Stop the Scandal

May 18, 2011

In follow-up of our most recent post, “Continuing Connors Code of Conduct Conundrum” and the comments we received on it, we are giving readers a chance to voice their views on the matter to Cardinal O’Malley and the Holy See.

As readers know by now, Finance Council member, Jack Connors, is publicly supporting and raising money for pro-abortion politicians at the same time he is raising money for Catholic schools, has Finance Council oversight for archdiocesan fundraising and is influencing the direction of Catholic education. In the Boston Globe today (“Cash brings Obama back to town“) Jack said that after meeting Obama in 2007, he and his wife were “really impressed’’ and believe he has lived up to their expectations during his years in the White House. Connors said he believes the president has been a good role model.

As a reader commented in our previous post, this is not a matter of political/ideological labels such as “liberal” or “conservative.”  It is a matter of how we should live and practice the Catholic faith, and this also affects governance of the Church.  Though BCI may differ with the Cardinal and archdiocese on certain matters of governance, this is one area where–at least in principle–we do find commonality. Cardinal O’Malley has said that support for pro-abortion politicians “borders on scandal,” and the new Code of Conduct backs that position by saying that public and private conduct of church personnel must be consistent with Catholic Church teachings and exemplify the Church’s moral traditions.

Ensuring that Church leaders responsible for governance (or who influence governance) conduct themselves consistent with Church teachings and moral traditions is a sound practice as far as BCI is concerned.  That is not happening here.

If you are concerned about this situation and would like to ask Cardinal O’Malley and the Holy See to do something about it, please just click on the graphic to the right “Stop the Scandal” and you can write to Holy Father, Cardinal O’Malley, the Papal Nuncio, the Prefect of the Congregation of Bishops, and the Prefect of the Congregation of the Doctrine of the Faith.  The text of the message is below:

I respectfully request that the Holy See help address the ongoing problem of moral scandal in the Boston Archdiocese.

On May 18, a Finance Council member with oversight for fundraising and influence over Catholic schools, Jack Connors, hosted a highly-publicized $2 million fundraiser for President Obama at his home. Obama has voted against banning partial birth abortion and commemorated Roe v Wade in January 2011 saying he is committed to protecting women’s “constitutional right” to an abortion. Connors has been quoted in newspapers recently saying that he and his wife were “both smitten” and “really impressed’’ after meeting Obama in 2007 and believe he has lived up to their expectations in the White House. In 2009, Connors publicly endorsed pro-abortion political candidate Attorney General Martha Coakley, and he is also chair of Partners Healthcare, whose Brigham and Women’s Hospital is one of the largest abortion providers in Massachusetts.

Although Cardinal O’Malley has said it is “bordering on scandal” for Catholics to support pro-abortion political candidates and a new archdiocesan code of conduct policy says the conduct of church personnel must be consistent with Catholic Church teachings and exemplify the Church’s moral traditions, Mr. Connors is allowed to continue in a prominent archdiocesan leadership and advisory role while publicly supporting pro-abortion candidates and while his Partners Healthcare profits from performing abortions. This scandalizes and undermines the faith of the people under the Archbishop of Boston’s pastoral care. It also affects the ability of the archdiocese to continue the Catholic Church’s good works and the saving ministry of Jesus Christ.

With the salvation of souls at stake, I respectfully request that you act decisively in whatever way you deem appropriate to address this grave concern.

Sincerely yours in Christ,

If you agree with this viewpoint, then please fill out the form with your name and address, click “Send the letter,” review your information, and click “Submit.”  If you do not agree with this viewpoint,  you simply need not fill out the form.

To BCI critics who feel this is an inappropriate topic for BCI to take up, we would simply reiterate the following.  The Catholic Church is a private organization and as part of good governance, it makes sense to us that Church leaders charged with governance should conduct themselves in a manner consistent with Church teachings that does not work against the moral traditions of the Church or against the mission of archdiocesan organizations.  If that is not happening or we have concerns we wish to raise, Canon. 212 §3 tells us the faithful “have the right, indeed at times the duty, in keeping with  their knowledge, competence and position, to manifest to the sacred Pastors their views on matters which concern the good of the Church.”

That is what we are doing.


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