Boston Catholics’ Open Letters to Cardinal Sean O’Malley

About a week ago, to mark the 3-year anniversaryof BCI, we asked our readers to write their messages to Cardinal Sean O’Malley, specifically concerning matters that will improve the ability of the Archdiocese to advance her mission.  (The mission of the Pastoral Center is “To continue the saving ministry of Jesus Christ”).  We said readers could submit a top priority or some top problems you would like for the Cardinal to address, it could be a compliment, a criticism, a mix of positive and constructive feedback, a suggestion, or anything relevant to his pastoral leadership in teaching, sanctifying, and governing the archdiocese.  The goal  was to share feedback or a message that you, our readers, believed would lead to the archdiocese being better able to continue the saving ministry of Jesus Christ.  Here is what readers said. We will be forwarding this to Cardinal O’Malley and Vicar General Bishop Deeley.


Time for a change says:

Two questions: (1) How long do you continue to defy the Holy See by refusing to implement the changes in executive compensation that the Holy Father directed you in writing to implement months ago? (2) How do you plan to use the tens of millions of pension dollars that you “voluntarily” took away from the thousands of low paid lay employees who gave most of their lives in service to the Church?

jbq2 says:

@Time for a change: Holy Smoke! Good question!

Carolyn says:

To quote Smokey Robinson:
I second that emotion.


Why did you sell St. John’s Seminary?

  • Carolyn says:

…and keep the money in a huge breach of fiduciary duty and illicit conversion of assets, because the seminary is NOT part of Corp Sole.

David S.

I would like to ask Cardinal O’Malley what does he plan to do to restore orthodox Catholic beliefs and practices within the RCAB.

Most Catholics in the RCAB support abortion, support homosexual marriage, and no longer attend Mass on Sunday and Holy Days. And of even those who do attend weekly Mass, the majority practice artificial birth control.

The state of religious education is such that most children who attend CCD could not explain the fundamentals of our Catholic faith.

The liturgy in many of our Churches has lost its former beauty, sanctity, and solemnity, and resembles more of a Protestant service.

Catholic politicians openly oppose the teachings of the Church concerning abortion and homosexual marriage, and yet cause scandal by receiving the Blessed Sacrament on Sunday. And these same rabidly pro-abortion and pro-homosexual individuals are conferred honors by our Catholic Colleges.

I want to know whether the Cardinal recognizes that we have a profound crisis in the RCAB, and if so, I would like to know what is the plan to correct it.

Gail says:

I totally concur with the comments from David S. above.

John Smith

Your Eminence,

Do you agree with Pope Francis’ comments about the need of the Church to move from being self-referential to reaching out to the periphery, to care for those found there and to bring them to the Church? If so, how will you bring those ideas to Boston, instill them in your people and effectively lead your people to give them real impact? This is at least as important as work on the new group of advisors to His Holiness. Let it be an example all those who should pursue the same goals!

Objective Observer says:

From Pope Francis this week in re the selection of bishops:
“That they are capable of ‘keeping an eye on’ the flock that will be entrusted to them, that is, of caring for everything that keeps it united; of being ‘vigilant’ over it; of being attentive to dangers that threaten it; but above all that they are capable of ‘keeping an eye over’ the flock; of keeping watch; of tending hope, that there is sun and light in their hearts; of sustaining with love and patience the plans that God has for his people.”

+O’Malley, when was the last time you heard confessions in a parish? When was the last time you drove yourself somewhere? When was the last time you sat vigil at the bedside of someone who was near death? When was the last time you anointed someone you didn’t know?

Spend a week with the FPOs, literally walking in their shoes (and habit). No fear: No one will recognize you — the FPOs don’t spend a lot of time with the people you know. Where will you find the time? Get up earlier, and stay off the internet.

You’re not alone in the need to embrace the faithful, literally. The Boston auxiliaries, generally, could not be accused of the qualities articulated by the Holy Father. (Serious health concerns should point to retirement, so these points are addressed to those who are well enough to travel to Rome, Florida, the Italian hills, etc.) They tend to insulate themselves from the messy edges of humanity. Instead of tending hope and instilling sun and light in the hearts of the faithful, they prefer that their interaction comprise carefully scripted liturgies (confirmations, e.g.), nice trips, and meetings with a tight circle of their associates. Tell them to stay off the internet and away from the television. Generally, the auxiliaries official interactions tend to be marked by a focus on cuisine and beverage. How about simpler living and a rigorous emphasis on work with parishioners? How about all auxiliaries, every month, inviting Catholics who have stopped going to Mass to simply come to evening prayer, followed by a simple coffee hour? How about hearing confessions every week in a different parish?

Please don’t say auxiliary bishops don’t have time to do these things. Combine Confirmations so that no fewer than 40 kids are confirmed at once. That should free up a lot of time. Avoid surfing the internet and the put down the cable remote. And push away from the table — and the wine glass. Simply, live like the faithful do, so that the faith can live.

  • Boston Pastor says:

Objective Observer, you’ve expressed the situation very well. Cardinal Sean, many clergy feel we are rudderless here in Boston. You’re the captain of the ship we need to have grab the rudder – the shepherd of the flock and the pastor of the pastors!

I maintain my obedience to you and serve at your direction. But, many of us wish you would spend less time traveling everywhere except Boston, and more time making sure the faithful here are faith-filled. How can the sheep follow a shepherd who is not present to guide the flock? As well, we wish you would focus more on trying to reinvigorate the clergy. The Office for Clergy Personnel isn’t functioning well–current clergy staff are great guys, but really seem like they’re in way over their heads. Support services for priests who need them have not been the same since Jim Flavin left the diocese. I worry that the Clergy Funds will never be adequately replenished.

As suggested by “OO, pastors in my region get little from our auxiliary except for his service at confirmations. I know he wants to get out of Boston, as does at least one other. Another is approaching retirement age. Can we get the present or future auxiliary bishops to do SOMETHING?

My real concern, Cardinal Sean, is that people follow the lead, tone and direction set by the leader. If you fail to engage with the faithful and remain detached from the diocese, then the auxiliary bishops will be unengaged with the faithful and detached, and then many pastors and parochial vicars will do the same. Your legacy in Boston will be having presided over a precipitious decline in Catholicism in Boston. If we’re to have a “new evangelization” we need a leader to lead it? There’s still time for that leader to be you!

God bless!

Anna says:

Hiring heretics to educate a generation of Boston Catholics is mass spiritual homicide and nobody but you is accountable for the dead.

The dishonesty of blaming others for carrying out your own agenda is duly noted.

Alice Slattery says:

First of all,thank you for having the courage to let the president,faculty and students of Boston College know that you do not agree with the choice of an abortion-supporter to be honored at the recent B.C. graduation ceremony. Now will you please address the issue that Fr. Bryan Hehir refused to address
in his Apr. 13,2010 debate at Boston College with Dr. Michael F. Greene,director of obstetrics at Mass. General, on “A Matter of Conscience:Religious Exemptions and the Healthcare Debate” at the Boisi Center for Religious and American Public Life? The issue that he refused to address was that of the conscience of doctors who practice obstetrics at Mass. General,Brigham and Women’s and Beth Israel Deaconness hospitals who are now forced to implement the procedures reported in the Globe article:”Shots assist in aborting fetuses:Lethal injections offer legal shield” by Carey Goldberg,Aug. 10,2007.
In Carey Goldberg’s Boston Globe article, she reports that
Dr. Greene supports this procedure to avoid having any of the staff being charged with violating the ban on late-term abortions. Goldberg reports:”The injections are generally done in abortions after 18 to 20 weeks gestation. Medical staff inject either the heart drug digoxin or potassium chloride, a potentially poisonous salt also used in state executions.” In the “A Matter of Conscience” debate at B.C., Fr. Bryan Hehir was silent on this major violation of the conscience of the medical staff at these major Boston hospitals.
Please, Cardinal O’Malley, publicly address the actions of Dr. Michael F. Greene and his supporters in this unconscionable requirement.

Lazarus’ Table

Do you love Jesus more than you love Bryan Hehir and Jack Connors?

Sue A.

Thank you Cardinal O’Malley for your prayerful leadership through a very difficult time in the church. I pray for your continued health and work to heal and grow our church.

Joe Murphy

Cardinal Sean,
I write with respect for the office of the Archbishop of Boston, but struggling to respect you as leader of the Archdiocese of Boston. We need a strong vision for this diocese, strong leadership consistent with Gospel values and the mission of Jesus Christ, and execution against that vision and mission. It doesn’t feel like we have

You give an engaging homily and you often talk the talk, but I don’t see you walking the walk.

You say we oppose abortion, but you surround yourself with advisers, the likes of Jack Connors, Jr, who support abortion, you give them awards, you presided over the Ted Kennedy funeral, and you’ve said and done nothing about the scandal of Catholics voting for pro-abortion politicians for years now.

You were directed by Pope Benedict XVI to not pay diocesan salaries proportionate to that of the curia, and you’ve ignored the directive.

You said you would do everything you could while you had breath in your body to make sure retired diocesan employees got their pensions. That was two years ago–you’ve done nothing since then.

You say we oppose “gay marriage” and homosexual activity, but you allow pastors who support those things we oppose to remain pastors (e.g. St. Cecilia Boston, Holy Family Concord).

You say Catholic schools and Catholic education is important, but you’re allowing the horrible secular, unproven Common Core curriculum into the Catholic schools, so they will be no different than public schools.

You have a Code of Conduct policy to govern behavior and standards for diocesan and parish employees, but you allow it to be ignored–i.e keeping the likes of Jack Connors around, allowing pastors to preach and teach against church teachings–and you, yourself have violated it when you approved the falsehood the Catholic Schools non-discrimination policy was supposed based upon.

You criticized pro-life Catholics when they complained about the Ted Kennedy funeral and when they complained about the Caritas deal with Centene and Commonwealth Connector that would have had Caritas profit from abortions, but you’ve never criticized Kennedy, Menino, Kerry and other pro-abortion politicians with the harsh rhetoric you used to criticize faithful Catholics.

I’m sorry this sounds negative, but I want to let you know that we need a strong leader who will walk the talk. If you don’t want to be here in Boston doing that, could you let Pope Francis know and ask for a new assignment elsewhere?

  • Concerned Parent says:

Excellent points, Joe.
Regarding Common Core, I’ve heard that it is going to be implemented, but have not been able to find confirmation of this.

If the Archdiocese of Boston is adopting Common Core, parents should be made aware, so that they can make informed decisions regarding future educational plans. Some parents will undoubtably conclude that the cost of parochial school tuition for a curriculum that is essentially the same as that of the public school system is not a worthwhile expense.


Your Eminence,

May God bless you profoundly in your pastoral work. I am concerned about the ignorance of young Catholics in regard to the faith. It seems like many young Catholics here in Boston are not taught the core beliefs of the church, even why Christ had to die on the cross!

It would be wonderful if young Catholics could be instructed theologically better. And I would mention especially that they should know that the Eucharist is the body, blood, soul, and divinity of Christ, that Mary (especially via. the Rosary) can lead us to Christ, and that Confession is necessary for the soul.

ltc2 says:

Dear Cardinal O’Malley, I am so upset and heart broken that you want Father Joseph McDermott to leave in August. Someone has not taken a close look at Immaculate Conception church in Stoughton. It will be very difficult for me to go back. It has been my parish for 17 years.
Mary Reilly says:

I’m going to repeat what others said two years ago since nothing much has changed:

Clean house of people in top executive roles who don’t embrace the Catholic faith: Donilon and the Rasky crew, Fr. Bryan Hehir, Gustavson, Grassa O’Neill and her staff, Jim Driscoll. Appoint faithful Catholics to the Finance council and get rid of people like Jack Connors!

How can a diocese be faithful to Church teachings and evangelize the truths of Catholicism to those fallen away when the Cardinal surrounds himself with senior advisers in key leadership roles who are associated with the liberal Democratic establishment that HATES the Catholic Church and what we stand for?!

Joseph Pace

Many people stopped giving to the Cardinal’s Appeal because of O’Neil’s outrageous salary. In addition to her six figure salary, she receives a state pension.

Luke 18:8

In today’s Gospel (extraordinary form), we heard from Matthew 5:20-24, “Except your Justice abound more than that of the Scribes and Pharisees, you shall not enter into the kingdom of heaven…” It immediately brought to mind officials at 66 Brooks Drive. Many at 66 Brooks Drive persecute priests in our archdiocese who have been accused of abuse. Archdiocesan officials effectively presume guilt. For all practical purposes, punishment precedes investigation.

In the Boston archdiocese there is no clear understanding of what makes an allegation credible; every priest is only one accusation away from being thrown under the bus. The Dallas Charter calls for a preliminary investigation during which an accused priest is presumed innocent and his reputation should be protected. Before a priest is removed from ministry, “sufficient evidence” must be sent to the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith. Yet in this archdiocese, on receipt of an allegation a priest is presumed guilty and summarily suspended without even the opportunity to hear and speak to the charges. This is in violation of Canon 50 which states: “…Before issuing a singular decree, an authority is to seek out the necessary information and proofs and, insofar as possible, to hear those whose rights can be injured.”

Canon 220 states: “No one is permitted to harm illegitimately the good reputation which a person possesses…” Yet in this archdiocese when an allegation is received, before any investigation is made, the allegation is made public, both orally at Masses and in diocesan publications. This causes irreparable injury to a priest’s good reputation. Businesses would be sued for defamation for publicizing that an employee was merely accused of assault. The same is true of schools, unions, professional associations and sports leagues.

St. Ambrose taught, “No evil is ever solved by harming another.” In this year of Faith, more than marketing campaigns, the laity need honorable leaders to guide them.

Catholic Rita from Revere says:

Your Eminence,
I appreciate your preaching and your desire to evangelize. I’d like to suggest to you that to grow the Church we need to return to the traditions and beautiful liturgies, prayers, and spiritual practices of our one true holy Catholic Church.

Let’s have all parishes or parish collaboratives have at least hour of Eucharistic Adoration available every week–when working people can attend–on a Saturday morning or a weekday evening. Can you ask all parishes to recite the prayer to St. Michael the Archangel at the end of Mass? How about an Angelus at noontime on Sundays? Can we tone down the modern music like “Gather Us In”, “Here I Am Lord,” “All Are Welcome,” “Table of Plenty” and the songs that are all about US and how we’re gathered together at the table as community, and restore the sacred music that focus us on GOD?

The changes in the Catholic Church in the ’70s, ’80s, 90′s and past 10 years have coincided with fewer and fewer people attending Mass. Has anyone considered that maybe it’s the modernism of the past several decades that has turned people away from the Church? Can we go back to the tried-and-true teachings and beautiful liturgies of the church that showed the world what it really meant to be Catholic? Since the modern liturgies and contemporary music have accompanied a decline in Mass attendance, why not go back to what actually worked?

One more thing–the loud rock concert at the Cathedral called, “Christ in the City” is bordering on scandalous. Even your seminarians don’t want to attend! Who says young people are not attracted to the beauty of sacred music?

Thank you.

Stephen says:

Cardinal Sean, all I’ve ever asked of my clergy is that they obey Rome’s orders as they would the word of God. We are here to help the fallen, because inside every protestant and pagan there is a Catholic trying to get out. It’s a hardball world, Sean. We’ve gotta keep our heads until this Vatican 2 craze blows over.

Michael says:

Cardinal O’Malley …
In 2004, months before Mitt Romney illegally instituted same-sex “marriage” in Massachusetts (by illegally issuing “marriage” certificates to same-sex couples, without any legal authority), Judge Bork (standing next to you, Cardinal O’Malley, at the podium at the Red Mass luncheon) prophetically warned that if we lose Massachusetts to same-sex “marriage,” then we will lose the country. Now with several other state legislatures now having passed same-sex “marriage” laws and on the evening before the US Supreme Court “strikes” (as if a court has any actual legal authority to “strike” a law passed by the legislature) DOMA, do you think that Judge Bork was right? And don’t you think that you should have listened to the Catholic lawyers who told you that your affiliation with Mitt Romney was misplaced and that you ought to be screaming aloud the fraud that the GOP was pulling over America? In other words, do you have a conscience and is it sufficiently formed to grasp that same-sex “marriage” could have been stopped by you, but you failed to do so (as in, you are the person responsible for the current state of affairs regarding the bastardization of marriage)?
Anonymous Catholic says:

In my humble opinion there are 2 scandalous persons surrounding Cardinal Sean and I don’t understand why he can remove them from their positions.

The first is Jack Connors, who funds the Mary Horrigan Connors Women’s Health Clinic at B&W hospital. He also hosted fundraisers for Pres. Obama’s reelection campaign. Oh really, isn’t that nice!! So, he’s for the abortion of innocent babies, while serving on the finance committee and the Catholic School Board. Mary Grassa-O’Neil, a hand picked surrogate is in favor of Common Core, which would give money to the schools from Bill and Melinda Gates to adhere to their English and Math curriculum. However, it is widely known that what the government wants to do is to get each child’s medical and family background during grades K – 12. That is so invasive and WRONG.

Please address these issues and above all, get rid of these individuals. Many practicing Catholics will not donate to the yearly collect for the Cardinal’s programs for this reason alone.
Concerned Parent says:

Speaking of donations, what assurance do we have that the IFRM’s “moderate” tax will not be continually increased to compensate for the bloated central ministry’s future budget overruns?

According to an article in the Pilot (“IFRM Pilot Parishes See Increased Offertory”, 6/18/10) the Archdiocese recommended a fundraising consulting firm, the Cuneen Company, to individual parishes to help put the squeeze on the people in the pews. In the article, John Cuneen, president of the fundraising firm says, “If people don’t care about their parish and love their Church, no amount of mailings and careful packaging will work”. It’s hard to imagine that manipulating the religious sensibilities of good people in hard times to line the pockets of fundraisers and overpaid lay bureaucrats is what the Lord intended for His Church.

tony says:

as a alumnus of BC, it drags heavy on my heart that the university will not sign on to ex corde ecclesia–please use your office to influence their board and president to “return to the fold”
Angry Parish Council Member says:

Cardinal O’Malley,
Why did you send Msgr. Garrity to St Catherine in Norwood? We had a wonderful orthodox pastor in Msgr McRae. We were sent the opposite when he left to go to Rome. Why are we saddled with a pastor who thumbs his nose at Catholic truths and is steadily running what was a great parish and school into the ground?
Justyn Tyme says:

I would like to address the issue of the Daughters of St. Paul and what the Archdiocese of Boston with you as Corporate Sole did to them regarding their retirement fund benefits for their Lay Employees. They had no other choice but to take you to Court when you or your underlings acting in your name refused to address the issue with them after numerous requests to do so. It was always about the lay employees NOT the Sisters. Sr. Timothy and her Council were courageous women in their decision to take the legal route. Everyone knows what really happened when you initiated contact with their Superior General in Rome: She visited here, removed the leadership, appointed some else and made the Sisters settle the law suit out of Court for much less then what Gospel Justice and Charity demands. Your behavior was unchristian, disrespectful to both the Sisters and their Lay Employees and their families who will now have to go without and live on very low fixed income to pay for the “Sins of the Fathers.” What would Jesus Do? What would St. Francis do?
Amo Alighieri says:

The cardinal’s behavior comprised staring at his notebook. The people to whom he abdicated his canonical and civil duties behaved deplorably. Where would Dante send Cardinal Sean? I would love to see the ring described in Dante’s magnificent imagery. What happens in the Inferno to the Prince of the Church who stares at a notebook, relieved to enable the Evil One to work in his place?

Justyn Tyme says:

Why haven’t we heard anything officially from your regarding the disbanding of the Little Brothers of St. Francis in Roxbury? Were they Surpressed or did they voluntarily disband? We know that Br. James Curran is at Don Orione Home and the only vowed member left. Also why hasn’t more information been shared publically regarding the Brotherhood of Hope who are currently renting with the option to buy the 2 Houses in Roxbury currently owned by the Little Brothers of St. Francis Inc? Why the lack of openness and transparency? God Bless the Little Brothers! They did much good for the poor, homeless and abandoned and will be sadly missed by all!
St Johns seminarian says:

Cardinal Sean,

I appreciate your support for vocations to the priesthood! As you no doubt know, as a result of the sale of much SJS property to Boston College a few years ago, we are now running out of living space here as we have grown since then. Praise God!

Can you share with us the plan for the archdiocese to repay the $40 million owed to the seminary from the sale of the seminary property to BC? It seems that the archdiocese is already running a deficit, so how will the archdiocese pay back the $40 million that’s coming due?

Catholic parent says:

Dr. Mary Grassa O’Neill, superintendent of schools making $350,000 a year. What DOES she actually do? Is hers one of the salaries targeted for reduction? When and by how much? Why do we need to pay her $350,000 a year along with a bunch of regional superintendents? What are the mission and goals for the Catholic schools? What aspects of them are truly Catholic any more, besides the names of the schools? They’re becoming more and more like public schools, so why pay all this money to send my kids to Catholic schools any more? The only one that’s really Catholic is Montrose School, and that’s outside of the archdiocesan control. Is the goal for Grassa O’Neill to shut down all of the parish-based schools and turn everything into a diocesan “academy” under control of her and Jack Connors? Why won’t she meet with parents to discuss the horrible Common Core curriculum?

No one knows what exactly she does. Can you explain what she actually DOES to earn her $350,000 a year salary?

  • Michael says:

Oh I think I can help you. She screens resumes for new principals. She only got two for Holy Family in Rockland which were so pathetic that they had to resort to hiring a current teacher as the “new” principal.

I hope that helps.

Justyn Tyme

How much did the late Rev. Msgr. Albert W. Low, former Superintendent of Schools so many years ago make? It certainly wasn’t $350,000.00. Those were the days when all of the schools of the Archdiocese had the same curriculum e.g.books and based on that curriculum there were Diocesan Exams( prepared annually by a group of Sisters from different Congregations) per grade per school for everyone. Common Core Curriculum it was not, thank God. We learned more about the Faith not from the curriculum but from the believing Sisters who lovingly mediated it to us by their lives of Faith, Dedication and Service. Thanks Sisters e.g. SCN, CSJ, SND.

Faithful Catholic in Boston

Your Eminence,
Would you consider implementing some form of “mandatum” for all key diocesan employees and advisers, including Catholic school teachers? This would ask all employees to pledge that they accept and believe the teachings of the Catholic church, and are in full communion with the Catholic Church.

If you would not put such a “mandatum” in place as a requirement of your own key employees responsible for teaching, hiring, pastoral ministry, worship, and pastoral leadership, why not? Why do you believe it’s not important for Catholic leaders to actually believe what the Catholic Church believes and teaches?

A Boston priest

Cardinal Sean, The Office for Professional Conduct tends to treat accused priests like they are convicted criminals rather than as innocent until proven guilty. Can’t you get a lawyer with pastoral skills to run that office instead of a former prosecutor?


Why is the pastor of St. Susanna in Dedham still the pastor of St. Susanna in Dedham? The parish was essentially defunct ten years ago, and now (thanks to said pastor’s ‘leadership,’) is rotting on the vine. Does he remain because of the pilgrimages he leads to P-Town and Fire Island?

RCAB Insider

BCI, if it isn’t too late, I’d like to ask a question about cronyism.

Cardinal Sean,
Are you aware of the damage done to the Archdiocese of Boston and the people of God from the culture of cronyism that has become systemic?

Parishes across the archdiocese pay more for any construction or HVAC project because they have to use an archdiocesan-approved contractor (who “knew someone” in order to get approved), rather than a more qualified contractor at a better price who is not approved by the archdiocese.

Catholic cemeteries that used to be managed by people who knew the Catholic cemetery business are now managed by crony contractors who “knew someone” but know nothing about cemeteries.

Excellent Catholic school principals have been ousted in favor of less qualified people now brought in who know little about the Catholic faith but “knew someone” in the Catholic schools office.

Looking to buy an unused church property? Looking for a job? Looking for a contract? Looking for a plum pastoral assignment? Those with the best shot at these won’t ever be the most qualified any more–you just need to “know someone!”

Do you realize you’ve allowed a culture to pervade where qualification and merit are secondary considerations in most decisions? It’s cronyism and connections that matter–even if the result costs the Catholic Church more money and delivers a poorer result. Good people will keep leaving, and you and the parishes will keep paying extra money to bring in yet more mediocrity. Is cronyism, higher costs and mediocrity what you want as part of your vision for the diocese?

  • Time for a change says:

RCAB insider: Good points. Too bad that the folks who brought about this culture will make sure that the fully disconnected Archbishop of Boston never knows about this of anything else that the control group is doing. Not that he would know what to do with the information. ITS WAY PAST TIME FOR A CHANGE!

R.T. Neary says:

Dear Cardinal O’Malley:

This morning’s Mass was spiritually edifying as the homily encompassed all the beauty on the oneness expressed by St. Paul, together with the question Christ asks all of us in the gospel: “Who do you say I am?”.

On departure,  I congratulated the celebrant for encapsulating so much content, as he reflected  on whether we are interested in knowing about Christ – or knowing Christ.  If we want to know Him, it followed that we must choose to be disciples in the way we live our lives.

During the day I read these Bible passages and others, pondering how best to be true to these readings.  Those thoughts prompted a decision to write on the current topic of the Boston Catholic Insider.  I feel obliged as a disciple of Christ to speak out here on obvious wrongs I and others perceive in His church.

Two issues are foremost on my mind today;  the scandalous transfer of the assets of the Caritas Christi Health Care System to the Cerberus subsidiary, Steward Healthcare; and the bloated salaries being paid to individuals in the employ of the Archdiocese.

Addressing the latter issue first, it is scandalous and should be terminated with dispatch.  We need not cite any passage about  the “widow’s mites” which built this Archdiocese.  No, we need go no further than the powers of rationality bestowed on us by Our Creator, combined with the conscience which governs these processes.  It is disgraceful.

On the issue of the new Steward Healthcare System LLC, we have two notebooks full on the history of this abandonment of Christ’s mission.  How many of His healings do we need to cite here to ask why you have been so silent?

Better still, why not ask how long before the blood of innocent pre-born children will be  shed in a hospital named after the Holy Family?  Or one named after the woman who was carrying the child who leaped in her womb in the presence of the Messiah, also in utero?

Notwithstanding the fact that secularization is almost complete in some of the 6 hospitals, November 2013 marks the date at which total abandonment of any Roman Catholic directives and identification can be activated with the built-in escape clause.  In a country where abortion is legal and in a state where same-gender “marriage” is legal as well, one does not need a vivid imagination to visualize the upcoming protests against any Catholic prohibitions.

The Coalition To Save Catholic Health Care witnessed at every government level the collusion, conflict of interest, deception, and possible criminal fraud involved in the transfer of these assets

Among a host of questions raised by the long-delayed release of the Ernst and Young audit  was a 93 million dollar discrepancy in the unfunded pension liability.  Hospital officials explained this astronomical difference to a single justice of the SJC using smoke and mirrors.  Issues such as obvious conflicts of interest were passed over.  The most blatant wrongdoing was the fact that Caritas Christi was solvent – not in the dire financial condition CEO Ralph  de la Torre consistently stated.

While we have brought these issues to the FBI level in Boston and Washington, both heads at these levels are soon stepping down.  Anyone who observed the  testimony of Robert Mueller, the national  Director of the FBI, to a House Committee a week ago must admit it was an embarrassment.

We have brought our experiences to the attention of the U.S. House Oversight Committee, and we are convinced that at some point the affair can receive a complete independent airing. Good faith donors to Catholic health care deserve it.

You must step forward with more than a mea culpa.  It has all happened on your watch.  In our eyes, one hundred and fifty years of donors, many widow’s mites included, have been violated.

We know that we are all sinners, clergy and hierarchy included.  None of us can deny the Archdiocese has many problems.  Don’t allow November 2013 to be the time that accelerated a decline in faith which we, unfortunately, are witnessing.

We all stand proudly declaring ourselves to be disciples of the Nazarene.  As a final reflection, the question which the gospel asked us this morning seems to call all of  us again.

“Who do you say I am?” . We all know and must act accordingly.

10 Responses to Boston Catholics’ Open Letters to Cardinal Sean O’Malley

  1. Ferde Rombola says:

    I have nothing to add to the indictment, which is comprehensive and accurate. I hope BCI can find a way to assure this document is placed in the hands of Cardinal O’Malley.

  2. Ferde Rombola says:


    May I assume a copy of this document will be sent to Cardinal Burke in Rome for translation into Italian and delivery to the Pope?

  3. tyringtofigurethisout says:

    BCI… a good idea this was.. but if i was the cardinal, i would throw it in the trash and not give it any consideration at all after the first comment / question by JBQ2… i think you blew it by not screening out the nut jobs.. i don;t know how you can expect the Cardinal to take it serious with an opener like that.. just my opinion

  4. Chris says:

    The last time you submitted the open letters was there any response from the chancery, direct or indirect?

    • Chris, We last did this 2 years ago. Here are the comments:

      There is never a direct response from the chancery. There were two substantial personnel changes that occurred subsequently–the appointment of a new Vicar General (now) Bishop Robert Deeley, and the exit of the previous Chancellor, Jim McDonough. Both were welcome changes.

      Although we cannot prove definitively the cause and effect between BCI and these personnel changes, we know that the revelations at BCI from 2009 to 2010 were extremely frustrating to the previous Vicar General Fr. Richard Erikson and showed Cardinal O’Malley how the diocese was imploding–prompting him to ask for then-Msgr. Deeley to return from Rome to take over as VG. In addition, the revelations between 2009 and 2011 also angered Jim McDonough and showed everyone, including Msgr. Deeley very clearly the level of corruption and mismanagement under his tenure. Whether BCI was a driving factor in these changes or merely a set of straws that broke the camel’s back is not so important. Rather, did we make an impact? Yes.

      If you are wondering if these messages today will see some immediate response, undoubtedly the answer is no. Could they have long-term impact? We hope and pray that they do.

  5. Stephen says:

    Perhaps BCI can enlightened readers where the author of the “seamless garment” hangs his hat? The consummate modernist.

    This whole letter to the Cardinal things smells like the ying to the voice of the faithful yang.

    Can we simply ascend to the truth as guided by the majesterium?

    • Stephen,

      You said, “Perhaps BCI can enlighten readers where the author of the “seamless garment” hangs his hat? The consummate modernist.”

      The attributed author of the “seamless garment”, Cardinal Joseph Bernardin, died in 1996 and is buried in Illinois. His funeral Mass was celebrated by his good friend, Cardinal Roger Mahony. Are you referring to Fr. Bryan Hehir, who actively worked on the “seamless garment” framework and played a key role writing it? He lives at St. Johns in Wellesley and hangs his hat very close to that of Cardinal O’Malley at the Pastoral Center in Braintree, when he is not at Harvard teaching or off doing some speaking opportunity to a like-minded modernist audience.

      If you think we can simply and easily ascend to the truth as guided by the Magisterium, why has that not happened in recent years?

  6. Stephen says:

    The seamless garment is made of wool and has been pulled over the eyes of the faithful for a generation.

    Pope Francis I (Frank the Pope) has told us of a Gay Lobby in the Vatican

    Its kind of like a friend telling you “hey you got a flat tire”.
    Great information to know, but the point is to act upon it.

    With the USCCB under Bernadine we didn’t just have a ‘gay lobby’ we actually had the whole gay hotel. Regarding Modernists, a Pope and Saint recognized and identified the Heresy, until Rome acts upon this there is very little the faithful can do other than pray and perhaps blow off some steam at places like BCI. As a side note: It is a fact that Fr. Hehir is on the Counsel on Foreign Relations; put that in your new-world-order-conspiracy-theory pipe and smoke it.

    And finally on;
    “If you think we can simply and easily ascend to the truth as guided by the Magisterium, why has that not happened in recent years?”

    This has not happened because we are living in the midst of a wide- spread parallel Heretical Church. Check for one example.

    If the Cardinal (s) simply spent their human energy securing the sacraments, and building a small army of orthodox priests and supporting the lay church militant to defend them then YES we could easily ascend to Truth that is; Jesus only found present in the Church he founded outside of which there is no salvation. And quite honestly EVERYTHING is secondary.

    “…the Church will exist in small, insignificant groups that nonetheless live an intensive struggle against evil and bring the good into the world–that let God in.”

    Perhaps Cardinal Ratzinger’s words from 1969 have come true.

    Oh, and thanks for asking.

  7. Gail says:

    I do agree that the opening statement could have been more well chosen to draw the reader (Cardinal Sean) into reading more. However, he has hopefully been reading BCI comments for years and we’ve seen little results, so c’est la vie. All in all, thank you for taking the time and having the concern to do this.

  8. Stephen says:

    The speed limit is posted at 55mph.

    a) There is a place that this is enforced and people follow the law or at least attempt to.

    b) There is another place where the speed limit is posted at 55mph
    most everybody drives 75mph and few believe the posted 55mph.

    It may be the same piece of highway at different times of the day but clearly a) and b) are NOT the same.

    We are living in the midst of a wide-spread parallel Heretical Church.

    The Cardinals and Bishops MUST begin with enforcing Cannon 915.
    (part of securing the sacraments.) It will likely bring kingdom shattering problems to many earthly castles.

    c’est la vie?
    It is life – indeed.
    Abortion is the issue of our time. Historically is will be culture defining. Like the gas chamber, the guillotine or famine, people will look back with horror – How could they not see this? Why did good people not act? Where was the church?

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