More on Cardinal O’Malley’s Vatican PR Campaign, gay network of priests in Boston

In our last post we talked about Cardinal O’Malley’s Vatican PR campaign, and how his communications secretary was looking for stories so he could feed the press.  Cardinal O’Malley also said he was reading the National Catholic Reporter as an “interesting” source of information in preparation for the upcoming conclave. Today we update you with several new developments.

First, we ask the question, why is there a big international media campaign around Cardinal O’Malley? Cardinal O’Malley has apparently brought a few members of his media and communications team to Rome.We know the editor of the Pilot was on the plane to Rome with the Cardinal, and Communications Secretary, Terry Donilon, is in Rome to coordinate the campaign. We called his office to volunteer BCI to brief reporters looking for Boston-related stories on our ministry and got his voicemail saying he is in Rome. No return date is indicated on the voicemail.  Why the big international media campaign, with no apparent bound on how long Donilon will stay?  Beyond that, why are thousands of dollars in Catholic Appeal donor funds being squandered to pay travel and expenses for the Boston media guys to be in Rome?

Secondly, couldn’t the Cardinal’s time be used better to prepare for the critical vote than in press briefings? In an interview with the Boston Globe, published Wednesday, we heard the following:

O’Malley also seemed to ache for a little down time. He had just finished a long press conference and had more report­ers to speak with before a dinner with cardinals. He said he had not been able to spend much time going out to dinner or otherwise enjoying the city. “If I didn’t have all these interviews,” he said with a laugh, “I could be in a bookstore right now.”

In a briefing Tuesday, Cardinal O’Malley said they should not rush to schedule the start of the conclave, and then joked, “And it is hard to get a bad meal in Rome.”

At a time when Cardinals are to be prayerfully considering the needs of the universal Catholic Church, along with the qualities needed in the next Pope, two things seem odd and raise further questions. Why does Cardinal O’Malley “have all these interviews” and have to spend so much time in interviews and briefings? Also, if he was not spending the time in interviews, are we to understand that he would instead be in a bookstore, going out to nice dinners or otherwise enjoying the city?  Dinners with other cardinals are a way to assess the field of candidates, but are interviews, bookstore browsing and enjoying the city the best use of his time in advance of electing the next Pope?

As of late yesterday, the kibosh has been put on press briefings.  “”The College (of Cardinals) as a whole has decided to maintain a line of an increasing degree of reserve,” said Vatican spokesman, Rev. Federico Lombardi. Some say it was because of the daily briefings by the American cardinals and some say it was leaks to the Italian publication, La Stampa.

But one other interesting comment by Cardinal O’Malley merits additional discussion.  In “O’Malley: Church must discipline bishops,” he said the Catholic Church needs global standards for disciplining bishops–referring to the need for a uniform policy to deal with bishops who failed to move against abusive priests. We agree.  But we wonder if this same principle should extend to bishops who fail to move against priests who are openly gay, are part of a gay network of priests, or who commit a form of spiritual abuse by publicly blessing “gay marriages” and lead souls away from salvation.

In response to our post last week, “Does Boston Archdiocese have a “gay network” of clergy too?“, a number of readers pointed us to a book by a writer of gay pornography that helps answer the question which was the title of our post. The book includes commentary from interviews with diocesan and religious priests who acknowledge they are gay. One priest admits he has come out to other priests, and has attended and blessed four “gay unions.”  Two diocesan priests tell how they were not supportive of the effort several years ago to gather signatures for a constitutional amendment banning “gay marriage.”  The book by Scott Pomfret is called “Since My Last Confession: A Gay Catholic Memoir.”  The real names of many priests are listed in the book. A simple google search on passages from the book reveals rather clearly who one of the key pseudonymous characters is in real life. Here is an excerpt from the chapter that talks about “Fr. Butterballino” and his blessing of the gay unions (3rd page of the chapter preview):

He admitted, “I’ve been to four civil weddings of gay people…After the rite is over, I do some kind of prayer or blessing. If I’m called on it, I can say I was there and I performed a prayer. I didn’t perform a wedding.”

This priest is still a pastor today, as are other priests known to have performed blessings on gay unions. These situations mislead the faithful, lead souls away from salvation and scandalize the faithful. Sources indicate Cardinal O’Malley has been made aware of this information, and BCI has also sent an email to the archdiocese about the situation with an excerpt from this blog post.

Why did diocesan priests agree to be interviewed for a book by a known writer of gay pornography?  Why is that not a problem for the Boston Archdiocese?

Given there was a shake-up with Cardinal O’Malley’s Franciscan brothers at St. Anthony Shrine right after the book was published–with the Franciscans having acted on the information in the book by removing the author as lector–and since  local and national media reported that the book suggested some local clergy, given fictional names, are sexually active, what was done at the time of publication to investigate and address the revelations in the book?

Why is Cardinal O’Malley apparently not so troubled by pastors blessing “gay marriages” that he has not removed these priests from pastoral leadership roles and/or corrected their false teachings?

If bishops should be disciplined for failing to move against sexually abusive priests (which BCI agrees with), what should happen to bishops for failing to move against “out” gay priests or those in a “gay network” whose public actions can lead the faithful to sin (and to think those sins are permissible and worthy of public blessing)–and lead souls away from salvation?  Is that not a form of spiritual abuse that needs to be disciplined and corrected?

If there are any more interviews with Cardinal O’Malley, we invite the reporters to ask these questions of His Eminence and to publish the responses. We invite all to pray for the discernment of Cardinal O’Malley and all of the cardinals on the election of the next Pope.

61 Responses to More on Cardinal O’Malley’s Vatican PR Campaign, gay network of priests in Boston

  1. jbq2 says:

    This could be “much ado about nothing” or it could be evidence of a wide ranging conspiracy. I would like to know the “dovetailing” between such as Donilon and the editor of “The Pilot” with the Obama Administration and a possible “quid pro quo” arrangement. In a previous posting, Bishops Flinn and Sheridan were rightfully lauded for their conservative principles. There are other midwestern archdioceses which have a gay pastor network and are developing parish collaboratives (super parishes) because of the lack of priests. There is also a matter of the suppression of priests who preach against abortion which could very well indicate a deal with the present administration.

  2. Objective Observer says:

    Here’s what’s wrong with this picture: When Sean O’Malley was made a cardinal he took one priest secretary and one communications person (Kevin Shea) with him. The story was, in a large way, about O’Malley. There were the interviews, the walks with reporters and even the “red sox” photos. Upbeat, positive story complete with family photos and a general sense of celebration. A lot of Archdiocesan people went — priests and staff — it was a party. So long as the lay employees paid their own way, that seemed appropriate.

    Huge difference this time: This is a conclave. It’s not only not about O’Malley, it’s a time when any cardinal worthy of the hat shuns the spotlight and is noted mainly for his reticence. Grandstanding like O’Malley’s is embarrassing. Sean’s behavior since the Holy Father announced has been more like the tourists who have to be hushed when touring Saint Patrick’s Cathedral in New York: “Sir, that kind of loud talking has no place in here.”

    Drawing attention to himself is precisely the wrong behavior for a cardinal leading up to a conclave. Seeking interviews where he know he will be asked about being the next pope makes people cringe. This is especially worrisome because it underscores the idea that O’Malley does as he’s told, rather than doing what he must do. Note that Cardinal Dolan has held no news conferences, but has kept with his normal communications schedule (weekly radio commentary pre-recorded). The gatherings being held at the NAC was also troubling — they surely know better.

    The expense of the travel for Pilot, Donilon, and whomever else adds fuel to the pyre. How many people are flying, dining and staying in hotels at RCAB’s expense? How embarrassing and frustrating to watch RCAB funds being flung at a trip that should be about prayer, reflection and the hard work of discernment for one person: the cardinal. If only he would stop talking about eating well and bookstores! Doesn’t he understand the nature of a conclave?

    Maybe he’s promoting himself in the hopes of landing a job with the new administration — then he could get to all his favorite restaurants and bookstores without having to take a plane.

    It’s painful to get emails and phone calls from friends and family around the U.S. who lampoon O’Malley’ grandstanding. I don’t fault them — he’s given them plenty of material.

    • tryingtofigurethisout says:

      To me , the most distressing part of this post is the gay underground aspect…The press stuff with the cardinal may have some merit but a lot of it is fueled by the media .. some of it out of his control … not all but some… The second story is making me sick to my stomach as i sit here and type…..I just don’t see how i can ever set foot inside St Anthony shrine again… Not that i really ever do… Just a very disturbing revelation by BCI on this and yes i am really mystified and brokenhearted as to how this is allowed to go on by Cardinal Sean… What is this man thinking? Is there something that we are all missing Canonically with this….? If the “Boston Priest” on this site is real, can you please chime in on this and provide some perspective and give me any reason at all why is should not be sick to my stomach. I ‘ve held back the annual appeal money from last weekend in prayerful contemplation….This is not pushing me any closer to sending it in i can tell you that much BCI

      • Michael says:

        Don’t send any more in. Please send it to a real Catholic institution that will use it for the glory of God.

      • Stephen says:

        If a known unrepentant homosexual presents himself for ordination and a Bishop with full knowledge of this ordains him, is the ordination licit and are the sacraments (other than baptism) that the ‘priest’ offers valid?

        This is a serious question.

        I believe the answer to be No and No.

        If this is the case we clearly are in De facto schism.

      • Boston Priest says:

        I’m real. Without question, I’m sorry to say that you should be disturbed by this. St. Anthony Shrine has issues. Things there are not as bad today as in years past, but there are still problems.St. Anthony Shrine has a GLBT group and is listed by New Ways Ministry as one of the “gay-friendly” parishes in Boston (along with the Paulist Center and St. Cecilia).

        Things in “Fr. Butterballino’s” parish are also pretty far out there. Besides the gay unions the pastor has blessed, I’ve heard that he rarely celebrates Mass on weekdays and has been hiring Senior Priests from outside the parish to say Mass for him for years. That’s got to add up to a pretty penny over time. I don’t know why he doesn’t want to celebrate Mass every day. But I’d feel mighty guilty spending parish money to pay an outside priest to celebrate my Masses.

    • Boston pastor says:

      The RCAB media entourage also includes Jay Fadden of CatholicTV and probably a cameraman. I think that totals 5 RCAB media people, but who knows, maybe there are more? Plus at least one priest/secretary. Rocco Palmi said it would cost $6,000 to $8,000 in travel/expenses for him to be in Rome, and he passed saying he would cover the news from home. So this is probably costing the RCAB at least $40,000. What a shame!

  3. […] – Phil Lawler Liberals, Conservatives, and the New Orthodoxy – David G. Bonagura Jr. Crd. O’Malley’s Vatican P. R. Campaign, Lavendar Mafia in Boston – BCI Team America Shut Down – George Weigel The Men Who Could be Pope: Cardinal Dolan […]

  4. tryingtofigurethisout says:

    FYI .. this is a very good article by Lawlor.. i think it gives some perspective

  5. ParishPal says:

    I think Cardinal Sean is doing a terrific job
    Just about one year ago, the archdiocese seemed
    sort of “stuck in a holding pattern.” If the media
    is something he needs to use to repair the church,
    so be it. By the way, many middle school age
    children are very aware (and for the first time interested) about the process of selecting a new pope thanks to the media.

    • Michael says:

      That is such a beautiful statement by you Parrish Pal. BUT YOU MISSED THE POINT OF THE ENTIRE BLOG POSTING. I would classify your attempt at propaganda (transfer principle) a failure.

    • Parishpal,
      You sound suspiciously like someone else commenting here under a different name. The purpose of the preparation time before the conclave is so the Cardinals can discuss the issues facing the Roman Catholic Church, get to know potential candidates, and prayerfully prepare for electing a new Roman Catholic pontiff. Period.

      The process of selecting a new pope is straightforward enough that it can be explained by any adult to a child in 1-2 minutes. It has been covered extensively in the media already. BCI thinks it is silly to suggest that the media campaign by Cardinal O’Malley is somehow justified on the basis that it is educating children about the process.

  6. ParishPal says:

    BCI–Checked out out the book. The table of contents alone, without a doubt, makes a mockery of church teachings. The same would apply to a heterosexual pastor writing porn, and, advertising
    and promoting the fact: Please be balanced with criticism.

    You did succeed in pointing out my naivety.

  7. JUSTSAYIN' says:

    I have never seen Cardinal O’Malley this animated. Not really a bad thing, but hopefully he will bring this interest and vigor and humor and appetite back to the depressing Boston Archdiocese, with which he has seemed a bit unengaged.

    I am not surprised to see a representative from the Pilot there in Rome to cover the Conclave. Isn’t the Pilot the oldest Catholic newspaper in the country?? PR for Cardinal O’Malley? If a decision was made to have the good Cardinal engage in interviews, it is wise to have the “PR guy” close by. (This is not an endorsement of Donilon at all but rather a generic statement that presupposes competency.) . While I don’t like to see money wasted, I am not convinced that theoretically money is being wasted here.

    At least the Cardinal likes Italian food. Recall when Ray Flynn became Ambassador to the Vatican and he had to keep importing his snacks from 7/11??

      You wrote: “PR for Cardinal O’Malley? If a decision was made to have the good Cardinal engage in interviews…”
      That presumes the above was a sound decision. That decision is exactly what we are questioning!

      • JUSTSAYIN' says:

        I thought I was phrasing everything conditionally as in if X, then Y. I did not mention the wisdom of the decision. Considering just how reticent the Good Card. is here, I am shocked, shocked, shocked at his sudden almost gregarious persona in Rome. I am not criticizing it however. I am glad to see that he talks and walks and smiles and can even crack a joke. Justsayin’ . . .

    • Nancy Drew says:

      Maybe he is happy to be far away from the blogging team

      • JUSTSAYIN' says:

        I am glad to see him this animated. I was beginning to think he was a prop, not a real person. LOL

  8. MediaCircus says:

    I read Lawler’s article and it didn’t help me:

    “Every cardinal in Rome is doing the same thing: raising questions, answering questions–as a way of gaining information about the papabili and sharing opinions about the priorities of the next pontificate. Only the Americans were doing this openly, with reporters present to record their remarks.”

    If the amercian cardinals are raising and answering questions via a press conference that’s pretty crazy — are they researching or performing for an audience (the 5000 press or is Lawler saying the flock should vote on the papacy)? These American bishops cannot even run their own dioceses – we are importing priests from overseas, our parishes and schools are failing, mass attendance is 20% and they are now converting the Hispanics to protestantism. The recent homoheresy article released by Rorate Coeli & Lifesite news wrote off the U.S. priesthood as a homosexual profession and blamed the U.S. education of the Jesuit spreading homoheresy in Poland, Jacek Prusak.

    It sounds to me like Lawler wants an American presidential campaign w/debates and ads and daily briefing sound bytes – you know it works so well for the U.S.: we elect the president and THEN find out we are going over a financial cliff. Of course, he is a reporter you have to accept that he has a bias of needing “news” to sell his blog site. But just imagine the reporters chasing Jesus up and down the mountain hounding him about who and how he was going to chose the 12–it reminds me of JC Superstar.

    I have never been a big fan of the Notre Dame football rootin’, Cardinal Dolan back-slappin’, golf playin’, knights of columbus partyin’ Amchurch anyway, but I am w/BCI where is the prayer, reflection, and holiness?

  9. PAUL says:


    • Paul,
      Sorry you feel this way, but you are mistaken. Among many topics we have covered, BCI has objectively documented the financial wrongdoing of the Boston Archdiocese, and that has been of great interest to many of our readers. But along the way we have also covered matters of public policy, faith, politics and religion as they affect the local Catholic Church in Boston and beyond. There is no agenda here other than that the Archbishop of Boston make it his top priorities to fulfill his canonical responsibilities to teach, sanctify and govern, and that Boston Archdiocese operate free from corruption, deception, and corruption, with the salvation of souls as the top priority. You have stated no specific objection about the material covered in this post, so it sounds like you merely object to our choosing to cover these topics. If you do not like the topic today, come back another time and we will have more on financial wrongdoing.

  10. Aged Parent says:

    I agree, Michael. We have to get out of the habit of using the perfectly innocent word “gay” to describe this hideous perversion. We cannot give them one single inch of ground in this fight…not a single inch. And on my blog I will never use the word “gay” to describe these people.

    Other than that I am grateful for BCI for staying on this case. I salute their good work.

    • Michael says:

      Thank you. I agree BCI does an outstanding job. But sometimes I think they avoid part of the battlefield: that being the importance of the English language. It is not a minor point. It is THE trojan horse where we have lost massive ground.

  11. Michael,
    BCI has decided to moderate your comment. We are aware that you object to the term “gay,” since you have mentioned that before. BCI is not going to engage in a public discourse or debate here about which term to use. If you would like to exchange ideas about that offline, please send email to bostoncatholicinsider(at)

    As for what was done at the time of publication to investigate the revelations in the book, it does appear that the answer is “very little” if anything at all. We hope that changes.

    • Stephen says:

      You fail to see the line that has been drawn.
      And you are on the wrong side of it.
      The term ‘Gay’ is an inclusive accepting and tolerant term for what The Church in her wisdom has called a grave disorder.
      Those of us who harp on the distinction are not uncharitable we just demand accuracy.

      Of note;
      Regarding the term; Eucharistic minister.
      No recant, nor Mea Culpa to the faithful?
      It is not about me nor you, tis about dear Mother Church.

      • Stephen,
        We have used that same word for nearly 3 years on this blog. You have been reading and commenting for most of that time without bringing this matter up once, yet suddenly, you portray this as though it is the most important issue for us to address and BCI is the one with our heads in the sand. We have heard the feedback and will adjust the wording in future posts. We are done allowing any comments on this. If you want different language on a blog, feel the need to further nitpick language, or “demand” that a blog conform to your standards, we advise you to start your own blog.

  12. Liam says:

    Well, reading the Italian coverage seems to indicate the silencing of the American cardinals may prove Phyrric and serve to strengthen the anti-Curial faction in the end.

    My own thought is that, if Cdl Sean has engaged in politicking, it’s with the design to remove himself from being considered one of the papabile. His stock is high among his peers because he’s seen as being willing to take a succession of hardship duties, and they view him through a different lens than we might, so it helps if we try to understand the what and why of that lens (prelates operate in their own galaxy…)

  13. Carolyn says:

    There’s a reporter talking on the radio in Boston right now who says that Cardinal O’Malley’s spokesman has stated that his staff hasn’t seen him in 24 hours — that he’s deep in prayer. Wonder if that’s code for “not talking to reporters.”

    Boston Catholic Radio (Scot Landry) is broadcasting from Rome; the Pilot is there; Terry Donilon is there; and Heaven knows who else. (BCTV?) Who is paying for this??

    I don’t have a problem with some set of people speaking to reporters in an organized fashion (news conferences at the NAC) to limn the issues. I agree with Rocco Palma and Phil Lawler that transparency and “sunshine” can help. But those speaking should be theologians, maybe non-electors (bishops), and American faculty in Rome. The cardinals themselves should lie low.

  14. ClaraP says:

    Given that the epicenter of the Scandal was situated here in Boston, albeit under the jurisdiction of Cardinal Law, I am highly doubtful this generation will ever see a Pope chosen from this area.

  15. Catholic forensic search nerd says:

    I’ve figured out who “Fr. Butterballino” is and what parish he’s at. The parish is Holy Family in Concord.

    The book preview says:
    “When the Brown Bag (aka Cardinal O’Malley) started issuing statements concerning same-sex marriage and adoption, Father Butterballino addressed them directly in his parish bulletins. For example, he wrote that to call gay adoptions “gravely immoral” and a form of violence proved only that those issuing such statements had never spent a second with gay adoptive families.”

    I Googled on: parish bulletin gay adoptions “gravely immoral” form of violence
    The first hit you get is the letter from the pastor of Holy Family in Concord to parishioners:

    “November 4, 2005 Dear Sisters and Brothers, At a recent meeting of …”

    The link on Google doesn’t work, but you can go to the parish website and get the letter from the pastor Fr. Austin Fleming here.

    Click to access letter11-4-05.pdf

    The passage referenced in the book is at the bottom of the second page of the letter.

    The book goes on:

    “In fact, Father Butterballino supported Joan and Claire’s civil marriage and the civil marriages of other gay parishioners. He admitted, “I’ve been to four civil weddings of gay people. It scares the s#(t out of me because those are very public situations. After the rite is over, I do some kind of prayer or blessing. If I’m called on it, I can say I was there and I performed a prayer. I didn’t perform a wedding.”

    Couple paragraphs later:

    “Since the incident with the petitions, Father Butterballino reported some progress, which I couldn’t help but attribute to his remorse. He came out to a member of his parish staff who had learned her son was gay. He had triumphant comings-out to select acquaintances. He even learned to be open with his parishioners that he was spending his summer vacation in Provincetown, Massachusetts, the gay beach mecca.”

    I Googled: Fr. Austin Fleming and Provincetown

    This says he vacationed at Herring Cove beach in P-town:

    The pastor is quite the prolific writer and blogger. It’s like he’s leaving a papertrail especially so someone will find him and do a rescue/intervention.

    • Lazarus' Table says:

      I don’t know Father Butterballino personally but friends of mine attend his parish with their children and find his parish to nourish them spiritually. I guess the parish is a safe, welcoming place for both gay laypeople and visiting priests. I’m told the parish doesn’t promote any ‘agenda’ foreign to the church. Honestly, I am a bit confused. The number of “out” and/or sexually active gay priests, their positions in the diocese, and the laissez faire attitude of the cardinal makes me really wonder– is there something we are all missing? With these situations allowed to continue to exists, are we being told that they really are not ‘bad’ and maybe WE are the ones who need to change our attitude? If silence betokens consent, the cardinal must strongly approve. What are we missing?

      • Michael says:

        Again, I have to object to BCI allowing the use of terms on the blog that further the homosexual agenda — unopposed. I have a sense that Lazarus was not trying to do so out of active involvement in the agenda, but we are all now using their terms. This is a strategic victory which may appear to be either insignificant or too late to reverse, but which is neither.

        Lazarus said: I guess the parish is a safe, welcoming place for both gay lay people and visiting priests.

        What is unsafe about a Catholic Church that upholds the Catholic church teachings on homosexuality? Why can people post here freely using terms that are obvious propaganda from the enemy that we as a society have been sucked into and, in contrast, my comment explaining the fraud is the comment that gets moderated out — as if I am the one doing something wrong. It is not my fault that the propaganda campaign has been successful. It is, however, my duty to not engage in it, certainly not to further it, and to do everything possible to educate and expose it for what it is.

        BCI (as I have said on numerous previous posts), I think what you do for the Church is outstanding. BUT if you continue to suppress comments like mine (which are relevant to the fact that someone here has fallen victim to — or is actively engaged in — the propaganda campaign of the enemy), you are furthering the campaign, however, unintended or unwitting. I would request that you un-moderate my previous comment. It is not me who is driving an agenda. I am merely trying to point out the truth about the agenda. I think whenever that agenda rears its head, the truth should be allowed to be stated to mitigate the damage being done. Otherwise, BCI is a tool for evil as well – no matter how subtle, or how insignificant it may appear.

      • Michael,
        Again, we hear your concern and are sorry you feel this way. Unless you have written and maintained a blog like this for three years, you may not have a full appreciation for the time and resources involved and variety of issues faced by the bloggers. BCI has a limited number of topics we are able to cover and limited time in which to cover them.

        We do not dispute your concerns about use of the word “gay.” But, BCI has a very limited number of battles we can fight. You appear to be asking BCI to take up a battle that we do not have the capacity to fight–then saying that because we are not prepared to take up that particular fight, we become a tool for evil. BCI feels it is unfair and unreasonable for individual readers to somehow blame BCI for propagating evil just because we are not able to take up every fight against evil out there.

        Since you obviously feel strongly about this issue, we would suggest that you start your own blog on this topic. But BCI is not going to get into a public debate here over which term to use to describe those who engage in a homosexual lifestyle. We just do not have the time or capacity to do that.

      • Jack O'Malley says:

        I second Michael’s very important point. The semantic battle is not to be ignored. Words such as “gay”, “queer”, “pride”, “dignity” have been corrupted and polluted by homosexuals.

        How difficult would it be for BCI to use “homosexual” instead of “gay”? Truncating it to “homo” would be even easier.

      • Stephen says:

        “Honestly, I am a bit confused.”
        “is there something we are all missing?”

        Repeat after me; Diabolical disorientation.

      • Jack O'Malley says:

        Stephen: Diabolical disorientation.


        Homosexuality is a psychopathic disorder. Literally, a sickness of the soul. “Disordered” as the Catechism describes it, and rightly so.

        It is an inability to recognise the true ends of sexual love. The acts that homos engage in are disgusting, an affront to the aesthetics of love. Further they violate the natural law. Let those inverts be expelled from the priesthood and not admitted to the seminaries. Let the lesbian “nuns” be ousted from the seminaries. Women have no role in the education of masculine priests.

    • Jack O'Malley says:

      Well, that does it for me. My last comment on BCI.

      Your comment is awaiting moderation.

      Censorship by bloggers! How does moderation contribute to a conversation?

      Actually, no. My comment is not awaiting moderation. Your blog is henceforth awaiting commentary.

      • Jack O’Malley,
        Your comment went live within five minutes after you posted it. The need for BCI to moderate comments arose because a couple of people have ignored our repeated requests to abide by two simple guidelines–stick to the main topic of the blog post, and avoid personal attacks/ad hominems. Your comments are typically insightful and humorous, but you are also one of the readers who has been prone to making personal attacks that are unnecessary and which focus attention away from the main topic of the blog post.

        BCI is not online every minute of the day and night and does not have capacity to drop what we are doing each moment when a comment comes in to moderate it. With the need to moderate comes a delay in comments going live until we are online. The delay time will be impossible for BCI readers to predict. You helped bring this on, so if you are upset by the amount of time it takes for your comments to go live, please do not blame BCI.

    • another search nerd says:

      I did what Catholic forensic search nerd did and came up with the same results. Then I searched on Herring Cove beach. Yikes! It’s got a nude beach.

      Here’s a review on Yelp:

      “Nice beach, swimmable water, rarely big waves. Around the parking area is crowded but enjoyable. The shower and toilet building is creepy, hope it is replaced by now. Slightly down beach to the left is the lesbian section. Sometimes the boobs are flying, but atmosphere is friendly and respectful. Keep going down another mile and the men hang out here. Gay men. And that is the way it should be. They are at play and not for the straight people to bother. We are friendly and courteous but don’t enter our world if you aren’t familiar with it. Nudity and cruising and sex in the dunes.”

      Another review says, “Yes the dunes are cruisey w/ naked men lurking about.”

      The first review at Trip Advisor says:

      “Advisory: Herring Cove Beach is Nudity-tolerant”
      Throughout 2005 summer, Herring Cove Beach continues to be “nudity-tolerant” and “gay-accepting”. I f you are the parent of a child considering vacationing and visiting this beach, you should be aware that this beach is historically regarded as such. When entering the beach you may want to stay right as much as possible if you do not wish your children to see nudity, as anywhere to the left of the entrance from the parking lots you may encounter nude or partially nude men and women.”

      With all of the beautiful places to vacation on the Cape, I’m really scratching my head wondering why a Catholic priest would pick this particular beach to visit and write about.

      • Anni says:

        An entry from “A Concord Pastor Comments” blog:

        That said, Provincetown is a lovely place with a lot of history. I have visited a few times, and stayed overnight, by myself. It was the weekend before “The Perfect Storm”. I was staying in Chatham and decided to drive up to P-Town to see the beaches in late October. Little did I know what was coming… Anyway, I went to Mass at St. Peter’s along with a number of families.

        I have also been there for a couple day trips with friends, mostly to check out the restaurants, and I must acknowledge that the “scene” in P-Town is a bit more lively in July than it is in late October. So I wonder…

        I also don’t know “Father Butterballino” personally, but I know a number of people who attend his parish. I go to 7 am Mass there on Mondays, Wednesdays, and Fridays. An elderly Jesuit says Mass for a group of mostly slightly-beyond-middle age folk, many of whom, like myself, are not members of the parish. Holy Family is one of very few parishes that offer a 7 am Mass. (On Tuesdays and Thursdays, it’s off to St. Michael’s in Hudson, where Father Ron Calhoun says Mass and always ends it with the Prayer to St. Michael the Archangel.)

        Anyway, I have long had concerns about “Father Butterballino”, but I do know that his parish is active and engaged. I have read the letters he includes in his bulletin. Yes, I did see the 2005 letter referenced above, and I was disturbed by it, but his recent letters were very supportive of religious freedom and overturning the HHS Mandate. His letters to his parishioners often address abortion and he forcefully opposed the Physician Assisted Suicide initiative petition. His parish sponsors adult education seminars throughout the year. Although many of them are a bit too “liberal” from my particularly orthodox theological perspective, he does provide a forum for thinking adult Catholics, and he has provided some balance. His liturgies, I’ve heard, are beautiful but very theatrical. Still, reading the posts from “the nerds” troubled me, and I did some checking… My concerns over the years were not without merit.

        This leads me back to my comment several months ago, about “A” and “B” list priests and “A” and “B” list pastors. “Father Butterballino” is clearly on the A-list, and he gets a plum parish. I live in and belong to a neighboring parish that is sunk firmly on the “B”, or maybe even the “C” list. We are invisible to the Archdiocese. We are also spiritually dead. The only way you would know that it is Lent in our parish is when you see the purple ribbon around the vase on the old main altar.

        If a little Googling can identify these issues, which appear to be true given “Father B’s” paper trail, how can the Cardinal Archbishop of Boston continue to ignore them? Why is a priest like this rewarded with a wealthy parish in a desirable suburb? You’ve got to wonder if it isn’t the lavender mafia at work down there in Peabody. There is something very disconcerting going on in the Archdiocese.

      • Liam says:

        Well, if you look at a map, Herring Cove also is facing the right direction as an afternoon beach (westerly) for sun lovers, which is not typical in MA or New England generally, where most of our good beaches face east or south. The state beach in Bristol RI is another one of these, but more congested.

  16. Alice Slattery says:

    I wonder what the pastor of the Concord Catholic Church has to say about the way that the Catholic Church has approved for helping any person who has developed the habit of performing the acts that are inherent in homosexual acts. The way to help is through the way of Courage/EnCourage which has helped thousands of persons to get out from under the very deadly after-effects that engulf them after they have engaged in these actions to satisfy one’s lustful desires, using the other person for sexual pleasure only. Has the pastor ever told his parishioners about the way of Courage/EnCourage?
    Or is he keeping this way a secret so that they will think there is no way out from under this activity? it is cruel to encourage people to think they are forever frozen into this activity and there is no way to ask for and receive the grace to live chaste lives in accordance with God’s plan for human love. Has this pastor ever acquainted himself with Pope John Paul II’s Theology of the Body? Has he given up helping parishioners who desperately seek to find out God’s plan for human love?

  17. VeritasSplendor says:

    #1) Why take the word of an admitted liar to malign others? He lived a lie, as a Eucharistic Minister at Arch Street for years. The man Pomfret, who wrote about the Franciscans at Arch street, made sure to quote Priests comments from his sacramental confessions. They cannot defend their reputations. I do not think he was interviewing –he was fabricaing. For example in the Globe article he “outed” a conservative Friar, quoting his supposed comments from his own confession.

    • Veritas Splendor,
      There are a lot of sinners who serve as Eucharistic ministers, many committing mortal sins. That is an issue we are not prepared to take up here.

      As for our post, we carefully researched the material in the book attributed to “Fr. Butterballino” through multiple sources and channels and found the information we posted to be factually correct. It is easily verifiable by others. The references in the book to other priests who are cited by name are also factually correct. If appropriate, in another post we can highlight those–they are facts, not fabrications. Sadly, we know of a number of “conservative” public figures, including Catholic Church officials who have been involved in sexual scandals. We are not in a position to judge the validity of the “outing” in the Globe article, but in these times, and given the recent resignation of the Cardinal in Scotland, anything is possible. We stand by our post.

      • Stephen says:

        There is no such thing as a Eucharistic minister, regardless of how many times unwitting modernists incessantly use the term.

        The only proper Catholic term is Extraordinary Ministers of Holy Communion.

        Wikepedia gives a good brief definition for the poorly formed.

  18. VeritasSplendor says:

    Secondly why whine about a some 30-40K money to cover the conclave…it seems so petty given the more serious issues…the railroading of the parishes…Catholics are sleeping through phase 1 of destruction from within. Our priests give 110% of themselves to the parish…I am talking about our pastors…now for their reward-they are being voted off the island and not getting the last rose. how pathetic.

  19. Lynne says:

    It was announced last week at Mass that Phase II has been postponed till 2015, I believe, and Phase III until 2018… Maybe the Cardinal will be gone by then.

    • Maybe the Cardinal will be removed by the new Pope and Phase One is reversed by the new archbishop.

    • Liam says:

      I very strongly doubt that. I don’t expect him to go to Rome in a Curial position, but to stay here at least until he’s 75, possibly closer to 80 as is more customary for a cardinal in reasonably good esteem by Rome, unless he himself insists on a co-adjutor. Probably somewhere between 2021 and 2024 before he leaves.

  20. Stephen says:

    Your intolerance apparently has banished me to the world
    of – awaiting moderation.

    Its your blog.

    • Stephen,
      The need for BCI to now moderate comments arose because a few people have ignored our repeated requests to abide by two simple guidelines–stick to the main topic of the blog post, and avoid personal attacks/ad hominems. To be honest, you are one of those people.

      Moderating comments is a pain and a time drain for BCI. We are not online every minute of the day and do not have capacity to drop what we are doing each time a comment comes in to moderate it. With the need to moderate comes a delay in comments going live–a comment may now go live within 5 minutes after you post it if we are online, or there could be an 8-hour delay if we are offline or sleeping. The lag will be impossible for BCI readers to predict. You helped bring this on, so kindly do not complain about the amount of time it takes for your comments to go live.

      • Stephen says:

        It is your blog.
        You can filter it anyway you wish.

        Priests are called to act in Persona Christi.
        Juxtapose that with the idea of a -gay network- of Priests.

        Mary of Agreda in her tome The Mysical City of God offers what happened to Christ while captive in the early hours of Good Friday. While in a prison cell, surrounded by evil men – a network – if you will. Great story, great finish.

        May the BVM bring back all the lost boys to the protection of her mantle. Call them by their rightful name in Charity, not there pandering pet name.

  21. Carolyn says:

    The RCAB PR presence in Rome can only be described as the “Department of Redundancy Department.”

    Scot Landry, Greg Tracy, Jay Fadden, Terry Donilon, and who else?? Does Catholic Appeal money go to fund this group? How many RCAB employees are there at RCAB expense? Exactly what has it cost? WHY are they there? What value is added to evangelization to have them all there? Is it because each one believes he is the indispensable party to go to Rome? Did they elbow each other to get on the plane?

    Truth told, the cardinal doesn’t need anyone there, including a priest secretary at this point. He can’t interact with anyone but electors starting Tuesday.

    Maybe Kathleen Driscoll can explain why this sizable travel expense is preferable to topping up the clergy retirement fund or the lay pension trust.

  22. Anni says:

    An acquaintance just brought this to my attention:

    “The parish’s annual Lenten Speaker Series will begin on Wednesday, March 13 at 7 p. m. in the St. Cecilia parish center. The theme of this year’s series is “All Who Love, Live in God.” Our first speaker is Father George Piggford, CSC. Father Piggford was born, raised, and educated in Pennsylvania until he moved to Montreal to pursue is doctorate in English literature and French theory at the University of Montreal. He spent two years teaching at Tufts before entering formation for the Congregation of Holy Cross, which included theological study at the University of Notre Dame and led to his ordination in 2005. He joined Stonehill College’s English faculty in 2004. His research and teaching interests include modernism and post-modernism, gender, and questions of transcendence in literature. Father Piggford directs the Moreau Honors Program and is involved in the “It Needs to Get Better” movement at Stonehill. His topic will be “On Being Liked: LGBT Catholics.” The Saint Cecilia Rainbow Ministry is hosting a reception after the event.”

    • Chris says:

      Stonehill College is certainly trying to break into the major leagues of dissent, following the likes of Boston College. They recently had Sister Jeanine Gramick as speaker, a nun silenced by the Vatican. A quote from a press release by the Cardinal Newman Society:

      “Despite being censured by the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith and asked to refrain from continuing to speak publicly on homosexuality, Sister Jeannine Gramick has continued speaking. On February 12, Gramick was invited to speak at Stonehill College, a Catholic institution located in Easton, Mass. Gramick is the founder of New Ways Ministry, an organization dedicated to supporting lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender Catholics.

      “Gramick’s two-hour presentation was co-sponsored by faculty members of Stonehill’s religious studies department, the gender and sexuality studies program, the Moore Center for Gender Equity, PRIDE, and the Moreau Honors Program.

      “Speaking in the College’s Alumni Hall, Gramick spoke about the “signs of hope” she sees in the Church’s support for same-sex marriage and what she describes as changes in the institutional structures of the Church. In 2011, she spoke at Fairfield University…”

      Remember how Bishop McManus of Worcester made a Catholic college in his diocese dis-invite Vicki Kennedy as a commencement speaker? Would that Cardinal Sean would show the same eagerness to defend the faith against the dissenters at Stonehill and BC.

      • Anni says:

        I would also hope that the Cardinal Archbishop of Boston would comment on the appropriateness of a parish Lenten series dealing with LGBT issues.

      • Anni,
        BCI would suggest that readers email the Vicar General Bishop Deeley at to complain about the situation at St. Cecilia in Boston and take corrective action.

      • Hopeless says:

        Stonehill is in Easton which is in the diocese of Fall River. Cardinal O’Malley is not responsible for this one

      • That is correct. The situation at Stonehill College needs to be brought to the attention of the Bishop of Fall River, George Coleman. For starters, you can try emailing their Director of Communications, John Kearns at We do not currently have an email address directly to Bishop Coleman, his Vicar General (Very Rev. Gregory A. Mathias), or
        secretary to the bishop (Rev. Karl C. Bissinger). If anyone digs up their email addresses, please feel free to post them here.

      • Anni says:


        St. Cecelia’s is in the Archdiocese of Boston, and Father Unni’s “Rainbow Ministry” is sponsoring a Lenten series for LGBT Catholics. That is a matter for Cardinal O’Malley.

        Meanwhile, Kevin Cullen’s column in this morning’s Globe

        is a paean to Father Unni’s “inclusiveness”. Very interesting…

        BTW, Mr. Cullen is a member of Father Butterballino’s Parish Council. They all stick together, don’t they?

      • Anni says:

        A bit more internet sleuthing dragged this up from the depths, just in case anyone is wondering about what Father Piggford might be discussing at St. C’s:

        This is a course he taught when he was a Lecturer in the English Department at Tufts, BEFORE he entered the Congregation of the Holy Cross, so it is clear they knew a bit about his philosophy:

        From the Spring 1999 catalogue:


        “Queer”: strange, odd, perverse, eccentric, bent, spinsterly, deviant. This course will trace the rise of queer studies from two principal disciplines: feminism and lesbian and gay studies. Our approach will thus be broadly genealogical, emphasizing the encounter–between these fields and poststructuralist philosophy–which produced a theoretics of “queerness.” The texts of influential figures such as Adrienne Rich, Robert K. Martin, Michel Foucault, Teresa de Lauretis, Eve Sedgwick, Judith Butler, Jonathan Dollimore, Michael Warner, Lee Edelman, et al. will be utilized to establish the lineaments of queer theory. In the second half of the semester, we will attempt to put theory into (critical) practice, by engaging with texts and cultural products that foreground the complications of sexual desire. These will include Plato’s Symposium, Sappho’s poetry, Aelred of Rievaulx’s Spiritual Friendship, Marlowe’s (and Derek Jarman’s) Edward II, Whitman’s “Calamus,” Forster’s (and Merchant Ivory’s) Maurice, Radclyffe Hall’s The Well of Loneliness, recent “AIDS poetry,” In & Out, Will & Grace.

        TIME BLOCK: W2″

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