Cardinal O’Malley Should Resign USCCB Pro-life Post for Honoring John Kerry at BC Graduation

May 23, 2014

The decision by Cardinal O’Malley to attend the Monday Boston College Commencement that honored Sec. of State John Kerry defies any logical explanation.  His decision to participate in honoring one of the leading pro-abortion political figures of our time is a baffling contradiction of his decision last year to boycott the commencement that honored Irish Prime Minister Enda Kenny, who supported abortion rights legislation in Ireland.   The decision is so scandalous in its contradiction of the USCCB’s own guidelines and basic moral principles that it appears Cardinal O’Malley has no choice but to resign as Chair of the USCCB’s Pro-life Committee. Here is a photo of Cardinal O’Malley shaking hands with John Kerry.

We all know that USCCB guidelines for Catholics in Political Life say:

The Catholic community and Catholic institutions should not honor those who act in defiance of our fundamental moral principles. They should not be given awards, honors or platforms which would suggest support for their actions.

That was exactly the reason Cardinal O’Malley gave when he boycotted last year:

Since the university has not withdrawn the invitation and because the Taoiseach (prime minister) has not seen fit to decline, I shall not attend the graduation,’’ O’Malley said in a statement released this afternoon. “It is my ardent hope that Boston College will work to redress the confusion, disappointment and harm caused by not adhering to the Bishops’ directives,” he added, referencing the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops instruction that Catholic institutions not honor those whose views are inconsistent with the Church’s teachings.

Continued Cardinal O’Malley’s statement:

The Irish Bishops have responded to that development by affirming the Church’s teaching that  “the deliberate decision to deprive an innocent human being of life is always morally wrong” and expressed serious concern that the proposed legislation “represents a dramatic and morally unacceptable change to Irish law.”

How can Cardinal O’Malley justify boycotting last year for Enda Kenney, but not boycotting this year for John Kerry, who has done far more damage over his political career by acting in defiance of Catholic moral principles? In case Cardinal O’Malley needs a reminder of Kerry’s background, here is one from the Catholic Action League of MA:

Secretary Kerry is a supporter of legal abortion, the public funding of abortion, partial birth abortion, abortions at military hospitals and buffer zones limiting free speech around abortion clinics. He has also endorsed contraception, cloning, embryonic stem cell research, physician assisted suicide, same gender marriage, federal gay rights legislation, the distribution of condoms to minors, family planning programs as part of U.S. foreign aid, and taxpayer financing of both Planned Parenthood and the U. N. Fund for Population Activities.

As a U.S. Senator, Kerry received a 100% rating from NARAL Pro-Choice America. As a presidential candidate in 2004, Kerry was endorsed by the Planned Parenthood Action Fund, and promised, if elected, to appoint only those jurists who agree with Roe v. Wade to the U.S. Supreme Court, effectively disenfranchising believing Catholics from high judicial office.

More disturbing however, was Kerry’s August, 2003 attack on Pope, now Saint John Paul II in the pages of the Boston Herald. Kerry accused the recently canonized pontiff of “crossing the line,” of violating the American separation of church and state because of a Vatican exhortation to Catholic political leaders to oppose same gender marriage.

“Nothing in Kenny’s position on abortion begins to remotely compare however with John Kerry’s 30 year, wide ranging, career long, lockstep support for Planned Parenthood and NARAL.”

There are only a few possible explanations for Cardinal O’Malley attending the commencement this year:

  • He is intentionally trying to corrupt the Catholic Church from within.
  • His advisors are corrupted and pressuring him to do things he knows he should not do (and in fact has not done in the past)
  • He is allowing money or some other forces to influence his decisions

Any of these three choices are BAD.  Cardinal O’Malley has no moral authority to lead the Pro-Life Committee of the USCCB when he refuses to uphold their most basic guidelines himself.  Furthermore, the time has now come for him to declare that Boston College may no longer call themselves Catholic.

Readers should send an email to the U.S Papal Nuncio, Archbishop Carlo Maria Viganò <> and respectfully ask him to intervene in this situation to request that Cardinal O’Malley both apologize to faithful Catholics in Boston for his mistake and to also resign as Chair of the USCCB Pro-Life Committee. You can also call the Nuncio on Tuesday at (202)333-7121.

Cardinal O’Connell’s Great-Nephew Comments on Relocation of Tomb

August 8, 2011

If you have not yet read our post from Sunday, Diocesan Demolition: Correction and Updates, do check that out before reading our post for today.

BCI received a message on Saturday from Edward Kirk, great nephew of the late William Cardinal O’Connell, that we are pleased to republish with his permission below.  Ed Kirk is a lawyer and has been a party to the lawsuit over the relocation of the remains of the late Cardinal.  For your reference, he has been quoted in these articles, among others:

Over His Dead Body (June 2008)
“BC, the owner, has not informed us, the family, about the reason why they would want him removed,” says O’Connell’s great-nephew, Edward Kirk. “We didn’t see any real reason why he couldn’t stay where he is.”

Church seeks to move body of O’Connell (September 19, 2009)
“…attorney Edward W. Kirk, has been the leading opponent of moving the body of the late cardinal. In a brief interview yesterday, Edward Kirk would say only that “we want to explore every opportunity for a satisfactory resolution of this by agreement.’’

Boston in Uproar Over Cardinal O’Connell’s Body (December 5, 2009)
“Here you have a man whose connection to both of those institutions is intimate and intricate, and yet here those two parties are suing his family for his removal,” Edward Kirk said.  “It is very strange and it’s most unfortunate that it had to come to this.”

For cardinal, a new final resting place  (July 28, 2011)
Lawyer Edward Kirk, a relative of the late cardinal and a party to the lawsuit, confirmed that the dispute had ended with an amicable agreement. “He had wanted to remain in close proximity to the seminary,’’ said Kirk, speaking of his distant uncle. “When the day comes, and if our paths are ever to cross, I hope he’ll be happy for what we did for him.’’

Without further ado, here is the message from Edward Kirk:

From: edward kirk
Date: Sat, August 6, 2011
Subject: [Boston Catholic Insider] Contact Us

Dear Insider,

I can clarify some of the issues surrounding the reinterment of my grand uncle, Wm. Cardinal O’Connell:

1. It was our specific request that the Chapel be removed, once we agreed that his remains could be removed and reintered in the Courtyard.

2. The photos of the Chapel as it once appeared, are not an accurate representation of the condition of the Chapel over the last several years. The Chapel itself and the Burial Lot on which it was located had been long neglected and disrespected.

3. In the event that the St. John’s Hall were to be sold to Boston College, the new burial lot will remain and the RCAB and/or BC have agreed to maintain it.

4. There was only one Sulpician buried on the Seminary grounds when then Archbishop O’Connell requested the “resignations” of the Sulpicians as faculty and  installed priests of the diocese as the faculty of St. John’s. The “Lone Sulpician” remained at rest until Cardinal O’Connell commenced construction of a series of buildings several years later, and the remains of that former faculty member was transported back to the Sulpician headquaters with the agreement of all concerned parties. The oft repeated myth that the Cardinal ordered a mass exhumation is not true.

5. The myth that the Cardinal’s casket was encased in yards of cement in order to prevent his disinterment is also untrue.

6. Both Boston College and the RCAB, and their attorneys and personnel were most cooperative and respectful of the concerns of the Cardinal’s family once we had an opportunity to engage in practical dialogue.

7. The contribution of Bishop Arthur Kennedy, (the current rector of the Seminary) to the process was essential to a satisfactory conclusion.

Ed Kirk

BCI had a brief email exchange with attorney Kirk, and he passed along one more piece of information:

“We fully understood the new gravesite would be ‘unmarked’ for a short period of time, until the new burial vault and the earth over the vault had settled sufficiently to accommodate the 4 x 6 engraved stone marker, posts and chain railing which will be installed to set the Burial Lot apart.The finishing touches around the burial lot, and the engraved stone marker which will be placed on the grave site will be very dignified and fitting for a man of  WHO’C’s accomplishments. We are more than satisfied with the final result.”

So there you have it.  BCI has said all we have to say–at least for now–on this topic and has nothing more to add at this point beyond what attorney Kirk has just communicated.

Diocesan Demolition: Tomb of Cardinal O’Connell

August 2, 2011

UPDATE: This post has been updated as of 9pm on August 3 to reflect new information.

BCI has been writing about the moral, ethical, and fiscal demolition of the Boston Archdiocese and squandering of patrimony for more than a year now.  For those who find it difficult to believe that all of the astonishing things we write about at BCI are really happening–and they are– we offer today an unexpected continuation of our series on the relocation of the remains of the late Cardinal O’Connell by showing you a few pictures of the physical demolition of the Chapel of the Blessed Virgin Mary.

To be fair, the land is owned by Boston College and BCI was not sure of exactly who retained and managed the demolition crew when we first wrote this post. (Wednesday evening, a commenter said that in fact it was the RCAB who hired the demolition team).

Here, once again, is a photo of the chapel before the demolition, and then several pictures sent to us yesterday by “Brighton Neighbor” from during and after the demolition.

Below are pictures of the site after the chapel was demolished.
War zone?
Even though the staffs on the statues of the angels were damaged before the demolition, BCI is appalled at the clear evidence of disrespect shown for these sacred statues and objects by those responsible for removing the chapel. How can faithful Catholics be asked to trust our Catholic leaders? Were there no other efforts possible and practical to preserve these statues and the cross, so that perhaps they could have been used at the new burial location or elsewhere?  Fr. Leahy at Boston College and the leaders at the Archdiocese of Boston (to the extent they were involved in this) owe an explanation to the faithful for why they allowed this to happen, what the consequences will be, and what steps are being taken to ensure that all sacred objects from religious buildings that are no longer kept open are preserved for use elsewhere and treated with the appropriate degree of respect.

Misreporting Moving of Tomb

July 30, 2011

By now, people who read the Boston Globe or The Boston Pilot know that the tomb of the late Cardinal William O’Connell was moved last week.  What most people reading these stories do not know is that there was a key detail published in both stories that was not exactly accurate, fed by a deceptive statement by the archdiocese.  BCI is always amazed at how the archdiocese spins things, and how the mainstream media often fails to fact-check this stuff.

First, an excerpt from the Boston Globe report:

Nearly 70 years after O’Connell’s death, his remains were quietly moved a short distance last week from a crypt beneath a small chapel in Brighton to a courtyard at St. John’s Seminary, ending an unusual court fight over what to do with the bones of one of the most influential Roman Catholic leaders in the city’s history.

The seven-year dispute pitted the Roman Catholic Archdiocese of Boston and Boston College against the living relatives of the late cardinal. The church and BC wanted to relocate O’Connell’s remains from land the school bought from the archdiocese in 2004 so that the college could redevelop the property.

But the cardinal’s relatives were determined to defend the wishes of their famous ancestor. O’Connell, they said, had clearly chosen the place of his own tomb, a little building on a hill to remind young seminarians to pray for an old cardinal’s soul.

Now, the cardinal’s remains are even closer to the seminary.

“In accordance with an agreement reached with the late cardinal’s next of kin and in keeping with the wishes expressed in his last will and testament, his remains have been re-interred on the grounds of St John’s Seminary with prayers performed . . . by Bishop Arthur Kennedy, rector of St. John’s Seminary,’’ the archdiocese said in a statement yesterday.

The deception is in the last statement in the passage BCI has marked in bold.  If you have not figured it out yet, read on.

By the way, below is a picture of the chapel and mausoleum that used to be there serving as the burial location for the late Cardinal.  

The structure has now been demolished.

The Boston Pilot reported the following:

BRIGHTON — The remains of the late Cardinal William O’Connell, who was Archbishop of Boston from 1907 to 1944, have been moved from from a vault in a chapel on Boston College grounds in Brighton to a new burial location at St. John’s Seminary also in Brighton.

The reinterment marks the end of a contentious process that started in 2004, when BC purchased from the archdiocese much of the grounds of the former chancery in Brighton including, the chapel that served as burial place for Cardinal O’Connell. The archdiocese used much of the proceeds of the sales to pay for settlements related to the sexual abuse of minors by clergy.

At the time of the sale in 2004, the archdiocese agreed with BC to relocate the cardinal’s remains to a new location. In the agreement, BC retained $2 million from the sale pending the completion of the removal of the remains from their grounds.

In a statement to The Pilot released July 27, Donilon confirmed the move of the remains and explained that an agreement was reached with the cardinal’s heirs.

“In accordance with an agreement reached with the late Cardinal’s next of kin, and in keeping with the wishes expressed in his last will and testament, his remains have been reinterred on the grounds of St John’s Seminary with prayers offered by Bishop Arthur Kennedy, Rector of St. John’s Seminary.”

Cardinal O’Connell moved the archdiocese’s headquarters from Boston to the Brighton campus. He had repeatedly stated his wishes to be buried on the Brighton site. He was buried in a concrete vault beneath the marble floor at the foot of the altar in the Chapel of the Blessed Virgin Mary, constructed in 1928.

In 2009, BC won city approval to develop the former archdiocesan chancery grounds where the chapel is located as the school’s Brighton campus.

“Out of respect for the late cardinal, we do not think that it would be appropriate to have a gravesite on a college campus, especially on a site in close proximity to a proposed parking facility,” BC spokesman Jack Dunn told the Pilot in 2009.

Once again, note the passages in bold.  Anyone see the deception yet?

The deception is that the statement from the archdiocese and comment from the BC spokesman pretend that St. John’s Seminary actually has “grounds”  of its own. The reality is that there are no “grounds” of the seminary any more–those grounds were sold off and are all owned by Boston College, not St. John’s Seminary any more.

Last October, we reported in “Seminary Squeezola: BC Brighton Campus Plans”  that  St. Johns Hall is all that remains of the former St. Johns Seminary property for the seminary, and even that building sits on land now owned by Boston College.  The building itself is legally considered a “condominium.”  You can verify that in the St. Johns Seminary 2010 annual report on page 9, where it says: “The Seminary retained an ownership of a condominium in St. John’s Hall.”

Bottom line: there are in reality no more “grounds of St. John’s Seminary.”  BC owns all the land. Thus, the remains of Cardinal O’Connell were moved from the former chapel and mauselium that was on land currently owned by BC, to another plot of land that is also owned by BC, which is very close to St. John’s Seminary. Cardinal O’Connell was re-buried in a gravesite which is today legally Boston College property, not the “grounds of St. John’s Seminary.”

That is the reality, but BCI figures that would not have sounded so good in probate court or in the press statement.  What do you think?

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