Cardinal O’Malley bans dissident priest from speaking at Dedham Catholic parish

We are very pleased to report that Cardinal O’Malley is banning a dissident Austrian priest from speaking at St. Susanna in Dedham.  Here is an excerpt from one of two pieces that appeared in the Boston Globe:

Cardinal Sean P. O’Malley is banning a dissident Austrian priest from speaking at a parish in Dedham, prompting a coalition of reform-minded Catholics who invited the priest to move their event to a nearby Unitarian Universalist church.

The Rev. Helmut Schuller was invited to speak at St. Susanna Parish on July 17 as part of a 15-city tour of the United States called “The Catholic Tipping Point,” sponsored by a coalition of progressive Catholic organizations, including the Needham-based Voice of the Faithful.

Schuller is the founder of the Austrian Priests’ Initiative, which advocates for women’s ordination, optional celibacy for priests, and greater lay participation as ways of addressing a priest shortage in Western Europe. About 1 in 10 Austrian priests now belong to the group, the Austrian Independent newspaper reported this month. Similar groups have sprung up elsewhere, including the United States.

Terrence C. Donilon, a spokesman for the Roman Catholic Archdiocese of Boston, said in a statement released to the Globe: “It is the policy of the Archdiocese of Boston, and the generally accepted practice in dioceses across the country, not to permit individuals to conduct speaking engagements in Catholic parishes or at church events when those individuals promote positions that are contrary to Catholic teachings.”

BCI commends Cardinal O’Malley for the decision to ban this talk and speaker from a Catholic church. We also commend the Boston Archdiocese for publicly issuing this policy statement.  We have been hoping and praying for a policy like this for many years, and we view it as a very encouraging sign that the Boston Archdiocese is now going to enforce a policy that will not permit any individuals who promote positions contrary to Catholic teachings to speak in Catholic parishes or at church events.

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30 Responses to Cardinal O’Malley bans dissident priest from speaking at Dedham Catholic parish

  1. tryingtofigurethisout says:

    two recent strong and good moves by the Cardinal….He certainly should have done them no doubt… but that being said i will commend him as well…..keep up the good work BCI… and by the way, i am currently reading phil lawlers book on the demise of the influence of catholicism in boston… it ‘s a pretty fascinating read so far….it really documents a lot of the history of the shortcomings of the many leaders of the archdiocese of boston …. in the early part of the book he refers to a former bishop of boston who urged catholics not to pray at abortion clinics… I know that after the john salvi shooting, cardinal law called for a moratorium on the prayer vigils but i don’t think this is what lawler is referring to … would anyone know which bishop he is talking about in regards to this alleged statement /.incident?

  2. CB says:

    In reply to ‘tryingtofigurethisout’, I am not sure who Phil Lawler is referring to, but following the Salvi shootings, Cardinal Law had highly publicized meetings with then gov. William Weld, t discuss ‘common ground’. The outcome of those meetings, Card. Law spoke out against prayer vigils on front of clinics, instead asking Catholics to pray in church , and went so far as to designate a particular church in metro-west of Boston (the name of the parish escapes me) to conduct the prayers for victims of abortion. On a personal note: I had been present at many vigils at the Brookline clinic until the Cardinal’s direction to pray elsewhere.

    • Stephen says:

      To this day a local priest can take a bus load of parishioners to see a show and gamble in Foxwoods but is not allowed to take a bus to an abortion clinic to pray.

      On the The Rev. Helmut Schuller matter. The Church of Rome can stand up to its critics inside and outside the Church. Thinking Catholics can see Schuller coming from a mile away. Consider: Ivan Dragicevic one of the seers (occult magicians) from Medjugore offers his sacrilegious alter show throughout the diocese apparently with the cardinals blessing.

      I suspect Pope Frank made a phone call on Schuller.

  3. Joseph Pace says:

    The question is: Why did the pastor of St Susanna invite the heretical priest to speak and will he be disciplined?

    • Robert Quinn says:

      Why wasn’t St. Susanna closed in 2004? He probably won’t be disciplined. I suspect the threat of continues black mail to be a factor.

  4. Carolyn says:

    “It is the policy of the Archdiocese of Boston, and the generally accepted practice in dioceses across the country, not to permit individuals to conduct speaking engagements in Catholic parishes or at church events when those individuals promote positions that are contrary to Catholic teachings.”

    OK, that would describe Steve Josoma to a T… how about banning him from Saint Susanna’s?

  5. drwho13 says:

    The question is; why are dissenting points of view banned in Boston? One does not have to agree with a point in order to allow a person to voice it. Such actions cause the People of God to distrust Church leadership. These actions give the appearance that the prelates are hiding something. Many of us are as well, or better educated that the Church’s leadership. We can think for ourselves. Please don’t try to “snow” us!

    • 98convert says:

      A media statement on the http://www.catholictippingpoint.org website states: “Fr. Helmut Schuller, founder of the Austrian Priests Initiative-a movement organized to address the global crisis of priest shortages-will begin his first national speaking tour in New York, this July. Covering 15 U.S. cities, “The Catholic Tipping Point; Conversations with Helmut Schuller”, is sponsored by nine progressive Catholic Organizations, echoing his call for inclusive and transparent changes to church governance, including women, LGBT persons, and married priests.” Sound harmless?

      • tryingtofigurethisout says:

        funny, i wonder if a group like the FSSP ( who unlike the SSPX is in full communion with rome ) thinks it has a ” shortage of priests ” crisis…..there is a theory that holds there is no shortage of priests but rather an overabundance of unfaithful catholics…. im starting to agree

    • Objective Observer says:

      They’re not banned in Boston — they are not permitted, “…in Catholic parishes or at church events…”

      The guy can talk all night to a thousand Catholics at the VFW hall, just not at the parish or at a church event. The owner (Cardinal O’Malley) says no to parish or church event for location. He has not silenced the guy — just challenged the venue.

      If the speaker (never heard of him) lacks the backing to find another venue, that’s a separate problem.

    • DBP says:

      drwho13 – are you being intentionally obtuse? Dissenting points of view are not banned in Boston; freedom of speech is guaranteed by the Constitution. What is being proscribed here (finally!!!) is the use of the Catholic Church’s own pulpit to preach a message contrary to that which is preached by the Church herself!
      If you want to disagree with me, go ahead – that is your inalienable right as an American. But don’t tell me that I have to lend you my dining room to tell me I’m wrong; get your own place and your own microphone!

      • drwho13 says:

        “drwho13 – are you being intentionally obtuse (DBP)?”

        Yes, I like to stimulate discussion. Got you to check-in! Thanks for your response.

        In His Spirit, drwho

  6. Chris says:

    @Joseph Pace — I also want to know when the pastor of St. Susanna’s will be disciplined or transferred. When there is a public offense against the faith, the archdiocese should take swift, public action against the offender. It’s not like this is a first offense for Fr. Josoma either. It’s part of a well documented pattern of behavior.

    Let me add: The coalition sponsoring the US tour of the Austrian priest includes Voice of the Faithful. When will the archdiocese take action against this group? Forbid their meetings on church property? Those parishes where VOTF flourish often suffer liturgical abuses, heterodox speakers and/or errant pastors. (I’m thinking of Wellesley, Newton and Concord.)

    • Ferde Rombola says:

      If BCI’s information is correst, that sort of puts Fr. Paul Soper right in the bull’s eye, doesn’t it?

  7. Lazarus' Table says:

    If there’s anything RCAB wants to avoid, it’s headlines/negative publicity. Better for the people to suffer scandal than for the institution to suffer a bad image. That’s why the ‘weapon of choice’ of those who protest diocesan actions/policies is not “I’ll withhold my contributions” but rather, “I’ll take it to the press.”
    Priests/pastors who value self-preservation will surround themselves with lay folks who are not afraid to be vocal nor hesitant to involve the media. If laypeople reach out to media, what’s a poor priest to do? He can’t control laypeople. It’s not his fault….

  8. anon5580 says:

    The Rev. Helmut Schuller was invited to speak at St. Susanna Parish on July 17 as part of a 15-city tour of the United States called “The Catholic Tipping Point,” sponsored by a coalition of progressive Catholic organizations, including the Needham-based Voice of the Faithful..

    This coalition should be characterized as destructive, annoying, disingenuous and heretical rather that “progressive”.

  9. A Catholic says:

    I agree with your commendation of Cardinal O’Malley and the Boston Archdiocese for not allowing this dissident Austrian person to speak at a Catholic Church. Interesting that the Voice of the Faithful will have him speak at a Universalist Unitarian Church. WHAT! Are they serious??? Why does Cardinal O’Malley allow the Voice of the Faithful to hold meetings in the body of our Catholic Church, i.e. St. Eulalia’s. I understand that they use the church rather than Manion Hall for their meetings. But, WHY should we ever allow them to have meetings at any church or church hall??? They are only Catholic in name, like a RINO.

    • jbq2 says:

      Schuller is Austrian as my grandfather. Voice of the Faithful is American. Which is more dangerous to the Catholic faith in America:? The laity is taking over the Church. No ands, ors, nors, or “butts”.

      • drwho13 says:

        Correct, the prelates no longer have anywhere near the respect, authority, and most importantly to them, power, they had with my parent’s generation. The RCC will have to turn some of Her power over to the laity, or their influence will continue to fall precipitously.

        Today’s young people are not impressed or influenced by any bishop’s proclamations. When I go to Mass most of the people present are gray or bald. Who’s going to be at Mass when they’re gone?

        Bishops, your power is faltering, and it’s not coming back.

  10. Sue A. says:

    I never heard of Fr. Schuller, I googled him and some of his point do hit close to the concerns of lots of catholics I know. He takes every opportunity to speak up publicly for the admission of women and married people to the priesthood. In my entire life, I have never heard a adequate response to this question. Having the conversation is not essentially bad.

    • Disco says:

      Ordinatio Sacerdotalis explains the doctrine. The Church does not have the power to ordain women. If a validly consecrated bishop attempts to ordain a woman as a priest she does not become a priest.

      If this article of faith is unacceptable, then the Episcopal Church welcomes you.

      • drwho13 says:

        Disco

        “If a validly consecrated bishop attempts to ordain a woman as a priest she does not become a priest” (Disco).

        You may be correct. The Holy Spirit would simply bounce off a woman, right?

      • drwho, In case you are new here, you may be unaware of our comment guidelines. You are very welcome to comment, but ask readers to keep comments relevant to the main topic of the blog post.

        Here at BCI we accept and embrace Catholic Church teachings. This is not a venue for debating them. If you are looking for a forum to question or debate the validity of Catholic Church teachings as handed down by the Magisterium, this is not the place.

      • drwho13 says:

        BCI,

        Point taken.

      • David S. says:

        Disco,

        Why should Sue A. bother with the Episcopal Church if she finds this article of faith unacceptable? There are plenty of Catholic parishes in the RCAB where they celebrate and embrace diversity of thought when it comes to women priests, artificial birth control, and homosexuality.

    • tryingtofigurethisout says:

      it is unlikely YOU will ever hear an ” adequate ” response…. you don’t want to hear one… the reasons for it are spelled out very clear with a little research… you just don’t like what you are being told…as stated , the episcopal church would welcome you

    • A.A. Cunningham says:

      You are welcome to become edified, Sue. Read the following carefully and pay particularly close attention to the second to the last paragraph of Blessed John Paull IIs Apostolic Letter, Ordinatio Sacerdotalis.

      http://www.vatican.va/holy_father/john_paul_ii/apost_letters/documents/hf_jp-ii_apl_22051994_ordinatio-sacerdotalis_en.html

  11. iamdisappoint says:

    The talk was simply moved to a neighboring (protestant) church. it is still be sponsored by the parish “Adult Fairth Formation Commision”:

    http://saintsusanna.org/Attachments/AdultFaithFormation.pdf

  12. Stephen says:

    On: bouncing of the Holy Spirit.
    If a Bishop tries to ordain a woman it not only would bounce
    off, it would be a sacrilege.
    And speaking of sacrilege.

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