Cardinal O’Malley Says He Favors Recognition for Gay “Married” Couples

October 11, 2014

Amidst the backdrop of the circus of a Synod going on in the Vatican–where some of the highest ranking officials in the Catholic Church hierarchy are skating around Christ’s teachings on marriage and flagrantly ignoring the admonition of St. Paul to the Romans, “Do not conform yourselves to this age”–comments by Cardinal O’Malley to a staffer from New Ways Ministry about recognition for gay “married” couples after the recent Crux event in Boston merit a response and correction.

In this post, we mentioned how Cardinal O’Malley failed to articulate Catholic teachings in response to a question during the event about the firing of “gay Catholics” from Catholic institutions.  But it got worse after the event when the New Ways Ministry staffer asked Cardinal O’Malley a follow-up question. Here is how it was reported by the National Catholic Reporter and New Ways Ministry (an organization that pushes the GLBT agenda):

Boston’s Cardinal O’Malley: LGBT Church Worker Firings “Need to be Rectified”

In a one-to-one conversation following a public speaking engagement, Boston’s Cardinal Sean O’Malley said that the firing of church workers because of LGBT issues is a situation that “needs to be rectified,” becoming the first prelate to speak against this trend.

Earlier in the evening, the cardinal publicly spoke positively of the need to include and minister to the LGBT community…

At the end of the event, after the crowd had dissipated, I had the opportunity to thank Cardinal O’Malley one-on-one for his compassionate remarks earlier about the LGBT community.

As we spoke, the cardinal told me that we must first convince people we love them before talking about the Ten Commandments. I pointed out that it has been hard to convince LGBT Catholics and their allies of this love when so many church workers have had LGBT-related employ-ment disputes with Catholic schools and parishes. Responding to my comment, Cardinal O’Malley said this trend was a situation that “needs to be rectified.”

O’Malley also indicated that not all church positions require a Catholic marriage.  Most of the employment disputes involved same-sex couples legally marrying, announcing an intention to marry, or publicly acknowledging a long-term committed relationship.

Earlier, in a period when panelists answered audience questions, Cardinal O’Malley answered a question which I had submitted:

Given Pope Francis’ emphasis on mercy and welcome, can we expect improved pastoral care and inclusion for those who are LGBT, especially when almost 20 US church workers have been fired in 2014 for their sexual orientation, gender, or marital status?

The cardinal’s answer is below:

“I think the Holy Father’s notion of mercy and inclusion is going to make a big difference in the way that the church responds to and ministers to people of homosexual orientation…It is not necessarily that the church is going to change doctrine, but, as somebody said, the Holy Father hasn’t changed the lyrics, but he’s changed the melody. I think the context of love and mercy and community is the context in which all of the church’s teachings must be presented, including the more difficult ones.”

O’Malley himself was considered to be a papal candidate before Francis’ election, and one resigned Catholic priest listed Boston’s cardinal as the most gay-friendly of the candidates.

What struck me most last Thursday was the cardinal’s willing admission that terminating church workers due to their sexual orientation or marital status is indeed problematic..I hope Cardinal O’Malley will use his prominent position to help end situations where LGBT and ally church workers face discrimination and exclusion….Cardinal O’Malley is the first bishop to acknowledge that these employment actions are a problem.  Let’s hope and pray that he will not be the last.

First off, if you change the melody, you change the song, so that argument is simply bogus. And it is fine to approach people with love and then preach the truth, but the impact of what Cardinal O’Malley is proposing here is scandalous. If the person in a “gay marriage” working for the Catholic Church does not end their irregular, disordered relationship when presented with the truth, there is only one possible consequence of “rectifying” the situation of their termination–leaving a “gay married” employee in their position in the Catholic Church and thereby giving tacit and direct recognition of the legitimacy of that “gay marriage.”

In December of 2005, Pope Benedict XVI blasted “dismal theories” on gays, saying that granting legal recognition to unwed couples was a threat to traditional marriage, which required a higher level of commitment. But he saved his strongest words for those who suggest gay couples should be put on the same level as a husband and wife.

“This tacitly accredits those dismal theories that strip all relevance from the masculinity and femininity of the human being as though it were a purely biological issue….Theories “according to which man should be able to decide autonomously what he is and what he isn’t,” end up with mankind destroying its own identity.

Cardinal O’Malley, that’s you–proposing to “rectify” a problem with a solution that would recognize and legitimize gay couples by putting them on the same level as a husband and wife, rather than preaching the truth to the gay couple and getting them help to solve the problem of their gravely sinful and disordered relationship.

The 7 spiritual acts of mercy call for nothing less than preaching the truth:

  • To instruct the ignorant;
  • To counsel the doubtful;
  • To admonish sinners;
  • To bear wrongs patiently;
  • To forgive offences willingly;
  • To comfort the afflicted;
  • To pray for the living and the dead.

We are still waiting for you to preach the truth in-season and out-of-season as you said should be done back in 2005, when you said we must call people to embrace the cross of discipleship, live the commandments, and communicate “Because we love you, we cannot accept your behavior.

The ever-courageous Cardinal Burke made comments on a similar topic this week in response to a presentation at the Synod that talked about parents welcoming their and his homosexual partner for a family gathering with grandchildren:

“If homosexual relations are intrinsically disordered, which indeed they are — reason teaches us that and also our faith — then, what would it mean to grandchildren to have present at a family gathering a family member who is living [in] a disordered relationship with another person?” Burke added, “we don’t want our children” to get the “impression” that sexual relationships outside God’s plan are alright, “by seeming to condone gravely sinful acts..which are always and everywhere wrong, evil.”

Cardinal O’Malley, you have a black and white choice.  Love and compassion requires speaking the truth. Will you preach the truth in-season and out-of-season that people must embrace the cross of discipleship and live the commandments, and that sinful behavior is unacceptable, or will you propose a different melody and give the message to all in society that sexual relationships outside of God’s plan are just fine? We hope and pray it’s the former rather than the latter.


Cardinal O’Malley: housing illegals more important than protecting unborn

July 19, 2014

Cardinal Sean O’Malley appeared with liberal Democratic Gov. Deval Patrick on Friday to voice support for Patrick’s proposal to house illegal immigrants and offer Catholic social service assistance for illegals, while the Cardinal said nothing all week about a heinous law advancing in the Mass legislature to penalize those who try to prevent women from aborting their children. In our opinion, the Cardinal is yet more clearly showing his stripes as being a tool of the liberal Democratic pro-abortion establishment, and a hypocrite when it comes to protection of life.

On June 27,  Cardinal O’Malley came out in support of the Supreme Court decision that unanimously struck down the previous Massachusetts abortion clinic buffer zone law as unconstitutional. Never had Cardinal O’Malley been seen praying in front of an abortion clinic, but still, his statement was welcome and appreciated when he said that pro-life Americans who “peacefully pray for and offer alternatives to pregnant women approaching abortion clinics” have the same constitutional protections as anyone else  “This discriminatory law barred these citizens from gathering on nearby public sidewalks, while exempting ‘clinic escorts’ trained to expedite women into (abortion clinics),” he said. “Clearly this was an attack on pro-life Americans’ freedom of speech, and we welcome the Court’s decision to overturn the law.”

That was June 27.  Then this week, the Mass Legislature introduced legislation that is far worse for pro-lifers than the previous law struck down by the Supreme Court. Details of the legislation are posted here by MassResistance:

  1. Creates a new “buffer zone.” The bill creates a 25-foot buffer zone substantially similar to the one which the US Supreme Court recently struck down.
  2. Has a “Dispersal” clause. The bill allows police to define any two or more people standing near an abortion clinic as a “gathering.” Any law enforcement official may arbitrarily decide that this “gathering” is in some way impeding access, and may order them to “disperse” and to stay outside of the buffer zone for at least eight hours. This can be done with no legal hearing or due process, threatening them withunusually severe penalties of arrest, prosecution, criminal fines, and jail time for not complying. In addition, a court can later impose civil fines, large punitive damages, attorney’s fees and “expert witness fees”. [First time who “impede a person’s access to or departure from a reproductive health care facility with the intent to interfere with that person’s ability to provide, support the provision of or obtain services at the reproductive health care facility” face a fine of $1,000 or six months in jail]
  3. Harsher punishments for one group over another. The bill places unusually high punishments for anyone threatening, intimidating, assaulting, blocking, or otherwise impeding people entering or leaving abortion clinics. But these high punishments do not apply to people entering or leaving the clinics (or anyone else) who are perpetrators of assaults of intimidation against pro-life advocates.

A hearing was held on Wednesday, and the measure quickly passed the Mass Senate. What did Cardinal O’Malley say or do about this publicly? Nothing. On short notice, Mass Citizens for Life had erected billboards and asked people to call legislators and to attend and speak at the hearing. Other organizations including FRC and MassResistance rallied pro-lifers.  What did O’Malley, the Mass Catholic Conference and Massachusetts bishops do? Nothing. Nada. Zero. Zip. The last legislative alert sent out by the do-nothing MCC was six months ago. It is truly pathetic.  It is clear that the Cardinal’s rhetoric of June 27 was empty, and Cardinal O’Malley simply does not care about this issue–or whether pro-lifers wanting to help prevent women from taking the lives of their unborn children are fine, arrested or jailed.

Instead, O’Malley cares more about the photo opp and chance to get federal or state funding to have Catholic Charities help with housing illegal immigrants.  He also basically lied at the Friday press conference about the reasons for the illegal immigration border crisis.

Here’s the photo and Boston Herald article. Cardinal O’Malley said the Catholic church has long assisted “immigrants and refugees often fleeing from danger.” “We are willing to enter a collaborative relationship with the government to met this urgent need,” O’Malley said. “We do not have church facilities that are appropriate but we do have social service agencies in the Archdiocese with skilled resources to provide programs of assistance and support within a framework of a larger state and federal program.”

Cardinal O’Malley, please don’t lie to us. A new intelligence assessment concludes that misperceptions about U.S. immigration policy – and not Central American violence – are fueling the surge of thousands of children illegally crossing the Mexican border. Here are more details:

The 10-page July 7 report was issued by the El Paso Intelligence Center (EPIC), which according to the Justice Department website is led by the DEA and incorporates Homeland Security. Its focus is on the collection and distribution of tactical intelligence, information which can immediately be acted on by law enforcement.

“Of the 230 migrants interviewed, 219 cited the primary reason for migrating to the United States was the perception of U.S. immigration laws granting free passes or permisos to UAC (unaccompanied children) and adult females OTMs (other than Mexicans) traveling with minors,” the report said.

Cardinal O’Malley took the time to appear with Gov. Deval Patrick to voice support for housing illegals in Massachusetts in the same week where he did not take even a moment to voice opposition to the heinous bill moving swiftly through the Mass Legislature that will penalize pro-lifers for the “crime” of trying to prevent women from aborting their babies. The Boston Pilot had an article about the situation on Friday, but there was no quote or statement from O’Malley.

We hope and pray he changes his mind over the weekend and mobilizes the Catholic bishops, Mass Catholic Conference and laity to contact House Reps and the Governor and try to still stop this evil measure from passing.


Newsflash: Supreme Court Rules in Favor of Religious Freedom for Hobby Lobby

June 30, 2014

The Supreme Court ruled 5-4 this morning that closely held corporations with religious objections to the “contraception mandate” in President Obama’s health-care law cannot be forced to offer birth control coverage.  The answer to our prayers!

Here are a few articles with additional details:

http://www.usatoday.com/story/news/politics/2014/06/30/supreme-court-hobby-lobby-religion-contraception-obama/11473189/

http://www.nbcnews.com/news/us-news/supreme-court-rules-some-employers-dont-have-cover-birth-control-n144321

Major kudos to Hobby Lobby for pressing this issue to the Supreme Court!

The courage and persistence demonstrated by Hobby Lobby stands in sharp contrast to the tenacity Cardinal O’Malley has voiced publicly on this same issue.  In May of this year, he was quoted as saying the contraception mandate “violated God’s law”, yet when pressed whether Americans should obey it, he hedged, back-pedaled and said it’s up to each person’s conscience.  Using language that sounded straight from the mouth of Fr. Bryan Hehir, here is what he said:

CNSNews.com asked: “As an unjust law, should Americans obey it?”

Cardinal O’Malley said: “This is a very complicated issue and it’s something that the church is struggling with right now, and trying to come up with a moral analysis in order to be able to allow people to form their consciences and to go forward.”

He also said the question of whether Catholic politicians could vote for a bill that funded implementation of the regulation was “complicated.”

CNSNews.com asked: “If Congress brings up a government-funding bill that funds implementation of the HHS regulation, and permits the administration to force people to buy coverage for abortion-inducing drugs, can a Catholic member of Congress vote for that bill?”

The cardinal said: “Well, Catholics must always take into account their own faith and their conscience. What we’re asking people to do is to look at the whole consequences of these. It’s a complicated issue because the Church does want people to have health insurance.

This quote is yet another example of Cardinal O’Malley, the pro-life hypocrite. in 2011, he preached to his fellow bishops during their ad liminia visit to Rome about the need for them to have courage:

Peter’s love for the Lord brought him to Rome, the cardinal said, but — according to legend — as persecution grew Peter decided to flee again. Leaving the city, he saw the risen Lord and asked him, “Quo vadis?” (“Where are you going?”), and Jesus replied he was going to Rome to be crucified again. Peter renewed his faith and returned to the city where he met a martyr’s death.

“Each of us has gone through a ‘quo vadis’ moment or two in our vocation as bishops,” the cardinal said. “Hopefully, our being together at the tomb of Peter and close to Benedict will renew us in our generosity, courage and faith in following Jesus up close so that we can say with all our hearts what Peter said, ‘Lord you know all things. You know that I love you.’”

At that time, we said, “if we bring this back to Boston for a moment, it is impossible to not observe that the words of Cardinal O’Malley in Rome are not particularly well matched to his actual actions and leadership over recent years. We cited a number of examples of when our Cardinal Archbishop “fled” or not demonstrated courage….It is good that the Cardinal is praying for more courage, and we would urge readers to join with him in that prayer!  At the same time, it is not clear to us if he understands and acknowledges his actions have often not been matched with his words and where he has fallen short so he can do better in the future.”  We urge Cardinal O’Malley to re-read his preaching from 2011, and we urge Catholics to continue to pray for him to have the same level of courage in his actions that he preaches about in his words.  In other words, we pray that he finds the courage  to walk the talk.

Deception at Boston Marathon Bombing Interfaith Service?

April 22, 2013

In follow-up of our last post , Cardinal O’Malley Hosting Obama at Cathedral for Interfaith Prayer Service, and the 100+ public and private email comments it generated at BCI and at this Catholic forum, BCI has been prayerfully reconsidering that last post.  Some long-time readers and BCI supporters strongly disagreed with the post, and some were in agreement.  Even with the two bombing suspects no longer at large, many people are still feeling pain.  Should we blog even once more about the interfaith service?  We thought not, but something happened there that we feel needs to be reported, and we have some open questions from last post. The possibility of national deception by one of the speakers should not be overlooked.

First, just to clarify our perspective at BCI, we said multiple times that prayers were needed and we agree 100% with readers who said in the wake of the senseless evil bombing at the Marathon, Boston needed a strong spiritual moment. We still need prayers and to pray. The interfaith service on Thursday at the Cathedral of the Holy Cross appeared to have provided a strong spiritual moment to promote healing for the victims and the city.  Many churches have celebrated Masses or prayer programs/vigils in the days following the bombing and through the weekend.  In our opinion, it is a very good thing that the Catholic Church has been involved, and remains involved, in marking this tragedy in various ways and extending love and prayer for the community.

With that said, if you want to feel good about the interfaith service, we suggest that you stop reading here.  The questions of deception and scandal come next.

As reported in the Boston Globe and other publications, one of the speakers on Thursday, Nasser Weddady, director of civil rights outreach for the American Islamic Congress, read a verse from the Koran, from Surat Al-Maida verse 32, that he said brought him comfort in the past and may bring comfort today. Here is the exact text from his talk and passage he cited: “Whoever kills a soul, it is as if he killed mankind entirely, and whoever saves a life, it is as if he saved all of mankind.”

The problem is, the Quran does not exactly say this. And what it does say instead is rather troubling when you look closely–there is an exception and justification for murder that the speaker conveniently left out.  BCI merely Googled Surah 5:32. Here is one translation:

On that account: We ordained for the Children of Israel that if any one slew a person – unless it be for murder or for spreading mischief in the land – it would be as if he slew the whole people: and if any one saved a life, it would be as if he saved the life of the whole people.

Here is an explanation from WikiIslam:

This verse  is one of the most often-quoted verses purportedly taken from the Qur’an, thus proving the incompatibility of Islam with all forms of terrorism.

This verse has become so popular among Islam’s apologists that the President of the United States, Barack Obama, even quotes it in his speech delivered at Cairo University in June 4, 2009. Visiting the countless pro-Islamic websites, forums and blogs on the net, you are almost guaranteed to be confronted with this verse.

But try as you might, you will not find it in a Qur’an. The reason for this is quite simple: the verse in question does not exist.

What you are actually presented with by Muslims is a distorted, out-of-context paraphrasing of the following verse:

On that account: We ordained for the Children of Israel that if anyone slew a person – unless it be in retaliation for murder or for spreading mischief in the land – it would be as if he slew all mankind: and if anyone saved a life, it would be as if he saved the life of all humanity.  Qur’an 5:32

Analysis of Verse 5:32 from WikiIslam

Firstly, this verse is written in past tense (Ordained, not Ordain) and does not apply to Muslims but to “the Children of Israel” i.e. the Jews who, according to Islam, received an earlier set of scriptures.

Secondly, when the clause which allows killing is reinserted and we read it in context with the following two verses directed at Muslims (notice the reference to Allah’s messenger and the switch to present tense), what first appeared on the surface to be a peaceful message, is in actual fact a chilling warning to non-believers:

The punishment of those who wage war against Allah and His Messenger, and strive with might and main for mischief through the land is: execution, or crucifixion, or the cutting off of hands and feet from opposite sides, or exile from the land: that is their disgrace in this world, and a heavy punishment is theirs in the Hereafter; Except for those who repent before they fall into your power: in that case, know that Allah is Oft-forgiving, Most Merciful.
Qur’an 5:33-34

Even if one allows that WikiIslam is a site critical of Islam, a rebuttal of that criticism at the site Islamic Life is still concerning. Here is how they explain what qualifies as “mischief through the land”:

In Surah Al-Qasas Allah has said that Fir’awn made mischief in the land. He oppressed the people and made life difficult for them, and he divided them into sections and groups. One of them he harassed very much.
BCI is not expert at Islam, so we could use some help from an Islam expert. Does this appear to say, if a person or entity does not accept Islam and “makes mischief” (along the lines of the above), it is permissible in Islam for them to be murdered or have their hands and feet cut off?  The passage from the Koran was offered as a source of comfort from the pulpit at the Cathedral of the Holy Cross in the aftermath of the bombing that claimed innocent lives and left people with limbs gone. A more careful study of the passage suggests that instead, the passage could be condoning or calling for violence.
How does that make you feel about the Thursday service?
Beyond that, we also learn from this report that the imam of a mosque managed by the Muslim Brotherhood-founded Muslim American Society (MAS) was initially invited to speak at Thursday’s interfaith service,  but that invitation was later rescinded by Massachusetts Governor Deval Patrick’s office:

The Islamic Society of Boston Cultural Center’s (ISBCC) Imam Suhaib Webb, according to a series of Twitter posts, was replaced as the representative of Boston’s Muslim community at the service—whose keynote speaker was President Barack Obama—in favor of Nasser Wedaddy.Webb posted on his Twitter account Thursday, “Sorry, Muhammad Wedaddy from the American Islamic Congress will represent Boston Muslims.” Asked by another Twitter user who Wedaddy was, Webb wrote, “No idea. I was informed last night at 9pm that he was replacing me? lets focus on the service.” Webb later tweeted, “I was told the governor’s office made the call.”

MAS-affiliated Web sites “have featured articles advocating jihad and suicide martyrdom.” ADL also cites individuals involved with MAS including radical Muslim Brotherhood spiritual leader and terrorism supporter Yusuf al-Qaradawi, who is the chairman of Islamic American University, an MAS subsidiary in Michigan, and the Islamic Society of Boston’s founding president Abdurahman Alamoudi, who is “serving a 23-year prison sentence for illegal dealings with Libya and his involvement in a plot to assassinate Saudi Crown Prince Abdullah.”

Does the above raise enough questions?

We could stop there, but we return to a topic and questions raised in the comments on our last post: Exactly how far should Catholics go in welcoming certain individuals to speak from the pulpit in a Catholic Church, even if it is outside the Holy Sacrifice of the Mass? This is an edited version of our response to comments by “Attaboy:

  • Would someone who overtly called for murder of innocent people, or was affiliated with groups who supported the murder of innocent people be permitted to speak in a Catholic Church?
  • In the 1940s, would a rabbi have been expected to welcome a figure such as Adolf Hitler into a temple, out of respect for the office of chancellor of Germany?
  • If a featured speaker on Thursday was complicit in, supportive of, or actively involved in the systematic, state-sponsored persecution and murder of six million Jews by the Nazi regime, would they be have been welcome to speak at the interfaith service at the Cathedral?
  • If a featured speaker was complicit in or supportive of the systematic dismemberment and brutal murder of 5 million young children in the past 4 years alone, would they have been allowed to speak at the interfaith service?
  • What if the person openly and proudly supported the sexual abuse of minors?
  • What if the person proudly supported the Rwandan genocide in 1994 when more than 500,000 people were killed in 100 days?
  • What is the person was driving moves that will require Catholics to act against our faith and morals, as described in this piece from CNS?

No doubt, good was done by people coming together in prayer as a community. But, specifically what sort of actions by a political leader would cause you (Attaboy), rank-and-file Catholics, or Cardinal O’Malley to conclude the person should not be a featured speaker at any Catholic Church or Catholic program? Exactly how bad must they be where we all say, “NO”?

Questions still remain for BCI with regard to the interfaith service. More importantly, we all have questions about the senseless evil of the bombing. In the absence of answers and amidst the pain of this tragedy, we pray that God bring hope and healing to all affected by the Boston Marathon bombing.


Does Boston Archdiocese have a “gay network” of clergy too?

February 26, 2013

Today, we learned that the Cardinal O’Brien of Scotland resigned in the wake of charges he made “inappropriate” sexual advances to four men.  In the past week, most people have probably read media reports about a secret dossier claiming there is a ‘gay network’ inside the Vatican. There is speculation–denied by the Vatican–that this news contributed to the resignation of the Pope.

The drumbeat of these troubling reports from across the Atlantic has prompted BCI to tackle two topics that we have avoided for nearly the past 3 years. They are:

i) Does the Boston Archdiocese have a “gay network” of clergy
ii) Why and how is the gay agenda being advanced within the Boston Archdiocese in parishes and Catholic schools  with tacit approval by Cardinal O’Malley?

We start our coverage on this topic by publishing in its entirety a document titled,”Crisis and Reform in Boston.” What you are about to read was apparently written between the time when Cardinal Bernard Law resigned (December 2002) and when Bishop Sean O’Malley was appointed Archbishop of Boston (July 2003).  We do not know who wrote it or who has seen it.  We posted excerpts in January 2011 (“Musings on the Future of the Boston Archdiocese: Episcopal Leadership“) and in August 2011 (“Episcopal Leadership“).

Much of what was described in the document written about ten years ago still seems to apply today.  It describes the clerical “black wall”, behind which some priests have surrendered completely to the pagan culture of “gay” identity and behavior. It also describes the author’s view of a “perfect Archbishop of Boston” which also could be criteria for the “perfect next Pope.” We were especially struck by the passage about the archbishop needing to “be the pastor of the pastors”  and by the very last sentence: “he must be a passionately effective evangelist because he is first a thoroughly converted disciple of Jesus Christ.”

Crisis and Reform in Boston
(written late December 2002 or winter/spring 2003)

The next Archbishop of Boston will find his particular Church in the midst of a grave crisis of faith and discipline. The public scandals which led to the resignation of Bernard Cardinal Law point to deep and longstanding problems among the priests and people of the Archdiocese, and the nature and magnitude of these problems should be considered in selecting the new pastor of a profoundly troubled Church.

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.

Clerical Heterodoxy

Widespread rejection by priests of the Church’s teachings on human sexuality, marriage, chastity, birth control, abortion, and homosexuality has not been effectively challenged in Boston, and a culture of “faithful dissent” has taken deep root in the presbyterate. Priests who are no longer in full communion with the Church by reason of their refusal to believe doctrines that must be held (either de fide credenda or de fide tenenda) are nonetheless still holding ecclesiastical offices in which they are charged to teach, sanctify, and govern some portion of the flock. The fact that heterodox priests are not publicly corrected or disciplined encourages more priests to embrace false teaching.

Irish Tribal Clericalism

One under-reported dimension of the scandals of 2002 is the ersatz clericalism found among priests of Irish ancestry. With very few exceptions, both the priests accused of sexual crimes and the bishops who protected them from legal action were all of Irish descent. The instinct to protect members of one’s own “tribe”, no matter what the offense, is a common feature of embattled ethnic minorities, and the effects of this culture in the Archdiocese of Boston cannot be underestimated.

Clerical Mendacity

To protect themselves from accountability for all of the above and other forms of misconduct, many priests habitually lie about almost every part of their lives. The mendacity is then excused with vague incantations about “mental reservation” and “internal forum”, and a vicious cycle is established: unchastity leads to mendacity, and mendacity leads to more unchastity. It should surprise no one that in this poisoned environment prayer ceases, faith collapses, and every form of sinful self-indulgence finds a home. The result is men in the pastoral office who no longer seek to follow the Lord Jesus in the Way of the Cross.

Intellectual Dishonesty

The aberrant behaviors and beliefs described above are not secret. The movement called “Voice of the Faithful” has given a public face to what has existed for at least 35 years: stubborn and organized refusal to believe what the Church teaches about human sexuality. This heterodoxy, however, is described by its proponents in one way or another as “faithful dissent” i.e., something a Catholic can embrace without in any way damaging his communion with the Church. There are many engines of this dissent, but the Jesuits and theology faculty of Boston College must be ranked among the chief architects of this intellectual dishonesty. They must be challenged directly.

Ecclesial Crisis

The nature and authority of the episcopate is being seriously contested by various parties in the Archdiocese, and the next Archbishop will inherit a presbyterate and a flock in which leading voices implicitly or explicitly reject his authority to teach, sanctify, and govern the Church in Boston. The refusal of the Board of Directors of Catholic Charities to obey the explicit instructions of Bishop Richard Lennon about accepting funds from “Voice of the Faithful” is a small but significant indicator of the sort of rebellion now taking hold in the Archdiocese. The priests and lay people who lead “Voice of the Faithful” are consciously dedicated to a vision of the Church which is not Catholic, and the next Archbishop must be prepared to remove from ecclesiastical office all persons who cannot (in truth and without evasion) make the Profession of Faith and the Oath of Fidelity.

Bait and Switch

To reform the Church in Boston, the next Archbishop must fully understand what this crisis is and is not about. The crisis confronting the Church was most emphatically not caused by pedophilia; it was caused by massive infidelity of priests and bishops to the promises of their Baptism and their Ordination. Psychological counseling is not the remedy for sin and infidelity to the Gospel, and the Church, therefore, cannot be reformed by sending more priests to St. Luke’s Institute and other centers of psychotherapy. Radical conversion to Christ is the only way forward.

The Next Archbishop

To Teach, To Sanctify, To Govern

To respond to these problems in Boston, the next Archbishop must be a man

+who grasps that this crisis is about faith in and fidelity to the Lord Jesus Christ. True reform is impossible without a direct challenge to the various false religions now in competition with revealed Truth. The next Archbishop must take nothing for granted and be prepared to engage in the New Evangelization almost as a First Evangelization, beginning with his presbyterate. To do this will require both clear and persuasive preaching of the truth and effective and direct refutation of error.

+whose life is blameless. If there are any scandals or habitual sins in his life, the dissident priests whom he must discipline will find them and use them in the media to destroy him.

+who is not afraid to be hated. Responding to the crisis in Boston will require the effective use of sanctions and discipline, and this will make the next Archbishop a man reviled by some.

+who is not afraid of controversy. There is no way to reform the Church in Boston without public controversy, some of which will be bitter and vitriolic. A man who runs from conflict cannot reform this Church. The Boston Globe will doubtless continue its campaign against Catholicism in various ways, and the next Archbishop must be prepared to be a stumbling block, not a media darling. And the internal opposition from Boston College will be even more crippling to any effort for reform.

+who is a radically obedient disciple of Jesus Christ. An Archbishop who is more conscious of the power and prerogatives of his office than of the dignity of his Baptism will make himself an object of public ridicule. He must be prepared to live a simple, evangelical life and to speak always in clear, evangelical language. The legalistic evasiveness and psychological jargon so common in the public utterances of many bishops can have no further place in Boston.

+who is a priest in every part of his being. An Archbishop who prays and celebrates the Holy Eucharist in a way that draws others into the heart of the Paschal Mystery will lead lasting reform by priestly example. A man without great integrity of life and faith, of personality and action, will not be able to sustain the sacrifices that must be made for genuine reform.

+who is an evangelist. Boston does not need a manager, a financier, or a consultant for an Archbishop; Boston needs a prophetic preacher of the Gospel who can convince other people of the truth of God’s Word because he both knows and believes it himself.

+who is not captive to Irish clericalism. Any priest who is bound to the “tribe” of Boston’s Irish clergy will be absolutely incapable of reforming the presbyterate.

+who is willing to make the Church smaller in order to make it larger. The cancer of dissent has created an (until now) invisible schism which has already made the Church in Boston much smaller than it appears to be. The next Archbishop must be prepared to acknowledge this fact (with canonical sanctions when necessary) and then preach the Catholic faith in its fullness and integrity. For this to happen some institutions may have to be abandoned, and some persons will have to be shown the consequences of their ideas, but absent such honesty, there will be no reform in Boston.

+who understands the essential and intrinsic connections among doctrinal clarity, moral probity, and ecclesial order. The disintegration of ecclesial life now unfolding in Boston is the result of the effective sundering of these three legs of one stool by the guild of dissent among priests, lay catechists, and theologians. Restoring the integrity of ecclesial life, therefore, will require the next Archbishop to restore in public and effective ways the connections among faith, life, and order, and such restoration will be impossible without directly dismantling the guild of dissent.

+who can be the pastor of the pastors. The Archbishop cannot be the pastor of every parish in Boston; he must be the pastor of the pastors, and he must make his highest priority the pastoral care of his priests and the recruiting and training of future priests. To reform the presbyterate, he must be personally involved on a daily basis in teaching his priests…in exhorting them, encouraging them, correcting them, and when necessary reproving them. He must also be directly and personally involved in selecting and forming seminarians for priestly ordination. While he will, of course, need help in such work, these tasks simply cannot be delegated to anyone else.

+who has a clear and authentically Catholic vision of the sacramental economy as a coherent whole and as the essential means for unveiling the eternal Plan of Salvation for God’s people. The liturgical, doctrinal, and disciplinary fragmentation and incoherence of the past thirty years have obscured from sight the intrinsic order and beauty of the sacramental economy and made much more difficult the task of teaching revealed truth. The next Archbishop should be a priest capable of elucidating for his priests and people the internal logic, immeasurable beauty, and divine wisdom of the Logos tou Theou.

Reasons to Hope

The Faithful

The lay faithful of Christ in Boston continue by the hundreds of thousands to “believe and profess all that the holy Catholic Church believes, teaches, and proclaims to be revealed by God”. These people deserve a shepherd willing to make personal sacrifices for the Gospel, and they will respond with heroic generosity and courage to his stewardship if he proves himself to be a fearless preacher and a genuine priest.

Young Priests

Despite the chaos in the Church and in large measure because of the witness of Pope John Paul II, many of the men ordained in the past 5 years are obedient disciples of the Lord Jesus and faithful priests of the Church. These young men will have to assume the burdens of leadership at an early age, and if they perceive in their next Archbishop a true father in God and witness to Christ, they will move heaven and earth to help him reform the Archdiocese of Boston.

Wavering Priests

Notwithstanding the decades of dissent, unchastity, and mendacity, many priests of Boston still hear the voice of God in their conscience and are yearning (even if unconsciously) for a prophet to come and lead them out of slavery to sin. A bold man of  God in the Chair of the Archbishop could ignite a divine spark in the hearts of those priests and bring them through conversion back to the grace of their ordination. The witness of such men would be a powerful force for reform.

Kairos

A providential opportunity is at hand in Boston—a rare moment of grace when dissent, confusion, degeneracy, and chaos can be challenged and overcome by the Word of God. For this opportunity to be seized, though, the Church in Boston needs a bishop who is not bound by clerical custom, tribal instinct, or personal fear. Given the causes of the crisis in Boston, business as usual will lead to disastrous consequences. The next Archbishop of Boston can and should be a bold disciple of the Lord Jesus who can bear powerful witness to the Resurrection of Christ and the truth of the Catholic faith; he must be a confident and persuasive teacher of the Gospel and a skillful shepherd of souls. Such a man in Boston, precisely because of the acute crisis and the public attention focused there, could help lead a true and lasting reform of the entire Church in the United States.

The next Archbishop of Boston should not be a “safe” candidate selected by the usual means from among the conventional candidates. Such men are largely responsible for the sorry state of the Church today; one more of that sort will not lead us out of crisis into reform. Boston needs an Archbishop who will teach, sanctify, and govern his people and priests with the courage, conviction, and confidence that come from personal conversion to Jesus Christ and a life-changing decision to follow Him in the Way of the Cross. For true reform to take place, the next Archbishop of Boston cannot be a chancery bureaucrat, an office manager, or a dialogue facilitator who understands his task as the mediation of internal disputes between “liberal” and “conservative” Catholics; he must be a passionately effective evangelist because he is first a thoroughly converted disciple of Jesus Christ.

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We have heard reports for years about priests speaking in support of “gay marriage,” violating their vows of celibacy by living with men commonly known to be their “boyfriend,” or blessing “gay marriages”–and the complaints are largely ignored by Cardinal O’Malley and the Boston Archdiocese. We know the Cardinal and Schools Superintendent pushed through a policy rooted in deception to admit children of gay parents to Catholic Schools. Furthermore, the Schools Superintendent, paid $341K/year, claims to be unaware of any “gay agenda” and has ignored concerns about the gay agenda in Catholic Schools she has oversight for.

We need to pray fervently for our priests and for the Archbishop of Boston. If you have evidence or specific examples of the existence of a “gay network” of clergy in Boston and/or evidence of how the gay agenda is being advanced within the Boston Archdiocese, please email bostoncatholicinsider(at)gmail.com or contact us here.


How Boston Archdiocese Spends and Manages Your Money

February 10, 2013

BCI hopes that all in Boston are digging out well from the blizzard and have power and heat.

With the news Friday that the Catholic Appeal raised $14.2M in the most recent fundraising year–slightly above the $14M goal, and beating the goal for the first time in 3 years–BCI thought it would be appropriate for everyone to see exactly how the Boston Archdiocese is spending donor funds. In addition, it is interesting to see how all of the overpaid folks in the Pastoral Center with excessive six-figure salaries do in keeping to their budget plan.

There are four things that jumped out at BCI immediately from looking at the numbers.

1) Almost 50% of the $35M in Central Operations expenses in the most recent fiscal year were for Administrative costs (“Management and General”)–in other words, other than paying for programs that directly build the Kingdom of God.  Look at page 24 in the 2012 Annual Report.

2012 expenses

To BCI, it seems like $16.8M is a lot to spend in “Management and general” expenses in order to deliver $14.8M worth of programs.  But the Cardinal, the Finance Council, and 16 lay execs paid nearly $4M in salaries and benefits must think this is a pretty good ratio, because they continue to feel comfortable continuing with business as usual at 66 Brooks Drive.

2) The Boston Archdiocese Central Operations overspent their budget plan by nearly 30% in 2012.  They had a budget plan going into the 2012 fiscal year that called for spending $27.8M (see bel0w), and instead they spent $35.3M (see above), an overspend of nearly $8M or 28%.  You can find more details on the 2012 budget plan in this 2012 BCI blog post, including the table below from the 2012 budget plan:

Q. How many overpaid lay archdiocesan executives does it take to overspend a budget by 28%?
A. 16. Paid nearly $4M in salaries in benefits.
How many readers can afford to overspend their household, business, or parish budget plans and survive for very long?  Perhaps if the Pastoral Center paid lay salaries proportionate to what clergy are paid–as the Holy Father’s “Motu Proprio” directs, they might find their executives would be a little more careful with how they spend donor funds.

3) The budget plan for 2013 under new Chancellor John Straub– who said he wants to “maintain transparency and enhance it where we can“–is considerably less transparent than for 2012 (one high-level page vs a dozen pages previously), and shows a lot of money still paying for admin, legal, and fundraising costs, that do not advance the mission of the Catholic Church.

2013 budget

Of  a $27.8M budget, $9.5M is “Administrative services” and if you add that up with the General Counsel and Fundraising, you get $12M of $27M spent on expenses that do not contribute to the salvation of souls. For that matter, one can also argue that $1.6M spend on excessive salaries for Catholic Schools Office staff who do not actually deliver any Catholic education does not contribute to the salvation of souls, but that is a topic for another day.

4) Mr. John Riley, of St. Pauls in Wellesley is listed as a parish fundraising coordinator for the Catholic Appeal. BCI understands from readers that he is the brother of a diocesan priest and is a former private sector CFO. To be fundraising for the Catholic Appeal, surely, he must not be aware of the excessive six-figure salaries, wasteful spending and breach of fiduciary responsibility by the archdiocese.   If anyone has his email contact information, please send to BCI so that we can alert him to the problems and invite his participation in pressuring the archdiocese to solve them.


Boston Archdiocesan Execs Fail to Support Defeat of Assisted Suicide

November 28, 2012

In our last post, “Inside the Defeat of Question 2”, we talked about defeating Question 2 (physician assisted suicide) from the perspective of the public campaign waged by diocesan PR firm, Rasky Baerlein.  Today we shift perspectives to tell you who from the Boston Archdiocese contributed financially to the campaign and who did not.  Public records show that nearly all of the Boston Archdiocese lay executives who are paid $150K+ a year from the archdiocese did not contribute financially towards the diocese-supported issue advocacy campaign to defeat physician assisted suicide.  For those high-paid lay diocesan execs who neither contributed financially to the campaign nor worked to defeat the ballot measure in other ways, this raises a number of questions.

This report from the Massachusetts Office of Campaign and Political Finance (OCPF) gives a listing of everyone who contributed to the main opposition initiative, the Boston archdiocesan-backed Committee Against Physician Assisted Suicide, whose strategy and campaign was run by Rasky Baerlein.  The total contributions were $4.3M.  When you look at who gave and did not give, the inevitable conclusions are astonishing.

Here is who gave personal contributions from their own bank account:

  • Vicar General, Bishop-elect Robert Deeley (who makes about $41K/year) gave $200.
  • Secretary for Faith Formation Janet Benestad (who makes $140K/year) gave $500.
  • Secretary for Social Services and Healthcare Fr. Bryan Hehir (a Harvard Kennedy School professor paid $0 by the RCAB and paid only by Harvard, where the average professor salary is $198K) gave $200.
  • Pro-life Office Director, Marianne Luthin (who makes considerably less than $100K) gave $1,000.
  • Catholic Schools Campaign Vice President of Development, Mary Myers (Flynn) gave $100.

That is as far as we can tell quickly, but perhaps we missed someone. While we see a St. Johns seminarian, who earns no income and is planning to give his life to God, gave $200, only one of the 17-odd people making six-figure salaries above $150K gave a buck or more to this important initiative. (See “Up in Alms over Salaries” and “Bloated Payroll: Inaction).

Here are the highest-paid lay executives people who earn about $150K or more and who made no financial contribution to the campaign:

  • Mary Grassa O’Neill, Secretary for Education/schools superintendent: $325K
  • Beirne Lovely, General Counsel: $300K
  • Scot Landry, Secretary for Catholic Media: $250K
  • Kathleen Driscoll, Secretary for Institutional Advancement: $230-250K est.
  • John Straub, Chancellor: $200K-$225K est.
  • Mark Dunderdale: Director of Office of Professional Standards: $200K
  • James Walsh, Assistant Schools Superintendent: $185K
  • Francis O’Connor: Assistant Gen. Counsel: $180K
  • Terry Donilon: Communications Secretary: $162k
  • Jim McEnness: Director of Risk: $154K

The other people who make $150K+ a year have not had their salaries publicly published yet, but they include:

  • Joseph D’Arrigo, Executive Director, Clergy Benefits
  • Mary Doorley, Vice President of Development
  • Carol Gustavson, Executive Director, Lay Benefits and Building Services
  • Steven McDevitt, Director of IT

Add them all up, and, as we said in “Bloated Payroll” earlier this year, you get about $3.5M in salaries, not counting benefits.  A year ago September, their boss, Cardinal O’Malley called on Catholics to oppose physician-assisted suicide, saying, “We are called upon to defend the gospel of life with courage and resolve.”  Yet except for one lay exec, none of them could even muster $50 to give to a campaign to stop an initiative that Cardinal O’Malley recently called a “terrible assault on human life.

A lot of people should be asking why these high-paid lay executives did not give anything to the campaign. (Nor, curiously, did anyone who works for Rasky Baerlein, the folks who ran the campaign give to their own campaign).  One can only guess it must have been one of the following reasons:

  1. They knew about the campaign and its importance, but did not necessarily agree with the Rasky Baerlein strategy or how Rasky was spending money, and instead contributed their time and energies to other ways of helping defeat Question 2.
  2. They were somehow oblivious to the campaign, its importance and need for donations
  3. They felt they were working toward the defeat of Q2 in their day-job already and thus did not need to give any personal contribution
  4. They wanted to contribute but did not have the personal funds to give anything, despite earning $150K/year in salary, so they prayed instead
  5. They knew about the campaign, its importance and need for donations, but felt enough other people and organizations were giving, so their contribution was unnecessary
  6. They view their employment with the archdiocese as a job, not a vocation or part of contributing to the mission of the Catholic Church. They do their job and collect their substantial paycheck, and that is it.
  7. They did not support the defeat of Question 2, and were in favor of physician-assisted suicide
  8. Some other reason not listed above

Note, there were two other campaigns opposing physician-assisted suicide–those run by Second Thoughts or the MCFL-backed Massachusetts Against Doctor Prescribed Suicide- No on 2.  We checked both of those lists, and did not find donations by these lay execs there either. If someone gave but did not make it to one of these reports, please let us know and we will issue a correction.

If the reason above for folks not contributing was #1, that makes good sense, and we take back any implied criticism for those in that category.  Furthermore, BCI cannot judge what is in the hearts and minds of these lay executives who work for the Boston Archdiocese. But, for the vast majority of these people, their day jobs had them doing nothing whatsoever to help defeat Question 2. So, unless these execs were out there in the trenches trying to sway people in their local region (which our sources say most were not), it is tough to understand why they did not at least do something for the cause by contributing.  For someone paid extremely well by the Boston Archdiocese who embraces the saving mission of the Catholic Church, why would they not be able to dig into their pocket to donate even $50 to this crucial initiative that the Cardinal Archbishop was obviously very committed to and their own moral compass should have told them to oppose.  What does that say?

The problem of high paid lay archdiocesan execs is allowed to continue, in part, by folks who BCI will call “the enablers.” These are the big donors and supporters of the Catholic Appeal who keep giving and keep encouraging other Catholics to give money, when no action has been taken still to address the problem of excessive six-figure salaries (or many other problems) that have gone on for many years.  They never tell Cardinal O’Malley, “I am stopping my donations to the appeal until you take dramatic, visible action to cut the excessive six-figure salaries that are wasting my contributions.”Nor do they tell the Cardinal, “I am stopping my donations to the appeal until you remove people from your team and advisory circle whose efforts work against the Catholic Church in the public square.”  Instead, they attend or sponsor gatherings of big donors and get their photos taken with the Cardinal.  An example is seen in a recent blog post by the Cardinal and Pilot pickup.  John and Kristine DeMatteo recently hosted a Cardinal’s Leadership Circle event in their Wellesley home.  As best as BCI can tell from here, they are known to be solid Catholics with a strong commitment to their family and pro-life and pro-family causes.  John contributed $5,000 to the Committee Against Assisted Suicide. They give a lot to the Catholic Appeal and their names appear on lists of donors to other pro-life and pro-family causes. They will, no doubt, be upset to see their names published here at BCI.

Do the DeMatteo’s and others like them not believe their donations to the Catholic Appeal are being squandered on excessive six-figure salaries?  If so, what do they do to change that?  We also wonder how they will feel knowing they gave a generous contribution to defeat the ballot measure, but at the same time, none but one of the archdiocesan execs whose $150K+ salaries are, in part, paid by the DeMatteo’s generous support of the Catholic Appeal, gave a penny to that campaign.  If anyone knows the DeMatteos, drop them an email or drop a dime and ask them to bring this matter up with Cardinal O’Malley directly.

To be clear, our issue in this post is not about priests, who make low pay and work tirelessly in their parishes or other ministries, or with lay people who worked against physician-assisted suicide in ways other than financially contributing to the campaign. But when it comes to high-paid archdiocesan execs, BCI thinks Catholics should be rip-roaring mad that most of them neither gave a penny to support a highly visible, extremely important campaign opposing a “terrible assault on human life” nor gave their time and energies to opposing the measure in other ways.  If their job function did not give them a role to work against the measure,  and their financial means permitted it, the least we should expect is that their moral conscience and commitment to the saving mission of Jesus Christ and the Catholic Church would have compelled them to do something or contribute financially. We think this is a big part of the problem in the Boston Archdiocese today. What do you think?


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