In follow-up of the scandalous publication of Msgr. Paul Garrity’s opinion piece in the Boston diocesan paper saying that the Catholic Church’s teaching on the permanence of marriage is “ridiculous”, “untenable” and “disrespectful”, the Pilot has done a fair/mediocre job of cleaning up and correcting the mess they created.
They pulled Garrity’s column down after a week of letting people read it online and they published an very good article by Fr. David Barnes in last Friday’s edition defending the Church’s teaching on the indissolubility of marriage. Fr. Barnes also wrote a more detailed and explicit rebuttal to Msgr. Garrity’s piece on his own blog which is first-rate and excellent.
If the Pilot and Boston Archdiocese think publishing the piece by Fr. Barnes somehow wiped up the whole mess, they are sadly mistaken. Phil Lawler at Catholic Culture gave the Pilot two cheers for what they’ve done; BCI would give them a score of maybe 3-5 on a scale of 1 to 100. We mostly agree with Phil, except for his rating on the effort. Here are excerpts from his piece, plus some commentary by BCI.
- We agree with Phil that the Archdiocese of Boston published a direct attack on the Catholic faith by a member of their clergy in the archdiocesan paper. Why Antonio Enrique at the Pilot let this heresy through is an unanswered question. Based on Msgr Garrity’s record, everyone at the Pilot should have expected anything from Garrity to be problematic.
- We clearly should not expect an archdiocesan newspaper to merely maintain an appearance of neutrality regarding Catholic doctrine. There are truths of our faith. Period. That is all they should be publishing. Period.
- After realizing the error, the Pilot left the article up for a week. Why? We do not know. The only thing we can presume is that the Pilot and Boston Catholic Media wanted it to stay up for people to read.
- Clearly, the Pilot did a good thing by getting Fr. Barnes to write a piece to refute what Msgr. Garrity said. But what is published merely sounds like yet a different opinion. The blog post (not published in The Pilot) identified the heretical article by name and clearly stated the purpose of the blog post was to address areas of disagreement. But still, even Fr. Barne’s wording sounds like opinion, not objective truth. He says, “My friends, however, would find the author’s characterizations of those who disagree with his position to be unfounded and untrue…” and “I disagree with almost everything in the article.” How about saying that the teachings of Jesus Christ prove that Msgr. Garrity is wrong on almost everything in the article? All the Pilot did was give the appearance of balancing a critic of Church teaching with a supporter.
- Still missing is an apology in the Pilot for running Msgr. Garrity’s column
- Still missing is an explicit correction of the errors and heresies in Msgr. Garrity’s column. Cardinal O’Malley, Bishop Uglietto, Fr. Reed (who runs Catholic Media), Antonio Enrique (editor of the Pilot) and Msgr. Garrity himself all will be accountable to God on their judgment day for any souls led to sin by this piece. Do none of these people care about the souls of the faithful being led astray by their actions?
- Still missing is a statement from Cardinal O’Malley or the Vicar General—not just another priest, but the archbishop or Vicar General—correcting the record.
- Still missing is a retraction from Msgr. Garrity (but don’t hold your breath waiting for that)
Furthermore, it is clear that Msgr. Garrity continues to publish heresy in his parish bulletins, for example, writing in the bulletin about marriage and divorce in a way that implies that communion for the divorced and remarried is something that the Church should accept. (See Aug 30th bulletin, page 2). Regardless of what Cardinal Kasper, the German bishops, or the Synod on the Family may opine, that opinion is neither the teaching of Jesus Christ nor the doctrine of the Catholic Church. Even the Pope cannot change that teaching.
For the sake of the salvation of souls, the Pilot needs to correct their error publicly as described above. Write to editor, Antonio Enrique firstname.lastname@example.org and/or call The Pilot to urge this action. Ultimately, Msgr. Garrity needs to be removed from any position of pastoral responsibility where he can teach or share his opinions and he should be put out to pasture. Write to or call Vicar General Bishop Peter Uglietto: email@example.com; 617-746-5619 and Cardinal Sean O’Malley: ArchbishopSean_O’Malley@rcab.org; 617-782-2544 to ask for that.