearly is harming the Church every day by staying where he cannot do the job..

    • Sue A. says:

      The difference is that the Holy Father has freely chosen to step down and I believe that he is doing this out of conviction. Cardinal Law did not have a choice. Either he was pulled, to get out of town before he was indicted for his crimes or he ran away because he could not deal with the criminal, civil and moral consequences of his actions or lack of action.

  2. John dempsey says:

    You have stooped very low when you resort to the Washington Post for information on the Vatican in order to make a point about Boston. Shame on you.

    • John dempsey,

      BCI is sorry you feel this way. We could have cited a variety of other publications that gave bits and pieces of the same message, but the Washington Post article gave it all in one place.

      Vatileaks, objectively, did expose the Roman curia opposition to some of Benedict XVI’s attempted reforms of the curia. That has been reported in a multitude of places.

      That Cardinal Bertone was behind the removal of Archbishop Carlo Maria Vigano has also been extensively reported as part of Vatileaks.

      The words of the Holy Father on Ash Wednesday are published on the Vatican website and across the Internet.

      Notwithstanding our reference to the Washington Post article, do you agree or disagree with our point about Boston?

      • John dempsey says:

        The Vatileaks scandal produced accusations of impropriety not proof of same. Cardinal Sean is a wonderful priest and much good has been done in the seminary and elsewhere. You have made known your criticisms and you should stop endlessly re-hashing them for your own spiritual good. Cardinal Sean may not govern in a manner to your liking but that does not justify incitement to disobedience and disrespect. He deserves neither. He has many burdens and we do not know every fact about every situation that he has faced. It is time to end the political commentary. I am sure that you have been well intentioned in your undertaking. But now may be the time to suspend the Blog in favor of reflection.

      • John, Thank you for your response–it helps clarify your original comment further.

        We agree on Vatileaks. As relates to this post, the Vatileaks scandal produced documentation of internal politics and that Carlo Maria Vigano was pushed out of his role (as reformer) by Cardinal Bertone. Dozens of primary sources reported that.

        But it sounds like your issue with BCI on this post is not really the reference to the Washington Post article, but is rather an issue with our criticism of the governance shortcomings of Cardinal O’Malley.

        If the Boston Archdiocese had a means through which Catholic faithful could privately communicate their needs to Cardinal O’Malley and get some response that confirmed he had actually received their message and took their concerns seriously (assuming the concern was legitimate) and would act on the concern (again, assuming it was legitimate), then there would be no reason for BCI to exist.

        If you and/or other BCI readers would like to reach out to the Vicar General ( and ask him to put in process a way for Catholic faithful to convey their needs to Cardinal O’Malley and get a real response, we encourage you to do so and we support such a move. The sooner that gets in place, the sooner we can stop blogging!

  3. jbq2 says:

    Cardinal Bernie Law was a “firefighter” from the Midwest (Springfield). He fought the fire started by Archbishop Medeiros. The “street wise” Italians like Bertone who lied about The Third Secret outsmarted and out maneuvered him just as they did with JPII. Bryan Hehir and Jack Connors are making a fool out of Cardinal Sean. There is no doubt of the laity maneuvering to take over the Church within the left wing of the Democratic Party. In their socialist scenario, there will be no Pope. Read Teilhard de Chardin and Malachi Brendan Martin.

  4. Liam says:

    What was Fr Hehir’s record of mismanagement at St Paul’s?

    • Carolyn says:

      How could he mismanage something he never managed? He was a barder at St Paul — as in nice house near Harvard. Can you think of one job he’s had that actually meant he was accountable as a manager? The only office that matters to his heart and mind is the DNC.

  5. breathnach says:

    Unlike Pope Benedict XVI, I just don’t see Cardinal O’Malley as interested in the defense of orthodoxy or the Magisterium. I believe he would be quite satisfied as a functionary of an “American Catholic Church”. I believe his slackness leads to his dysfunctional management style.

    • There has been no orthodoxy since Sean O’Malley has been in Boston, both liturgical, spiritual, and moral.

      • Sue A. says:

        Nr Whittle, how are you the arbiter of what is orthodox and what is not. In my current experience I judge there are many orthodox parishes, priests and parishioners. I think your flippant comments do not adequately acknowledge all the Good Work that is happening in the Archdiocese.

  6. Bricks and Mortar says:

    And what makes you clowns from BCI think you’d be any better as leaders? I wouldn’t trust you monkeys to take care of a fish bowl.

    • Bricks and Mortar, That you are reading BCI and posted a comment like this here makes no sense. If you are a regular reader of BCI–which it sounds like you are–and you think we are “clowns”, then why do you bother taking the time to read BCI? If you are not a regular reader of BCI, then you should take the time to read a number of posts before you judge us as “clowns.” Should people not criticize Obama and his policies because they are not personally going to run for President of the U.S. themselves? Do you read Op-Ed pieces in major newspapers and write to the editors all the time to say, “What makes you clowns at [newspaper] think you’d be any better as leaders?”

      The Code of Canon Law (Can. 222) says that Catholics have a right and a duty to make their needs known to pastors of the Church. That is what we are doing. Most of what we write here at BCI is logically derived and a matter of common sense. With respect to this post, it is not about whether BCI could do a better job as Archbishop of Boston compared to Cardinal O’Malley. It is comparing the situation in the Vatican with the situation in Boston.

      BCI has several questions for you: 1) Do you believe the salvation of souls is the top priority for the Boston Archdiocese? 2) Do you believe Cardinal O’Malley makes the salvation of souls the top priority for the Boston Archdiocese and is highly effective at governing the Boston Archdiocese? 3) If your answer to either 1 or 2 is “no”, what do you think should change to make the salvation of souls the top priority?

      • I can answer these questions:

        (1) The Salvation of Souls must be the top priority for any Catholic organization, but I don’t believe it is being emphasized at all levels, with a few exceptions.

        (2) I do not believe Cardinal O’Malley cares about the Salvation of Souls.

        (3) The only way for the Salvation of Souls in the Archdiocese of Boston is for the new Pope to appoint a new archbishop.

      • Bricks and Mortar says:

        I never like getting into a debate with monkeys, but I will reply to your childish questions.

        1.) I do NOT believe the salvation of souls is the top priority of the Boston Archdiocese. But neither is it your top priority. Have you monkeys at BCI committed any sins in your BCI adventure? Are you leading anyone to sin by this BCI circus of half-truths and spin (your last post regarding Bishop D’Arcy is a clear example). One thing’s for sure: you have disobeyed the Apostolic Nuncio who installed our Archbishop. You do remember what Archbishop Montalvo told us to do, don’t you?

        2.) I believe that the salvation of souls IS the top priority of the Archbishop.

        3.) What must change? Probably this: individuals must be more concerned about repenting of their own sins than talking about the sins of others. What a challenge for you BCI monkeys! In the big picture, I wonder if this BCI circus has only added more sin to the world…

      • Bricks and Mortar, Thank you for your response back. You comments are not making sense at all.

        If you think we here at BCI are “monkeys”, then why are you bothering to read the blog? If you have been a long-time reader yet feel we are “monkeys” it makes no sense for you have been reading for a while and then, suddenly out of the blue, criticize us and call us “monkeys.”

        As for your points, what specifically do you believe was a half-truth in our blog post about Bishop D’Arcy? How in the world would a blog post honoring Bishop D’Arcy lead readers to sin? We asked readers to pray for the repose of his soul, and that Boston leadership learn from these principles and adopt them:

        – Bishops must act as loving shepherds and prudent gatekeepers for their seminary** – If there was a pastor harming the faith, and if I found out that a parish had poor leadership, I would do my best with the personnel board to make a change – Bishops mistakenly ceded their judgment to others – There are different models of management. The danger is keeping your distance from the crucial decisions. – The bishops role is as a loving, but tough-minded shepherd. – *A bishop must teach the Catholic faith in season and out of season, and he teaches not only by his words but by his actions.* – It is important to have a healthy and beautiful sense of the priesthood *a shepherd after the heart of Christ*

        How specifically does any of the above lead someone to sin? It makes no sense.

        BCI is very aware of what Gabriel Montalvo said upon the installation of Sean O’Malley as Archbishop of Boston, and we have not disobeyed him.You are the one who is off-base. We did receive the new archbishop as our father in God and hierarchical superior sent by his Vicar, the Pope. Do you not understand that children often tell their father when they have needs which they need their father to help meet? If seems you view the relationship between bishop and Catholic faithful as one analogous to king and serf.

        And nothing about the message from Archbishop Montalvo suggested we should disregard Canon Law, which states (Can. 212, 3) that Christ’s faithful “have the right, indeed at times the duty, in keepingwith their knowledge, competence and position, to manifest to the sacred Pastors their views on matters which concern the good of the Church. They have the rightalso to make their views known to others of Christ’s faithful…”

        If the Catholic faithful in Boston had any sense that the Cardinal actually received and read private letters, emails or calls, we would use that as a means of making known our needs to the Archbishop of Boston. But we know that is not the case. So we have a blog.

        Lastly, our top priority at BCI is the salvation of souls and helping the Boston Archdiocese continue her mission of carrying out the saving ministry of Jesus Christ. It has been since Day 1.

      • Bricks and Mortar,

        Two further points:

        First, we asked in 2) Do you believe Cardinal OMalley makes the salvation of souls the top priority for the Boston Archdiocese and is highly effective at governing the Boston Archdiocese? You never answered that question. Why did you not answer the question?

        Second, the bishop has 3 key duties and responsibilities–to teach, sanctify, and govern. If Cardinal O’Malley does not make the salvation of souls the top priority for the Boston Archdiocese and is not effective at governing, what makes you think that individuals repenting of their own sins (a fine idea, by the way) will somehow miraculously solve the leadership and governance problem in the Boston Archdiocese? Once again, you are not making sense.

      • Bricks and Mortar says:

        “Monkeys” is my nice word for you here at BCI. And I have been following you since day 1. Your tasteless and nearly truthless post about Bishop D’Arcy moved me to launch that word in your direction.

        I’ll take your bait and reply to your question about the archbishop making the salvation of souls the top priority of the archdiocese. Well, he can only do so much. His teaching and his example must be obeyed by the ADULTS in the diocese. But obedience is not always at work. It’s hard for one man (the archbishop) to make a bunch of monkeys follow the Gospel.

        Just look in your own case, BCI. If the archbishop asked you to stop this blog, would you obey him? I doubt it.

        No. You BCI writers are not monkeys. You are just a bunch of “rainy day women.” Gossiping every chance you get. Spewing venom at whomever you can. I wouldn’t want to be friends with any of you clowns — you’d trash me the first chance you got.

      • Bricks and Mortar,

        When you fail to back your claims with a single point of fact, you lose all credibility.

        Our post about Bishop D’Arcy quoted a variety of published sources. It was fact-checked against multiple sources, including a published book about the history of the Fr. Wayne diocese, “Worthy of the Gospel of Christ: A History of the Catholic Diocese of Fort Wayne” which further impressed us with the late Bishop D’Arcy. By comparison, you give not a single fact to back your spurious claim that our post about Bishop D’Arcy was “nearly truthless.” You are simply wrong, and you are the one making truthless claims.

        Look at the comments on this blog post at Cardinal Sean’s blog for an example of where the absence of teaching by the Cardinal and his example brought scandal upon the faithful:

        “I am a practicing Catholic and raised my sons the same but it is hard when they visit and the subject comes up like these. How phoney is the Church and what it will not do for money. Very sad.”

        “What troubles me (and many other ordinary lay Catholics) greatly was not the Mass offered for his soul but the very public nature of it. Senator Kennedy was a source of manifest, objective and very grave public scandal because of his open hostility toward life issues. That he was given such a public send-off from the Church only compounds the scandal. As a layman, it was hard enough to witness the repeated wounds suffered by the Body of Christ that were inflicted by this most visible American Catholic politician, who repeatedly twisted the teachings of the Church for mere expediency. It is twice as difficult to witness that unto his death, Senator Kennedy was not required to make an equally objective and public repudiation of his previous position before the Church made such a obvious fuss over him, to a national television audience, no less. Are there no more ecclesial consequences for supporting and advocating for the murder of innocent human beings? Based on the Church’s seeming ambivalence toward the very public nature of the Senator’s scandal, you would have to excuse the laity if we wondered aloud whether the American episcopacy even believes the things the Church claims to profess. It is episodes like this that make being a faithful Catholic so difficult.”

        Let us presume that the Archbishop of Boston were to set up a vehicle through which faithful Catholics can communicate their concerns and needs to him (which is the canonical duty of Catholic faithful), and he will both respond promptly and take real action on legitimate concerns. If he were to set up such a vehicle and process and after establishing it and putting it into action, he asked us to stop this blog because he had a credible and functional process in place for Catholics to exercise their canonical duty of making their needs known to him, then BCI would gladly stop the blog.

        Because you are repeatedly failing to back any of your criticism of BCI with facts, we suggest you pursue other venues for your comments. Future comments by you will be moderated.

    • Michael says:

      Wow … bricks and mortar … real cowardly of you to anonymously launch slurs at BCI!

      Make me wonder … has BCI somehow attacked you personally? You seem a bit heavily invested in your overzealous comment.

      Maybe you are one of the highly (and over-) paid “clowns” at the Archdiocese whom BCI has been exposing? Wouldn’t that explain your aggressive demeanor? Maybe your shame for being part of this archdiocesan scam is finally getting to you? What else would explain your vicious reaction?

      Good news, though … it appears from your comments that you may actually have a conscience after all.

      So let’s redirect your anger to … the real reason for your angst … yourself. Go ahead … you can do it. Admit that you are over paid, that you have been stealing from the church for several years, that the whole operation is a sham and that the money grabbing just kinda got away from you … you know … unexpectedly. Now, take step two and quit your job. Then go to each of your overpaid, selfish, and self-centered colleagues and tell them to do the same. See that wasn’t that hard. Probably relieves some of that shame you are experiencing. But for longer lasting relief, you might try confession.

  7. […] Man’s Heaven is Another Man’s All-You-Can-Eat Dessert Buffet – K. O’Brien Parallels between Vatican Corruption & Boston Diocesan Corruption – BCI The Language of Life – Denise Hunnell MD, Truth and Charity Forum A Worried NARAL […]

  8. Chris says:

    Chris Whittle, I believe you go too far in your statement that Cardinal O’Malley does not care about the salvation of souls. None of the priests I know believe the cardinal is personally dishonest or insincere or lacking in faith. They do feel he is in way over his head and has shown bad judgment in picking his subordinates. I wonder how much information gets to him and how much is heavily filtered. I think we can all agree that he needs to cancel many of his trips and social engagements and start paying attention his pastors at the parish level.

  9. Anni says:

    If you haven’t read John Allen’s piece in NCR yet, have a cup of coffee, or maybe something a bit stronger, and sit down…

    His assessment of Cardinal O’Malley could not be further off the mark. Who is promoting this stuff?

    Here’s a taste…

    “O’Malley’s simplicity isn’t just a matter of wearing his brown habit, or insisting on being called “Cardinal Sean.” By reputation he’s not given to building empires or playing political games, and on the back of the Vatileaks mess, ongoing questions about the Vatican Bank, and other perceived Vatican imbroglios, that profile could strike some cardinals as just what the doctor ordered.

    Despite his overall image as a moderate, O’Malley is by-the-book when it comes to matters of Catholic orthodoxy and is especially committed to the pro-life cause, making him attractive to cardinals concerned that the church hold the line on its positions in the culture wars.

    O’Malley is also passionate about the “New Evangelization,” expressed not only in his use of Twitter and blogs, but in his general approach to the role of a bishop.”


    • breathnach says:

      The catholyc Left has placed their brown, lame gelding into the paddock. It is unclear whether this nervous, gelding, so unfamiliar with the course and a proven non-performer will even make it to the starting gate.

    • BCI readers, feel free to comment in the Globe piece. You can describe the reality as well as BCI, so comment away!

    • JUSTSAYIN' says:

      Well, there is the Honduran Cardinal who has insulted every Jew to such a point that Alan Deshowitz has come out of seclusion. (In case you did not read, the Cardinal stated that the clergy sex scandal was promoted and created by Jewish media moguls.). Then we have African Cardinals who faced with legislation calling for the execution of homosexuals dismiss the issue as simply “cultural.”

      Our homegrown Cardinal is looking pretty good despite his shortcomings in administration/management of the Archdiocese.

      • andrew sullivan says:

        Your uni-culturalism in support of political correctness is odious, e.g. “all South Americans and all Africans do not share my devotion to buggery, therefore they must be cast to the outer circles of hell….”

      • JUSTSAYIN' says:

        Andrew, my comment has nothing to do with PC. I am outraged that a sitting Cardinal would somehow blame “the Jews” for the sex abuse scandal and then be foolish enough to state that. I am outraged that an African Cardinal would be dismissive about the death penalty for homosexuals in his homeland and simply classify that as “cultural.” I don’t intimate that all Hondurans believe as that Cardinal does or that all Africans believe as their Cardinal does. it is not about the people; it is about the Cardinals that are now being considered as Papabile. “Devotion to buggery?” I don’t even want to know where you got that.

    • Liam says:

      Shocking as it may come to some of the combox denizens here, there is something important about the Allen piece folks should pay attention to. It’s that Cdl Sean is fairly highly regarded by many of his peers, especially because he is seen by them as the rare American who has taken successive, unglamorous hardship duties without grandiose self-dramatization (Americans who take hard jobs are often viewed by non-Americans as prone to grandiosity and egoistic self-dramatization).

      Do I think Cdl Sean has significant odds of being elected Pope? Nope. I don’t think any American does. But Cld Sean is more likely than, say, Cdl Burke; Cdl Burke may now be a Curial hand, and well loved in traditionalist circle, but he’s more fringe when compared to his own peers in the Sacred College.

      How might that affect how BCI approaches its reportage? I think there is a tendency to measure Cdl Sean against a notionally Good Archbishop, which tendency has some important cognitive blindspots in gauging how well the target is actually being hit. Many of the things that we complain about Cdl Sean are things that many of his peers may also be vulnerable on, even the mainstream highly orthodox ones: they are vulnerabilities common in the institution at that level, and have been for centuries (e.g., not specifically Jack Connors as such, but the type of the influential layman whose advocacies conflict with the Church – that’s an ancient pattern in the Church; even some of the greatest bishops had associations with power brokers that are viewed with caution or regret in hindsight). So it might be interesting to view stories through the lens of how most of Cdl Sean’s peers would tend to view them, rather than the audience of The Wonderful Orthodox Remnant Bishops we’d prefer.

  10. Chris says:

    JUSTSAYIN’ — I don’t think it’s good for any pope to start out with documented shortcomings in administration and management!

    What we need is a SAINT.

  11. Mommy says:

    Dear BCI,

    “John Dempsey” sounds like a terrific person,
    IN FACT…..If you are a male between the ages of
    18-45 years old and think like this person…

    However, some of us have found a place of belonging in BCI. Perhaps, “John Dempsey” should find another sandbox to play in???

  12. Michael Brennick says:

    The catholyc Left (as another commenter aptly noted) is never flat footed in ginning up a PR wave for their friends in the American media. Cardinal O’Malley is the candidate for those who are devoted to the secularization of the RC church. He will never be Pope, but we can imagine:

    The Cardinal would bring to the papacy both the inertia and the lack of theological depth that would make him a very pliable Pope. However, Cardinal Sean would be quickly isolated by the Vatican bureaucracy, and it is unlikely that he would accomplish much of anything.

    It would be amusing to picture Jack Connors as papal butler. In between his European fundraising for Barack Obama’s ambitions for a Democratic majority in 2014, he would make himself useful in preparing the papal slippers. Peter Meade, as head of Vatican redevelopment, could sell off many of those useless Churches that litter Rome-several might be redesigned with minarets.Press spokesman Donilon would do yeoman’s work in spinning a tale of a “progressive” Pope Sean who was held in check by the reactionary forces controlling the Vatican bureaucracy.

    Happily, none of it will come to pass.

    • Michael says:

      You left out Mary Grass Oneill. No she would not be secretary of education … but she would receive an enormous salary for continuing to do squat.

  13. Chris says:

    They are discussing Boston Catholic Insider over at Fr. Z’s. It’s the post on Fr Z’s suggestion to cardinal electors. Please pitch in, guys, some people want Cardinal O’Malley.

  14. LikeNailsDownAChalkboard says:

    Reading the comments, it sounds like the friends of Msgr. Wallin (former priest secretary to Cardinal Egan & rector of the Bridgeport diocesan cathedral) are rushing to O’Malley’s defense. Here is the former rector recently arrested for selling crystal meth and owning a porn shop to launder money W/cardinal Sean:

    Here’s another blog post where O’Malley touts him:

    “The Order’s spiritual advisor, Msgr. Kevin Wallin, a priest of the Diocese of Bridgeport, gave the keynote address. It was a thorough presentation on the life of Blessed Gérard Tonque, who was the founder of the Order. It was very interesting, detailing much of the historical context surrounding his life and the Order’s founding. It was very informative, I think we all learned quite a bit. Father had a wonderful way of presenting it. He was very animated in his delivery. ”

    If Cardinal Sean is elected pope, maybe instead of distributing communion on the tongue to kneeling worshipers, he will introduce masses before the menorah! (Scroll way down to the Kiko chapel mass where he presided)

    Maybe he will reduce by 75% the world’s dioceses and tout the plan as “new evangelization” (imagine Target or McDonalds getting away w/that!):

    “The overhaul is a response to weak attendance, failing parish finances and a priest shortage. It aims to build a stronger platform from which to evangelize and draw back Catholics.”

    Read more:

    “The Boston Archdiocese is considering a radical reshuffling that would unite its 291 parishes into 80 to 120 groups…The minutes also reveal Cardinal Sean O’Malley’s regret about how the archdiocese handled the closings that started in 2004, reducing the number of parishes from 357 to 291.”

  15. Jack O'Malley says:

    Though I read that “Fr. Z” (zee or zed) half a dozen times a month, I can’t quite figure out why a priest (a Lutheran convert) is ensconced behind a computer screen babbling his persiflage while there is a priest shortage in the domestic church.

    Purportedly at his advanced (in academic terms) age he is studying for a Ph.D. Given the lack of ministry in parishes and on the street, does Holy Mother Church need yet another superfluous Ph.D.? Is Zuhlsdorf another careerist?

    What was the thesis of Mother Teresa’s Ph.D.? Zuhlsdorf is, in my opinion, a potential time bomb. I distrust “famous” priests. Like Corapi. Let him minister to the underclass. Why is he thriving with a thermometer indicating his monthly intake and a private chapel while ghetto neighborhoods go priestless?

    And why are there “blognics” in sundry London pubs at which the “famous Fr. Z.” will appear and swill a pint or two or three on someone else’s shilling?

    And why is a “priest” publicising his sumptuous menus, replete with photographs taken with his reader-donated “wish list” hi-tech gizmos? Is asceticism no longer a prerequisite for sanctity? Or is clerical corpulence the new “bona fides”? Hard to doubt judging by the higher hierarchy.

    As far as comments to his blog are concerned, it is necessary to “register” and I won’t do that. But by all means let BCI afficionados expose Seán O’Malley with links galore to factual BCI posts.

    BCI has the goods on Cardinal “Seán’s” corrupt mismanagement of the archdiocese of Boston. May the Good Lord grant that his return trip ticket be not yet another tax upon the clueless pew puppies as was the Garabedian payoff.

    My money is still on Bertone. Just pragmatism. Beware Zuhlsdorf.

    • Betty Draper says:


      If we did not donate to our parishes, would our priests still be compensated? If not, why would we want them to be punished
      because of the issues brought forth on this blog?

      SInce you are highly intelligent, and, may check back to “replies”
      on this site, may I ask your opinion with regards to
      Clergy Fun (ds)?

      Do you think if the September Priest Apppreciation Dinner
      were to emulate the blueprint for July 4 fireworks, this would
      increase participation and revenues? My vision is that
      on the evening in September, rather than limit the sentiment
      of the event to Boston, to also offer satellite events on a smaller scale simultaneously. Who could determine whether this would be worth pursiung? In other words would this be a fruitful pursuit or detract from the “Main Event?”

      Also, the BCI people also complain about the salaries often.
      I have read this blog for two years, and, would ask readers to
      consider if the real issue is “mindset” versus “money.”

      In other words, if BCI and associates believed the team
      ebraced a philosophy of: “There is 14 million dollars out there
      and we are determined to raise those funds to make the
      pastor’s pensions whole.” Would their salaries be such a source of irritation?

      About two years ago, someone on this blog commented that
      the environment there was “anti-clerical.” I thought that
      was very sad, I and I hope it is untrue.

      Good Luck

      • “Betty Draper”

        We are struggling to respond to your question about high salaries because you have, for some reason, joined together two largely unrelated concepts in one question–our complaints about high salaries and fund-raising for the Clergy Fund.

        You asked, “if BCI and associates believed the team embraced a philosophy of: “There is 14 million dollars out there and we are determined to raise those funds to make the pastor’s pensions whole.” Would their salaries be such a source of irritation?”

        The excessive six-figure salaries for most of the lay executives in Boston–schools superintendent, Mary Grassa O’Neill, general counsel Beirne Lovely, Scot Landry, Terry Donilon, Carol Gustavson, John Straub, Mark Dunderdale, Jim Walsh and a host of others–have nothing whatsoever to do with raising money for retirement care for priests. It’s like comparing apples and motorcycles. Your question, as worded, has no answer.

        That said, regardless of the role, BCI is not supportive of $250K-300K+ salaries for people working for the Catholic Church, who we think should be motivated primarily by the vocation and ministry of advancing the saving mission of the Catholic Church, not just getting rich off donor contributions.

      • BettyDraper says:

        BCI—My Mistake

        I should have typed 140 million versus 14 million, referring
        to the debt to restore pensions (clergy and laity).

        I suppose the question I was trying to ask was:
        Would you be less irritated by the salaries if
        the pension debt/clergy funds were restored with
        more quickly. . Also, I did a poor job of explaining why eliminating this debt is so important. It seems like “toxic debt.” This debt
        is the reminder of a sad, painful chapter. This is no
        ordinary debt. The reason I referred to the Clergy Funds, is that
        it is my understanding is that the Clergy Funds are healthcare and retirement funds. Doesn’t this encompass pensions, too?

        With regards to the 2013 appeal, don’t you think it would put a pastor in an uncomfortable position to walk up and say,
        “I want to pay the heating bill?” Everyone reads BCI,
        therefore, it will be perceived as antogonistic even if it is not.

      • BettyDraper,

        In reverse order of your questions:

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