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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Why Did Cardinal O’Malley Cover-Up Gay Abuse Scandal?

September 13, 2018

In view of Cardinal Sean O’Malley’s public denials about cardinal sean o malleyhaving had knowledge of  Cardinal McCarrick’s sexually immoral behavior, Catholics and non-Catholics ought to be aware of how Cardinal O’Malley handled a situation where he did know of a Boston priest’s homosexual abuse of a young man, and where he knew about the priest’s advocacy of the gay agenda for many years before this abuse occurred.

The priest is Fr. Walter Cuenin, and his public advocacy for the gay agenda was well known for 15+ years under both Cardinal Law and Cardinal O’Malley.  In his final role in active ministry, he was chaplain at Brandeis Univ. in Waltham, MA. Cuenin departed that position abruptly in January of 2015 without prior notice for what was described at the time as “health reasons.”  A tipster at BCI reported on September 8 that the reason for the departure was actually that Cuenin has plied a student with alcohol and made undesired sexual advances on him.  Cuenin was removed from ministry and sent for treatment at a clinic in Michigan and has not been heard from since. This scandalous incident was covered-up by both Brandeis and the Archdiocese of Boston. On September 11, an official from the Archdiocese of Boston confirmed that is what actually happened. Here are more details and the full history.

  •  1993: Fr. Walter Cuenin was appointed pastor of Our Lady Help of Christians in Newton, MA by Cardinal Bernard Law
  • From 1999 to 2000,  Fr. Cuenin was actively involved in an effort sponsored by Catholic Charities of Boston to create a program called, “Companions” for parents and family of homosexual children that was focused on affirming and supporting the homosexual lifestyle. The opening Mass was held at Our Lady’s in October 1999. Mass was celebrated by Fr. Cuenin and was assisted Fr. John J. White (companion of child-molester Fr. Paul Shanley and co-owner with Fr. Shanley of a gay bed-and-breakfast motel in Palm Springs California) and Fr. Richard Lewandowski (then-pastor of St. Camillas Church in Fitchburg who ran a PFLAG organization at Fitchburg State College and later testified against the constitutional amendment to ban gay marriage). Other participants in the event included Charles Connors, president of Boston PFLAG, and Paul Merullo who had to serve 2 years in jail for molesting a youth.  Numerous complaints were made to regional bishops, then-Vicar General Bishop Murphy, Cardinal Law and others to try and get the program halted, and it was eventually stopped in late 2000.
  • 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“, Cuenin said gays and lesbians should be allowed a front-row seat at church and not be told that their lives are “basically disordered.”
  • June 2004: Cuenin invites parishioners to attend the Gay Pride parade. Complaints to the archdiocese are ignored.
  • May 2005: Our Lady’s bulletin runs a notice from their Gay and Lesbian Faith Sharing group invites all parishioners again to Boston’s Gay Pride Parade.  Faithful Catholic, Alice Slattery sends  letter to Cardinal OMalley and Bishop Lennon to  sharing details of Cuenin’s history and begging the Cardinal to intervene. She gets no response.
  • September 2005: 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 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. 
  •  January 2006.  Cardinal O’Malley reassigned Cuenin as campus chaplain, at Brandeis University, where he would be allowed to freely counsel students confused about their sexuality.  It was widely assumed at the time this move was done to find a permanent role for Cuenin and to quell the furor at Our Lady’s over his departure and anger at his replacement, Fr. Chris Coyne (former spokesman for Cardinal’s Law and O’Malley)
  • 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.”  Alice Slattery send another 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. She also got not response.  (Perhaps the letter was received by Fr. Robert Kickham?!)  Alice included 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.”

What actually happened around his departure is for more grave than “health reasons.”  BCI is told that Cuenin had taken a Brandeis student on a trip to NY City around Christmas-time, staying in a one-bedroom hotel room with one bed.  He plied him with alcohol, and then engaged in non-consensual sexual activity with him. The victim, who prefers to be unidentified, wanted Fr. Cuenin to leave campus so that other students were no longer vulnerable to similar happenings.  Brandeis administration loved Fr. Cuenin for his liberal ideology that fit well on campus and because he was a popular figure on campus, and they wanted to keep the matter quiet. So did the Archdiocese of Boston..  Key people from Brandeis involved in the handling of this situation included Andrew Flagel, then senior vice president for students and enrollment, and Jamele Adams, dean of student life.  Then-president, Frederick Lawrence was also aware and involved. Cardinal O’Malley knew about this as did Bishop Peter Uglietto, Vicar General, and Fr. Bryan Parrish, episcopal vicar and secretary for parish life and leadership.

Fr. Parrish was asked about this on September 11.  Even though the diocesan website shows Cuenin’s status is “Senior Priest” (which means a retired priest in good standing, many of whom offer assistance in parishes), Parrish said 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 Fr. Parrish confirmed he was involved in the incident of molestation at Brandies as reported on BCI and at Conquered by Love.  Cuenin is at an alcohol treatment facility similar to a halfway house in very poor health with some level of supervision, and his condition is such that he is not considered a threat to others.

Many questions merit answers from Cardinal O’Malley.  Why did he allow a man known as an advocate for homosexual activity to a college campus where he could corrupt young minds and souls?  Did he read all of the many letters sent to him, or were they screened by Fr. Kickham?  Did he discuss the idea of reassigning Fr. Cuenin to a college campus with his staff and/or head of campus ministry, and if so, what was the recommendation?   Why were the circumstances of Cuenin’s actions that led to his departure from Brandeis — namely, sexual molestation of a student – kept quiet?  Was this incident reported to the police?  How do we know there have not been other victims of Cuenin’s? What keeps Cuenin from going to a park or other place where young people are present and repeating this behavior again?

Cardinal O’Malley is in Rome today meeting with Pope Francis to discuss sexual abuse by clergy.  Hopefully following that meeting, he can provide some answers to these questions.


Boston Globe Calls for Independent Investigation of St. Johns Seminary Sex Scandal

September 10, 2018

It’s rare that BCI finds ourselves in agreement with the Boston Globe, but here’s once where we do mostly agree: their editorial in today paper, Probe of St. Johns Seminary needs independence.

The editorial is excellent–it says the the allegations of “immoral unprofessional misconduct by faculty and students” and a “toxic culture” of bullying and threats need to be properly examined, but the group brought together by Cardinal O’Malley has conflicts of interest: it’s stacked with St. Johns Seminary board members, including Sr. Janet Eisner and Assumption College president Francesco Cesareo, and the other members of the group also have conflicts of interest.  Have you heard this same concern voiced elsewhere recently?  Check out BCI’s post of last Monday, September 3, “Is Cardinal O’Malley Whitewashing the Gay Scandal Investigation of St. Johns Seminary?” We raised the same concerns a week before the Globe’s editorial came out, plus more.  Alert readers who compare the two will notice some striking similarities. What a coincidence!

What the Globe carefully avoided saying was the word “homosexual,” and they also avoided mentioning the conflicts Sr. Eisner and Francesco Cesareo have over their colleges sponsoring groups that affirm homosexual activity is just fine and dandy.

Sr. Eisner’s quote in the article is lame. she said rather than there being a potential conflict in her board affiliation, it provides “insight into the seminary.”  Well, if she had insight into the seminary, then why did she miss knowing about a gay sex scandal there under her watchful eyes?  With Cardinal O’Malley’s blessing, she insists she’s fully committed to uncovering the truth in a timely manner, and if anything criminal in nature is found, they stop the investigation and give it to “the authorities.”

But what if you find out a bunch of seminarians have been admitted who have deeply rooted homosexual tendencies and they’re engaging in homosexual activity with each other or hitting on straight seminarians who want nothing to do with their immoral, unhealthy and gross behavior? And what if that behavior is the same behavior you’re sponsoring clubs on your campus to promote and encourage? Then what happens?

Attorney General Maura Healey, weighed in saying there needs to be a thorough investigation without conflicts of interest.  And Jack Connors, never one to miss a chance to get his name in print, said he’s “all in favor of opening windows, doors, and records. Investigate away.”

Here’s the spin the archdiocese put out internally over the weekend to let priests and staff know their take on the pending editorial.

BOSTON GLOBE EDITORIAL, EXPECTED MONDAY, SEPTEMBER 10, 2018 (or sooner)
The Boston Globe is preparing an editorial opposing the appointments of the panel that is conducting an inquiry into St. John’s Seminary. Cardinal Seán took the proactive step of announcing the inquiry when he learned of the social media posts by the two former seminarians. The Cardinal has appointed Sr. Janet Eisner, President of Emmanuel College, to chair the panel inquiry, which she has agreed. He has also appointed the Most Rev. Mark O’Connell, Auxiliary Bishop of Boston, Dr. Francesco C. Cesareo, President of Assumption College and President of the USCCB National Review Board and Ms. Kimberly Jones, CEO of Athena Legal Strategies Group to conduct the inquiry.

These individuals, who have agreed to serve, are people with impeccable reputations and distinguished in their fields and expertise.

This past Friday, Sr. Janet spoke with the journalist writing the editorial for the Globe regarding the inquiry. You may recall Sr. Janet was co-chair of the Meade-Eisner Committee that reviewed several reconfiguration decisions by the Cardinal, with recommendations.

BCI thinks the spin is poppy-cock and it’s time for a re-do on the investigation team. What reputation and experience do either of the college presidents have upholding Catholic teachings about the sin of homosexuality that cries out to Heaven for Vengeance? All of the people either work for the Archdiocese or are on RCAB boards. How “independent” is that?

Besides, we hear the fix is already in.  The rector and vice-rector will be out (for obvious reasons), as could be a professor of systematic theology (for sacrificial lamb reasons).

And we heard the team wants to use politically correct wording and phrasing, just like the Cardinal’s commentary, and avoid calling it what it is–a problem of admitting seminarians with deeply rooted homosexual tendencies and knowingly allowing them to engage in homosexual activity, and allowing the kind of culture described in this post.

We hope and pray the archdiocese heeds the advice of the Boston Globe, gets rid of everyone with conflicts of interest (namely, everyone), and starts over with at least a few people who are on-the-record supporting the Catholic Church’s teachings about homosexuality.

 


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.


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.

 

 

 

 


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