2012 Boston Archdiocese Year in Review

January 5, 2013

Before we get too far into 2013, BCI thought we would offer a quick review of some of the highlights and lowlights of the past year in the Boston Archdiocese.

In our opinion, the most significant milestones were the departure of the previous Chancellor, the approval of the new pastoral plan that will shape parish life for many years ahead, the Question 2/Physician Assisted Suicide campaign, the continued inaction on excessive six-figure salaries even in the face of the new Motu Proprio, and the unwillingness or inability of Cardinal O’Malley to get rid of people like Jack Connors whose personal actions work against the Catholic Church.

2012 started with a bang in January with Fr. Bryan Hehir appearing on a panel “Truth, Lies, and Politics.” that featured anti-Catholic U.S. Rep. Barney Frank. A number of people complained to the office of Vicar General Msgr. Deeley. Fr. Hehir commented on the panel that “telling the moral truth about how we make decisions is important for people whose faces we will never see, but who are touched by American power.”  We are still unclear on how Fr. Hehir would expect political figures such as Barney Frank to possibly tell the “moral truth” about their decisions that are fundamentally immoral, such as supporting abortion.  The appearance with Barney Frank is not surprising, given the other venues Fr. Hehir has spoken at during his time as a priest.

Late January brought the Obama administration’s “unconscionable” birth control mandate upon Catholic institutions, which violates our religious freedom. This was a part of Obamacare, whose passage was supported by the Catholic Health Association. Naturally, Fr. Hehir had publicly praised the CHA in 2010 for their “intelligent and courageous leadership” in pushing for passage of Obamacare.

Late January also brought the first pass at the framework for the new pastoral plan, with the foundation being the new concept of Pastoral Service Teams to serve multiple parishes in a collaborative.

The really big news of January was that former Chancellor Jim McDonough resigned.  BCI had been pushing for his removal for some time, and we were pleased to see that happen. John Straub was named Interim Chancellor.

2011-2012 fiscal year results were announced just before the resignation of Jim McDonough. The archdiocese claimed a balanced budget, but the Chancellor prior to Jim McDonough did an analysis that found the budget was not actually balanced, and our analysis of the numbers found the same concerns.  A comparison between 2006 and 2011 found that Management and Overhead expenses were up $8 million or 71% and Pastoral Programs were down $6.1 million or 27%. BCI found that administrative expenses have grown from 26% of the expenses to 36% of expenses over the past 6 years.

The 2011-2012 annual report also showed that 17 people earn compensation of $150K+ a year. That sums more than $3.5M--and represents an increase of 600% in six years in the cost of compensation for people making $150K/year or more. The Compensation Committee that was supposed to deal with this problem wrote a short statement saying they had hired an outside consultant and were hoping to do something in June, when annual reviews would be done. No meaningful action has been taken as best as we can determine.

In March, the Catholic Appeal was launched and the previous year results were announced–another miss for the new fundraising “dream team.” The 2011 Catholic Appeal raised $13.7M, against their goal announced in April 2011 of $14M.  No explanation was provided for the team that is supposed to be “transparent and accountable.” Years after the Campaign for Catholic Schools 2010 initiative ended, we still heard nothing about how they did towards their original goal of raising $70M by the end of 2010.

In March, we also saw the Pastoral Center officially offer a yoga class to employees, even though the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith had stated concerns that Eastern practices such as yoga, Zen, and transcendental meditation posed a danger, in that they could “degenerate into a cult of the body” that edged out “the authentic consolations of the Holy Spirit.  It was offered by the private yoga instructor of the HR Exec. Director, a proud ex-Catholic, and this fell under the auspices of Interim Chancellor Straub, who did nothing to stop the class. Complaints to the Vicar General resulted in him acknowledging the spiritual dangers of yoga, but defending the class as just “stretching exercise.”  If it was just a “stretching exercise,” then why not just offer a stretching class?

In April, the Boston Herald wrote “Up in Alms About Salaries, noting how, since 2006, the archdiocese has cut 50 staff members but payroll costs increased by nearly $1 million. The payroll went from $8.3 million in 2006 to $9.2 million last year despite dramatic job cuts. Spokesman Terrence Donilon, with total compensation and benefits of $193,000, defended the excessive six-figure salaries saying, “These folks are immensely talented people who are helping one of the largest archdioceses in the country repair itself.”  Meanwhile, 40-50% of parishes cannot pay their bills and have to pay the archdiocese 18% of collections to help sustain the bloated bureaurcracy.

In April, the archdiocese also ended the seven-year parish vigil at Our Lady of Mount Carmel by changing the locks on the doors of the church–something BCI had been suggesting for almost two years.

In May, the archdiocese got more active promoting the cause of religious freedom and opposition to the HHS contraception mandate, including promoting the USCCB “Fortnight of Freedom” and a Boston “town hall meeting” with Cardinal O’Malley on June 25.

In June, the archdiocese announced a search for a new Director of Pastoral Planning. Consistent with almost all of their job descriptions and searches for key roles, they do not in any way  explicitly require that the person in the job be a practicing Catholic who believes what the Catholic Church believes.

On June 25, Cardinal O’Malley hosted the town hall meeting on religious freedom. The same day, his chief fundraiser for Catholic Schools and member of the Finance Council, Jack Connors, hosted a $40,000/person fundraiser for the campaign of President Obama. Faithful Catholics asked, “How we can have a member of the Archdiocese of Boston Finance Council responsible for Institutional Advancement who is working against the Catholic Church by publicly fundraising for a politician who wants to violate our religious freedom?  No response.

In July, it was announced that Holy Trinity was in the process of being relegated to profane use. Several months later, the beautiful neo-gothic style church built in 1877 was officially relegated to profane use, the last step before it could be sold, and likely demolished.

In August, the Boston Archdiocese explained how they justify keeping Jack Connors as a Finance Council member despite his support for anti-Catholic pro-abortion politicians and for abortion. As long as the money is green, it does not matter what Connors does in his “private” life, even if those actions publicly harm the Catholic Church.

In September, the final Pastoral Planning proposal was published. It reflects some changes from the original proposal to better address the need for evangelization.

In October, the archdiocesan effort to oppose Question 2, Physician-Assisted Suicide, kicked into higher gear, including a town-hall meeting on the topic. A narrow victory on Question 2 was ultimately achieved.

In November, the Pastoral Plan was approved by Cardinal O’Malley.The organization of parishes into collaboratives with one shared pastor will impact the diocese and how individuals worship for yearrs, if not decades to come.

In December, the Boston Archdiocese found itself in violation of the new Motu Proprio issued by Pope Benedict XVI.  The Motu Proprio says, salaries and operational expenses are to be in “due proportion to analogous expenses of his diocesan Curia.”  That is clearly not the case in Boston.

Last but not least, BCI hit new readership milestones in 2012.  In 2012, BCI was read by 234,000 unique visitors, with 313,000 pageloads.  In sum total since we started BCI, the blog has been read by 536,000 unique visitors with 764,000 pageloads.  With the majority of our visitors coming from Massachusetts, that means most Mass-attending Catholics in the Boston Archdiocese have read BCI at least once if not multiple times. About 1/3 of our visitors are repeat visitors. See below (click on graphic to zoom).

visitor report

When Cardinal O’Malley, Bishop Deeley, John Straub, Terry Donilon and others try to pretend that a blog like BCI does not matter or does not get much readership, they might want to think again.

We thank our readers for your continued readership and support, and hope and pray that BCI can continue to make a difference in bringing the Boston Archdiocese back to a stronger practice of the Catholic faith.

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Boston Archdiocese Giving Award in Honor of Obama Fundraiser

October 8, 2012

For those who missed it, the Boston Archdiocese just announced they will be giving out an award on Oct 9 named in honor of Archdiocesan Finance Council member and Obama fundraiser, Jack Connors, Jr, who also financially supports pro-abortion causes. There are several aspects of this award and honor that Boston Catholics should be concerned about. Read on.

Here is the archdiocesan announcement:

October 5, 2012 -Pope John Paul II Catholic Academy’s 2012 Eileen And Jack Connors’ Founders Award

RECIPIENTS:          John and Cyndy Fish / Suffolk Construction

AWARD:                   Pope John Paul II Catholic Academy’s (PJPIICA) –Dorchester and Mattapan –
Boston’s largest elementary school (private or public)
2012 Eileen and Jack Connors’ Founders Award

DESCRIPTION:       The Eileen and Jack Connors Founders Award is a prestigious honor that is to be periodically presented by the Trustees of Pope John Paul II Catholic Academy to recognize outstanding and exemplary service to the school, those who have made very special personal or professional commitments to the Academy, and/or who exemplify/personify the Catholic values we teach.

The person the award is named to honor is Jack Connors, Jr.  While he sits on the Archdiocesan Finance Council and raises money for Catholic schools, he is also out publicly raising millions of dollars for Obama, when Obama policies clearly threaten our religious liberties, kill the unborn and are in opposition to moral law along with Catholic Church values and teachings.  We have written about this multiple times, most recently in this post, Boston Catholics call on archdiocese to end relationship with Obama-backing multi-millionaire. You can also see in this Lifesite News article where the Connors-funded Connors Center for Women’s Health’s Family Planning Fellowship, led by abortionist and Planned Parenthood League of Massachusetts (PPLM) head researcher Alisa Goldberg, partners with Planned Parenthood to offer  a nationally-recognized two-year program to “improve access to, and the quality of, pregnancy termination services through research and training.”

The person being honored this year is Suffolk Construction CEO, John Fish. He is listed here as #1 on this 2012 list of Most Powerful People in Boston, just ahead of Jack Connors.  This September 2008 Boston Business Journal article describes his philanthropy and role as a leader of the Archdiocese of Boston’s 2010 Initiative to improve Catholic schools. Coincidentally, besides his work for Catholic schools along with Connors, he has been making a lot of financial contributions to various political campaigns–him personally giving hundreds of thousands of dollars to the Obama campaign and Democratic National Committee, while his company has donated tens of thousands to the Romney super PAC: Obama bundler’s firm backed Romney super PAC.

BCI is not disputing the contributions of Mr. Fish to  Catholic schools. But, we also would be remiss if we did not remind readers about some of the controversy with the projects, including the Pope John Paul II project.  See this post, Lending Money: Part 2, from September 10, 2010, where we wrote:

We are also told, and see validated by press articles, these were apparently single-source, no-bid deals for the contracts on school reconstruction, new construction, and demolition.  Our sources say this was  expensive in Brockton, and very expensive in Dorchester. [Update: BCI is told that at least one Suffolk Catholic schools job was “a mess,” where Suffolk was made to take off the roof and rebuild it more than once.]

As best as we can determine from multiple sources, the $26M loan was because John Fish insisted that Suffolk get its construction money up-front.  We are unclear if he is still personally involved in the initiative (no PR in 2 years) or if he is no longer personally involved after having secured the construction contract, funds, and good publicity.  Sources working in the schools tell us that from a construction perspective, they cut as many corners as they could in Dorchester, and ran behind in the construction schedule.  Rumor has it that the school custodian and a well-paid employee from the Catholic schools office were still painting the evening before the school opening and dealing with a problem of live rodents in the building.

The fund-raising status of the 2010 Campaign and the Pope John Paul II Academy have never been explained with any degree of transparency.  The 2010 Campaign was supposed to raise $70M by 2010 and had borrowed $26M from the Archdiocesan Revolving Loan Fund.  No accounting was ever publicly made of whether the $70M goal was  achieved. Their last public comment from November 2010 said they had raised $58M.  BCI asked the archdiocese about the fundraising status in January of 2011, and 21 months later, we are still awaiting their response.  According to the 2011 RCAB annual report, around $21M of those loans are still outstanding. The report says, “The Fund for Catholic Schools, Inc. has pledges that are expected to be collected over the next 5 years that will be used to substantially pay down the loans to the Corporation Sole.”

Back in 2010, we also observed the following:

1) Magnitude of project in this location. The fund-raising and tapping of a limited donor pool for a sum of $70 million was a major undertaking.  Why did the archdiocese decide to spend $70 million on one school, and in an area where it is known that Catholic schools enrollment and the Catholic population in general are declining?  Did it have anything to do with Jack Connors having grown-up in nearby Roslindale, or was that just a coincidence?

2) Sustenance of the school: Given those population shifts, can the Dorchester academy be sustained at this size even 5-10 years the future?

Here we are two years later, and the same questions remain largely unanswered.  The first regional director of the academy, a pal of $325K-salaried superintendent, Mary Grassa O’Neill, abruptly resigned in August 2009 after just a year on the job. The school originally opened with 5 campuses, but was scaled back to 4 in 2010.  BCI hears that even 4 campuses may not be sustainable. 21 teachers left at the end of the last academic year and just 12 new teachers joined this fall.

Back in 2010, a reader, “Catholic School Advocate,’ commented:

I think the 2010 Initiative should be described by a parody of the song, “Promises, Promises.” (OK so not everyone reading this blog remembers Dionne Warwick) What was promised was laudable, but the outcome belies the intelligence, wealth and connections of those who made the promises.

When the most powerful people in Boston gather Tuesday night, BCI hopes that Cardinal Sean O’Malley at least takes a few minutes to have a side conversation with some of the honorees to re-educate them about the threats to religious liberties and the sacrifice of life of the unborn brought on by President Obama, whose reelection they are publicly and financially supporting. He should also remind them that he feels it is “bordering on scandal” to vote for pro-abortion politicians. Better still, he should try to persuade Jack Connors and John Fish to help women with crisis pregnancies and support alternatives to abortion in Boston.

We also hope that in addition to honoring the wealthy folks like Connors and Fish, they take the time to honor those who “Catholic Schools Advocate” described as the “dedicated teachers, custodians and school secretaries who show up every day and deal with a million issues, and somehow find a way to work hard on educating children from varied backgrounds in the midst of all the problems. And they succeed – just ask the Admissions Board at Boston Latin.”


How Boston Archdiocese Justifies Keeping Obama Fund-Raiser Around

August 25, 2012

We shift back to Boston, to share with you today an explanation from the Boston Archdiocese about how they justify keeping Jack Connors on the Finance Council, despite his public fundraising for political figures who oppose the Catholic Church.

BCI has posted a number of times about Connors in the past.  In Stop the Scandal in 2011, we raised the concern that Conners was publicly supporting and raising money for pro-abortion politicians (ie. President Obama) at the same time he is raising money for Catholic schools, has Finance Council oversight for archdiocesan fundraising and is influencing the direction of Catholic education. Nothing happened. This past June in our post on Fortnight for Freedom, we raised the concern again–this time, when Connors hosted a $40,000/person fundraiser for President Obama this afternoon.  We asked, how is it we can have a member of the Archdiocese of Boston Finance Council responsible for Institutional Advancement who is working against the Catholic Church by publicly fundraising for a politician who wants to violate our religious freedom?  It seemed to BCI that was scandalous.

Well, an alert BCI reader apparently agreed and filed a complaint via Ethicpoint, the anonymous whistleblower program set-up for reporting violations of the archdiocesan Code of Conduct. The archdiocese was obliged to respond. The complaint says that these public actions by Connors violated the archdiocesan Code of Conduct policy, which says Church personnel should ensure their behavior “promotes the welfare of the archdiocese” and “exemplifies the moral traditions of the Church.”  Below is the original complaint, the response by the archdiocese, and a response by the complainant, to which the archdiocese never responded.

ORIGINAL COMPLAINT

Report Submission Date
6/28/2012

Reported Company/Branch Information

Location

Public square and in mainstream media

City/State/Zip

Braintree, MA, U.S.

 

Violation Information
Issue Type
Misconduct or Inappropriate Behavior
Please identify the person(s) engaged in this behavior:
Jack Connors – Archdiocesan Finance Council, Chair, Campaign for Catholic Schools
Do you suspect or know that a supervisor or management is involved?
Do Not Know / Do Not Wish To Disclose
If yes, then who?
Cardinal O’Malley
Is management aware of this problem?
Do Not Know / Do Not Wish To Disclose
What is the general nature of this matter?
The Code of Conduct says that church personnel will ensure their behavior “promotes the welfare of the archdiocese” and “exemplifies the moral traditions of the Church.” Jack Connors has just done the opposite. On the same day when Cardinal O’Malley hosted a town hall forum to rally support for religious freedom and opposition to the Obama administration’s mandate that Catholic institutions pay for contraception coverage, Mr. Connors very publicly raised $1 million for the campaign of President Obama, who is leading the charge to violate our religious freedom:
http://www.boston.com/news/local/massachusetts/articles/2012/06/26/president_obama_to_visit_boston_for_fund_raising_monday/

Church personnel raising money for a politician whose policies serve to undermine the welfare of the archdiocese sounds like a violation of the code of conduct. It says “Church personnal will conduct themselves in a manner that is consistent with the teachings of the Roman Catholic Church as enunciated by the Holy Father and the Bishops in communion with him; more specifically, Church Personnel shall, in all such matters, accept, rely upon and defer to the teaching authority of the Archbishop in all matters of faith and morals.

Where did this incident or violation occur?
June 25, 2012
Please provide the specific or approximate time this incident occurred:
4pm. see:
http://www.boston.com/news/local/massachusetts/articles/2012/06/26/president_obama_to_visit_boston_for_fund_raising_monday/
How long do you think this problem has been going on?
More than a year
How did you become aware of this violation?
Other
If other, how?
newspaper articles
Details
4pm fundraiser on Monday, June 25 for President Obama.

http://www.boston.com/news/local/massachusetts/articles/2012/06/26/president_obama_to_visit_boston_for_fund_raising_monday/

“Obama spent more than an hour inside Hamersley’s Bistro, whose front windows were covered, while hundreds of people waited on Tremont Street for a glimpse of him. Boston’s police commissioner, Ed Davis, joined the heavy-security team of city police, State Police, and Secret Service on Clarendon Street, where the president’s limousine was parked. At the restaurant, 25 supporters, hosted by Boston advertising executive Jack Connors, paid $40,000 each to attend.”

http://www.boston.com/politicalintelligence/2012/06/21/president-obama-will-make-campaign-swing-through-boston-monday-for-series-fundraisers/xsNzFx2AGik11AuhVSGd0H/story.html

Obama will first attend an intimate campaign roundtable at Hamersley’s Bistro in the South End with 25 supporters who paid $40,000 each to attend, said a campaign official. The afternoon gathering will be hosted by Boston advertising magnate Jack Connors, who last spring held a $17,900-a-head dinner at his Brookline home for the president.

Follow-Up Notes
There are no additional notes for this report.

RESPONSE FROM THE BOSTON ARCHDIOCESE:

Follow-Up Questions/Comments
Jul 10, 2012, 9:43 AM
Comment: Members of the Archdiocese of Boston Finance  Council provide the Archdiocese of Boston with  their well-established business acumen and  experience in productive, fiscally stable organizations. As they do so, these individuals donate generously of their time and talent. The Archdiocese of Boston asks these individuals to serve in this and other capacities with full confidence that they adhere faithfully to the teachings of the Roman Catholic Church, act in a manner which is fully in accordance with the Archdiocesan Code of Conduct, and conduct themselves as all Catholics are called to—with care, concern and compassion for others,
especially those who are in need.

In their support of organizations apart from the Archdiocese, Finance Council members find themselves immersed in diverse settings, replete with the full variety of moral beliefs and human behaviors. As free and private citizens, Finance Council members are at liberty to invest their time and energy in any manner they deem fit and to support those programs and policies, and at times individuals, which they have determined contribute to the common good and the well-being of society. The Archdiocese believes that the support of these programs, policies, and/or individuals reflects the Finance Council members’ own understanding of the human condition, the moral responsibility of each individual, and the collective responsibilities of the populace.

As individuals who value their privacy, Finance Council members are not obligated to make public the rationale behind their decisions to support various organizations, programs, and persons. The Church respects the right of the individual to personal conscience formation. The reality of this personal moral and ethical worldview informs Cardinal O’Malley’s solicitation of the Finance Council members’ service to the Archdiocese and, at times, acceptance of their generous financial assistance. That a Finance Council member may offer his/her backing to a politician or political candidate who is in support of pro-choice policies does not define or exhaust a Finance Council member’s position on issues pertaining to respect for life. Instead, it objectively speaks to the Finance Council member’s willingness to engage with and find value and merit in the opinions, ideals, and visions of individuals with a wide variety of moral stances, which at various times are more or less in line with the teachings of the Church. Furthermore, though he/she may provide his/her time and support to certain institutions which allow for individuals to elect to participate in activities that do not respect the Church’s teaching on the sanctity of life, no current Finance Council member has publicly advocated abortions as suitable moral options for these individuals. To assume that a Finance Council member is pro-choice and actively in support of abortions because of his/her political affiliations and/or institutional support is an unfair assumption and not one the Archdiocese is willing to use in judging candidates for the Council.

Turning to political activities specifically, the support of a pro-choice politician by a Catholic has been addressed by the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops in Forming Consciences for Faithful Citizenship: A Call to Political Responsibility from the Catholic Bishops of the United States (2007). In this document, the Bishops state,

“A Catholic cannot vote for a candidate who takes a position in favor of an intrinsic evil, such as abortion or racism, if the voter’s intent is to support that position. In such cases a Catholic would be guilty of formal cooperation in grave evil. At the same time, a voter should not use a candidate’s opposition to an intrinsic evil to justify indifference or inattentiveness to other important moral issues involving human life and dignity. There may be times when a Catholic who rejects a candidate’s unacceptable position may decide to vote for that candidate for other morally grave reasons. […] In the end, this is a decision to be made by each Catholic guided by a conscience formed by Catholic moral teaching.”

In Forming Consciences for Faithful Citizenship, the Bishops recognize that the political field is not one characterized by ideal candidates who at all times and in all cases uphold the full array of Catholic moral truths. Consequently, Catholic voters are tasked with examining imperfect candidates according to Catholic teaching on matters “affecting human life and dignity as well as issues of justice and peace” and “consider[ing] candidates’ integrity, philosophy, and performance.” The whole of Catholic social teaching should be considered when a Catholic makes a valuation of a given political candidate. Although the principles articulated in the USCCB statement can find expression in differing concrete political choices by individual Catholics, one should presume that the choices have been made conscientiously and in good faith.

Through their dedicated service, the members of the Archdiocesan Finance Council have repeatedly shown their love for the Church and their desire to see it flourish and provide the framework by which the people of the Archdiocese of Boston may be nourished physically, intellectually, and spiritually. Cardinal O’Malley trusts that the moral convictions of the Finance Council members are firmly rooted in Catholic social teaching and are designed to uphold the dignity of human life from conception to natural death. The Archdiocese believes that the decisions the Finance Council members make as citizens and as Catholics, although opposed by some, are neither in violation of Catholic teaching nor do they bring about scandal. Rather, the Archdiocese feels they are a reflection of the difficult decisions which must be made in a less than perfect world, one which the Finance Council members actively and tirelessly seek to improve through their faithful service to Christ and His Church.

RESPONSE FROM THE PERSON WHO FILED THE COMPLAINT
Jul 12, 2012, 6:15 AM
Reply: Thank you for your response–however I’m a bit confused by it. I didn’t say anything about abortion and your whole response is about a Finance Council member’s support for pro-choice politicians. My complaint was about Jack Connors’ support for Obama while he is actively working to take away our religious freedom. Now that I’ve read your response, I have several follow-up points and questions.

i) Specifically what sort of positions or actions would constitute “scandal” for a Finance Council member to give their support to? For example, if the politician supported by a Finance Council member advocated for ethnic cleansing, would that still be permissible without creating scandal? If the politician advocated for legalization of premeditated murder, child pornography, or sex between adults and young children, is it still OK for the Finance Council to publicly support the politician and this does not create scandal, because the person has the right to form their own conscience?

ii) The Code of Conduct says that church personnel will ensure their behavior “promotes the welfare of the archdiocese” and “exemplifies the moral traditions of the Church.” Since President Obama and his administration opposes the freedom of religion for this Catholic archdiocese which harms the Catholic Church and could impose substantial financial penalties on us, how exactly can Mr. Connors’ fund-raising to re-elect President Obama promote the welfare of the archdiocese? How does fund-raising for the most pro-abortion, pro-gay, anti-traditional marriage, anti-Catholic and anti-religious freedom President this country has ever had–in opposition to the moral teachings of the Church– “exemplify the moral traditions of the Church”? I don’t understand your rationale. Can you explain further?

3) In your response, you said, “Cardinal O’Malley trusts that the moral convictions of the Finance Council members are firmly rooted in Catholic social teaching and are designed to uphold the dignity of human life from conception to natural death. The Archdiocese believes that the decisions the Finance Council members make as citizens and as Catholics, although opposed by some, are neither in violation of Catholic teaching nor do they bring about scandal.”

Has Cardinal O’Malley actually asked Finance Council members if their moral convictions are in keeping with Catholic moral teaching and support protection of human life from conception to natural death, as well as marriage between one man and one woman, and religious freedom from government interference? Is that specifically a prerequisite for becoming a member of the Finance Council? If not, why not? What if you asked and found a Finance Council member answering honestly said they did not agree with Catholic doctrine and moral teachings? Then what?

This report has been closed.

Follow-Up Statements
The organization sent these questions or comments before report was closed. You cannot respond.

– – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – –

BCI finds the response from the Boston Archdiocese to be most revealing. At last we have some explanation for how the Boston Archdiocese justifies keeping Jack around.  As long as the money is green, it does not matter what he does in his “private” life, even if those actions publicly harm the Catholic Church.  Matthew 6:24 comes to mind, “No one can serve two masters; for either he will hate the one and love the other, or he will be devoted to one and despise the other. You cannot serve God and Mammon.”

What do you think?


Fortnight for Freedom: Town Hall Meeting with Cardinal O’Malley Mon. June 25

June 24, 2012

The USCCB-sponsored Fortnight for Freedom is underway. All should pray for religious freedom in the U.S. and we should also pray for a change of heart for those who would intentionally or unintentionally be working against religious freedom.

On Monday, June 25 at 8pm, Cardinal O’Malley is hosting a town hall meeting on CatholicTV.  The event will be simulcast on WQOM 1060 in Boston.

“Fortnight for Freedom” will be a lively, hour-long discussion on the challenges to our religious liberty. They will discuss the ways that Americans can promote and defend religious freedom. Join in the conversation at CatholicTV’s Twitter and Facebook pages. Comments and questions will be addressed during the event on CatholicTV’s Facebook page and viewers can also tweet @CatholicTV #Fortnight4Freedom.

We urge all Catholics to attend and participate.  If you want to ask a question, you will need to tweet it or post it to the CatholicTV Facebook page. That means you need to have a Twitter or Facebook account. (BCI is not in a position to guide you through getting on Facebook or Twitter. It is very easy – just ask an Internet-savvy friend or family member if you need help).

If you need any ideas for questions, here are a few BCI hopes will be asked and answered. Feel free to copy them and ask them on Monday.

  • To what extent would you encourage outright defiance of the Obama contraceptive coverage mandate on the basis of it being unconstitutional?
  • Rather than comply with the law or stop offering insurance, would you encourage Catholic institutions to simply defy the law and wait to see if the Obama administration tries to sue us?
  • Cardinal O’Malley, do you still believe, as you said in 2007, that it is bordering on scandal for Catholics to vote for pro-abortion politicians?
  • Cardinal O’Malley, perhaps we cannot see what is happening behind the scenes. What specifically are you doing to help change the hearts and minds of pro-abortion “Catholic” politicians in Massachusetts who also support these violations of religious freedom?  Is there evidence what you are doing is working?
  • Cardinal O’Malley, what can lay Catholics do to encourage you to take stronger action against pro-abortion “Catholic” politicians?  What prevents the Boston Archdiocese from asking pro-abortion “Catholic” politicians on an individual basis to voluntarily abstain from receiving Holy Communion until they change their positions?
  • What do you think of the Catholic Health Association and LCWR for having worked in support of Obamacare, which was in opposition at the time to the U.S. bishops? Have they fractured communion with the bishops? What is the best remedy for that?
  • Polls show 52% of Catholic voters in Massachusetts support physician-assisted suicide today. What is the tactical “ground game” plan for the next 4 months to sway Massachusetts voters to oppose physician assisted suicide in November?
  • Cardinal O’Malley, one your key fundraisers, Jack Connors, Jr, is hosting (or just finished hosting) a $40,000/person fundraiser for President Obama this afternoon.  How is it we can have a member of the Archdiocese of Boston Finance Council responsible for Institutional Advancement who is working against the Catholic Church by publicly fundraising for a politician who wants to violate our religious freedom?  Is that not scandalous?
  • What can lay Catholics do to encourage you to more effectively try to change the heart and mind of Mr. Connors, or if that fails, to ask him to resign from his roles on the Finance Council and with Catholic Schools?

Do attend the Town Hall Meeting–either on the radio, on TV, or via the Internet–and ask your questions.  At the same time, commit yourself to praying this prayer every day:

Prayer for the Protection of Religious Liberty

O God our Creator,

Through the power and working of your Holy Spirit,
you call us to live out our faith in the midst of the world,
bringing the light and the saving truth of the Gospel
to every corner of society.

We ask you to bless us
in our vigilance for the gift of religious liberty.
Give us the strength of mind and heart
to readily defend our freedoms when they are threatened;
give us courage in making our voices heard
on behalf of the rights of your Church
and the freedom of conscience of all people of faith.

Grant, we pray, O heavenly Father,
a clear and united voice to all your sons and daughters
gathered in your Church
in this decisive hour in the history of our nation,
so that, with every trial withstood
and every danger overcome—
for the sake of our children, our grandchildren,
and all who come after us—
this great land will always be “one nation, under God,
indivisible, with liberty and justice for all.”

We ask this through Christ our Lord.  Amen.

There is a need for activism, and also a need for prayer. Let us keep our prayers steadfast on this issue.


BCI Reader Messages to Cardinal O’Malley

June 24, 2011

A few days ago we asked BCI readers to write their messages to Cardinal Sean O’Malley, specifically concerning matters that will improve the ability of the Archdiocese to advance her mission.  (The mission of the Pastoral Center is “To continue the saving ministry of Jesus Christ”).  We said readers could submit a top priority or some top problems you would like for the Cardinal to address, it could be a compliment, a criticism, a mix of positive and constructive feedback, a suggestion, or anything relevant to his pastoral leadership in teaching, sanctifying, and governing the archdiocese.  The goal  was to share feedback or a message that you, our readers, believed would lead to the archdiocese being better able to continue the saving ministry of Jesus Christ.

We originally thought we would pick just a few of them to share, but found it tough to decide which ones to include vs exclude. So we went with all except any that suggested a change in Catholic Church teaching. We will also send these along to Cardinal O’Malley via email over the weekend and invite his response to them.

Thanks to all for taking the time to write your thoughtful and insightful messages.

Time for a change says:
Cardinal Law left when it was clear that he could not serve.  It’s time to go.  You know that.

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Chris says:

Cardinal O’Malley, I would urge you to clear your schedule and spend several days  in Adoration in front of the Blessed Sacrament, asking for the wisdom and discernment to perform your duties in a manner pleasing to the Lord.
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dotty banks says:
Dear Cardinal,

Please do something to help the many dedicated and grossly underpaid lay workers throughout your archdiocese. Many have served for forty or fifty years, knowingly accepting lower wages, without union protection, because of their devotion to Christian values. It is unjust to punish them by cutting their modest pensions while paying six figure salaries to numerous, newly hired, administrators.

Jesus would be ashamed of the way you’re allowing your workes to be treated! So please do something !!!!!!

Take the time to adress this problem instead of continuing to ignore it. It won’t go away!

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teddy ballgame says:

Cardinal O’Malley, I think you know this, but morale at 66 Brooks is terrible. I know, I worked at RCAB and dealt with parishes, schools etc. on a daily basis. The negativity was palpable! The 4 Pastoral Operating Principles are not only ignored but trampled on every day. The backbiting,finger pointing, lying, and abuse of power that occurs is the worst I have ever seen. And this is the Archdiocese of Boston? The individuals responsible, McDonough and Gustavason, are a major part of the problem. Therefore I suggest you appoint a senior person to tackle this very serious problem.

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Objective Observer says:

You give a great homily.  You had us at your installation — watching as BCTV broadcast that homily in July 2003, cheers went up all over the Archdiocese.  You had us in the palm of your hand.  It had been a long haul for 18 months (for absolutely everyone) and we were ready for the bright hope you articulated on that rainy day in July.

What happened?  How did all that goodwill and affection become rancor and division?  How does your pastoral goodwill end up looking like bases loaded, but then you hit into an inning-ending double play?  And what is the best advice one could offer you now?

As CEO of Corp Sole, it appears that you have overseen some serious misconduct.  The buck stops on your desk… or in your case on your tray table.  Based on the public record, it looks like a reasonable grand jury could find fraud, conflict of interest, undue influence and misappropriation of funds, before they got warmed up.  It would appear that many of these questions are governed by state law, but in Boston we have a U.S. attorney who is willing to do the A.G.’s job for her when she looks the other way.  Just ask Mr. DiMasi.

Dropping the reins and allowing whoever head butts you the hardest to pick them up is not a defense at law or in equity.  Nor is the sham of empaneling endless committees to make “recommendations” that you “accept” and put into force by letting someone else sign your name.  So if any of that sounds familiar as an m.o., you might start asking around for the right counsel… and I mean lawyer as well as Gift of the Holy Spirit.

The people who actually have held the reins in your case, Bryan, Ann, Jim, Carol, Beirne, Bob and Jack, like we saw with the cronies of DiMasi, would gleefully turn state’s evidence rather than take the fall themselves, don’t you think?  There really are a lot of parallels between your situation and the former speaker’s.

Once these things get going, the AUSAs tend to want to hold onto your passport.  That’s OK, mounting a defense wouldn’t leave you much time for travel anyway… at least if you have worthy counsel.

And for the rest of us, we can watch a replay of that installation homily and mourn what might have been.  That’s plenty of expiation for letting it happen on our watch — priests and laity alike.

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Another former employee says:

I hope that Cardinal O’Malley will remember his promise to fund the priests’ and lay employees’ pensions.

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Anonymous says:

Clean house at the top (McDonough, Gustavson, Donilon, Grassa O’Neill and her staff, McEnness et al.

Take care of the rank and file employees who have been systemmatically mistreated over the past sevreal years.

Announce a plan to fund the lay pension plan.

Appoint good Catholics to the Finance council and get rid of people like Connors

Then resign, you are not competent to lead the Archdiocese.

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“Just Wondering” says:

“JUST WONDERING” says:  you forgot another dangerous person,  the one and the only J. Bryan Hehir.

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Jack O’Malley says:
Cardinal O’Malley,

Drive the mercenaries from the chancery as Christ did the money changers from the temple.   And purge the smoke of Satan from those sanctuaries where it swirls thickest.  You know which ones.

Esto Princeps Ecclesiae.  Duc fortiter.  Fideles volenter sequentur,

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Anonymous says:
As St. Patrick, the patron saint of the Achdiocese did, drive the snakes out of 66 Briooks Drive.

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Little Red Hen says:

Dear Cardinal O’Malley, please pay a visit to the superintendent and the staff of the Office of Catholic Schools and thank them for their service to the Archdiocese, tell them their service is no longer required, and send them on their way.  Then contact the Dominican Sisters of Mary, Mother of the Eucharist (www.sistersofmary.org) and tell them that you have a mission for them here, which is to restore meaningful catechesis and authentic Catholicity to the few schools that remain in the Archdiocese of Boston.

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Lazarus’ Table says:

Cardinal Sean,
I don’t suppose it is easy for any man to be a bishop, especially in these times and particularly in Boston.   For all its supposed conservatism, Boston Catholics (clergy & lay) sure can pick and choose what they want to believe and when they will stand by their bishop… or not.

Cardinal Sean, clean house.  You’ve already tried that earlier by sending some priests back into the parishes (for which, I’m sure, the parishes thank you…).  But I think you’ve been “taken” by people you trusted who have their own agenda and who’ve surrounded themselves with people of their mind, not yours.   The perceived scandal and mistrust of those in Braintree has so  had a paralyzing effect on us that I would hope some of those men would voluntarily resign on their own pro bono publico and allow for fresh air and a renewed start.  Can’t they admit their presence  is hurting not helping the Church?  It’s not good when they give rise to rumors that you and/or the archdiocese are being blackmailed or held hostage in some other way.

Cardinal Sean, clean house.   You owe it to yourself and us.  You’ve sacrifriced alot for the Church but the current state of affairs make it seem like the Church is sacrificing alot for you.  And I’m sure that is not what you want or intend.

Cardinal Sean, please let us know how we can help you in a personal way.  We pray for you, of course.  But do you need a friend?  Do you need to be reminded that “Sean” is loved and needed? Does your morale need a boost?  Are you healthy, Cardinal Sean? How can we help you?  How can we help you to help us?  We’ll be there for you, Cardinal Sean.  Please be there for us now.

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Anthony says:

I believe as an urgent matter that the Cardinal should, personally, look to correct the wrong done to the Hispanic children of Lawrence by the closing of the St. Mary of the Assumption elementary school. Though it is true that the Augustinians no longer wish to support the school, there are others who will. Please Cardinal Sean, we beg you to reverse this faulty decision to close St. Mary’s. A high proportion of the 250 students there will no longer have a Catholic school formation.

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TalkWalker says:

Cardinal O’Malley – You do many inspirational things.  The way you handled the victims of the Abuse Crisis was admirable and sincere.  Your pastoral letter and your efforts at evangelization are clear and good.  How can the same person -you- permit things like St. Cecilia’s to occur, amd let some of your key people (McDonough, Hehir, Kickam) turn the Archdiocese into a political cesspool?  None of your priests respect or trust any of them, yet you keep them around?  Why?

You still have time to leave the Archdiocese better than you received it from a spiritual perspective.  Please stop allowing the “money guys” and “priests that sell-out and dilute Catholicism”  tell you its all about money.  You speak often as responding to the sex abuse crisis and balancing the budget are the two legacies you’ll leave.  You don’t talk about anything related to helping Catholics overcome 2 bad generations of evangelization and formation.  Luckily you are only 67 and, God willing, have 10 more years to fix this course.  As you said well in your letter at Pentecost – the primary mission of the Church is evangelization.  Now your sheep are asking you to make it your top priority.  Please walk the talk.

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Boston Priest says:

Cardinal Sean,
I know your job is a tough one and you’ve intimated to many people that you don’t want to be here.

Until such time as you decide it’s time to move on from Boston, more than a handful of diocesan priests would find it a morale boost if you’d  wear the clerical suit/cassock of a diocesan bishop instead of your Franciscan habit (ie. as Archbishop Chaput has chosen to do). I know canonically you have the option to dress in conformity with your religious community and sacred calling and it’s your decision. I see where for formal occasions, and trips to Rome you wear the diocesan bishop cassock. But, we’re all diocesan priests here, so by dressing other than we do, it makes a lot of us feel like you’re not really bought into being our diocesan bishop. It’s like you’re somewhere else, like an itinerant wanderer and not appearing as though you’re the one responsible for the diocese. We’re treated similarly canonically, with many left hanging in limbo continuing to serve as pastors with no formal renewal of pastoral terms.

It’s a lot more than the attire, but the what you wear symbolizes something to everyone.

As long as you’re here, it would dignify the office of Archbishop of Boston and be a boost to morale for a lot of the guys if you’d dress the part of diocesan bishop that the Holy Father asked you to play here, rather than dressing for the part you might want to play somewhere else.

  • Michael says:

    It would also be quite dignified to not continuously contradict your previously stated positions as you have on several occasions.

  • Jack O’Malley says:

I agree totally with Boston Priest about the attire of the Archbishop of Boston.  The exemplar of Archbishop Chaput is particularly à propos.

As I posted earlier, you, Seán Cardinal O’Malley are a Prince of the Church.  Princeps.  Princeps Ecclesiae.  You understand the Latin.  Who was called a Princeps?  Be a Princeps.  And you will have the loyalty of true Catholics. The piskie wannabes will abandon you in droves.  Tantum melius!

Continue on the present course and you will have schism in your archdiocese.  We are fed up.  We will revolt.  Why do you think the FSSPX are expanding and you and your V2 novus ordo protestantised church is shrinking?

You have the classical education.  You have the traditional formation.  You are not much older than I.  You have the linguistic gift and training to preach the Evangelion to many peoples.  I exhort you to restore the Traditional Mass in all parishes of your bishopric.  You will have altar boys.  You will then have vocations.  You will then have faithful masculine priests.  And when you die, you will be assured of your reward when you confront our Saviour.  And you will be remembered here on earth as the true Franciscan Repairer of the Church of Christ once gone to ruin.

What is holding you back, your Eminence?  Why are you so timid?  Fear nothing!  Audax atque strenuus.  Vivat Christus Rex!

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Mack says:

Cardinal O’Malley:
I know  you have a difficult ministry and believe you are sincerely trying. Yet something is grievously wrong in this archdiocese. Recently after Mass I was briefly speaking to a priest he said that “the archdiocese is imploding.” He didn’t elaborate, but we all know what’s going on.

I would urge you to do three things:

1. Give priority to teaching the fullness of the Catholic faith, even on the tough issues. I was so saddened to see you at Ted Kennedy’s funeral standing on the sidelines and not giving any witness at all to the Church’s teaching on life. Kennedy was an ardent supporter of abortion legislation throughout his Senate career. To me it was a terrible scandal that the impression was given that a politician can work with all his might to promote the “culture of death,” as Pope John Paul termed it, and then receive accolades as if he was some kind of saint.  Another important issue is homosexuality, and the proposed “gay pride” Mass at St Cecilia’s is another situation you need to address.

2. Stop listening to the advisors you now have, and find some other persons with better judgment and the gifts of the Holy Spirit. Invest more time in personal prayer and make this a priority.

3. Publicly acknowledge the full extent of the injustice you did to the Daughters of St. Paul, and apologize to the sisters for: 1) having interfered in their internal affairs and brought serious trials to their leadership team and 2) for allowing the pension fund issue to drag on for 5 years. This sad situation shows how poorly you have led this archdiocese. The facts show that you did not intervene to help the sisters find justice when they and their employees were being unjustly treated. If you had used your influence, why would it have dragged on for 5 years? But when you received some negative publicity, you immediately called their superior general to complain because your ego was offended. I can only conclude from this that you care more about your public image than you do about doing justice. Shame on you!

  • Michael says:

To the contrary … Cardinal O’Malley was not “standing on the sidelines and not giving any witness at all to the Church’s teaching.”  He was on the field doing that trick play in football that we employed as kids … he stood on the field trying to make it look like he was standing on the sidelines – but instead he had a very big role in the play.

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JRBreton says:

Cardinal O’Malley, please tend to your priests.  They need your encouragement, and your discipline.  Consider, for instance, the great scandal caused by so many priests saying Mass in their own particular way.  That would not be the case if our priests were acting in personal Christi.  Nothing much good can be expected until we have a reformation of  our priests.  It is your job; please don’t shirk it.

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Anonymous Priest says:

Cardinal O’Malley,
Boston Catholic Insider has provided an incredible service to the Archdiocese of Boston. BCI has begun to confront the some of the corruption in this archdiocese . They do so in a manner that is professional, direct and charitable. The failure of this archdiocese to respond  responsibly to the issues raised by the BCI is a scandal which has a different face that the one of 2002 but nonetheless, still scandalous. The BCI discusses issues after doing  its homework and demonstrates a good knowledge of and commitment to the true mission of the church. Never relying on hearsay, it continues to speak the truth with  charity and clarity. Unfortunately, the archdiocese continues to dismiss the BCI as is  its customary response to people and ideas it does not like. It’s very encouraging for many of the priests  of this archdiocese to see  that the BCI will not be intimidated nor is it going to go away. If the archdiocese were willing to engage the BCI  and begin to “clean house” we could actually have a vibrant archdiocese. Please, Cardinal O’Malley, listen to the BCI.

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John A. Cronin says:

A suggestion if I may…..Advisors should be screened and one group who would help His Eminence would be the Franciscans of the Primitive Observance.  They are living the life of Francis, working the streets of Boston and Lawrence and should be asked advice on a timely basis, just to get to the truth.  Thier loyalty to Cardinal O’Malley is beyond questionable.

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H.O.T. says:

Dear Cardinal O’Malley,

I know you to be a good man, Your Eminence. I think you’re doing a basically good job administering the Diocese, these nattering carpers to the contrary. I understand you have a difficult job, and you’re caught between a rock and a hard place in terms of fixed assets you can’t liquidate, and immediate need and long-term debts.

I do think a lot of your advisers need to get replaced, though (for reasons different than most here). Inter alia, Fr. Hehir’s influence has been insidious for a long time, but it’s not just him. It might be time to just start over.

Outside of that, I wish there was even one person who is charged  with using your delegated authority to assure both the orthodoxy and fullness of doctrine is being taught and preached in the Archdiocese. It’s still not even close.

Your faithful son,

H.O.T.

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Kdgd says:

Dear Cardinal Sean,

What sorrow must fill your heart to see our Church shriveling away in Boston. Yet just like the rose bush is trimmed to an ugly stump to survive the winter, our church needs serious pruning. Only then can it thrive and bloom again in spring. There are many problems but top of the list is lack of formation & creeping secularization.

For starters, the CCD program in every parish and school needs to be evaluated. They teach that “God Loves You”, which is of course true, but little else. A love for the Eucharist and a basic understanding of the Catechism is scandalously lacking. Every parish needs adult formation, not just RCIA, but a “Catholic Answers” type forum to help answer the “why’s” of the what the Church teaches.  EVERY priest, Bishop and Cardinal should teach  CCD, confirmation, RCIA or adult formation classes.  At the present moment, our priests are asked to act more as fundraisers than evangelizers.  Who gives up a family for that?

Secularization has entered nearly all areas of the church, especially education and charity. Catholic schools and Catholic Charities have become almost indistinguishable from their secular versions. Recently a glossy Catholic Charities booklet was sent to my house- while professional looking, it didn’t mention one word about Christ and the Faith  in all its multicolor splendor.  Blessed Mother Teresa should be the roll model for service.

The Church is shrinking in Boston, but if it is secularized in hope that this will antagonize fewer people into leaving (and hence decrease the coffers even more) then there is no chance of renewal. Of the 20% of Mass going Catholics, how many attend less than 52 weeks a year, practice birth control, understand the Real Presence in Eucharist, understand the Church’s teaching on the Gospel of Life? How truly depressing – I cannot imagine presiding over this kind of decline. Even with bold leadership and action , renewal is unlikely to happen in our lifetimes, but it is the only hope.

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Marianne Keating says:

I agree with the many responses above about cleaning out the Chancery of the overpaid, scandalous, heretical employees.  Have courage, Cardinal O’Malley, and trust God to bring us through it all after the pieces fall!

On a positive note, I was delighted to hear Sr. Olga will be starting an order of nuns here in the Archdiocese.  Wonderful news as she is a holy and inspirational nun and will be a true blessing for our Archdiocese and the many lives she touches!

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Michael says:

Here is a suggestion if you are uncertain as to what to do.  Fire anyone stealing from the Archdiocese – that includes Mary Grassa O’Neill ($325,000/yr), her deputies and anyone making above a liveable salary — any salary does not clearly demonstrate a willingness to be a servant of Christ (i.e., anyone making over $50,000 – 60,000 a year).

Also, fire those new lawyers you got for giving you pathetic and wimpy legal advice — you know … the ones who say that HR cannot even ask a prospective employee whether or not the applicant is Catholic because doing so allegedly violates the law.

Hey smartypants lawyers — that is the most ridiculous legal advice ever offered.  With people like you boys fighting for us, who needs enemies.

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Bill Redmond says:

Dear Cardinal O’Malley,

Thank you for working with Holy Family Communications to bring WQOM to the Boston Archdiocese.  The Good Catholic Life program is wonderful.  I’d like to see a change in the format that would allow for callers to interact with Scott and the guests.

Bill Redmond

OK says:
Bill,
It’s not the format that would need to change their is a technical issue that doesn’t allow for taking calls from the general public…until that issue is resolved their will be no call ins.  I know this to be the situation.
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David says:

Thank you, Cardinal O’Malley, for coming to the Courage Conference held at Betania II in Medway in 2008.  The members of Courage and Encourage appreciate the work you have done publicly and behind the scenes in supporting our efforts to live chaste and holy lives.

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freda says:

Dear Cardinal O’Malley,

The media says that the Archdiocese has confirmed the re-scheduling of the St. Cecilia pro-gay-pride mass for July 10.  That is crazy.  How can you approve a mass in a holy place celebrating ANY sexual practices, let alone sexual practices that for 2,000 years the Church has called “intrinsically disordered”?  Even earlier,  much of the Old Testament teaches that God told the Israelites to stop pagan worships!   Pagan worship meant temple prostitutes and the celebration of adultery and  disordered sexual acts.  How can you possibly allow St. Cecilia’s to be turned into a pagan temple?????  How can you????  You really must stop this immediately.  It is scandalizing the faithful (and all converts and — imagine what message it is sending to all those Anglican and Episcopal priests bravely considering “coming home” to the Catholic Church!)

I have heard that the St. Cecilia mass  will now be called a “welcome” mass.  Are you kidding?  Do you think that lay Catholics are stupid? PLEASE put a stop to this.

  • anna says:

    Freda,  You bring up an excellent point about converts and Anglicans.  Losing converts is a price they are willing to pay to get the gays, lesbians and wealthy parishioners to achieve their big fundraising goals.

    But the thing is Freda, they are actually the stupid ones because they can’t figure out the reason why they are going bankrupt.  For every donor they get with their clapping fornication and sodomy mission statements, they lose 100 sane donors.

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anonymous reader

Dear Cardinal O’Malley:

A humble servant of Jesus is asking for your support on what I believe to be grave matters.

1.  Rebuilding the sanctity of St. Cecilia’s Parish in Boston.  In this case, I believe Fr. Unni, Bishop Hennessey are giving into a political culture rather than to the teachings found in the Old Testament.  No where in the New Testament does Jesus give approval of homosexuals living together.  This needs to be immediately addressed for the good of the whole Archdiocese.

Fr. Unni likened the circumstances to Love v Hate.  The Gay Pride ministry represents LOVE and those who object to the Holy, Catholic Church being used to chastise the Holy Eucharist are HATERS.  Nothing could be further from the truth.

Terry Donilon said that you approved of Fr. John Unni, Pastor of St. Cecilia’s, and that the Gay Pride Mass is going forward as previously scheduled.  What do you have to say about this??????

John Connors, caused scandal to us when he opened his home for a $2 million fundraiser for the most Pro-Abortion President.  Pres. Obama said he would let his daughters have an abortion if they found themselves pregnant out of wedlock.  Why then, would Mr. Connors want to host a hugh fundraiser for him.  Where is Mr. Connors on this issue???????

Would you please look into this and CANCEL THIS MASS.  Mass should never be offered for a cause.

2.  Recently Fr. Pavone, a good and holy man preached at St. Paul’s in Hingham.  Becasue a person held up a sign showing a 23 week old fetus being dismembered, someone called the police and they took his license plate number.  A call then came to Fr. Rafferty saying that he shouldn’t have allowed Fr. Pavone to come and speak.

Fr. Pavone is a wonderful priest in support of life.  Our Archdiocese is certainly in need of the presence of PFL.  Why, did a spokesperson from your office call to nix it?????

Thank you for your consideration of these important issues to the flock who is trying their best to be faithful to Christ and the Holy Eucharist.

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williamh says:

The leadership of the Catholic Church needs to make it perfectly clear that:  they do not support homosexuality in any way (Maureen Dowd, unfortunately, hit right on the head in NYT article about homosexuality in Church; they need to own up to it ; discover why it occurred so rampantly; how to squash and deal with it now;  they need to strongly defend marriage; always speak out against abortion; speak out against same sex marriage; homosexuality is an intrinsic disorder and homosexual practices are mortal sins.  Their mission is to:  teach, govern, and sanctify.  Many of them get an “F” on all three.  Why are they gutless and wishy-washy.  Why have there been so many “feminized” clergy within the last few decades.  What about the faithful, straight clergy standing up to the gay,clerical mafia in each diocese.  We need it; it can reestablish the faithful’s TRUST in their clergy, from the cardinals on down.

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Jane M. Finn says:

Dear Cardinal O’Malley,

I thought the mission of the Catholic Church was about “saving souls.”  How is that mission being fulfilled at St. Cecilia’s?  Their Rainbow Ministry, with full knowledge of the Archdiocese, is hosting a specially named Mass on July 10th.  This Mass will be celebrating those of a sexual persuasion, that if practiced, is against the 6th Commandment.  So, shouldn’t  the Archdiocese be concerned for their souls? Or has the Archdiocese eliminated the 6th Commandment? Should the Ten Commandments now be called the Nine Commandments?  There seems to be so much ‘double speak’ coming from the Archdiocese….CONFUSION.

Right now, I think, is the perfect time for the Archdiocese to give real evangelization by way of the Boston Media to millions and millions here and across the country that would certainly save some souls. They should give witness to the successful Catholic Church sponsored program for homosexuality called COURAGE for the homosexual and ENCOURAGE for his/her’s family members.  This is an opportunity that should not be waisted!

Only the TRUTH and LOVE of Jesus Christ brings true peace and quiets the restless heart.  Spin will only keep poor souls spinning and will not save them.

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Alice Slattery says:

Dear Cardinal O’Malley,
If you look carefully at the parish bulletins and the activities of the Rainbow Ministry that are promoted by Fr. John Unni as pastor of St. Cecilia’s parish in Boston  and compare them to those of Fr. Walter Cuenin’s in his parish bulletins at Our Lady Help of Christians parish in Newton (which are in the archives from the time when Bp. William Murphy was Moderator), you will see that they are practically identical in the way that they advanced the cause of the desires of the members of his parish who  promote the  LGBT agenda. In fact,  in June of 2006, Fr. Walter Cuenin received the Pride Interfaith Award during Gay Pride week for his advocacy for the desires of the LGBT advocates by his “gay-affirming ” efforts in his parish and  “the religious community” in  Boston.(“Catholic priest to preach at Boston Pride Interfaith Service”,Bay Windows,2/02/06). To my recollection, there was nothing critical of this fact  printed in The Pilot .
I may be wrong but I also  don’t recall anything critical in The Pilot when Fr. Cuenin joined Fr. Thomas Carroll,rector of the Jesuit Urban Center,Boston, when they opposed the ban on gay marriage before the Mass. State Legislature in 2002.(“Three priests oppose ban on gay marriage”,Boston Globe,4/11/02,p.p.B1.B10).
Now that the members of the Jesuit Urban Center have moved into St. Cecilia’s parish, is Fr. Unni accommodating their desire for  acceptance of gay marriage?
Since Fr. Unni is ‘walking in the footsteps’ of Fr, Cuenin,  and is recognized by the GLBT advocates for his efforts to advocate for their desires, will you remain silent as you did when Fr. Cuenin was honored by those who gave him the  GLBT Pride award?  Would you be in agreement if the recipient of the LGBT Pride award next year is Fr. John Unni?The perception of your silence regarding the impact that such advocacy has on the parishioners of the Boston Archdiocese is very confusing. Please, as our Shepherd, clearly explain your position.


Resignation Question

June 10, 2011

The word “resignation” is in the news a fair amount lately.  Since it is in the news outside of the Archdiocese of Boston, we thought we would bring up the topic here once again as we see an increasing need for at least one or more resignations to be happening inside the archdiocese.

The most obvious situation in the headlines where the resignation question is a hot topic is the scandal over NY Rep. Anthony Weiner. BCI will not repeat the salacious details here. BCI thinks he should resign–because of the underlying actions themselves, the public lies and deception, his bad judgment and flawed character to be representing the people, the scandal it has created, and a host of other reasons.

Another situation outside the archdiocese has been reported this week in the Chicago Tribune.  The paper reports that a recently appointed trustee of the University of Notre Dame, Chicago investor Roxanne Martino,  has just resigned from their board  after it was revealed that she had given $25,000 to Emily’s List, a political fund-raising organization committed to electing women who support abortion rights. This Op-Ed piece in the Tribune by Rev. Robert Barron, priest and theology professor at University of St. Mary of the Lake in Mundelein, offers some interesting insights:

The Cardinal  Newman Society observed that because Ms. Martino had donated $25,000 to Emily’s List, an organization whose stated purpose is “the electing of pro-choice Democratic women,” she would be unfit to serve in such an important position of governance at a Catholic university.  A controversy ensued, and Martino, concluded that it was in the best interest of Notre Dame for her to step down.

I believe that she made the right decision.

Catholic morality rests upon the assumption that certain acts are intrinsically evil, precisely because certain values are so fundamental that they can never be undermined.  The chief of these values is the cultivation of life, and this is why the direct killing of the innocent is so massively repugnant to a Catholic moral sensibility.

Those who claim that the abortion question is “one issue among many” simply fail to understand this centrality. Therefore, a person who has actively supported an organization pledged to fight for abortion rights in the political arena cannot in good faith participate in the governance of a university committed to Catholic doctrine and moral values.

To those who feel that Ms. Martino has been unjustly hounded from her position on the Notre Dame Board of Trustees, I would propose a simple thought experiment. Suppose that someone who had made substantial monetary contributions to an organization dedicated to the undermining of civil rights in America had been appointed to the Board of Trustees of the University of Notre Dame.  Would you support his or her candidacy? I think the question answers itself.

These two examples bring us back to the Archdiocese of Boston, and specifically Finance Council member and chair of the institutional advancement committee, Jack Connors.

Jack Connors has been party to a public deception of Catholics in the archdiocese. For those who do not recall, he chaired the “sham search” committee for the new Cabinet Secretary for Institutional Advancement (publicly announced last June) which never really intended to conduct a search and had already selected Connors’ crony and former Hill Holiday exec Kathleen Driscoll for the job, as we reported in “Biggest Boston Archdiocesan Sham Search Yet Now Announced.”

And he has also publicly demonstrated significant support for people who support abortion, as we have reported multiple times, including last month when we called for his resignation:

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

BCI proposed a 30-day truce to the archdiocese on our criticism of Jack Connors and never received a response, so with the topic of resignation in the air, it is time to revisit this one.  It is our opinion that a person who has been party to public deception of the people of the archdiocese should not be participating in the governance of the archdiocese. (Yes, we know there are more individuals that meet this criteria than the one named here). Even more importantly, a person who has actively supported political candidates who support abortion and who serves as chair of a healthcare network that provides abortions cannot in good faith participate in the governance of diocese committed to Catholic doctrine and moral values.

BCI believes the word “resignation” needs to be discussed a great deal more in this archdiocese. Jack Connors is just one example.  His actions represent collaboration with and support for those who support taking the lives of the unborn. If this collaboration with moral evil is not sufficient to justify his resignation, his actions also create scandal and objectively violate the archdiocese’s own Code of Conduct, which disqualifies him from both membership on the Finance Council and involvement in any advisory capacity.  He should voluntarily resign or be asked to leave by the Archbishop of Boston.

If the Archbishop of Boston is too shy, out-of-touch, depressed, dependent on Jack and his minions for fundraising, over-controlled and browbeaten by his handlers, and/or afraid to take such action, then that obviously represents an even graver problem.

That’s what BCI thinks.  What do you think?

(Note: Please do not turn the comments into a discussion about Anthony Weiner. He was just used to exemplify the point and is not the subject of this post).


Temporary Truce?

May 24, 2011

Before we get into our topic for today, we would like to just let readers know we are well aware of the latest news from Lawrence regarding St. Mary of the Assumption School–we are in the process of doing some fact-checking before we determine in what manner BCI might weigh in.

As for our topic today, after reading a comment left on the blog yesterday, BCI had an idea this morning we are proposing to Cardinal O’Malley.  This can be thought of as a temporary truce in our criticism of Jack Connors and the Cardinal over a) Jack’s support for pro-abortion political candidates and b)  the inaction by the Cardinal in this grave matter. Here is an excerpt from the comment:

To the point raised by BCI, can Jack Connors, who certainly endorses abortion by making it available and failing to offer a real alternative, as well as by unfailingly supporting those who continue to legislate it as “safe and legal,” wrap himself in the mantle of promotion and protection by the Cardinal Archbishop of Boston?  Is Sean O’Malley morally bound, both by his Baptism and by his vows, to have the guiding councils of the Archdiocese free of those who actively support abortion as the answer for women and their children?

The answer is, the cardinal cannot morally or within the prescripts of his vows, foster and promote Jack Connors.  But he does it anyway.

The answer is, quite seriously, for Sean to witness an abortion, and accompany the remains (or “specimen” as the clinics call what’s left of the child) to the pathology lab bench where all tissue removed from a human during surgery must go for scrutiny.  Let the cardinal ask the pathologist about the tiny feet, and tiny skull, and the heart so large it takes up most of the body.  Then send him straight to some dinner where he will present Jack Connors, who presides over any dealings of RCAB to do with financial or managerial weight, with an award for being a wonderful person, nevermind Catholic.

Jack Connors got the real estate he needed for BC by sitting on the finance council while heading the BC board of trustees.  He got the Caritas hospitals a bit lower hanging on the branch (via Cerberus) for Partners to cherry pick in the not-to-distant future by returning to the finance council.  And he has thereby, in my opinion, compromised the ordinary to the point of risking his salvation.  This has not to do only with abortion, and the failure to provide a real alternative.  This has to do with scores of matters large and small, civil and ecclesial, where Sean has cooperated in the fraud crafted by Connors and his henchmen, to avoid the messier work of doing the right thing.

To bring the thought full circle, those six newly ordained men deserve an ordinary who can lead by example.  It’s the least they are owed in exchange for giving their lives over to the salvation of souls.

Pray for Sean Patrick Cardinal O’Malley, Jack Connors, Bryan Hehir and their many minions.  They are in desperate need of our prayers.

Though we cannot solve all of the problems described above with this proposal, we would like to try and at least tackle one problem by offering the following proposal to Cardinal O’Malley, Jack Connors, and Fr. Bryan Hehir:

For the next 30 days, BCI will hold back from publicly criticizing the Cardinal, Jack Connors, and Fr. Hehir over the issue of Jack’s support for pro-abortion candidates–provided that the Cardinal, Jack, and Fr. Hehir all agree to witness an abortion as described above (preferably a late-term abortion) within the next 30 days, visit the pathology lab as described, and write a reflection that is published in The Pilot on the experience.  Optionally, Chancellor Jim McDonough and Finance Council Vice Chair, Jack McCarthy, could also be invited to observe this.

  • Scheduling: we assume that scheduling should be relatively easy, in that Jack is the Chair of Partners Healthcare, whose Brigham and Women’s Hospital performs 4,300 abortions every year (3,600 first-trimester and 570 second-trimester).  This averages 14 first-trimester abortions per business day and 2 second-trimester abortions per business day.
  • Finding a Doctor to Observe: Dr. Michael Greene, director of obstetrics at Mass General, might be a good starting point.  An alert reader recently passed us a link to this article from the Boston Globe that describes how Greene and other doctors at Mass General, Brigham and Women’s and Beth Israel Deaconess “perform” abortions at 20 weeks gestation or later and “avoid any chance of a live birth and prosecution” by making “lethal injections in the womb a standard operating procedure.” In case Greene is difficult to reach, we suggest that Fr. Bryan Hehir contact him using what we are told is his Boston College connection to Greene from this April 2010 BC panel discussion where they both spoke.

The archdiocese is annoyed by BCI and mistakenly thinks BCI is out to hurt the archdiocese.  In reality, BCI is just trying to find ways to encourage Cardinal O’Malley and his advisors to operate consistent with Catholic Church teachings and the archdiocesan Code of Conduct–and to do the right thing ethically and morally in governing the archdiocese.

BCI believes our proposal is simple and should be compelling for everyone involved.  If the Cardinal, Jack, and Fr. Hehir commit to witnessing an abortion (preferably at 20-weeks gestation or later) and writing about it publicly in The Pilot within the next 30 days (by June 24, 2011), BCI will commit to a temporary truce on criticism of those individuals regarding the issue of Jack’s support for pro-abortion politicians and the Cardinal’s inaction.  Depending on what they experience and write about, BCI might commit to a permanent truce on criticizing the aforementioned people regarding this specific issue.

Seems like a Win/Win proposal for all involved.  We will email it to the Cardinal, Fr. Hehir, and others who we believe should be able to forward this to Jack Connors.  BCI hopes to get a quick “yes” and will keep you updated on what we hear back by the end of this week.

What do you think of the truce proposal?


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