Fr. Bob VerEecke, formerly at St. Ignatius at Boston College, removed from pro-gay parish after ‘boundary violations’ with male parishioner

September 24, 2018

This story broke last week, but BCI missed it in the midst of the Walter Cuenin coverage. Jesuit Fr. Bob VerEecke was the pro-gay pastor of St. Ignatius of Loyola parish in Chestnut Hill, MA for 27 years, until he left in June of 2016. He was replaced at St. Ignatius in MA by Fr. Joseph Constantino, who was previously pastor of the gay-friendly parish, St. Francis Xavier in Manhattan, from 2006-2013 (see below). In other words, the Jesuits more or less swapped the assignments of the two pro-gay pastors at their respective pro-gay parishes.

francisxavierrainbowflagSt. Francis Xavier in Manhattan, is a hotbed for pro-gay dissent and LGBT  activism. When same-sex “marriage” became legally recognized by the U.S. Supreme Court in 2015, St. Francis Xavier Church’s Facebook page shared a photo of a rainbow flag draping the steps up to the altar.

Here’s are excerpts from the original report by LifeSiteNews, “Jesuit priest from pro-gay parish removed after ‘boundary violations’ with male parishioner.”

NEW YORK CITY, September 18, 2018 (LifeSiteNews) – A Jesuit priest at a well-known pro-homosexual Manhattan parish has been removed as pastor for “boundary violations” with “an adult male who attended the parish.”

Fr. Bob VerEecke has been removed as pastor of St. Francis Xavier Church and restricted “from the exercise of public sacramental ministry,” according to a September 15 letter from Jesuit superior John Cecero read out at parish Masses last weekend.

A letter from acting pastor Fr. Daniel Corrou posted on St. Francis Xavier website Tuesday revealed the allegations concerned “a recent, unwanted and inappropriate conversation and attention of a sexual nature toward an adult male who attended the parish.”

Corrou wrote that “there was nothing criminal about this interaction” and that VerEecke “agreed that the incident took place, acknowledges his lack of good judgement, and is sorry for the incident.”

This confirms the September 15 letter from Cecero, superior of the USA Northeast Province of the Society of Jesus.

“About a week ago, the Archdiocese of New York communicated to me complaints by an adult of boundary violations by Fr. VerEecke. I reviewed these complaints with Fr. VerEecke, and he acknowledges a lack of good judgment in his behaviour,” Cecero wrote.

“Consistent with our Province Ethics in Ministry policies, I am removing Fr. VerEecke from the Church of St. Francis Xavier and restricting him from the exercise of public sacramental ministry. I anticipate that many of you will share my regret in taking this action, but we as a Church have learned the hard way that boundary violations must be met with a swift and decisive response from church leadership.”

St. Francis Xavier is notorious for its support of the LGBT agenda, hosting regular meetings for Catholic Lesbians and Gay Catholics. It draped a rainbow flag on the altar steps after the Obergefell decision legalizing same-sex “marriage” and in conjunction with the city’s Pride event, Church Militant reported in June 2015.

The parish traditionally marches in the NYC Pride Parade, which was organized this year by parish staff Robert Choiniere, doctoral student at Fordham University, and co-producer of “docudrama” Full of Grace: The lives of LGBT Catholics.

“Celebrating Pride is about as Catholic as you can get,” Choiniere, who appears holding a rainbow umbrella on a New Ways Ministry report on LGBT Catholics in Dublin for the World Meeting of Families, wrote in the June 24 parish bulletin.

“St. Francis Xavier has been a shining example for many decades of this truth…The sacred procession of Pride is a proclamation of our identity as Children of God,” he wrote.

Indeed, New Ways Ministry, a dissident group that lobbies the Catholic Church to accept homosexuality, lists St. Francis Xavier as one of its “LGBT friendly” parishes.

Jesuit Fr. James Martin, who has been lobbying the Church to normalize homosexuality, is scheduled to speak at the parish October 3.

Martin, “friend of Xavier was present at the World Meeting of Families in Dublin,” will speak on “how the Catholic Church and the LGBT Community can enter into a relationship of respect, compassion and sensitivity,” the parish website says.

“Jim will be at Xavier to speak about his experience in Dublin in light of recent painful events in the church,” the announcement says.

Known as “the dancing priest,” VerEecke has choreographed numerous liturgical dances.

In June last year, VerEecke led parishioners of St. Francis Xavier in a “wave” as he danced in the sanctuary, and several young women swirled around in front of him to “Celebration” by Kool and the Gang.

VerEecke was known for his kooky liturgical dance and other pro-gay advocacy while at St. Ignatius in Chestnut Hill, MA.. Beyond the tragedy of what VerEecke did, there’s another scandal.  Cardinal Sean O’Malley welcomed the previous pastor from St. Francis Xavier to be the new pastor at St. Ignatius of Loyola in the Archdiocese of Boston. Surely he knew about his gay advocacy at his parish in New York before accepting the appointment. Here’s what Church Militant reported in 2015 in “NY CHURCH DRAPES ALTAR STEPS WITH GAY FLAG”:

MANHATTAN, June 29, 2015 (ChurchMilitant.com) – A Catholic church in New York City has posted a photo of its altar steps draped in the rainbow flag.

Saint Francis Xavier, known as a bastion for gay Catholics, has a reputation for gay activism, with members regularly marching in the city’s gay pride parade.

The photo was posted on the parish’s Facebook page on June 27, the day right after the U.S. Supreme Court handed down its revolutionary decision legalizing same-sex “marriage” in all 50 states, and during the weekend of gay pride festivities in New York City.

The pastor once wrote a parish bulletin encouraging the Church to rethink its teachings on homosexuality, and the parish hosts regular meetings for Catholic Lesbians and Gay Catholics, as well as a Zen Meditation group. Although the Courage apostolate — the only Church-approved ministry to Catholics with same-sex attraction — is headquartered in New York City, the parish has yet to welcome the orthodox apostolate there.

Cardinal O’Malley should be asked why he freely accepted the appointment of Fr. Constantino to be pastor of St. Ignatius, given his history.

And does anyone else think the Fr. VerEecke story sounds just a little bit similar to what we reported about Fr. Walter Cuenin’s unwelcome advances on a male Brandeis student and Terry Donilon’s “non-denial denial“?  He said there was no charge of molestation (which we knew), and then he said no allegation of molestation — which was merely a parsing of words — but would he agree that it was an unwelcome sexual advance after the victim had been plied with alcohol and was unable to say no?

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On the strange situation of Fr. Walter Cuenin and the Brandeis Univ. Chaplaincy

May 29, 2015

A number of readers have been asking us to share news and commentary about the strange situation of Fr. Walter (“Call me Walter”) Cuenin and what is currently going on with the Catholic chaplaincy at Brandeis University. Cuenin left Brandeis in January on short notice for undisclosed health reasons, and Brandeis is balking at having the Boston Archdiocese appoint a replacement.  To paraphrase Shakespeare, something smells rotten in Denmark.

As BCI readers may recall, last October we called Fr. Cuenin out for flying a GLBTQ banner over the Catholic chapel at Brandeis.   We wrote:

There are so many things wrong with what is going on there, it is tough to express in words. How can a Catholic priest be allowed to promote “gay pride” and gravely sinful, immoral behavior and remain in active ministry?  Imagine a 17 or 18-year-old child away from home for the first time who might be confused about their sexual identity going to talk to Fr. Cuenin for a Catholic perspective–and instead of hearing about how Christ calls them to chastity and holiness, they see the gay pride flag there with a Catholic priest advocating for the gay lifestyle and the sinful, disordered, medically unsafe behaviors that are a part of it.  This crap from Fr. Cuenin has been going on for at least 12-15 years, if not longer. His public testimony to the Mass Legislature in 2002 opposing a ban on “gay marriage” should have gotten him permanently removed from ministry.

We also urged readers to write to various archdiocesan officials to call for his removal. Well, by and by, about 2 months later, in January Fr. Cuenin left Brandeis on short notice for undisclosed health reasons. All that Cuenin has said is he is “in a clinic in Michigan for treatment.”  Cuenin previously left Brandeis temporarily in 2012 to undergo treatment for cancer at the Mayo Clinic in Rochester, Minn. In the October 9, 2012 issue of the Brandeis Justice, he described the treatment program as a Church-sponsored course for priests “to get them in better shape” and said he hoped to address not only his cancer but also “other psychological and spiritual issues.”  It is unclear whether this year’s permanent departure is related to the health issues of 2012.

This brings us to what Brandeis has been doing to block the filling of the vacant Catholic chaplaincy role with a faithful Catholic priest.

In the original announcement of Fr. Cuenin’s January departure, Brandeis said that Sr. Marie Labolitta would be helping ensure “Services are available this weekend…there will be transportation provided to attend Service in Newton.”  Beside their failure to properly refer to the Catholic Mass, Sr. Marie Labolitta, formerly at Our Lady Help of Christians when Fr. Cuenin was pastor there, is bad news. She is a founder of a non-denominational womens’ spirituality group called “Sacred Threads.”  One look at their website, which promotes a local talk by dissident Joan Chittister, and you know she is problematic. BCI heard that since Cuenin’s departure they have been transporting students to Our Ladys in Newton, even though St. Marys in Waltham and other more orthodox Catholic Churches are much closer to the Brandeis Campus.

Sources tell BCI that in leaving Brandeis, Fr. Cuenin  organized a student “initiative” to change the nature of Chaplaincy. Initially, Brandeis said they would be working with the Boston Archdiocese to fill the role. Fr. Dan Moloney was proposed by the Boston Archdiocese and started saying Masses at Brandeis in early February. But Brandeis said they wanted to consider a new vision for the chaplaincy. We are told that Fr. Moloney was found by the “Cuenin acolytes” to be “inadequately liberal, aka Cuenine” and rejected. He is not longer there, sources also tell us there is no regular Catholic Mass on campus, and students are still being directed to “progressive” Churches that may not be anywhere near Waltham.  We have also heard that Cuenin is still “advising”, aka undermining, the Brandeis Catholic students, even sending them to WomenPriests for Mass. The person coordinating Mass arrangements is Allison Cornelisse, described as “a member of the Brandeis Catholic community.”  A Google search on her name reveals nothing whatsoever about her background, but if she is the one bypassing nearby Catholic churches in Waltham and Newton (St. Marys, St. Charles Borromeo, Our Lady Comforter of the Afflicted, Mary Immaculate of Lourdes) that are true to the Catholic faith in favor of churches farther away where the tenor is not so true to the Catholic faith, then we see her as problematic.

As for the search for a new Catholic chaplain, Brandeis said there is a committee working on it–in the context of looking at campus Chaplaincy across religions and faiths.  The faculty chair of that committee is Prof. Wendy Cadge. A brief look at her CV shows a number of articles she has about Buddhism and in support of the gay agenda in churches. (e.g. her chapters in a book Gay Religion, entitled ““Reconciling Congregations Bridging Gay and Straight Communities” and “Lesbian, Gay, and Bisexual Buddhist Practitioners”).  BCI cannot fathom how a secular college committee of any sort–let alone one set-up like this–would be in a position to set the requirements for a Catholic priest/chaplain. Given this is the way Brandeis seems to be operating, BCI thinks the only thing that could be done for the Catholic students on campus would be for the Boston Archdiocese to appoint an orthodox Catholic student to help coordinate transportation to Masses at nearby parishes faithful to the teachings of the Catholic faith.


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