Cardinal O’Malley Hosting Obama at Cathedral for Interfaith Prayer Service

The Cathedral of the Holy Cross is hosting an Opinioninterfaith prayer service on Thursday at 11am in memory of the victims of Monday’s horrific Boston Marathon bombing.  President Obama is headlining the event. Gov. Deval Patrick, and Boston Mayor Tom Menino will be there, along with Cardinal O’Malley.

We absolutely need to pray for the victims of this evil act. Within hours after the blast, Cardinal O’Malley issued a statement, “The Archdiocese of Boston joins all people of good will in expressing deep sorrow following the senseless acts of violence perpetrated at the Boston Marathon today.”  The 8-year-old boy who died in the blast was identified as Martin Richard, whose family belongs to St. Ann Catholic Parish in Dorchester. His mother and sister were seriously injured.

It also makes sense to promote a message of hope in response to the tragedy to those who are both Catholic and of other faiths. Cardinal O’Malley also said in his statement, “We stand in solidarity with our ecumenical and interfaith colleagues in the commitment to witness the greater power of good in our society and to work together for healing.” Hopefully, people across the country are praying in their own places of worship and according to their respective faiths.

It also is understandable that President Obama, Gov. Patrick, Mayor Menino, and Cardinal O’Malley would make public appearances in support of the victims, their families and all who are affected by the horror of what happened on Monday.

But this headline news is troubling: “Obama to Lead Interfaith Service in South End on Thursday.” Despite the good intentions, an “interfaith prayer service” headlined by President Obama at the Catholic Cathedral of the Holy Cross just feels bad for a number of reasons–practical, political and spiritual.

On a practical basis, one obvious concern as stated at The Tenth Crusade is that instead of looking for the murderer, police power and resources now shift to a Presidential appearance.

Politically, although it is appropriate for the President of the United States to make an appearance in Boston to offer condolences and support, the effect will likely be a political boost to his popularity. And he is doing so in a Catholic Church and the Mother Church of the Boston Archdiocese with the permission, support and imprimatur of Cardinal O’Malley.

We have Obama as no doubt the most anti-Catholic President in history–he is pro-abortion and favors the killing of children in the womb, and his HHS mandate threatens religious freedom for the Catholic Church, Catholic organizations, and any business or organization that operates with Catholic values. Under Obama, the U.S. Army Reserves recently published a training brief on “Extremism & Extremist Organization,” (covering militias, neo-Nazis, Islamic extremism, terrorism and gangs) which listed Catholicism and evangelical Christianity as examples of religious extremism, along with groups including al Qaeda, Hamas and the Ku Klux Klan.  His actions–and those of his administration–give the very clear message that he hates the Catholic Church and opposes our teachings and moral values.  Despite this, on Thursday, we will have the most pro-abortion anti-Catholic president in history, appearing with one of the most pro-abortion governors in the country and the pro-abortion Mayor of Boston, complemented nicely for photo opps by the chair of the USCCB pro-life committee, Cardinal O’Malley, all talking about the senseless loss of life. What message does this give? When it is the senseless murder of adults it is wrong, but we will forget about the senseless murder of the unborn for today’s photo opp?

More important than the practical and political concerns are the spiritual ones of such an interfaith gathering. As we all know, our church teaches us that outside the Catholic Church there is no salvation, because salvation is the Church. This is the dogma of extra ecclesiam nulla salus, which literally means, “outside the church there is no salvation.”  This dogma and its infallibility have been reaffirmed on many occasions. Pope Pius IX said in 1854: “We must hold as of the faith, that out of the Apostolic Roman Church there is no salvation; that she is the only ark of safety, and whosoever is not in her perishes in the deluge.”

Given that reality, how it that Cardinal O’Malley can be comfortable with any “common language for us to pray together” representing the breadth of religious traditions in the city that those organizing the service hope to find–and that happening in the Mother Church of the archdiocese ?  Those involved as of now include the Massachusetts Council of Churches, the Roman Catholic Archdiocese of Boston, the Greater Boston Interfaith Organization, the Jewish Community Relations Council, the Islamic Society of Boston Cultural Center, and clergy from First Church Cambridge, Old South Church, Trinity Church, Arlington Street Church and First Church Boston.

How can there be a “common language” for prayer amongst Catholicism, Judaism, Islam, Protestantism and other faiths?

Is it at any time appropriate for there to be an “interfaith service” in a Catholic Church, let alone the Cathedral? Will the Body of Christ still be reserved in the Sanctuary too?

In this interfaith service, will there be any mention that the Catholic Church is the Church founded by Our Lord, and it is necessary to be in it for eternal salvation?

Will there be any mention that the Protestants and people of other faiths in attendance are in error, which could condemn their souls to Hell?

One could argue that gathering people together of all faiths to mourn and pray together is a good thing, and that in this time of tragedy, non-Catholics would not take well to being evangelized by the Catholic Church.  Both are valid points and reasons to criticize BCI for this post. But those arguments ignore the fundamental error of the interfaith gathering in a Catholic Church.

To not oppose error, and not instruct people in a charitable and pastorally kind way that they are in error would be to support that error and/or be an accessory to that error. For Catholics who participate, it also risks giving the appearance we are okay with polytheism.

People of all faiths should pray for the victims of the Monday tragedy and for the conversion of the soul of the murderer. If folks want an interfaith gathering to pray for the victims of the horrible tragedy of Monday, that should simply not be in a Catholic Church. And since dialogue with Obama (ie. Notre Dame commencement, the Al Smith Dinner, private negotiations over the HHS mandate) has not moderated his anti-Catholic positions, BCI believes we should not create scandal by having him speak as a featured guest and publicly-acknowledged “leader” of the interfaith service at the Cathedral of the Holy Cross with the imprimatur of the Archbishop of Boston.

84 Responses to Cardinal O’Malley Hosting Obama at Cathedral for Interfaith Prayer Service

  1. Please says:

    Wow! I often agree with this blog but wow! We as a country need to unite in prayer at this time period.

    • Ferde Rombola says:

      Did BCI say the country isn’t in need of prayer now? Try reading it again. For content this time.

    • Michael says:

      I agree. We should pray for the aborted babies that will die the day Obama is here in Boston. Wow!

  2. Theresa DeSimone says:

    Ecumenism at Its best here in Boston and Cardinal O`Malley is going to help reform the Roman Curia……Our Lady Of Fatima pray for us!!!!

  3. Liam says:

    As a matter of factual background, Catholic churches, cathedrals and basilicas have indeed hosted interfaith prayer services (for but one such example, Pope JP2 presided over one at the Cathedral Basilica in St Louis in 1999). And the ceremonial expectations of US presidents around tragedies of this sort is such that it is expected they will participate in such things in the locus thereof. Boston hasn’t played host to such things because it’s not been such a locus. Trinity Church would be ammore natural location for the service but for the fact that is too close to the crime scene right now. The Christian Science church would probably be the only other space large enough for the gathering, and it too is too close to the crime scene; so Holy Cross Cathedral became the location by default, I imagine. Fortunately, the cathredral has a properly segregated Blessed Sacrament Chapel, so a service in the main body of the church would be set apart.

    • Liam, Thank you for your thoughtful comments.

      Yes, this is part of the locus for POTUS. But the sponsorship by the Catholic Archdiocese is our concern. The dogma is infallible, but the liturgical practice of one pope or another is not infallible, even if it may set an example that others follow.

      As for the venue, why not Old North Church, Park Street Church, Symphony Hall, Jordan Hall, or elsewhere such as one of the arenas at BU or Northeastern?

      BCI knows this post may be controversial. But we believe what we wrote reflects the truth of our faith, and we stand by that.

      • Liam says:

        No other churches in Boston – except for the Mission Church – are big enough for something of this scale. (Old North and Park Street are also a nightmare, security location wise.) The other venues are not customary locations for interfaith prayer services of this type. The best outdoor locations would be the Common (in this context, too close to the crime scene for security reasons) or Franklin Park, but setting things up to be acoustically and logistically feasible in an outdoor space would take far too long in this context (that is, it would work for an event long in the planning, not something in a handful of days). All of this is to say the the fact that the cathedral ended up as the location was very predictable given the circumstances, and I suggest BCI be careful to safeguard its capital in how it critiques the event, else risking being treated as tin-foil cranks in a way that would subvert the good work it does do.

        Sponsorship of interfaith services by Catholic churches is not a violation of dogma.

      • Liam says:

        PS: To clarify my last thought: disputing the fact of an interfaith memorial prayer service in a Catholic church is not necessitated by dogma – you’re going to have to fight the example of almost all recent popes in some form on that one, and I suggest picking that battle will severely undercut other more meritorious points.

      • Mary says:

        I don’t know about St. Louis, but I know Pope John Paul II erred in a big way with the interfaith service back in 1986 in Assisi.
        He allowed a statue of a Buddha to be placed above the tabernacle.Buddhists, Protestants, Hindus, witch doctors and every kind of religious leader was there praying to their own “gods” for world peace. For some the meeting was seen as a wonderful, uniting experience that brought the world closer together, and he was viewed as a leader of interfaith dialogue. For those of us who abide by the Word of God this had the appearance of some “copy-cat” kingdom being created with the help of the evil one.

        Am I criticizing Pope John Paul II for allowing this? Yes, I am, even if that makes me disrespectful of this aspect of his papacy, because he confused people. (Just as Pope Francis did by washing the feet of women and non-Catholics on Holy Thursday). I can’t point you to doctrine or dogma that says the interfaith event in Assisi was wrong, because I’m not well-read enough to know the reference. Even if they’re not popular for this post, I commend BCI for taking up this issue in the way they have.

  4. Julie Mackey says:

    Where are you coming from? Do you seriously believe that of all God has created a small minority who, by chance, are Catholic, could be “saved”? What are you saying about God?
    Julie Mackey

    • Julie, Is your criticism with BCI or with the dogma of the Roman Catholic Church (which BCI is simply supporting and reminding readers of)?

      • Julie Mackey says:

        You have not answered my question. What are you saying about the God of Creation, the God of love? More attention to the message of Christ in the New Testament and the God who loves all his creation of the Old Testament, rather than narrow interpretation and acceptance of misunderstood dogma might help BCI be more Christian.
        For me, the truth lies in the Gospel, not in the way men have mangled it for reasons I do not understand. Support and remind us of the message of Christ. Forget this “We only are saved”, nonsense.
        Julie Mackey

      • Ferde Rombola says:

        Julie Mackey, the God of creation has said, “You are Peter and upon this rock I will build my Church.” Mt. 16:18. The God of creation has said, “When He comes, therefore, being the Spirit of truth, He will guide you to all truth.” Jn. 16:13. It is in these verses you will find the answer to your uninformed ‘small minority’ question.

        For your information, Church dogma does not say only Catholics can be saved. You need to learn to read better and to comprehend what you read.

      • Anna Lynskey says:

        Julie, Your post seems to imply you believe God established many religions to pursue salvation when in fact, He established only One.

        Your misunderstanding is the exact reason why Catholics object to an interfaith service inside of a Catholic Church.

        Do it on the Common. Do it on Commonwealth Avenue. Do it at a Stadium – and you would not have heard a peep out of Catholics.

        The Sanctuary of a Roman Catholic Church is reserved for the witness that is respectful to the entire reason why Christ gave His Life on the Cross.

      • Michael says:

        Anna … it is now The US Government’s Church. It has been ever since Kennedy’s Funeral.

  5. A Catholic church building is no place for an interfaith prayer service. The 8-year-old boy who was killed was Catholic and needs a Requiem Mass, not an interfaith prayer service. Having the President and ecumenical clergy there shows that Cardinal O’Malley doesn’t care about the church teachings that only Catholic services can be held in Catholic churches. If political dignitaries wish to come to a Requiem Mass at the Cathedral (if one is ever planned, which I doubt), then I, as a Catholic, would have no problem with it. But an interfaith prayer service in appropriate in his case; I don’t know about the other 2 deceased victims.

    Requiem aeternam dona eis Domine, et lux perpetua luceat eis.
    Requiescat in pace. Amen.
    Fidelium amima per misericordiam Dei requiescat in pace. Amen.

  6. jbq2 says:

    Well thought out and organized posting. You are right. Remember the issue with the funeral of T Kennedy?

  7. Warren Goddard says:

    Irenicism gone wild! Outside the Church there is neither remission of Original Sin nor salvation.

  8. PJ says:

    I will pray for love to enter your heart…
    1) America was founded on religious freedom
    2) Your thoughts are scary
    3) Your focus is wacky. We are all praying for the victims of the attack. How wonderful that Cardinal O’Malley is bringing folks together.
    4) Every week, in every church around the world, there are ceremonies or celebrations that see non catholics in attendance. Will you police all of these events for exposition of the Body of Christ?
    5) I implore folks reading the comments on this page to believe that these are not the views of all Catholics. The majority of Catholics follow Jesus’ instruction to love one another as we love ourself.

    • Ferde Rombola says:

      PJ, the views expressed in this blog are the views of all faithful Catholics. What you mean to say is, they are not the views of all those who call themselves Catholics. The majority of faithful Catholics adhere to the teachings of the Church across the board.

    • j says:

      PJ; agree entirely with the need for a service of prayer, and that the special circumstances require Catholics to bend rules somewhat, not that that is really necessary for the kind of service this SHOULD be. My criticism is not that there is going to be a prayer service, but why the Archdiocese is not taking the lead, and making sure this is organized by and for leaders of faith communities, not politicians and religious political action groups. Tagging along after politicians organize and event is never a good idea, and leads to doubts as to whether this will actually be what it should be.

      Just FYI (and which may p.o. BCI more; sorry) the Oblates of St Clements/St Francis, and St Cecilia, in the Downtown area, Immaculate Conception, Malden/Medford, and several Dorchester parishes actually ARE leaping into the breach (running toward) and adding extra Masses, making Priests available for Confession and counseling and mounting a Catholic outreach to anyone who is in need.

    • PJ, Thank you for the prayers. We can always use them. Before we get too deep into your comments, are you a regular Mass-going Catholic who believes everything that the Catholic Church teaches? If not, then we may not have the basis for a productive interaction .

      In response to your points, we seem to be in agreement on at least one or two points:

      1) America was founded on religious freedom.
      [BCI] We are in agreement. We treasure that we have the freedom to practice our religion without interference by the government. For the record, the Obama HHS mandate clearly interferes with our religious freedom. How do you feel about that?

      2) Your thoughts are scary.
      [BCI] Which one(s) specifically? In the absence of specifics, we cannot respond.

      3) Your focus is wacky. We are all praying for the victims of the attack. How wonderful that Cardinal O’Malley is bringing folks together.
      [BCI] You seem to have missed important parts of or post. We are praying for the victims too and we heartily support praying for the victims. We said that multiple times in the post. We encourage people to pray at home and in their own faith communities as well.

      4) Every week, in every church around the world, there are ceremonies or celebrations that see non catholics in attendance. Will you police all of these events for exposition of the Body of Christ?
      [BCI] We are in agreement that it is fine for there to be celebrations in Catholic churches every week around the world that see non-Catholics in attendance (e.g. marriages or funerals that bring in non-Catholics, or people checking out the Catholic faith). And if there are concerts in a Catholic church where the Eucharist is removed from the tabernacle, that is also fine. But, we did not write about non-believers attending a Catholic liturgy, nor did we write about a non-religious event taking place in a church. We wrote about an “interfaith” event taking place in the Mother Church of the Boston Archdiocese featuring rabidly anti-Catholic politicians.

      5) I implore folks reading the comments on this page to believe that these are not the views of all Catholics. The majority of Catholics follow Jesus’ instruction to love one another as we love ourself.
      [BCI] You got Jesus’ instruction wrong. He said in John 15:12, “Love one another as I (Jesus) have loved you.” We are on-board with that. Nothing in our blog post should be construed as in opposition to that message.

      • PJ says:

        As I walked to Mass this morning, my heart was aching and I prayed that the rantings on this page would not reach a wide read audience and cast a shadow on the Catholic Church. In this declared evangelical year, many of the views expressed on this page seem elitist.

        People, please, please, please, read what you have written. The word “supremacist” keeps flashing in my mind. Please open your hearts!

        If Pope Francis and Cardinal O’Malley are flower children, give me a daisy and let me join the love fest.

      • j says:

        Cardinal O’Malley will be coming home to a complete PR mess not of his making. The Governor (who is NOT a faith leader, nor competent to put together a prayer service) says
        “The Governor’s Office announced that the public is invited to attend Healing Our City: An Interfaith Service, to be held tomorrow at 11 a.m. at the Cathedral of the Holy Cross in Boston.

        The service is an opportunity for the community to come together in the wake of the tragic events at the Boston Marathon this week. Cardinal Sean, President Barack Obama, Governor Deval Patrick, and Mayor Tom Menino will be in attendance, along with federal, state and local officials. First responders, civic leaders from communities along the marathon route, medical personnel, victims and their families, as well as volunteers from the Boston Athletic Association have been invited to attend.

        Doors for the service will open to the public at 8 a.m. Tickets will be released on a first come, first serve basis to those in line at the Cathedral. Guests should be prepared for airport-like security, and are advised to plan accordingly for lines and delays. Guests are asked to bring as few personal items as possible. No bags, sharp objects, liquids or signs will be allowed in the venue. Please access the entrance at Washington Street and Monsignor Reynolds Way from the north and west.

        The public is highly encouraged to take public transportation, since both parking and road service in the area will be extremely limited. The Cathedral of the Holy Cross is located at 1400 Washington Street in Boston.”

        whereas the PR from the Archdiocese/Cathedral news has

        “The Interfaith Prayer Service scheduled to be held at our parish church at 11:00 AM tomorrow morning is NOT A MASS. At this writing, the service is by invitation only. The Cathedral Parish prayerfully hopes that, once Cardinal O’Malley returns and the City of Boston returns to a semblance of normalcy (e.g., the MBTA stations are all open) a Mass will be celebrated for our city. May God continue to bless you, and may Our Lady, Queen of Peace, pray for us. Thank you!”

        or in other words, not for YOU, stay away. Either Bishop Deeley or the gang at Braintree have made a mess.

    • David says:

      Dissenting “Catholics” are free to leave the church….

  9. j says:

    Could not disagree more with about half of what BCI says. It does not bother me at all that there is an interfaith prayer service, and the Cathedral SHOULD be where it is, as the center of faith in Boston. Yes, Cathedrals can and have been used for such purposes, and Pastoral concerns really do trump.

    That having been said, two egregious failings of the bureaucrats in Braintree, and I am shocked and disappointed by them all.

    First, the entire news/publicity/public relations apparatus should be fired for the way this has been handled. There has been NO information put out on either this or on other potential CATHOLIC resources by the PR office. Scrambling to get ahead of the legitimate needs of Catholics in a crisis like this is really how you justify having this press apparatus in the first place. Nothing on the website beyond the Cardinal’s own statement of concern and prayer, Because of this abject failure, if an average Catholic wants to find out anything, or get details on this interfaith service, they have to go to the political sites, the secular media, etc.

    Which leads to the second problem, this whole event SEEMS to be run, spun, dictated by politicians. I don’t have a problem with an interfaith prayer service, but this is looking (whether fair or not; see abject failure #1) like a POLITICAL event being organized by POLITICIANS for the benefit of POLITICIANS, with a bunch of politically connected quasi-religious organizations and a few clergy (and the Cathedral) thrown in for optics. If the Archdiocese wants a prayer service, and interfaith, where is Bishop Methodius, Episcopal Bishops, Lutheran Bishops, and actual leaders of actual major CHURCHES and faith communities. The list thus far seems to be who is most active in secular politics, not faith. If this observation is wrong, abject failure #1 is even worse.

    • Vernon Murphy says:

      You think that Rasky and their flunky Donilon are concerned at all with the pastoral care of Catholics in Boston?? HA! I haven’t heard such a good joke all day! They’re there to worship at the feet of the mainstream media instead of talking real Catholicism. I had some hopes when they managed to get the local stations to all talk Catholic for a week during the Conclave, but even that spurt of “on message” seems to have faded.

      I agree that this “service” is purely political; symbolic at best and disgusting at worst. A similar one happened at the National Cathedral with President Bush speaking on Sept. 14th 2001, and if memory serves Pres. Clinton also attended one in Oklahoma after the ’95 bombing. They are a chance for the politician to grandstand a bit in support of and to gain support from . Truly a calculated move, indeed.

  10. Ferde Rombola says:

    It seems our Archbishop just doesn’t get it and will never get it. He’s a Franciscan priest and the consummate flower child. God help us!

    • j says:

      Ferde; the Cardinal was in the Holy Land when all this happened, and/or in transit and is not responsible for the wretched response of the Braintree “office”. In his absence, Bishop Deeley is in charge.

      • Ferde Rombola says:

        My pastor was with him on the trip. They returned on Wednesday. The assumption is the Cardinal was not in touch with the Chancery on Monday. He did, however, post many pictures and comments on his blog before last weekend. I believe the decisions made were the Cardinal’s decisions. Or Brian Hehir’s with the Cardinal’s blessings.

      • DBP says:

        As I was reading the press release by Tom Donilon, I wondered whether Fr. Hehir had been involved, since it reeks of his input. I wouldn’t be at all surprised to find out that he had invited the Governor to use the Cathedral; Hehir regularly cites the “traditional cooperation of the Church with the State,” and, of course, he’s listed as “Fr. Bryan Hehir (D-Cambridge)” in the directory, so he’d delight in giving Obama, Patrick and Menino a Catholic pulpit.

  11. Joseph Antell Jr says:

    I agree with this post in this we find ourselves as greatly conflicted ,we need to pay close attention to message of our lady of Fatima, pray for our bishops and priest many who have lost their way. We do stand for something and if we believe it we should stand up for it .

  12. schmenz says:


    I am unaware of any officially proclaimed dogma of the Church which defines that non-Catholics can be saved. I am aware of many theories to the contrary, but I know of no official Ex Cathedra statements from Rome that say so.

    There are, of course, Ex Cathedra statements which clearly state “extra ecclesiam nulla salus”, so it would be rather impossible for the Church to contradict Herself on such a crucial matter.

    To be on the safe side it is probably a better idea to stick with that we KNOW has been infallibly defined, rather than the theories of others, even when those theories are stated by great Saints. The hierachical structure of the Church requires our assent to the highest authority always.

    • Ferde Rombola says:

      I’m not aware of any such dogma either, but the Church doesn’t define questions outside of her perview. IOW, she does not judge who is or isn’t saved. That’s for God to do.

      The ‘extra ecclesiam’ dogma needs to be seen in how we define ‘outside the Church.’ It isn’t necessarily defined as ‘non-Catholics.’ Outside the Church could easily mean outside of her doctrines; those of a trinitarian God, the divinity of Christ, faith in His resurrection, belief in eternal life, in the creation, etc. In that light, there are many Protetants who qualify and it’s a certainty, once they die and the Savior shows them the fullness of truth, they will become Catholics on the threshhold to Heaven.

      There is also the ‘invincible ignorance’ question, among others, which open up a variety of very complicated subjects. Suffice it to say, with God, all things are possible. 😉

      • Anna Lynskey says:

        Ferde, While true that each individual will be judged on the basis of what they knew and when they knew it, it is absolutely Church teaching that God did not establish a schmogasboard of religions that are salvific.

        Clearly the witness of an ‘interfaith’ service in the Sanctuary of a Roman Catholic Cathedral, whose most prominent leader will be the highest elected politician who facilitates death and destruction, not to mention persecution and victimization of the Catholic Church — will mislead souls.

        I am tired of prelates who sell their scandals as ‘pastoral’.

  13. Warren Goddard says:

    I belong to the Church which its highest authority teaches that:
    “There is but one universal Church of the faithful in which the priest
    himself, Jesus Christ, is the victim; his body and blood are truly contained
    in the Sacrament of the Altar under the species of bread and wine,
    transubstantiated by the divine power-the bread into his body and the wine
    into his blood-that, for the enacting of the mystery of unity, we may take
    from his substance as he himself took from our substance; and outside this
    Church no one at all is saved.” Lateran Council IV.

    And that:
    “We declare, say, define, and pronounce that it is absolutely necessary for
    the salvation of every human creature to be subject to the Roman Pontiff.”
    Unam Sanctam.

    And that:
    “The most Holy Roman Church firmly believes, professes and preaches that
    none of those existing outside the Catholic Church, not only pagans, but
    also Jews and heretics and schismatics, can have a share in life eternal;
    but that they will go into the eternal fire which was prepared for the devil
    and his angels, unless before death they are joined with Her; and that so
    important is the unity of this ecclesiastical body that only those remaining
    within this unity can profit by the sacraments of the Church unto salvation,
    and they alone can receive an eternal recompense for their fasts, their
    almsgivings, their other works of Christian piety and the duties of a
    Christian soldier. No one, let his alsmgiving be as great as it may, no
    one, even if he pour out his blood for the Name of Christ, can be saved,
    unless he remain within the bosom and the unity of the Catholic Church.”
    Cantate Domino.

    Message: 11
    Date: Sun, 19 Feb 2006 07:42:25 -0000
    From: “Ron Criss”
    Subject: Re: Digest Number 140


    You are picking and choosing which documents you want to accept. You
    are making your own limted self anti-pope. That’s cafeteria
    Catholicism no matter how you attempt to spin it. Of course you
    never have told me you are Catholic, though I’ve askes many times.
    You also pick and choose which of my quotes or arguments or
    questions to address. Maybe its Warrenism?


    — In, “Warren Goddard”
    > Ron,
    > Either way my question is answered conclusively proves CCC 1258
    > Affirmative answer: Yes, desire suffices for Church membership.
    On the
    > contrary, Mystici Corporis dogmatically says only those who have
    > baptized are members of the Church.
    > Negative answer: No, desire doesn’t suffice for Church membership
    but it
    > does suffice for salvation from outside the Church. On the
    > Lateran Council IV dogmatically says that outside the Church no
    one at all
    > is saved.
    > Warren

  14. Warren Goddard says:

    Sorry about that. I intended to paste only the three dogmatic Catholic Church statements from a previous posting for Ferde’s benefit.

  15. Stephen says:

    Bombs are bad.
    Getting a leg blown off must really hurt.
    Its good to pray together.
    There is no salvation outside The Church.

  16. Completely Confused by our Cardinal says:

    President Obama supports abortion and partial birth abortion. Obama makes no apologies for this, and in fact is seeking to force the Catholic Church to provide abortion coverage. Abortion has killed over 50 million babies, and is an abomination in God’s eyes.

    I don’t understand the thinking behind Cardinal O’Malley inviting a pro-abortion President to a Roman Catholic Church. Does Cardinal O’Malley think God will honor the prayers of Obama, and the other pro-abortion politicians who will be in attendance? Would Cardinal O’Malley invite Hitler to a prayer service?

  17. 509jrb2301 says:

    Shameful, but that’s what we’ve come to expect from the Cardinal. .

  18. Mack says:

    When Pope John Paul held the Assisi event, each religious group was given a separate room to carry out their own services or rituals, and then there was some sort of common meeting, but it wasn’t prayer. John Paul explained (I remember reading it but I can’t find the source now) that Christian prayer properly speaking is only among the baptized. He did make that important distinction.

    As for this event, I too am dismayed that Obama is coming to the cathedral because he uses every opportunity to advance himself and his political agenda, even this awful terrorism. I cringe at the thought of him doing it at our own cathedral. However, I think in light of everything, most people will see it as some sort of good and I don’t think it will actually give scandal. I mean that people in general don’t know much about the Catholic faith, so they won’t even realize there is some cause for scandal here.

  19. Objective Observer says:

    There is no teaching of the Roman Catholic Church against allowing prayerful (albeit non-liturgical) speech in a Catholic church, provided the Blessed Sacrament is removed from the tabernacle and the sanctuary light is extinguished. Interfaith services happen all the time in Catholic churches, especially after large public tragedies.

    In all the times over the past nearly three years that I have read BCI, I can think of only a handful where I differed with the point of view presented by BCI. This is one of those times.

    I do wish the cardinal had first hosted a Mass at the Cathedral — yesterday or today. He does tend to forget that’s his most important job.

    As much as I dislike and distrust Bryan Hehir, and know that this is his doing, still I believe that Boston needs a strong spiritual moment, and it’s a relief that it’s in a Catholic setting. I’ll hold judgment until I see what shape the service takes.

    How they expect to pull it off with no parking, and a building that would be a nightmare to secure, I don’t know. That’s a separate issue.

  20. Boston Catholic businessman says:

    I, like Mack, am dismayed that Obama is coming to the cathedral in a place of honor to advance his agenda. I think of this in very simple terms.

    a) Let’s say the the leader or featured speaker at the interfaith service was complicit in, supportive of, or actively involved in the systematic, state-sponsored persecution and murder of six million Jews by the Nazi regime


    b) Let’s say the leader or featured speaker at the interfaith service was complicit in or supportive of the systematic dismemberment and brutal murder of 5 million young children in the past 4 years alone.

    If either a or b were true, would people object to him speaking at this event at the Catholic cathedral? Of course they would. Well, we’ve got (b) coming on Thursday and being welcomed with open arms by the Archdiocese of Boston.

    • Michael says:

      like stephen said:
      [Abortions] are bad.
      Getting [your spine cut with scissors] must really hurt.
      Its good to pray together.
      There [likely] is no salvation [for people who actively promote this behavior.].

  21. Liam says:

    FYI, this is the order of service:
    Music: “Praise to the Lord, the Almighty”
    Welcome & Opening Prayer
    Reverend Liz Walker
    Roxbury Presbyterian Church
    Metropolitan Methodios
    Greek Orthodox Metropolis of Boston, Brookline
    Boston Mayor Thomas M. Menino
    Music: “My Life Flows on in Endless Song”
    Reverend Nancy S. Taylor
    Senior Minister & CEO, Old South Church, Boston
    Reading from Psalm 147:3
    Rabbi Ronne Friedman
    Senior Rabbi Temple Israel, Boston
    Nasser S. Wedaddy
    Chair of the New England Interfaith Council
    Civil Rights Outreach Director, American Islamic Congress
    Reverend Roberto Miranda
    Senior Pastor, Congregación León de Judá, Roxbury
    Music: Boston Children’s Chorus, “Up to the Mountain”
    Gospel Reading from Matthew 5:1-12
    Bishop John M. Borders III
    Senior Pastor, Morning Star Baptist Church, Mattapan
    Cardinal Seán O’Malley, OFM Cap.
    Musical selection performed by Yo-Yo Ma
    Commonwealth of Massachusetts Governor Deval L. Patrick
    President Barack H. Obama
    Closing Blessing
    Cardinal Seán O’Malley, OFM Cap.
    Recessional: “America The Beautiful”

  22. ubipetrusest says:

    Thanks for such a clear statement. Obama should not be invited to a Catholic Church. There should be a Catholic Mass for the victims, and the Cardinal should not be the host for an ecumenical service held on Catholic premises.

    My parish bulletin asked parishioners interested in learning more about Judaism to contact the rectory; the parish has ecumenical services with a Reform Jewish congregation that supports gay marriage and took out a full-page ad in the local GLBT phone directory! What can our pastor have been thinking?

    We also have daily Mass in a converted supply room, which has a wall in common with the parish bathroom. Unfortunately, it’s not soundproofed, and those in the chapel hear when the toilet flushes. Our beautiful church is empty, as we cram like sardines into the chapel to hear Mass.

  23. Mary Sweeney says:

    Not sure why BCI invariably has to present itself as arrogant, disconnected, and pharisaical. Doing a great job at that. BCI does not seem to have any time for the people with whom Jesus interacted.

    • victoria stuart says:

      Right on the mark,Mary.This hateful group should not call themselves Catholic.

      • David S. says:


        Have you seen the pictures on the Internet from the Gosnell trial? You know, the ones showing the babies with the severed necks that were murdered by Dr. Gosnell?

        Well that is what abortion is – MURDER. And Cardinal O’Malley has invited Obama who supports abortion to a prayer service at the Cathedral.

        Is that you definition of being Catholic?

    • David says:

      Dissenting “Catholics” are free to leave the church….

    • aged parent says:


      “arrogant, disconnected and Pharisaical”.

      Examples, please?

      • Mary Sweeney says:

        “How can there be a “common language” for prayer amongst Catholicism, Judaism, Islam, Protestantism and other faiths?

        Is it at any time appropriate for there to be an “interfaith service” in a Catholic Church, let alone the Cathedral? Will the Body of Christ still be reserved in the Sanctuary too?

        In this interfaith service, will there be any mention that the Catholic Church is the Church founded by Our Lord, and it is necessary to be in it for eternal salvation?

        Will there be any mention that the Protestants and people of other faiths in attendance are in error, which could condemn their souls to Hell?”

        Just for starters… Sounds like “my way or the highway…” There are many mansions in our Father’s house, I think.

  24. j says:

    :Putting aside all the issues with who put together what and such, both Bishop Methodius and Cardinal O’Malley made very good and appropriate remarks, perfectly in tune with a prayer service.

    My dear brothers, sisters and friends.

    On behalf of our Catholic community, I wish to welcome all of you here to the Cathedral of the Holy Cross. It is an honor to have our President, the Governor, and our Mayor here with us this morning. We are grateful to Governor Patrick for initiating this ecumenical and interfaith prayer service. We are delighted that Metropolitan Methodius and so many leaders from the various churches and faith communities could join us here today.

    Our Holy Father, Pope Francis, has asked me to communicate to you his sentiments of love and support. The Holy Father invokes God’s peace upon our dead, consolation upon the suffering and God’s strength upon all those engaged in the continuing work of relief and response. The Holy Father prays that we will be united in the resolve not to be overcome by evil, but to combat evil with good, working together to build an ever more just, free and secure society for generations to come.

    This year’s Patriots’ Day celebrations were marred by an act of senseless violence that has caused all of us great shock and pain. It made us relive the horror of the September 11th terrorist attack and is a stark reminder of the darkness that can lurk in the human heart and produce such evil. And yet the same tragedy brought us together as a community like nothing else ever could. The generous and courageous response of so many assures us that there resides in people’s hearts a goodness that is incredibly selfless. We saw that when summoned by great events we can be remarkably committed to the well-being of others, even total strangers. We become a stronger people, a more courageous people, and a more noble people. The police, emergency workers and even bystanders and passers-by did not hesitate to put themselves in harm’s way to help the injured and the frightened.

    Our presence here is an act of solidarity with those who lost their lives or were injured in the explosions and an expression of our desire to support them and their families and loved ones.

    This Patriots’ Day shakes us out of our complacency and indifference and calls us to focus on the task of building a civilization that is based on love, justice, truth and service. We do not want to risk losing the legacy of those first patriots who were willing to lay down their lives for the common good. We must overcome the culture of death by promoting a culture of life, a profound respect for each and every human being made in the image and likeness of God, and we must cultivate a desire to give our lives in the service of others.

    Last week, I was in Galilee on the Mount of the Beatitudes with 30 priests from Boston. There we prayed together and listened to the very Gospel that was read for us here this morning. The Sermon on the Mount is a description of the life of the people gathered by and around the Lord. Often in the Gospels, we can see the contrast between the crowd and the community. The crowd is made up of self-absorbed individuals, each one focused on his or her own interests in competition with the conflicting projects of others. A community is where people come to value each other, and find their own identity in being part of something bigger than themselves, working together for the common good.

    The Sermon on the Mount, in many ways, is the Constitution of the people called to live a new life. Jesus gives us a new way to deal with offenses, by reconciliation. Jesus gives us a new way to deal with violence, by nonviolence. He gives us a new way to deal with money, by sharing and providing for those in need. Jesus gives us a new way to deal with leadership, by drawing upon the gift of every person, each one a child of God.

    In the face of the present tragedy, we must ask ourselves what kind of a community do we want to be, what are the ideals that we want to pass on to the next generation. It cannot be violence, hatred and fear. The Jewish people speak of Tikkun Olam, “repairing the world.” God has entrusted us with precisely that task, to repair our broken world. We cannot do it as a collection of individuals; we can only do it together, as a community, as a family. Like every tragedy, Monday’s events are a challenge and an opportunity for us to work together with a renewed spirit of determination and solidarity and with the firm conviction that love is stronger than death.

    • Stephen says:

      Given the circumstances I find this to be one of the most frightening and challenging statements made on behave of The Church that I have ever read.

      From the sermon on the mount mentioned;
      “You are the salt of the earth. But if the salt lose its savour, wherewith shall it be salted? It is good for nothing any more but to be cast out, and to be trodden on by men.”
      Matt 5:13 Dewey Reims

  25. Chuck Braun says:

    As a confessional Lutheran, I believe in the Virgin Birth, Subsitutionary Atonement of Christ and His Resurrection. With the Roman Catholics, we LCMS Lutherans also believe Holy Baptism brings His saving grace, and in His Real Presence in, with and under the bread and wine. As catholic Christians, we also are against abortion and homosexuality. Martin Luther was a Catholic who discovered a Catholic doctrine in the Catholic Bible. Namely, that we are saved by grace through faith, and that good works come as the fruit of that salvation. In other words, Christ earned us our salvation by His merit and Righteousness alone.
    We too reject interfaith worship with Christians and non-Christians, and we wish the Roman Catholic Church would repent of the event at Assisi in 1986. One last comment: the Church of Christ exists anywhere the Word is rightly preached and the Sacraments administered. We Lutherans consider Roman Catholics to be our brothers and sisters in Christ, and do indeed believe that the true, invisible Church of those who trust in Him is the only Ark of salvation, and we believe that you’re on the same boat with us. May the Peace of the Father, Son and Holy Spirit be upon all of us who confess Christ as Savior. I await the day when the Church Triumphant will arrive when Christ returns, and our differences will be gone, and we shall reign with Him eternally.

    • Warren Goddard says:

      Chuck, at Catholic Mass, once bread and wine are consecrated, bread and wine do not exist on our altars. And concerning terms:
      The term “Roman Catholic” is not a proper name for the Catholic Church though one often feels constrained to use it to avoid ambiguity since the Episcopalians like to style themselves “Anglo-Catholics” and the Greek orthodox have at times been called “Greek Catholics”. Yet neither the Anglicans nor the Greeks can manage to call themselves simply “Catholics” lest they be mistaken for us who are recognized by all as Catholics without qualification. The Catholic Church is indeed the Roman Church or the Church whose visible head is the Pope in Rome, but the use of the name “Roman Catholic” is at best a condescension to others who would falsely claim the name “Catholic”.
      Furthermore, there here is no religion called Christianity and there never has been such a religion. There is and always has been the Church, and various heresies proceeding from a rejection of some of the Church’s doctrines by men who still desire to retain the rest of her teaching and morals. When St. Peter appointed Ignatius Bishop of Antioch (A.D. 69) the Church was still called but the Church, as in “And he is the head of the body, the church” Colossians 1:18. Bishop Ignatius wrote a letter in Greek to the faithful, and in contradistinction to dissidents existing even at that early time, he addressed it to the Church Universal — the Katholikos Ecclesiam –the Catholic Church. So from then until now there exists but the Colossians 1:18 Body of Christ Church and separate non-Catholic religions. God bless you Chuck with Catholic Faith without which it is imposable to please God. Council of Thrent Fifth Session.

  26. Attaboy says:

    I respectfully believe that the authors of BCI are so blinded by their dislike of the President (and perhaps the Cardinal; at least most of the people he’s selected to work for him in Braintree) into saying things that are the exact opposite of evangelization (sharing the Gospel with others).

    Jesus evangelized public sinners like Matthew and so many others. He dined regularly with sinners. Would he have not prayed with sinners or anyone that came to him sincerely to pray?

    He told the Pharisees that they were wrong in their very narrow view of who and what were “worthy” of entering God’s presence. Where in the Scriptures or sacred tradition is it written – don’t let people that disagree with us enter our Churches!

    Despite what you think of Obama, do you value the office of the Presidency? Would we as Catholics want to disrespect the office by telling the President (of whatever faith background) he can’t come an pray in our Church?

    Despite what you think of Governor Patrick, do you respect the office of Governor? Would we as Catholics want to disrespect the office by telling the Governor (of whatever faith background) he can’t come an pray in our Church?

    Despite what you think of Mayor Menino, do you respect the office of Mayor of Boston? Would we as Catholics want to disrespect the office by telling the Mayor (of whatever faith background) he can’t come an pray in our Church?

    Despite what you think of Cardinal O’Malley, do you respect the office of Archbishop of Boston and apostolic authority? Would we as Catholics want to disrespect the office by believing the Cardinal has NO GRACE to authorize the utilization of the Cathedral for an interfaith like this?

    If you don’t believe in apostolic authority (or think in your own “humble” opinion that you have better judgment than the successor to the apostles here in Boston), are you “Catholic enough” to enter the Cathedral worthily?

    Would you have preferred that our Catholic community say no to this when asked by the Governor’s office and this event end up in a Mosque or in city hall plaza with a totally secular “service?”

    If Jesus walked into the BCI offices, do you really think He’d be saying “atta boy/girl!” “Keep it up.” “Keep ripping down your Bishop!” “Keep making ‘orthodox’ Catholics seem like the Pharisees in my own day” that showed no charity, love, understanding, patience, kindness, etc.” When in doubt, keep assuming the worst and publishing them for the world to see.

    You must believe that BCI through it’s criticism and attacks on its bishop and the leadership of the local church will save the Church!

    How many days until you turn on Pope Francis?

    How many days until you turn on Mother Teresa? [She let a lot of non-Catholics into her homes and hospitals]

    How many days until you turn on each other at BCI?

    Keep up the great work BCI. Attaboy!

    • Michael says:

      Attaboy says: If Jesus walked into the BCI offices, do you really think He’d be saying “atta boy/girl!” “Keep it up.” “Keep ripping down your Bishop!”

      Attaboy, I cannot believe it. Brilliant comment! What insight. You just asked a question I think no one really ever considered. What would Jesus do? Wow. That is just outstanding. How do you come up with such vision? I wish I went to school with you because I probaby would have been patting you on the back all of the time saying attaboy.

      So let’s answer the question: What would Jesus do?

      I think, based on his prior actions, Jesus would have violently thrown Menino, Obama, and anyone else who desecrates the sacred altar of the Church through their obstinate sinful behavior. O’Malley might find himself on the list of people to be violently kicked out as well. Attaboy … you probably at a minimum would have gotten a kick in the ass (for being a fool).

      Jesus wouldn’t have kicked out non-catholics … nor would BCI. Just the ones who are brazenly undermining the truths that the Church teaches.

      • Attaboy says:

        You write as if Obama is a Catholic.

        In the Scriptures, Jesus respected the Romans and Pontius Pilate. Yet his followers in the Catholic Church on this Blog won’t respect the office of the President or the sacred authority of episcopal succession.

        Where in the Scriptures do you read that Jesus would have violently thrown out Menino and Obama?

        The tables he turned over in the temple weren’t manned by people like that. It was manned by “holier-than-thou” people that were always “condemning” others arrogantly and not fraternally loving them back into a proper faith. Sounds like some bloggers around Boston recently (not as much at the beginning of BCI)…

      • Anna Lynskey says:

        Attaboy, Again, I believe you have some rose colored glasses when you compare this situation as a Scriptural re-enactment of Christ’s ‘respect’ for Pilate.

        Perhaps my Bibles are missing critical chapters.

        Did He invite Pilate to preach with the Apostles?

      • Stephen says:

        Same money changers; different day.

      • Michael says:

        Are menino and Obama loving aborted babies with a fraternal faith? Menino claims to be Catholic. Obama claims to be Christian.

    • David says:

      Dissenting “Catholics” are free to leave the church….

    • Mack says:

      And despite what you believe about Hitler, do you respect the office of the Fuehrer?

    • Attaboy,
      Thank you for taking the time to comment. You raise interesting questions, and BCI has been thinking and praying about this matter a great deal in the last 24 hours, especially after reading some of the public and private comments. Perhaps we should have simply not blogged on this topic at all, but we decided to do so after prayerful consideration and we will live with that.

      On the topic of “Does BCI respect the office of “X”, we have a question for you. Do any of those office-holders respect the Catholic Church and our beliefs? What should be done in view of the reality that these politicians are advancing policies that in many cases do harm to the Catholic Church?

      Let us take it a step further. To paraphrase an earlier reader comment, how egregious must the offenses of a particular person or politician be against Catholic moral principles in order for you to oppose them speaking in a Catholic Church (or at a Catholic program) or oppose them being honored in some way by the Catholic Church?

      “Boston Catholic businessman” asked:

      “a) Let’s say the leader or featured speaker at the interfaith service was complicit in, supportive of, or actively involved in the systematic, state-sponsored persecution and murder of six million Jews by the Nazi regime
      b) Let’s say the leader or featured speaker at the interfaith service was complicit in or supportive of the systematic dismemberment and brutal murder of 5 million young children in the past 4 years alone.

      If either a or b were true, would people object to him speaking at this event at the Catholic cathedral?”

      Attaboy, would you object?

      BCI will extend this further.

      What if the person openly and proudly supported the sexual abuse of minors?
      What if the person proudly supported the Rwandan genocide in 1994 when more than 500,000 people were killed in 100 days?

      Specifically what sort of actions by the political leader would cause you to conclude they should not be a featured speaker at any Catholic Church or Catholic program? Please be specific. How bad must they be?

      Furthermore, the fact that the Archdiocese of Boston did not know as of mid-afternoon Wednesday whether Catholics were even permitted to attend an event in our own Cathedral is pretty alarming. It also says rather strongly that this program in the Mother Church of the Archdiocese was almost entirely out of the control of the Catholic Church and instead, run by the office of the Governor, who we all know has zero respect for the Catholic Church (apparently, except when he needed our building).

    • Anna Lynskey says:

      Attaboy, this was quite an epistle. What you do not note is that Jesus did not invite Herod into the Holiest of Holies in the Temple to give a pep talk to the victims of his culture of death.

      I would ask you to prayerfully separate yourself from your attachment to the Cardinal and get a closer look at what took place.

  27. David says:

    “The road to hell is paved with the skulls of erring priests, with bishops as their signposts.”

    “I do not think there are many among Bishops that will be saved, but many more that perish.”

    St. John Chrysostom

  28. I watched the service on TV this morning. The Greek Orthodox Metropolitan actually said “we must pray for the repose of their souls”, something that Cardinal Sean won’t do that he really should. The President turned it into a “Go Sox” rally.

    A question: Would Cardinal Cushing and O’Connell, Archbishop Williams, and Bishops Fitzpatrick, Fenwick, and Cheverus allow such kind of interfaith service in on their home turf? Feel free to answer, but it would safe to say the answer is “NO.”

  29. David says:

    Pope suggests it’s best to be ‘honest’ and leave the Church if you don’t believe:

    by John-Henry Westen

    Tue Aug 28 5:09 PM EST

    VATICAN CITY, August 28, 2012 ( – In his Angelus address Sunday, Pope Benedict XVI spoke of Judas’ betrayal of Christ, saying that Judas’ problem was failing to leave Christ when he no longer believed – a “falsehood,” said the Pope, “which is a mark of the devil.”

    “Judas,” said Pope Benedict, “could have left, as many of the disciples did; indeed, he would have left if he were honest. Instead he remained with Jesus. He did not remain because of faith, or because of love, but with the secret intention of taking vengeance on the Master.”

    According to Human Life International Rome Director, Monsignor Ignacio Barreiro, the comments are very relevant to the current situation in the Catholic Church. Msgr. Barreiro, who holds a doctorate in Dogmatic theology, told LifeSiteNews that “for those Catholics who cannot bring themselves to believe the formal teachings of the Church on life and family matters it would be more honest to leave the Church rather than betraying Her.”

    But, he added, “We regret very much that the person is so inclined and we wish they would have a conversion to truly believe.”

    Pope Benedict, in his remarks, drew a distinction between believing and understanding, noting that some disciples walked away from Christ because they did not believe. However, he said, even those who remained believed before they fully understood.

    The HLI Rome Director commented, “Intellectual difficulty is not disobedience.” He explained, “You might have teachings you find difficult to accept. However, (in those circumstances) it is virtuous to believe since you make a sacrifice of your own will, taking as your own the mind of the Church.”

    Msgr. Barriero noted that submission of will and intellect is required when it comes to the official teachings of the Church, rather than prudential opinions. “For example,” he said, “it is required for the teaching on abortion, but there can be legitimate differences of opinion among Catholics on how to take care of the poor.”

    Giving another example, he pointed out that “while the Church can never ordain women as priests, there can be difference on how to ensure all are provided access to medical care.”

    The pope concluded with a prayer asking God to “help us to believe in Jesus, as St. Peter did, and to always be sincere with Him and with all people.”

    • Attaboy says:

      So should all those that don’t believe the Archbishop of Boston is a successor to the Apostles and should be respected and followed leave too?

      People of other faiths are pro-life, pro-marriage. You don’t have to be Catholic to believe in and fight for those things. However, people that don’t believe in the primacy of Peter or in apostolic succession can’t be Catholic.

      Mark 9:42: “If any of you put a stumbling block before one of these little ones who believe in me, it would be better for you if a great millstone were hung around your neck and you were thrown into the sea.”

      Your critical words of the Archbishop causes great scandal and undermines his teaching authority and respect. My reading of Mark 9:42 suggests you should repent for that.

      This week certainly tells us that we know not the time nor the hour we will face our own final judgment. God bless you all.

      • David says:

        Hey, I’m only passing on what the Holy Father said. If you have a problem, address it to the Holy See

      • David says:

        So I suppose that St John should repent also???

        “The road to hell is paved with the skulls of erring priests, with bishops as their signposts.”

        “I do not think there are many among Bishops that will be saved, but many more that perish.”

        St. John Chrysostom

      • Mack says:

        Attaboy, your attitude that cardinals/bishops/priests should be immune from criticism by the faithful when they fail in their duties is the exact attitude that allowed the sexual scandal to continue for years and years. And in the end, far greater spiritual damage was done. St Thomas says that fraternal correction is a virtue.

      • Mack says:

        In fact, St Thomas specifically answers “yes” to the question as to whether a man may correct his prelate (Summa Theol., II-II, q. 33, article 4):

        After saying that it is not up to a subject to punish his prelate, Aquinas notes:
        “but the fraternal correction which is an act of charity is within the competency of everyone in respect of any person towards whom he is bound by charity, provided there be something in that person which requires correction.

        Now an act which proceeds from a habit or power extends to whatever is contained under the object of that power or habit: thus vision extends to all things comprised in the object of sight. Since, however, a virtuous act needs to be moderated by due circumstances, it follows that when A SUBJECT CORRECTS HIS PRELATE, he ought to do so in a becoming manner, not with impudence and harshness, but with gentleness and respect. Hence the Apostle says (1 Timothy 5:1): “An ancient man rebuke not, but entreat him as a father.” Wherefore Dionysius finds fault with the monk Demophilus (Ep. viii), for rebuking a priest with insolence, by striking and turning him out of the church. ”

        In my opinion, BCI’s criticism of the cardinal fits the criteria outlined here by the Angelic Doctor.

      • Anna Lynskey says:

        Attaboy, let me ask you something.

        If the principal at your children’s school invited Kermit Gosnell and Reverend Wright to hold a pep and prayer rally in the Sanctuary of your parish – would your response be attacking the righteous people who point out the scandal?

        Nobody is objecting to an interfaith prayer service. It could have been held at the Chancery, at a Catholic college stadium.

        The sanctuary of a Roman Catholic Church – especially our Cathedral – is not an adjunct facility for functions at the bequest of the City of Boston.

        This President is responsible for the consequences of the culture of death. Rushing to Boston with his Kleenex and clearing out the Sanctuary of a Catholic Cathedral to host his hypocrisy was wrong. People who are testifying to the scandal are speaking on behalf of Obama’s victims all over the world. I spare you the detailed list of martyred Christians and unborn children.

  30. David says:

    AMEN, Mack!!!

  31. j says:

    Article on the selection or mis-selection of the initial speakers, If true, who was responsible, and if true, kudos to Governor Patrick for vetoing the first speaker. BUT begs the question, why wasn’t the Archdiocese the vigilant one? No invitation and un-invitation would have been necessary had Cardinal O’Malley been the one picking speakers.

  32. Stephen says:


    How positively uncharitable and arrogant and disconnected and pharisaical to uninvite anybody to the church of anything goes!

    muddled heretical modernist thinking once again.

    Don’t you have to act honorably to be honored?

  33. John B. says:

    This is so silly. Why didn’t the Cardinal agree to attend the interfaith service on some sort of neutral locale? Esp since the leaders who got most “play” – POTUS, Menino (another bad Catholic) and Gov. Patrick – had major speaking roles that hyped everyone up with “not in our city” … (they were not praying btw) … so why could this event not take place at a college campus, arena, big hall etc. So just because the Cathedral is the largest building – it gives the Catholic Church in Boston another oppty to leave in imprint in the minds of pew and non pew Catholics that the most pro-abort President in HISTORY can stand and SPEAK inside the Holy Roman Catholic Church. Unity yes…. friendship yes… but please people, let’s not turn over our beloved One, Holy, Catholic, Apostolic Church to voices which oppose the moral teaching of the Church. (this is NOT a popularity/friendship contest) … the TRUTH in LOVE means acting in truth insofar as much as SPEAKING the truth.

  34. […] follow-up of our last post , Cardinal O’Malley Hosting Obama at Cathedral for Interfaith Prayer Service, and the nearly 150 public and private email comments it generated at BCI and at this Catholic forum, […]

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