Cardinal O’Malley: Please Correct Heresy and Discipline Your Priest

Msgr. Paul Garrity is at it once again–this time with perhaps his most egregiously heretical public comments ever–published in the official Archdiocesan newspaper, The Boston Pilot. And Cardinal O’Malley and the Boston Archdiocese have been silent about the scandal and done nothing to correct the heresy.

What Garrity wrote in his editorial column, “Synod Needs Your Prayers” is thoroughly BAD. It is so heretical that it needs to be removed from being accessed and he needs to be made to publicly retract and correct his words.  Michael Hichborn of the Lepanto Institute expressed the problems very well in this Open Letter to Cardinal O’Malley.

In his article, Msgr. Garrity directly assaults the indissolubility of marriage.  He said:

“It is ludicrous to assert that divorced couples who have found love and fidelity with new spouses are still recognized by the Church as being married to their former spouses after the passage of many years. It is equally untenable (and disrespectful) to try to convince these happily married couples that, in fact, their relationships are sinful. Moreover, the Church’s current prohibition regarding the reception of Holy Communion by divorced and remarried couples would seem to be at odds with the consistent teaching of the Gospel about love, forgiveness and mercy.

In this one paragraph, Msgr. Garrity heretically denies three teachings of the Catholic Church and then heretically asserts that there is a division between Holy Mother Church’s loving guidance of sinners and the Gospels.

As you know, the Catechism of the Catholic Churchparagraph 2089, defines heresy as “the obstinate post-baptismal denial of some truth which must be believed with divine and catholic faith, or it is likewise an obstinate doubt concerning the same.” Given this definition, it is clear that Msgr. Garrity is proclaiming heresy in the following circumstances:

  1. Monsignor Garrity said, “It is ludicrous to assert that divorced couples … are still recognized by the Church as being married to their former spouse after the passage of many years.” This claim is at complete odds with paragraph 1614 of the Catechism, which expressly states, “The matrimonial union of man and woman is indissoluble: God himself has determined it ‘what therefore God has joined together, let no man put asunder.'” Given this, divorce cannot actually dissolve a marriage bound by God Himself. Furthermore, when bride and groom take their wedding vows, they promise before God to be faithful to their spouses “until death,” so the caveat provided by Msgr. Garrity of “the passage of many years” likewise cannot dissolve a marriage. In light of the definition of heresy provided by Holy Mother Church, the only conclusion can be that Msgr. Garrity preached a heretical principle in your publication.
  2. Monsignor Garrity said, “It is equally untenable (and disrespectful) to try to convince these happily married couples that, in fact, their relationships are sinful.” Our Blessed Lord said, according to Mark, “Whoever divorces his wife and marries another, commits adultery against her; and if she divorces her husband and marries another, she commits adultery” (Mark 10:11–12). In order for Msgr. Garrity to maintain this position, he must also blaspheme by claiming that what was said by Our Blessed Lord was “untenable and disrespectful.”
  3. Monsignor Garrity said, “The Church’s current prohibition regarding the reception of Holy Communion by divorced and remarried couples would seem to be at odds with the consistent teaching of the Gospel about love, forgiveness and mercy.” In this statement are two grave errors.
    1. Monsignor Garrity implicitly denies the sacrilege committed by those who receive Holy Communion while in a state of mortal sin. Saint Paul very clearly teaches, “Therefore whoever eats the bread or drinks the cup of the Lord unworthily will have to answer for the body and blood of the Lord. A person should examine himself, and so eat the bread and drink the cup. For anyone who eats and drinks without discerning the body, eats and drinks judgment on himself.” The Catechism of the Catholic Churchparagraph 2120, says, “Sacrilege consists in profaning or treating unworthily the sacraments and other liturgical actions, as well as persons, things, or places consecrated to God. Sacrilege is a grave sin especially when committed against the Eucharist.” What Msgr. Garrity says in this article is extremely scandalous, as it will likely embolden divorced and re-married Catholics to commit sacrilege against the Eucharist, thereby placing their souls in extreme peril.
    2. In this one statement, Msgr. Garrity attacks the Holiness of the Church.  The Catechism of the Catholic Church states in paragraph 824, “United with Christ, the Church is sanctified by him; through him and with him she becomes sanctifying. ‘All the activities of the Church are directed, as toward their end, to the sanctification of men in Christ and the glorification of God.’ It is in the Church that ‘the fullness of the means of salvation’ has been deposited. It is in her that ‘by the grace of God we acquire holiness.'” In contrast to the teaching that “The Church … is held, as a matter of faith, to be unfailingly holy” (para. 823), Msgr. Garrity suggests that the Church’s work to help poor sinners avoid sacrilege is somehow unloving, unforgiving and unmerciful. But even worse, Msgr. Garrity implies that Holy Mother Church is at sinful odds with Herself through a perceived inconsistency in Her teachings and in Her disciplines.

Your Eminence, this is not the first time Msgr. Garrity has openly preached views in direct opposition to Catholic Teaching. In 2013, Msgr. blasphemously compared homosexual “families” with the Holy Family in his parish bulletin.

[As BCI reported in 2013 in our post, “Boston pastor praised by Cardinal O’Malley puts Holy Family on par with homosexual couples“,] Garrity wrote:

 Taken all together, the first family of Christianity reminds us that there is no such thing as normal. Every family is different and this means that we need to broaden our understanding of family life beyond TV sitcoms and applaud the virtues of family living wherever we find them: two-parent families, single-parent families, blended families, families with two mommies or two daddies and adoptive families. What is most important is that we continually hold up the family as the instrument that God has chosen to communicate God’s unconditional love to the youngest and most vulnerable members of our society.

Your Eminence, countless souls are gravely imperiled by the outright heresy being preached by Msgr. Garrity. At this current time, where there is so much confusion and anxiety over the Church’s authentic and immutable teachings regarding the family, we beg you, for the sake of Msgr. Garritys soul and the souls of those led astray by him, to remove this article from your publication and publicly correct the error proclaimed by your priest.

Yesterday, the Catholic League of Masschusetts weighed in:

The Catholic Action League called Garrity’s column “a shocking disavowal of Catholic morality by a prominent pastor of the Archdiocese of Boston, in the Archbishop’s own newspaper.”

Catholic Action League Executive Director C. J. Doyle made the following comment: “Garrity’s heretical assertions go far beyond the so-called concessions in pastoral practice envisaged by some synod fathers. Garrity unambiguously repudiates, and holds up to public ridicule, the constant, 2,000 year old doctrine of the Catholic Church on the indissolubility of a valid, sacramental marriage. Ordinary Catholics, reading Garrity in a diocesan newspaper published by Cardinal O’Malley, could be led to the erroneous belief that Catholic moral teaching is changeable.”

“Although Garrity invokes ‘love, forgiveness and mercy,’ he doesn’t practice it. Apparently, for him, the Spiritual Works of Mercy — counseling the doubtful, instructing the ignorant, and admonishing the sinner — are obsolete. Warning the flock of the dangers of mortal sin is intrinsic to the priesthood. For Garrity, such priestly duty is ‘disrespectful.’”

“There are three scandals here: that a Catholic pastor would propound such heresy; that an official Catholic newspaper would publish it; and that a Catholic archdiocese, would, by its silence, acquiesce in it. Twice in recent years, lay columnists who wrote opinion pieces in The Pilot critical of homosexuality were forced to clarify their comments. We will see if a different standard applies to a chancery connected cleric who mocks Catholic morality.”

Everyone reading this should be outraged. Here is who you should both call and email:

Cardinal Sean O’Malley:  ArchbishopSean_O’; 617-782-2544

Vicar General Bishop Peter Uglietto:; 617-746-5619

Episcopal Vicar (West Region) over Msgr. Garrity: Very Reverend Brian R. Kiely: 508-647-0296

Interim Episcopal Vicar and Secretary for Parish Life: Fr. Bryan Parrish:; 617-746-5618

Editor of The Boston Pilot Antonio Enrique:

24 Responses to Cardinal O’Malley: Please Correct Heresy and Discipline Your Priest

  1. Faithful Boston Catholic says:

    This is truly outrageous! Cardinal O’Malley pulled Msgr. Garrity out of “retirement” to go to St. Catherine in Norwood and after several years of doing his damage there, now assigned him yet somewhere else to spew his heresy. I am writing to everyone listed here, but have little confidence they will do something. Mary, Queen of Martyrs, pray for us! And St MIchael the Archangel, defend us in this battle for souls!

  2. Ferde Rombola says:

    It is hard, if not impossible, for me to believe the Cardinal and his close associates in the clergy actually believe in God. If they did they would know God sees what they are doing and not doing. Letting Msgr. Garrity run amok with his heresies is itself a grave sin in those who have a responsibility to defend Holy Mother Church from the ravages of people like Garrity. I agree with Faithful Boston Catholic. It is unlikely anything will be done about this son of Satan among us.

  3. As I have stated before the whole problem is that the Boston Church (I don’t call it Catholic) has been infested with homosexual men for many many years. These men are liberal by definition. The late Father Benedict of EWTN contacted O’Malley about the problems at BC years ago and he (O’Malley) did nothing about it. With a liberal Pope the friend of this man I think we have a problem in making any changes. With O’Malley in Cuba with the Pope he would seem to be so far away from the problems of Boston that he is either clueless or a great sinner. I can’t say which but I often wonder if the Church in Boston is even valid. I hate so much to say this but the legacy of so many poor Cardinals has made the formation of the people of this Church not with the magisterium and one has to wonder. How did it all come to this ?

  4. Chris Whittle says:

    Boston has not had a good archbishop since Cardinal O’Connell died in 1944. Cardinal Cushing was the first bishop to knowingly ordain homosexuals to the priesthood (there was no screening back then) and supported birth control, despite being the last sitting archbishop (or auxiliary bishop) to say a Pontifical High Mass before his death in 1970. (As an older bishop after the Council he was one of the last holdouts.) Cardinal Medieros imposed the New Mass upon everyone and supported forced school bussing to the Public Schools. Everyone knows the story about Cardinal Law and he should have went to prison for what he did.

    Today, everyone is welcome except for Traditional Catholics.

  5. Chris Mac says:

    Remember the dust-up about the Dan Avila column the Pilot published? He was forced to resign his position as a policy advisor for the USCCB and publish a retraction in the Pilot. His sin? Suggesting the Devil might have something to do with homosexuality.

    Former Paulist Fr. Bob Bowers and Fr. Austin Fleming were among the leaders of the outraged mob demanding Avila’s head.

    In the Pilot, Bowers wrote saying Avila’s article interfered with the “pastoral ministry and care for GLBTQ Catholics.”

    “This article directly and intentionally causes pain for gay Catholics, their families, especially their mothers, their friends and their worship communities,” he wrote. “We call upon the editorial staff of The Pilot to immediately halt all such articles and publications and concentrate instead on the Gospel of Love, to promote understanding, compassion and healing.”

    And Fleming wrote to the Pilot:

    Contrary to what Dan Avila writes, not all the faithful point to the devil and his malcontent minions to explain earthquakes, tsunamis and hurricanes. Nor do they expect that a resolution of the mysteries and variables of sexual attraction will pull back a curtain on the evil one hacking into genetic codes and redirecting human passions.

    Church teaching on these matters is difficult for many to understand, let alone accept. As tempting as a medieval cosmology may be for some, it will not shed instructive light on a question as critical and complex as that of sexual orientation. This topic and the people discussing it deserve a theology steeped in deeper wisdom.

    Where are the priests who are defending Catholic teaching on marriage? What will the Pilot publish about Garrity’s column?

  6. Debbie says:

    Oh my Lord. I am appalled by the viciousness, hate filled comments stated here. As a child schooled by the good Dominican Sisters I was taught that OUR church was inclusive. God loved everyone. I choose to continue to believe those teachings. I am heartsick reading all your comments. God have forgiveness for all of hateful remarks.

    • Concerned Parent says:

      “God loved everyone.”

      But not our sins.

    • Fran says:

      Scary, isn’t it Debbie. I can’t imagine the burden all this hate must be to carry.

      • Debbie says:

        I am just so befuddled and heartsick with the hate that is spewed here on almost a daily basis.

      • Debbie, What hate? Jesus told the adulterous woman to go and sin no more. That was for the salvation of her soul. Are you in favor of not helping people live a life of holiness so their souls will be saved? Would you rather sin not be called sin, so sinners don’t realize they need to repent and change their ways, and people’s souls literally go to hell?

        If you do not like blogs that support the doctrine of the Catholic Church, why do you bother reading BCI? We would suggest you avail yourself of and comment on other blogs. We will not be upset if you find BCI and our commentary not to your liking and you decide to spend your time elsewhere.


    • Sonny's Mom says:

      The term “inclusive” has come to mean “if I think something is right, then God has to agree with me”. This is exactly the sort of thinking that grew out of mis-applying Vatican II.

      • Jack says:

        No, inclusive means: Be people of love, forgiveness, compassion…and reach out to the disenfranchised…those on the fringes. Thats what it means, thats what we are commanded to be as a people

      • Debbie says:

        Sonny’s Mom how do you resolve the fact and a wildly known fact in many Catholic Churches both married men and women who are known to be involved in sexual relations outside of their marriage partake of the sacraments and at times are lectures? Why should I who happens to be divorced(not my fault)sit there knowing those who are hypocrites partake in Communion? You people can’t have it both ways and have it YOUR way because Jesus loved and forgave everyone.

      • Jesus loved everyone and forgave sinners who repented of their sins. He told the adulterous woman he did not condemn her but to “Go and sin no more.” He did. It say “I forgive you unconditionally so go out and keep sinning.” It seems you fail to understand this. If you go to confession and vow to continue committing the same sin you are asking to be forgiven and absolved from, the priest should not absolve you from your sin.

        Furthermore, are you saying that just because person X is sinning and sending their soul to hell, you should be able to do the same thing without anyone saying that’s a sin? It is far more loving, courageous and merciful to tell someone you care about that what they are doing is morally wrong and could lead them to the fires of hell than to pat them on the back and pretend it’s all OK.


      • Jack says:

        ***are you saying that just because person X is sinning and sending their soul to hell, you should be able to do the same thing without anyone saying that’s a sin?**

        No, but person X is not called to say anything. Getting back to the words of Jesus: Matt 7

        “”Why do you look at the speck of sawdust in your brother’s eye and pay no attention to the plank in your own eye?”

  7. Chris Mac says:

    Debbie, could you be more specific? Which comments are hate-filled? God does indeed love everyone, but does he love all behaviors?

    The Jesus who welcomed tax collectors and prostitutes is the same Jesus who drove the money changers out of the Temple. A God of mercy and justice.

    • Sonny's Mom says:

      And the very same Jesus admonished sinners, forgave them, and then said: “Go and sin no more.”
      I don’t think He went around telling people, “If it feels good, do it.”

      • Jack says:

        Yes, JESUS admonished sinners.

        **I don’t think He went around telling people, “If it feels good, do it.”**

        The rest of us he told to be people of love, forgiveness, compassion…and reach out to the disenfranchised…those on the fringes. I don’t see much of that here…

        I see more of the attitude of the Pharisees. Pointing at others, and struggling to maintain their rules.

      • Chris Mac says:

        What BCI is doing in its call for correction is a Spiritual Work of Mercy.

        Spiritual Works of Mercy — Catholic Encyclopedia

        “Mercy as it is here contemplated is said to be a virtue influencing one’s will to have compassion for, and, if possible, to alleviate another’s misfortune. It is the teaching of St. Thomas Aquinas that although mercy is as it were the spontaneous product of charity, yet it is to be reckoned a special virtue adequately distinguishable from this latter.

        *To instruct the ignorant;
        *To counsel the doubtful;
        *To admonish sinners;
        To bear wrongs patiently;
        To forgive offences willingly;
        To comfort the afflicted;
        To pray for the living and the dead.

        “The doing of works of mercy is not merely a matter of exalted counsel; there is as well a strict precept imposed both by the natural and the positive Divine law enjoining their performance. That the natural law enjoins works of mercy is based upon the principle that we are to do to others as we would have them do to us.

        “The Divine command is set forth in the most stringent terms by Christ, and the failure to comply with it is visited with the supreme penalty of eternal damnation (Matthew 25:41).”

      • says:

        I thought we were talking about what Jesus taught. i.e..the Gospels.

        If you are trying to perform Spiritual Acts of Mercy…you must do so without incurring more sin. The sin of pride, ego, and bearing false-witness…all under the blanket of an anonymous blog.

        Getting back to the words of Jesus: Matt 7 “”Why do you look at the speck of sawdust in your brother’s eye and pay no attention to the plank in your own eye?”

        You must open yourself to examination as well. And writing and accusing (while hiding under anonymity) is not opening yourself to examination.

        For Jesus says in Matthew 23 1-3:
        “Then Jesus said to the crowds and to his disciples: “The teachers of the law and the Pharisees sit in Moses’ seat. So you must obey them and do everything they tell you. “

      • What false witness? What ego? What sin? The truth is that Msgr Garrity’s article was heresy. To not call it out for what it is would be the far greater wrong.


  8. says:


    I totally agree with the teachings of the Catholic Church as you outlined. However, what are we going to do with Pope Francis, who seems to want to reconcile divorced catholics whose first marriage was a sacramental union, are divorced, now married by civil authority, and want to be reconciled within the church. It is different for those whose first marriage was a civil union, rather than a blessed sacramental union, have been divorced and married a second time. We’ll just have to see what the Holy Father declares. Thanks for your statement, as I too believe in the sanctity of marriage, as you described it from the Bible.

    Best regards, Ebba

  9. […] follow-up of the scandalous publication of Msgr. Paul Garrity’s opinion piece in the Boston diocesan paper say…, the Pilot has done a fair/mediocre job of cleaning up and correcting the mess they […]

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