St. Johns Seminary Scandal

Today Cardinal O’Malley announced that the rector of St. John’s Seminary in Brighton has been placed on leave due to claims by two former seminarians of inappropriate conduct there.  An investigation is now underway.

In a statement reported in the Boston Globe, Cardinal Seán O’Malley said the two former seminarians of St. John’s Seminary recently posted allegations on social media sites including the Archdiocese’s Facebook page that “they witnessed and experienced activities which are directly contrary to the moral standards and requirements of formation for the Catholic priesthood.”

“At this time I am not able to verify or disprove these allegations,” O’Malley said. “As Archbishop of Boston, with responsibility for the integrity of the seminary and its compliance with the Church’s Program for Priestly Formation, I am committed to immediate action to address these serious matters.”

O’Malley said he asked Msgr. James P. Moroney, rector of St. John’s, to go on sabbatical leave for the fall semester, effective immediately so “that there can be a fully independent inquiry regarding these matters.”

O’Malley said he has appointed The Rev. Stephen Salocks, professor of sacred scripture, to serve as interim rector at St. John’s.

A group that includes religious clergy, a college president, and a Boston lawyer “will oversee an inquiry into the allegations made this week, the culture of the seminary regarding the personal standards expected and required of candidates for the priesthood, and any seminary issues of sexual harassment or other forms of intimidation or discrimination,” O’Malley said.

That group includes the Most Rev. Mark O’Connell, Auxiliary Bishop of Boston; Assumption College President Francisco Cesareo, who also serves as president of the USCCB National Review Board, which advises the USCCB on matters of child and youth protection policies and practices; and Boston attorney Kimberly Jones.

The inquiry will be staffed by Attorney Mark Dunderdale, director of the Archdiocesan Office of Professional Standards and Oversight.

O’Malley said he has directed the group, “with due seriousness of their assignment,” to submit their findings to him “as soon as possible,” along with “recommendations to assure appropriate standards of professional behavior in compliance with Church teaching at all levels of seminary life.”

“The allegations made this week are a source of serious concern to me as Archbishop of Boston,” O’Malley said. “The ministry of the Catholic priesthood requires a foundation of trust with the people of the Church and the wider community in which our priests serve. I am determined that all our seminaries meet that standard of trust and provide the formation necessary for priests to live a demanding vocation of service in our contemporary society.”

Specifics on the allegations have not been disclosed publicly by the archdiocese, however based on the tawdry details in the Globe article (see link above), it sounds like some form of sexual harrassment that was reported to a seminary official — the vocations director — and dismissed as insignificant. The official seemingly criticized the victim for over-reacting.

We looked at the Archdiocese of Boston Facebook page and found this:

RCAB facebook

And this post links to this lengthier post from OnePeterFive, “After McCarrick: An Ex-Seminarian Comes Forward”   It’s not for the faint at heart, and if the post on the archdiocesan Facebook page is correct, this post is about St. Johns Seminary.

Hold onto your seats, and stay tuned for more as we learn more.

12 Responses to St. Johns Seminary Scandal

  1. jbq2 says:

    There is a new morality with “Amoris Laetitia” which is being taught in the seminaries. This action is only to placate those who are resisting the move toward a new world order. It is not wrong that these seminarians were approached. It is only wrong because they were caught.—I never understood the issue with Sodom. An angel who was visiting Lot was approached by men in the town. They were interested in seducing him. —-In this light, what is going on in the seminaries is now very understandable. If the gay lobby can obstruct a pope in John Paul II and maybe help in getting him shot, then the goals and agenda in seminaries is plain and pointed. The active recruiting of gay candidates for the priesthood as here in my archdiocese should be a clue.—-O’Malley is one of the Council of Nine. He knows what he is doing and is only implementing the agenda of this pontiff. The goal is the acceptance of the gay lifestyle as part of the new one world religion.

  2. Warren Memlib says:

    Msgr. James P. Moroney, the seminary rector, is rumored to be awaiting appointment as a bishop because of his work as executive director of the now defunct Vatican Vox Clara Committee, which oversaw the English translation of the latest edition of the Novus Ordo Missale Romanum. He is rumored already to have bought his episcopal regalia. Some liturgical wits have called his work on the new English translation the “Moroney Missal” or, in Latin, “Missale Moronicum”!

  3. Robert Hospodar says:

    I’ve been waiting for New England’s “Robespierre” to shout out!

    On Fri, Aug 10, 2018 at 4:27 PM, Boston Catholic Insider wrote:

    > bostoncatholicinsider posted: “Today Cardinal O’Malley announced that the > rector of St. John’s Seminary in Brighton has been placed on leave due to > claims by two former seminarians of inappropriate conduct there. An > investigation is now underway. In a statement, Cardinal Seán O’Malle” >

  4. CR says:

    “Specifics on the allegations have not been disclosed publicly by the archdiocese, however based on the tawdry details in the Globe article, it sounds like some form of sexual harrassment that was reported to a seminary official and dismissed as insignificant by the seminary official. He official seemingly criticized the victim for over-reacting.”

    What Globe article? You don’t mention the Globe anyplace else in the piece, and the Globe doesn’t appear to have had anything on this before today’s statement from the Cardinal. Did you mean the article at onepeterfive?

    What official dismissed a complaint and “seemingly criticized” the victim? The author of the onepeterfive article credits the rector for getting him a therapist, does not mention any criticism by the rector or other faculty (he did say he was criticized by other seminarians), and doesn’t specify any complaint or charge he brought to the attention of faculty.

    What sexual harrassment? Misconduct among & between others, yes, but no mention of harassment toward the author.

  5. ralph briggs says:

    why not get rid of all the homosexual priests ? THAT IS THE PROBLEM.

    • JMM says:

      It’s more the vast number of homosexual priests and bishops and their living in such close quarters. A gay priest can be faithful but with so many packed together, temptations are rife and so is the likelihood of power games.

  6. Chris Whittle says:

    The only “good” news out of this: Cardinal Sean turns 75 next year (2019), and canonically is required to submit his resignation. Francis will likely accept it since he’s on the G9.

    The bad news ultimately is Francis himself.

    I do support Michael Voris’ call for the active U.S. Cardinals to resign as a bare minimum, but it won’t help as long as Francis is still around. With the deck stacked, his successor will likely be in his image or worse.

    As a matter of criminal justice, for all intensive purposes, it will take the civil authorities to criminally investigate the Church. Under the U.S. Constitution, the Church is not above the law.

    Since Boston is ground zero for anything decent these days, including Catholicism, the only way the Church, state, and society up here are going to have a chance (and I mean rolling the dice) at redemption is the next Archbishop of Boston be from a Traditionalist order of priests. No ifs, and, and buts.

    • Chris, Based on the bishops that Pope Francis has appointed to large archdioceses, there’s a very high likelihood that upon Cardinal O’Malley’s retirement, Boston would get someone far far worst than anyone we’ve ever had in Boston. BCI believes everyone should be very worried about that roll of the dice.

      >

  7. FormerSJSSem says:

    I can confirm that, having attended St. John’s Seminary Boston, MA in the 21st century, there was a long-standing “tradition” for certain priest faculty members to invite a small group of seminarians to their rooms for extensive drinking. One of those faculty members is the vice rector. I found it very telling that the vice rector did not become pro-rector. Additionally, the vocations office staff to my recollection are very close with the vice rector.

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