It’s rare that BCI finds ourselves in agreement with the Boston Globe, but here’s once where we do mostly agree: their editorial in today paper, Probe of St. Johns Seminary needs independence.
The editorial is excellent–it says the the allegations of “immoral unprofessional misconduct by faculty and students” and a “toxic culture” of bullying and threats need to be properly examined, but the group brought together by Cardinal O’Malley has conflicts of interest: it’s stacked with St. Johns Seminary board members, including Sr. Janet Eisner and Assumption College president Francesco Cesareo, and the other members of the group also have conflicts of interest. Have you heard this same concern voiced elsewhere recently? Check out BCI’s post of last Monday, September 3, “Is Cardinal O’Malley Whitewashing the Gay Scandal Investigation of St. Johns Seminary?” We raised the same concerns a week before the Globe’s editorial came out, plus more. Alert readers who compare the two will notice some striking similarities. What a coincidence!
What the Globe carefully avoided saying was the word “homosexual,” and they also avoided mentioning the conflicts Sr. Eisner and Francesco Cesareo have over their colleges sponsoring groups that affirm homosexual activity is just fine and dandy.
Sr. Eisner’s quote in the article is lame. she said rather than there being a potential conflict in her board affiliation, it provides “insight into the seminary.” Well, if she had insight into the seminary, then why did she miss knowing about a gay sex scandal there under her watchful eyes? With Cardinal O’Malley’s blessing, she insists she’s fully committed to uncovering the truth in a timely manner, and if anything criminal in nature is found, they stop the investigation and give it to “the authorities.”
But what if you find out a bunch of seminarians have been admitted who have deeply rooted homosexual tendencies and they’re engaging in homosexual activity with each other or hitting on straight seminarians who want nothing to do with their immoral, unhealthy and gross behavior? And what if that behavior is the same behavior you’re sponsoring clubs on your campus to promote and encourage? Then what happens?
Attorney General Maura Healey, weighed in saying there needs to be a thorough investigation without conflicts of interest. And Jack Connors, never one to miss a chance to get his name in print, said he’s “all in favor of opening windows, doors, and records. Investigate away.”
Here’s the spin the archdiocese put out internally over the weekend to let priests and staff know their take on the pending editorial.
BOSTON GLOBE EDITORIAL, EXPECTED MONDAY, SEPTEMBER 10, 2018 (or sooner)
The Boston Globe is preparing an editorial opposing the appointments of the panel that is conducting an inquiry into St. John’s Seminary. Cardinal Seán took the proactive step of announcing the inquiry when he learned of the social media posts by the two former seminarians. The Cardinal has appointed Sr. Janet Eisner, President of Emmanuel College, to chair the panel inquiry, which she has agreed. He has also appointed the Most Rev. Mark O’Connell, Auxiliary Bishop of Boston, Dr. Francesco C. Cesareo, President of Assumption College and President of the USCCB National Review Board and Ms. Kimberly Jones, CEO of Athena Legal Strategies Group to conduct the inquiry.
These individuals, who have agreed to serve, are people with impeccable reputations and distinguished in their fields and expertise.
This past Friday, Sr. Janet spoke with the journalist writing the editorial for the Globe regarding the inquiry. You may recall Sr. Janet was co-chair of the Meade-Eisner Committee that reviewed several reconfiguration decisions by the Cardinal, with recommendations.
BCI thinks the spin is poppy-cock and it’s time for a re-do on the investigation team. What reputation and experience do either of the college presidents have upholding Catholic teachings about the sin of homosexuality that cries out to Heaven for Vengeance? All of the people either work for the Archdiocese or are on RCAB boards. How “independent” is that?
Besides, we hear the fix is already in. The rector and vice-rector will be out (for obvious reasons), as could be a professor of systematic theology (for sacrificial lamb reasons).
And we heard the team wants to use politically correct wording and phrasing, just like the Cardinal’s commentary, and avoid calling it what it is–a problem of admitting seminarians with deeply rooted homosexual tendencies and knowingly allowing them to engage in homosexual activity, and allowing the kind of culture described in this post.
We hope and pray the archdiocese heeds the advice of the Boston Globe, gets rid of everyone with conflicts of interest (namely, everyone), and starts over with at least a few people who are on-the-record supporting the Catholic Church’s teachings about homosexuality.