Boston Diocesan Denial and Deception by Donilon

September 19, 2018

In our last post, Why Did Cardinal O’Malley Cover-Up Gay Abuse Scandal?, we shared insider news about Fr. Walter Cuenin’s scandalous actions that got him removed from Brandeis in early 2015, as well as the cover-up by Cardinal O’Malley, other archdiocesan officials, and senior Brandeis officials,  Despite the fact that an archdiocesan official confirmed the key points before BCI posted the story,  Secretary for Communications, Terry Donilon, has been parsing words to try and deny the story to reporters and also discredit BCI.  That’s been his modus operandi for years. Today we’re going to debunk his response and ask readers for help expose this scandalous situation.

First, a quick note about Terry Donilon. He came into his position – where he is paid nearly $200K in salary and benefits – as the result of a rigged search (see BCI post “Sham Search: Terry Donilon” and do read the comments)  Ann Carter, then CEO of PR firm Rasky Baerlein, led the “search.”  Beyond the obvious conflict of interest of an archdiocesan vendor hiring the person who would manage their services and decide on their continuing employment, the founder and then-Chairman of the firm was Larry Rasky, who had known the Donilon family for years from his political work starting with the Joe Biden campaign back in 1988. Terry needed a job when he left Shaw’s Supermarkets. Resumes of far superior candidates interested in the job never made it to the full search committee. Terry’s is known to be spelling and writing-challenged, and most press releases or statements from him have required the proof-reading and spin of Fr. Bryan Hehir and/or outside PR folks.

Oh, and he also is comfortable deceiving to deflect attention from the truth.  Back in 2010, BCI accurately reported about another rigged search months before the outcome of the search was publicly announced.  When Terry was asked about the BCI post by a news reporter, he responded, “I have no intention of responding to anonymous and unfounded claims and attacks posted in Boston Catholic Insider.”  (See Diocesan Deception from Donilon).  The truth was that it was a rigged search, just like the one for Terry’s own job–he just didn’t like that we exposed the truth and moral corruption. He was never able to give one example of an “unfounded claim” on BCI, including the post he complained about.  Now onto the Walter Cuenin scandal.

Our post about the scandal originated with this tip from an anonymous reader, “Truth Teller,” on a different post about coddling of homosexual priests, including Fr. Walter Cuenin:

Cuenin did not leave Brandeis because of “health.” He was removed because he took a young man away, plied him with alcohol and molested him. Both Brandeis and the Archdiocese wanted to keep it quiet. Shouldn’t they have been concerned if there were other victims?

Via private emails, we got some additional information from “Truth Teller,” and we were then able to validate enough of the story that we published it.  In a phone call on Sept. 11, Fr. Bryan Parrish, episcopal vicar and secretary for parish life, confirmed to another Boston blogger that Cuenin’s official status with the archdiocese is a “restricted Senior Priest”, which means no ministry is allowed and no church housing is provided.  Cuenin has a very public problem with alcohol and the restrictions were related to that. He also confirmed that the allegation of sexual misconduct with a Brandeis student reported on Boston blogs (including Conquered by Love) did happen.

After we published the story and reporters started asking questions of Fr. Parrish, they were directed to Terry, who went into damage control mode and issued the following deceptive statement to reporters:

There has been no charge of molestation of a minor or young adult. Fr. Cuenin has faced serious health issues in recent years. It has been our experience with Boston Catholic Insider, an anonymous blog, that the information they distribute is consistently false and misleading as is the case in their September 13, 2018 entry.

For the record, the Archdiocese of Boston is committed to ensuring the safety and well-being of children and young people in our parishes and institutions….Cardinal Seán P. O’Malley encourages any person in need of pastoral assistance or support to contact the Archdiocese’s Office of Pastoral Support and Outreach by calling 617-746-5985.

We never said there was a “charge of molestation”–we said all the student wanted was to ensure Cuenin left campus and couldn’t do this again.  Terry used the word, “charge,” so he could pretend his response was true.  Here’s what we sent back to Terry:

I’d like to clarify what you mean so we can make any required corrections. With regard to the Sept 13 entry, can you share specifically what is inaccurate?  Obviously, all of the bullet points are accurate and are well-documented and have been shared with the RCAB previously, so there can’t be any disputing those points.  So, your issue is obviously with our saying a student was plied with alcohol and then molested.  Your statement says there was no charge of molestation of a minor or young adult.  You also have said there was no allegation.  We verified the report of the molestation with an archdiocesan official last week before publishing it, so something is not adding up. Hopefully you can clarify exactly what did or did not happen.
We know for a fact that Fr. Cuenin’s ministry is restricted, and it’s for a reason more grave than just a minor alcohol problem. We know the expectation is that since he’s in ill health today and wheelchair-bound that it’s highly unlikely he will engage in inappropriate activity with others.  We also all know he left Brandeis very abruptly, and for someone so popular on campus with students, faculty, and administration to leave without a farewell party, the reason was gravely serious.  Brandeis has had multiple opportunities to tell us our story was inaccurate before it was published and they declined to refute the story.
Is the word “molestation” the problem?  We’ve now removed it from our post.  Would it be more accurate for us to say that there was an incident reported where a student was drinking with Fr. Cuenin, and Fr. Cuenin engaged in inappropriate sexual activity with the student or non-consensual sexual activity with the student?  …
Lastly, I must say that your comment about BCI publishing consistently false and misleading information rings hollow.  Since you’ve been in your job and BCI has been writing our blog, never once has one of your claims that BCI published “false information” proven to be correct.  Never once. You’ve said we made “unsubstantiated claims” but invariably that’s because we published the truth and the RCAB simply didn’t like seeing the truth published or the media attention.

Carol McKinley sent this message to him:

Let me predict how this statement will play out:
1.  Already enraged Catholics will conclude the Archbishop thinks a priest plying someone’s college age child with alcohol to lower resistance to his sexual advance is not molestation.  Might want to google “Bill Cosby”
2. The victim, who instead of suing or pressing criminal charges, who made the unbelievable sacrifice of  agreeing to just letting them get Walter into supervised treatment, is now going to…read the archdiocese is calling him a liar.  I don’t think the statutes have run out, but you are going to take the gamble.
The likelihood everyone is lying about the allegation is quite low.  (and it is an allegation, but Walter’s faculties were stripped and he was ushered off to treatment).  But if that is the case, you have a duty to tell us so we will correct and retract errors.  This is the Catholic Church you work for and there are Sacramental issues at play, for people who live by them.
If stupid PR strategies could fly, this would be a jet.  Go back to the bunker and come up with a truthful statement that doesn’t violate the trust of this victim by calling him a liar.
No response from Terry.  So here’s where we sit.
  • “Truth Teller” assures us the story is 100% accurate. Out of respect for the victim’s right to privacy, we are not pressuring anyone to speak out publicly, but if the victim forward, both the Archdiocese of Boston and Brandeis will be forced to acknowledge what happened.
  • Despite multiple messages sent to various senior administration officials at Brandeis including those involved at the time asking them to confirm or deny the story, they refuse to respond. If this scandalous story was inaccurate, why wouldn’t they just respond and say the story is not true?
  • If any reporter asks Fr. Parrish at this point what happened, he’s sending people to Terry Donilon, and Terry is responding with the deceptive statement to deflect attention from what actually happened.  He’s parsing words and refusing to acknowledge there was an incident of inappropriate behavior by Cuenin with a student–and that led to his removal from Brandeis.

We see two ways for the impasse to be broken and the full truth to come out, and need your help.

  1. The victim — even with their name not being released — publicly tells their story to a newspaper.  We can direct the victim to any of a variety of publications who would maintain confidentiality, take their testimony and write the story.
  2. Readers pressure both the Archdiocese of Boston and Brandeis administration to admit what happened.  Here’s who to contact:

Archdiocese of Boston:
Terry Donilon, Secretary for Communications
Work: 617-746-5775
Cell: 401-480-0171
tdonilon@rcab.org

Vicar General Bishop Peter Uglietto
617-746-5619
vicar_general@rcab.org

Brandeis University
Jamele Adams, Dean of Students
781-736-2600
deanofstudentsoffice@brandeis.edu
Ira Jackson, Executive Vice President, Communications and External Relations
781-736-3993
Here’s what you should ask:
Can you please confirm that the reason for Fr. Walter Cuenin’s removal from his role as Catholic chaplain at Brandeis in January of 2015 was an incident with Fr. Cuenin involving alcohol and inappropriate sexual behavior with a male student?  If this description is not completely accurate, please correct whatever is inaccurate to give the correct description of the incident.

And what policies and protections are in place today to ensure that similar incidents don’t happen again to other students?

If Terry responds back with the canned statement above, call or email him back and ask him to answer the actual question you asked directly with a Yes/No answer.  You might also remind him that his salary is being paid by Catholics like you.
Let us know how you make out.
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Cardinal O’Malley’s Coddling of Homosexual Priests: Part 2

September 6, 2018

There was just too much to share in our Part 1 post about open promotion of the gay agenda by priests in Boston and how Cardinal O’Malley coddles these priests, so we now bring you part 2.  There will also be a Part 3 coming separately.

Rainbow-Flag

Fr. Stephen Josoma, pastor of St. Susanna in Dedham

Way back during Cardinal Bernard Law’s tenure, Irish parishioners at St. Brendan’s in Dorchester were scandalized to see their pastor, Fr. Ron Coyne and his ‘co-pastor,’ Fr. Steven Josoma, openly conducting themselves as a sexually intimate couple inside and outside the sanctuary.  They sought intervention from the Vicar Forane, Auxiliary Bishop, Cardinal Law, and ultimately the Holy See, and when it got to the point where the priests were reportedly simulating the Sacrament of Marriage in the sanctuary to homosexual couples, the parishioners called the Cardinal’s office and demanded the removal of the priests.  After both were sidelined for several years, under Cardinal Sean O’Malley both were reinstated as pastors.

In 2005, Josoma famously was doing a skit at a parish event with another gay-advocating buddy (now-former priest, Fr. Bob Bowers). As reported by the Globe, their skit included a joke with sexual innuendo about comparing a part of the male anatomy (“Mine’s bigger”).

Fast forward. At St. Susanna’s, the pastor and the parish were in the news in 2013 for plans to host a presentation by Austrian dissident priest, Fr.  Helmut Schuller.  The talk was part of a U.S. tour co-sponsored by 10 dissident organizations that publicly disagree with the Catholic Church’s teachings that prohibit homosexual activity, “gay marriage,” women priests, and married priests. Co-sponsors included gay-agenda-advocates like DignityUSA and New Ways Ministry, as well as Call to Action, FutureChurch,  Voice of the Faithful, and Women’s Ordination Conference.  Thankfully, Cardinal O’Malley banned the priest from speaking at St. Susanna’s, saying he would not allow anyone to speak on church property who advocates beliefs in conflict with church doctrine.  (We wish that policy were upheld more consistently, but more on that in a moment).  But why was Fr. Josoma on-board with having such a dissident present at his church in the first place?

Not long after that, in December 2014, Fr. Josoma’s parish featured as a faith formation speaker, Michael Hartwig–a former priest, vice rector and professor of moral theology at Holy Trinity Seminary in Dallas, who was relieved of his duties in Texas when he came out as a homosexual and left the seminary to live with his life partner, the head of the Dallas Gay Alliance.  His name was in the news around a gay scandal at the seminary that hit papers after he left  and took a job at Dominican-run Albertus Magnus College. and he was also in the news for having sued Albertus Magnus over their decision to not renew his contract because he represented himself as a former priest when he applied for the job but then revealed publicly in the Dallas Morning News he was actually a priest of the Dallas diocese “now on leave” (while at the Albertus Magnus living with his life partner).  His topic for the faith formation series was “Divorce and Remarriage – Gay Marriage,” and the description said,

“Our theme this evening was to explore the relationship between Jesus’ and Paul’s teachings on marriage and contemporary patterns of marriage and to ask how the Church might advance these ideals in the contemporary context.”

If Fr. Josoma felt his parish would have benefited from authentic faith formation around  the meaning and definition of marriage as Jesus Christ taught us, and current threats to those teachings, surely he could have found a better speaker than a gay former priest who took off to live a homosexual lifestyle with his life partner, couldn’t he?

Fr. Walter Cuenin, former pastor at Our Lady Help of Christians and former chaplain at Brandeis University.

Our Lady’s, under his leadership, was known as “gay-friendly” for years and he was renowned for having preached at a Gay Pride interfaith gathering and testified against an amendment to ban gay marriage. What’s astounding is the fact that his public advocacy for the gay agenda and leading souls away from salvation went on virtually unchecked for roughly 12 years under Cardinal Sean O’Malley. Consider the following:

  • April 2002: Cuenin testified to a MA legislative committee in opposition to a proposed amendment that would have banned gay marriage.  He argued that Defense of Marriage Amendment amendment seemed to violate the Catechism of the Catholic Church because homosexual marriage was a human rights issue.
  • September 2002: In a New Yorker article entitled, “The Reformer“, he said gays and lesbians should be allowed a front-row seat at church and not be told that their lives are “basically disordered.”
  • May 2005: Our Lady’s bulletin has a notice that the Gay and Lesbian Faith Sharing group invites all parishioners to Boston’s Gay Pride Parade
  • June 2006:  Cuenin was the featured speaker at the Gay Pride interfaith prayer service.
  • April 2007: Cuenin speaks in Lexington at Interfaith Forum on topic of “God, Gays, and Faith.”  Faithful Catholic, Alice Slattery sent an urgent request to Cardinal O’Malley prior to the talk asking him to intervene and stop the talk, but she got no response.  She then sent a follow-up letter to Cardinal O’Malley_on April 12 2007 giving more background on Cuenin and also naming other officials and priests from the Archdiocese with past involvement in pushing the gay agenda. (more on this in Part 3).  She also got not response.  (Perhaps the letter was received by Fr. Kickham?!)  Alice also had a letter published in the local Lexington newspaper saying that “Cuenin doesn’t represent all Catholics.
  • February 2012: Cuenin, in an interview with the New Ways Ministry, said:

    “The Catholic Church opposes gay marriage, so I cannot directly say I support it, but I have seen from my experience that for many people it creates a much healthier environment..For example, if you were to go to Provincetown in the summer time, where a lot of gay people go, it’s a radically different place today than it was 20 years ago,’ Cuenin said. ‘They are there with children and married, raising kids, so they go home at night. In other words, it has transformed the whole gay scene.”

    (BCI comment: Why would a celibate Catholic priest be checking out the gay scene in gay mecca, Provincetown, for decades and be so familiar with it?)

  • October 2014: Cuenin, in his assignment as Catholic chaplain at Brandeis University, had what he described as an “enormous gay pride” rainbow flag displayed outside the chapel to “recognize Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender and Queer History Month.  In an article in the Brandeis Hoot, he is described as an “official LGBT ally on campus through his work with Trisk (Brandeis‘ LGBTQ+ student social grou). He also continuously makes himself available and accessible to struggling students in his role as a confidential resource.” (BCI comment: so young people struggling with their sexual identity go for counseling from a Catholic priest who’s on the record as saying he feels homosexual activity and gay marriage are positive things?)

Fr. Cuenin left Brandeis in January of 2015 for health reasons and is currently a senior priest in the Archdiocese of Boston. He has been out of the news since his departure from Brandeis.

After years of complaints to both Cardinals Law and O’Malley about Fr. Cuenin’s promotion of homosexuality, he was finally removed as pastor by Cardinal O’Malley not for his public dissent from Catholic teachings, but rather based on the results of a financial audit that showed improper use of church funds for a leased car and excessive payment of Mass stipends.  Then Cardinal O’Malley reassigned him be a college campus chaplain, where he was allowed to freely counsel students confused about their sexuality and fly a Rainbow flag over the campus chapel.

Many priests in the Archdiocese — certainly a large minority of the presbyterate and perhaps a slight majority of those between 55 and 75 — are homosexual men, and many of those have come to understand themselves by reference to their sexual identity as the gay subculture defines it.  Does Cardinal O’Malley see this as a problem?

Why has Cardinal O’Malley coddled  priests like those named above and in Part 1 (plus others) and allowed them to stay in active ministry where they are leading souls astray and away from salvation?

More in Part 3.


Is Cardinal O’Malley Whitewashing the Gay Scandal Investigation of St. John’s Seminary?

September 3, 2018

Several BCI readers have asked what we know about the latest on the investigation into homosexual activity and sexual harassment at St. Johns Seminary.  Based on internal and external indicators, we get the distinct impression the outcome could end up looking largely like a “nothing-burger” and it could be set-up as a whitewashing. A few heads may roll, but not much else will change.

When the scandal hit, Cardinal O’Malley responded with great fanfare about the major investigation into St. John’s Seminary. BCI is told that the high-paid folks on the 4th floor of the Pastoral Center said he needed to look tough on such issues right now. The rector was put on leave so there could be a “fully independent inquiry.”  We first thought that was odd phrasing, as the members of the inquiry panel include:

  • Aux. Bishop Mark O’Connell, who, coincidentally, was on the faculty of SJS during the time of the scandal
  • Attorney Kimberly Jones of Athena Legal Strategies, who, coincidentally, happens to also serve on the Archdiocesan Finance Council.
  • Dr. Francisco Cesareo, President of Assumption College and President of the USCCB National Review Board,  who, coincidentally, is also on the St. Johns Seminary Board of Trustees.  His college also sponsors AC Allies, a “gay/straight alliance…support group for LGBTQ students and their allies, and the college’s director of campus ministry, serves as the advisor to the group.
  • Mark Dunderdale, director of the Archdiocesan Office of Professional Standards and Oversight. who, coincidentally, has been paid more than $200K/year by the archdiocese since 2011 (see our post “Bloated payroll“)

Other than the above people investigating the problem, the group is “fully independent.”

John Monaco, one of those who reported the homosexual activity at OnePeterFive issued an open letter to Cardinal Sean and public complaint about a possible conflict of interest by Bishop O’Connell :

Admittedly, I am a bit perturbed that you appointed a former member of the seminary faculty (who was on the faculty during my time at SJS) to lead this investigation. The Catholic faithful have seen how bishops policing themselves and conducting internal investigations can jeopardize the objectivity so desperately needed for the pursuit of justice.

And now we learn in the Boston Pilot that Bishop O’Connell is sidelined , and Sr. Janet Eisner, head of Emmanuel College, is now leading the investigation.  Is this change because of the complaint from the former seminarian, or because Bishop O’Connell could be a candidate to take over as seminary rector after the investigation, or both?  We’re not sure.

Anyway, sources say the behind-the-scenes hand of Fr. Bryan Hehir is all over the investigation approach.  O’Connell said, “the scope of the inquiry will be the past five to six years, and its priority will be to ensure protocols are being properly implemented.”

This is screwy in so many ways it’s tough to describe them.  First, in his open letter, John asked that the investigation focus on three areas;

  1. Immoral and unprofessional misconduct by faculty and students alike, including, but not limited to:
  • “Private parties” where certain faculty members would invite an exclusive clique of seminarians into their room late at night
  • Widespread alcohol abuse, including a bachelor party hosted at the seminary in which a faculty member, drinking with seminarians until 2 a.m., fell out of his chair.
  • Allegations of grooming and its subsequent cover-up
  • A mismanagement of seminary finances

2. A toxic culture of fear, intimidation, and discrimination at Saint John’s Seminary

  • Bullying by certain faculty members
  • Threats of a lawsuit against those exposing the misconduct
  • Certain faculty members seen as “untouchable” and who survived over a decade of credible allegations
  • Fear from seminarians, priests, and laity of speaking out

3. Subsequent cover-up of such misconduct and unhealthy culture by leadership

  • that my complaints — and others’ — went ignored and mishandled
  • The insistent denial by leadership regarding the basis of these allegations

And Bishop O’Connell says the focus is on “protocols being properly implemented”?!?  Seriously?!  What “protocols”?  That seminarians shouldn’t be admitted if they have homosexual tendencies?  That if a homosexual is admitted, they shouldn’t be engaging in that activity publicly in the lounge of a seminary or hitting on other straight seminarians?  That if someone reports an instance of homosexual activity or being harassed to seminary leadership, the policy would be for the leader to take it seriously and the seminary to expel the homosexual, rather than blaming the victim? That there wouldn’t be bullying by faculty members?  That the culture wouldn’t be as described by the former seminarian?

Then there is the matter of Sr. Eisner now leading the “independent” investigation.  Coincidentally, she is also on the Board of Trustees of SJS.   Worse than that, Emmauel College is on a list of New Ways Ministry’s 130 known “gay-friendly” Catholic Colleges and Universities.

Emmanuel College has a club, OUTspoken, for LGBTQA students to create a better understanding of their self-identity.  Every year there is a student-led Reaching OUT Retreat for LGBTQA (Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgendered, Questioning, Ally) students on Cape Cod sponsored by OUTspoken and Campus Ministry which has as one core principle, “Accepting and being proud of your sexuality and who you are.” Then one sees that Sr. Eisner’s religious order, the Sisters of Notre Dame De Namur had a GLBT activist lead a retreat at the order’s high schools in California in 2014.

Wouldn’t this investigation into a homosexual scandal be a bit more “independent” and objective if the leader of it wasn’t so closely associated with promotion of the gay agenda herself?  Why not tap someone truly independent to lead it, who also believes and promotes what the Catholic Church teaches about homosexuality, such as the National Catholic Bioethics Center?

In his 2006 Letter on Homosexuality, Cardinal O’Malley said the following:

If we tell people that sex outside of marriage is not a sin, we are deceiving people. If they believe this untruth, a life of virtue becomes all but impossible. Jesus teaches that discipleship implies taking up the cross each day and following Him with love and courage.

It is never easy to deliver a message that calls people to make sacrifices or to do difficult things. Sometimes people want to punish the messenger. For this reason we priests at times find it difficult to articulate the Church’s teaching on sexual morality… It is important to express the moral teachings of the Church with clarity and fidelity. The Church must be Church. We must teach the truths of the Gospel in season and out of season. These recent times seem to us like it is out of season, but for that very reason it is even more urgent to teach the hard words of the Gospel today.

We know that friends and relatives of homosexual Catholics sometimes feel torn between their allegiance to Christ and their concern for their loved ones. I assure them that these goals are not incompatible. As Catholics we profess a firm belief in the dignity of each person and in the eternal destiny to which God calls us. Calling people to embrace the cross of discipleship, to live the commandments and at the same time assuring them that we love them as brothers and sisters can be difficult. Sometimes we are told: If you do not accept my behavior, you do not love me. In reality we must communicate the exact opposite: “Because we love you, we cannot accept your behavior.”‘

Does Sr. Eisner believe this and can she show evidence her administration has helped convey this perspective to Emmanuel College students? If not, then she should resign from the investigation committee and Cardinal O’Malley should appoint a leader who does believe this.

BCI understands some heads will likely roll after the investigation–maybe the rector, vice rector, and perhaps a faculty member disliked by some bishops, as a sign that changes are being made.  But that’s all that we expect at this point from this whitewashed investigation.  And then the questions emerge, who will replace those people?  There isn’t a lot of bench-strength depth, so BCI assumes some priests will end up doing three jobs instead of the two they are currently doing.

We hope and pray it turns out better than this, but we’re not hopeful.


Cardinal O’Malley’s Coddling of Homosexual Priests: Part 1

August 29, 2018

In the wake of the Pennsylvania Grand Jury Report, Cardinal McCarrick scandal, explosive disclosure by former U.S. Papal Nuncio Archbishop Carlo Vigano about Pope Francis and “gay networks” in the Catholic Church, and the reported sexuaRainbow-Flagl harassment at St. Johns Seminary, it seems appropriate to highlight the evidence of homosexual activity and open promotion of the gay agenda by ordained clergy that’s been allowed and condoned by the Boston Archdiocesan leadership up to Cardinal O’Malley.

The big question here in Boston is why does Cardinal O’Malley coddle priests who promote homosexuality or even come out that they are “gay”? Here are a few examples of the gay clergy network and/or promotion of homosexuality by clergy in open view in Boston:

St. Cecilia Church in Boston, led by pastor, Fr. John Unni

The church has an active “Rainbow Ministry” for LGBT Catholics that participates in the annual Boston Pride festival, brings in speakers who advance the homosexual agenda, and even tried in 2011 to offer a “liturgy to commemorate Boston Pride”, before a public outcry by faithful Catholics prompted the archdiocese to intervene and order the Mass cancelled. (It was turned into a prayer service and a Mass at a later date). What did the archdiocese say about the pastor who was to celebrate the Gay Pride Mass and who allows the active Rainbow Ministry at his church?  “Fr. Unni has the full confidence and support of the Cardinal and the archdiocese” and “is a great pastor.

Two years after the 2011 scandal, the St. Cecilia Parish bulletin announced “PFLAG-Save the Date!”–the executive director of greater Boston PFLAG would be speaking at the 6pm Mass on Nov. 24, 2013.  PFLAG advocates for accepting homosexual activity as a positive good act, and PFLAG rejects and vilifies the work of Courage, the Catholic way of helping people who have fallen into same-sex sexual activity to live in a chaste manner according to Catholic Church teachings. Faithful Catholic, Alice Slattery, wrote to Cardinal O’Malley to ask him to intervene and prevent the scandalous act during Mass.  Alice recounted what happened:

“I received a letter dated Dec. 23, 2013 from the Cardinal’s Office stating that “Cardinal O’Malley recently celebrated the 125th Anniversary Mass at St. Cecilia’s Parish in Boston. The Church was filled to capacity that day and it is evident that all programs and activities offered at the parish are in accord with the teaching and practice of the Roman Catholic Church.”

The Rainbow Ministry is still going strong today, as evidenced by their recent presence at the 2018 Boston Pride Festival. Recent or frequent speakers at the parish include “married” gay BC prof. John McDargh, Stonehill College’s George Piggford and others who advocate for the homosexual lifestyle and homosexual activity.  They have never promoted a speaker to discuss chastity for those with homosexual attractions.

Fr. Austin Fleming, pastor of Holy Family in Concord

A few years ago, a self-described “happy porn-writing sodomite” wrote a tell-all  book entitled, “Since My Last Confession: A Gay Catholic Memoir.” detailing homosexual debauchery taking place within a Franciscan order and with diocesan priests.  The book includes commentary from interviews with diocesan and religious priests who acknowledge they are gay.  A then-60-year-old diocesan priest, nicknamed “Fr. Butterballino” in the book, admits he’d come out to other priests and parishioners and had attended and blessed four “gay unions.”  A simple Google search revealed the diocesan priest was Fr. Fleming.  BCI posted about this and sent information to the archdiocese along with other faithful Catholics. Here are a few passages from the book

“[Father Butterballino] admitted, “I’ve been to four civil weddings of gay people. It scares the s#(t out of me because those are very public situations. After the rite is over, I do some kind of prayer or blessing. If I’m called on it, I can say I was there and I performed a prayer. I didn’t perform a wedding.”

“When the Brown Bag (Cardinal O’Malley) started issuing statements concerning same-sex marriage and adoption, Fr. Butterballino addressed them directly in his parish bulletins. For example, he wrote that to call gay adoptions “gravely immoral” and a form of violence proved only that those issuing such statements had never spend a second with gay adoptive families.”  (This same passage appeared in the November 5, 2005 letter from Fr. Fleming to parishioners at Holy Family, Concord)

“Trapped in inarticulate yearning, he entered the seminary and was ordained.  ‘We were sexually repressed.  When I committed myself to celibacy I might as well have been committing myself to go to the moon.’  Years after ordination, his sexual feelings emerged. Occasionally he was tempted to act out….Yeah, I’m gay.  He came out to a small circle of fellow priests after the sex abuse scandal.”

“Since the incident with the petitions [in support of a MA constitutional amendment that would have banned same-sex marriage], Fr. Butterballino…came out to a member of his parish staff who had learned her son was gay. He had triumphant comings-out to select acquaintances.  He even learned to be open with his parishioners that he was spending his summer vacation in Provincetown, MA, the gay beach mecca.”

Indeed, here is an article where Fr. Fleming talks about his vacation at Herring Cove beach in Provincetown.  Multiple Yelp reviews indicate the beach is “nudity-tolerant” and “gay-accepting.”  “they are at play and not for the straight people to bother… Nudity and cruising and sex in the dunes.”

Why would a chaste priest, even one with an attraction to other men, label himself “gay”?  And why would a chaste priest or one struggling with a same-sex attraction vacation in a gay hotspot and go to a beach known for gay cruising?  And why would Cardinal O’Malley ignore complaints, coddle the priest and do nothing about it?

Msgr. Paul Garrity, currently pastor at Sacred Heart and St. Brigid’s in Lexington

He has been praised by Cardinal O’Malley.  Yet he also put homosexual couples on par with the Holy Family.  At his previous assignment at St. Catherine in Norwood, on the Feast of the Holy Family, Garrity wrote in his parish bulletin:

It is very easy to forget that Mary would have been an unwed mother were it not for Joseph. It is also easy to forget that Joseph was not the natural father of Jesus but became his foster father and protector, along with his new bride Mary…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.

What did the archdiocese do in response to complaints about this?  Nothing.  When complaints were lodged with his regional bishop, faithful Catholics were told he had tried to escalate this and get action by Cardinal O’Malley and his concerns were dismissed. In his blog months earlier, Cardinal O’Malley said of Msgr. Garrity, saying he did an extraordinary job at St. Mary’s in Lynn, and “is very focused on promoting Catholic education in Norwood.”

These are just a few examples–we will share more in our next post.  This passage from  a report written between the time when Cardinal Law resigned and Sean O’Malley was appointed archbishop in June of 2003 gives even more perspective:

The sketch of life in the Archdiocese of Boston which follows is based largely on anecdotal evidence and the trustworthy testimony of faithful priests and laymen. While this description is necessarily unscientific, it is offered in good faith in the service of understanding the nature and range of the problems the next Archbishop of Boston must confront.

The Present Situation

Clerical Unchastity

The sexual crimes of the priests accused of molesting minors are but a small token of widespread unchastity among the presbyterate. A significant number of priests, both secular and religious, are engaged in regular sexual behavior (most of it homosexual), either with stable sexual partners or in anonymous encounters with strangers met in bars, parks, or through the Internet. Acceptance of such behavior, excused either with a wink and a nudge on the grounds of human weakness or because of rejection of the Church’s teaching on chastity, encourages further unchastity.

Clerical Homosexuality

Many priests in the Archdiocese, certainly a large minority of the presbyterate and perhaps a slight majority of those between 40 and 60, are homosexual men, and many of those have come to understand themselves by reference to their sexual identity as the gay subculture defines it. The open secret of their homosexuality is closely guarded by the silence of a solid clerical “black wall”, behind which some priests have surrendered completely to the pagan culture of “gay” identity and behavior. Many priests socialize only with other active homosexuals, and in this way loose networks of sexually active priests are formed to protect each other from scrutiny.

The big questions are obvious.  Why does Cardinal O’Malley allow this and coddle priests who encourage or promote homosexual behavior or have “come out” themselves? And how can he claim he is trying to clean-up homosexual activity in St. Johns Seminary when he is allowing it in his presbyterate?  And given that the John Jay report and other studies show the vast majority of the sexual abuse crisis was homosexual activity with teenagers, why isn’t he concerned and talking about the problem of homosexual activity in the clergy? What do you think?

More next post.


St. Johns Seminary Scandal

August 10, 2018

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.


Boston Pilot Promotes Child-Abuser Cardinal’s Service to Church

June 22, 2018

In the wake of Cardinal McCarrick’s being removed from public ministry over a credible claim of sexual abuse of a minor — plus reports of past sexual activity with adults and associated settlements – it’s disgraceful that the Boston Pilot promoted a puff piece today highlighting McCarrick’s service to the Catholic Church.

This morning, the Boston Pilot emailed thousands of people on their email a message with the subject, “Cardinal McCarrick’s 60 years of ministry had global impact.”  Here’s the email sent to BCI by an astute reader.

mcck

The email linked to a piece posted on the Pilot’s website and syndicated from Catholic News Service.  After someone called the Pilot and complained about how inappropriate this post was, it was promptly taken down.  Still, one wonders how something this bad got posted and broadly distributed by The Boston Pilot in the first place, and we are asking readers to contact the Pilot’s leadership to complain and ask for an explanation.

Cardinal McCarrick’s sexual abuse of a minor and sexual harrassment of adults has been broadly reported.  Here are just a few articles:

Cardinal McCarrick removed from public ministry after sex abuse allegation (CNN)

Cardinal McCarrick, former archbishop, alleged to have sexually abused minor (USA Today)

Cardinal McCarrick’s abuse has been a widely known secret for years (Lifesite News)

Beyond the horror of the abuse of an altar boy, McCarrick was well known for forcing himself on seminarians and young priests, and two settlements were reached adults.  According to Lifesite News:

The cardinal is alleged to have used his position to prey upon young men under his authority — with a penchant for inviting seminarians or young priests to sleep in the same bed with him — and no one willing to speak up, afraid of repercussions from blowing the whistle on the well-connected cardinal.

It is disgraceful and cruel to victims of this abusive behavior that the Boston Pilot would go out of its way to promote the “global impact” of McCarrick’s 60 years of ministry.  Is no one in Braintree concerned about the emotional trauma and negative impact of his sexual abuse and harrassment on the victims McCarrick preyed on?

Someone needs to explain how a decision was made to promote this piece and who didn’t realize how disrespectful and downright stupid it was to email it out to Pilot readers and post a link to it online.  And CNS is equally disrespectful for writing it in the first place.

Take a moment to email the Boston Pilot leadership to let them know you want an explanation for why this happened and how they will ensure it never happens again.  And also, please email Catholic News Service and ask them to take down their piece.

Boston Pilot Editor, Antonio Enrique: aenrique@thebostonpilot.com
Bishop Robert Reed:  bishopreed@rcab.org
CNS Editor, Greg Erlander: cns@catholicnews.com

Keep us posted if you get a response.

 

 

 

 


This Disastrous Papacy (by Phil Lawler)

March 8, 2017

Phil Lawler over at Catholic Culture posted an interesting piece last week, entitled “This Disastrous Papacy.”  We excerpt from it below.  We agree with him, but would simply observe it seems to have taken him a while to realize and report on the extent of the problem:

Something snapped last Friday, when Pope Francis used the day’s Gospel reading as one more opportunity to promote his own view on divorce and remarriage. Condemning hypocrisy and the “logic of casuistry,” the Pontiff said that Jesus rejects the approach of legal scholars.

True enough. But in his rebuke to the Pharisees, what does Jesus say about marriage?

So they are no longer two but one flesh. What therefore God has joined together, let not man put asunder.”

…and…

Whoever divorces his wife and marries another, commits adultery against her; and if she divorces her husband and marries another, she commits adultery.

Day after day, in his homilies at morning Mass in the Vatican’s St. Martha residence, Pope Francis denounces the “doctors of the law” and the “rigid” application of Catholic moral doctrine. Sometimes his interpretation of the day’s Scripture readings is forced; often his characterization of tradition-minded Catholics is insulting. But in this case, the Pope turned the Gospel reading completely upside-down. Reading the Vatican Radio account of that astonishing homily, I could no longer pretend that Pope Francis is merely offering a novel interpretation of Catholic doctrine. No; it is more than that. He is engaged in a deliberate effort to change what the Church teaches.

For over 20 years now, writing daily about the news from the Vatican, I have tried to be honest in my assessment of papal statements and gestures….But has there ever before been a Roman Pontiff who showed such disdain for what the Church has always taught and believed and practiced—on such bedrock issues as the nature of marriage and of the Eucharist?

Pope Francis has sparked controversy from the day he was elected as St. Peter’s successor. But in the past several months the controversy has become so intense, confusion among the faithful so widespread, administration at the Vatican so arbitrary—and the Pope’s diatribes against his (real or imagined) foes so manic—that today the universal Church is rushing toward a crisis.

In a large family, how should a son behave when he realizes that his father’s pathological behavior threatens the welfare of the whole household? He should certainly continue to show respect for his father, but he cannot indefinitely deny the danger. Eventually, a dysfunctional family needs an intervention.

In the worldwide family that is the Catholic Church, the best means of intervention is always prayer. Intense prayer for the Holy Father would be a particularly apt project for the season of Lent. But intervention also requires honesty: a candid recognition that we have a serious problem.

Recognizing the problem can also provide a sort of relief, a relaxation of accumulating tensions. When I tell friends that I consider this papacy a disaster, I notice that more often than not, they feel oddly reassured…

Francis is our Pope, for better or worse. And if it is for worse—as I sadly conclude it is—the Church has survived bad Popes in the past…We have grown accustomed to looking to Rome for guidance. Now we cannot.

But if we cannot count on clear directions from Rome, where can we turn? First, Catholics can rely on the constant teaching of the Church, the doctrines that are now too often called into question. If the Pope is confusing, the Catechism of the Catholic Church is not. Second, we can and should ask our own diocesan bishops to step up and shoulder their own proper responsibilities. Bishops, too, have spent years referring the tough questions to Rome. Now, of necessity, they must provide their own clear, decisive affirmations of Catholic doctrine.

…if I am right, and the current Pope’s leadership has become a danger to the faith, then other Catholics, and especially ordained Church leaders, must decide how to respond. And if I am right—as I surely am—that confusion about fundamental Church teachings has become widespread, then the bishops, as primary teachers of the faith, cannot neglect their duty to intervene.

BCI agrees with the assessment that this papacy is a disaster, and we agree with Phil’s assessment that we will need to put pressure on our diocesan bishops to step and shoulder their proper responsibilities to uphold the constant teachings of the Church.


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