Here at BCI you often read about either of two types of corruption in the Boston Archdiocese–governance-related or moral. (We wish there was neither). Today, we feel obliged to expose a situation of moral and spiritual corruption at St. Cecilia Church in Boston.
Many people may be familiar with St. Cecilia for their pastor and “Rainbow Ministry” having planned a scandalous “Gay Pride” Mass back in the summer of 2011. The original Mass to mark Gay Pride month was cancelled after an outcry by faithful Catholics, then rescheduled to several weeks later. About a year ago, BCI wrote about how St. Cecilia removed a publicly viewable statue of Jesus Christ crucified on the cross during their $18-20M renovation and never replaced it. Now, we see that the parish just ran a “Lenten Speaker” series where the first topic was, “On Being Liked: LGBT Catholics.” And their “Rainbow Ministry,” which had no public signs of being active for nearly two years, was involved with the talk and now appears publicly active again.
For faithful Christians, Lent is a time of prayer, penance, repentance, almsgiving, and self-denial. As we know, Jesus prayed, fasted, and overcame temptation in the desert, and “By the solemn forty days of Lent the Church unites herself each year to the mystery of Jesus in the desert.” (CCC). Catholic Encyclopedia says, “The purpose of Lent is to provide that purification by weaning men from sin and selfishness through self-denial and prayer, by creating in them the desire to do God’s will and to make His kingdom come by making it come first of all in their hearts.”
Given that, and what you are about to read, we find it difficult to understand how this program is even remotely “Catholic” or how it relates to the purpose of Lent. In one word, the program is BAD.
Here it a link to the bulletin listing for the “Lenten Speaker” series:
The parish’s annual Lenten Speaker Series will begin on Wednesday evening, March 13 at seven o’clock. The theme of this year’s series is “All Who Love, Live in God.” Our first speaker is Fr. George Piggford, CSC. Fr. Piggford was born, raised, and educated in Pennsylvania until he moved to Montreal to pursue his 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. In 2004,he joined the English faculty of Stonehill College. 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 on March 13 will be “On Being Liked: LGBT Catholics.” The Saint Cecilia Rainbow Ministry will host a reception after the event.
Problem 1: “modernism”
Problem 2: the speaker
Just Google George Piggford and here is a sample of what you will find.
- Edited book “Queer Forster“, described as a “radical revision of gay criticism.”
- Attended and supported recent talk at Stonehill College co-sponsored by the campus PRIDE group, where the speaker was Vatican-censured nun, Sr. Jeannine Gramick, co-founder of New Ways Ministry. (New Ways Ministry does not support Catholic Church teachings on chastity). As recently reported by the Cardinal Newman Society, Gramick was censured by the Vatican for her heretical ministry and ordered to not speak publicly about homosexuality due to “grave doctrinal errors” in her work. Yet in this New Ways Ministry report on the February 12 event, Fr. Piggford was quoted as saying, ““I think that Sister Jeannine Gramick’s witness and her ministry is incredibly powerful…I have a great deal of respect for her willingness to live according to her conscience…”. [Note: Stonehill College is in the Diocese of Fall River].
- Involved in the “It Needs to Get Better” movement at Stonehill College.
- Taught course at Tufts “Queer Theory” before becoming a priest. A reader brought this 1999 course listing to our attention in comments:
ENGLISH 192B QUEER THEORY
“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. Read more here, but be forewarned it’s not good.
All VERY BAD.
Across the archdiocese, pastors and parishes have been offering Catholic Lenten programs including weekly Stations of the Cross, a discussion group about the writings of St. Therese of Lisieux, a seminar on “Living the Moral Life Today,” talks on penance, repentance, worshiping God in the Eucharist and Holy Mass and many other programs appropriate for Lent.
Why could St. Cecilia’s not offer something similar in Lent that would call their parishioners to penance, repentance, almsgiving, and self-denial? What is wrong with the pastoral leadership at St. Cecilia in Boston? What is wrong that the Archdiocese allows this to continue?
When the “Gay Pride” Mass flap hit local and national news in 2011, Cardinal O’Malley responded saying, ““[T]he Church exists to announce the Gospel and invite people to conversion, to greater discipline in their lives as they seek to follow Christ’s teachings, which apply to everyone.” That is the message that needs to be delivered at St. Cecilia.
and the font of the family.
May your Holy Spirit enlighten our society
to treasure the heroic love of husband and wife,
and guide our leaders to sustain and protect
the singular place of mothers and fathers
in the lives of their children.
Father, we ask that our prayers
be joined to those of the Virgin Mary,
that your Word may transform our service
so as to safeguard the incomparable splendor of marriage.
We ask all these things through Christ our Lord,
Saints Joachim and Anne, pray for us.