Massachusetts Catholic Conference – new head
The selection of Edward F. Saunders, a longtime credit union lobbyist and Massachusetts Turnpike Authority appointee, as the new executive director of the Massachusetts Catholic Conference has provoked controversy among pro-life and pro-family activists.
Just days after the official announcement was made by Boston’s Archbishop Sean O’Malley on July 7, press reports revealed that Saunders had been a political contributor to numerous left-wing politicians who support abortion, homosexual marriage, embryonic stem-cell research, and “emergency contraception.”
The “culture of death” politicians that Saunders contributed to include Massachusetts Senate President Robert Travaglini, Boston City Council President Michael Flaherty, Massachusetts State Sen. Marian Walsh, State Rep. Michael Rodriguez, and Democratic gubernatorial candidate Shannon O’Brien
When asked by The Boston Globe, Saunders declined to say what his personal views on such “social issues” as abortion were.
Saunders was selected by a search committee led by Fr. J. Bryan Hehir, former dean of the Harvard Divinity School and a longtime staffer at the United States Catholic Conference, where he authored pastoral letters critical of the Reagan administration on nuclear defense and the economy.
Before going to the United States Catholic Conference, Fr. Hehir had made a name for himself as a leader of the revolt against Humanae Vitae at St. John’s Seminary in Boston. In 1974, in an important article for Theological Studies, Fr. Hehir argued that the Church should stay silent on contraception issues, suggesting that “contraceptive practice [be left] as an issue of private morality which the Church continues to teach for its members, but not an issue of public morality.”Also in 1974, when he was associate secretary for the International Justice and Peace office at the USCC, critics accused him of undercutting the Vatican’s attempts at the UN’s Population Conference in Bucharest by urging the Holy See to take a “low profile” on the question of means of population control. This was at a time when the Holy See, represented by the then Archbishop Edouard Gagnon, was rallying Third World countries against population control mandates urged by the Henry Kissinger’s National Security Study Memorandum 200 (NSSM 200).
Recently, Fr. Hehir, who was appointed cabinet secretary for social services for the archdiocese in 2004, has emerged as an influential clerical adviser to Archbishop O’Malley.
Boston is represented at the LA Religious Ed Conference
5-25 DANCING IN THE LIGHT
This workshop will offer participants an experience of a prayer service using gesture, movement and dance. This session is for those who are looking for ways to incorporate embodied prayer in their parish life and religious formation programs. The prayer service will be inspired by the Gospel of the Transfiguration and will use the music of Bernadette Farrell and Paul Melley.
Robert VerEecke, SJ
Fr. Bob VerEecke has offered workshops on movement prayer in the United States, Jamaica, Canada, Australia, France and England. He has served for nearly 20 years as Pastor of St. Ignatius Church in Chestnut Hill, Mass. Fr. VerEecke is also Director of the Boston Liturgical Dance Ensemble and is Jesuit Artist-in-Residence at Boston College.
Jamie Huggins, Associate Artistic Director of the Boston Liturgical Dance Ensemble, received his formal dance training from the Joffrey Ballet School in New York City. He has danced with the Louisville Ballet, the Berkshire Ballet, and numerous other dance companies. Huggins co-teaches the Summer Study in Sacred and Liturgical Dance at Boston College, and has worked with Fr. Bob VerEecke for more than 20 years.
The Ongoing Battle Against TAT
TAT – Talking About Touching
Still forced upon children and parents in the Archdiocese of Boston
This particular problem came to a head in 2005
Our Lady Help of Christians
Father Walter Cuenin - problem not addressed until financial improprieties arose
Often spoke at Gay Pride events in Boston
Our Lady Help of Christians
2006 - more problems at Our Lady, Help of Christians
Father John Sassani
A parishioner recently posed a good question at a meeting: Is it possible to belong to the church without believing in every teaching of the church? His [co-pastor Father John Sassani's] answer is YES. God’s hospitality is embodied in tangible ways among us and beyond parish boundaries. Hospitality embodies desire for growth.
Boston Catholic Charities planned to honor a pro-abortion politician (Menino).
It wasn’t till there was a huge out-cry by the Boston pro-life community that the Cardinal decided to not attend.
Boston archbishop pulls out of Catholic Charities fundraiser
Boston, Nov. 23, 2005 (CWNews.com) - Boston's Archbishop Sean O'Malley will not attend a December dinner honoring the city's Mayor Thomas Menino. The dinner is a fundraising event for the local office of Catholic Charities.
The archbishop's withdrawal from the December 9 event follows a series of protests from lay Catholic leaders, who have pointed to Mayor Menino's record on key moral issues. C.J. Doyle, executive director of the Catholic Action League of Massachusetts, cited the mayor's "relentless opposition to the moral teachings of the Roman Catholic Church" in a November 17 statement urging the archbishop not to attend the dinner. Doyle pointed out that although Menino is a Catholic, he has consistently supported legalized abortion on demand and has been a stalwart proponent of homosexuals, even sponsoring a "gay prom" for local high-school students at City Hall. When a Massachusetts court cleared the way for legal recognition of same-sex marriages, Mayor Menino personally welcomed the first homosexual applicants arriving at City Hall for marriage licenses.
Mayor Menino was chosen as the honoree for the December fundraiser because of his support for Catholic Charities.
The Boston arm of Catholic Charities came under fire in October when it was revealed that the office was actively helping homosexual couples to adopt children, despite Church teaching that such adoptions are "gravely immoral." Father J. Bryan Hehir, the head of Catholic Charities in Boston, explained that the Church agency assisted in homosexual adoptions in order to qualify for state funding that underwrites other adoption services. "If we could design the system ourselves, we would not participate in adoptions to gay couples, but we can't," he said; "We have to balance various goods."
Boston Catholic Charities Board Members Resign over Church Defence of Children
by Hilary White
BOSTON, February 27, 2006 (LifeSiteNews.com) – Seven members of the board of Catholic Charities of Boston have resigned in “outrage” over the Catholic Church’s opposition to homosexual adoption. The Massachusetts bishops are in the midst of a legal battle to have the Catholic Church exempted on grounds of religious freedom from the state law that says homosexuals must be allowed to adopt children.
In a unanimous vote in December, the 42-member board of the Catholic Charities of the Archdiocese of Boston refused to accede to the request by Archbishop Sean O’Malley and the Catholic Conference of Massachusetts to cease including homosexual partners as adoptive parents.
President of Catholic Charities in Boston, Rev. Brian H. Hehir, a prominent academic and social liberal, said at the time that the board’s decision to continue placing children with homosexual partners was taken in order to allow Catholic Charities to continue, within the state law, to find loving, normal families for needy children.
“If we could design the system ourselves, we would not participate in adoptions to gay couples, but we can't,” said Hehir. “We have to balance various goods.” The Catholic Church, however, has repeatedly made it clear that there is no “good” to be found in either allowing children to be placed with homosexual partners, or in lending legitimacy to the homosexual “lifestyle.” A document from the Vatican said plainly that homosexual adoption is a form of child abuse.
Am I to understand that those of us whose dying parents and relatives who have been foolishly charmed into believing that what she is doing is valid sacramentally, and died without the Last Rites of our Church (the pardon for all the sins they had committed in their lives), that you "greatly value" what she has done and you consider her contributions "vital" to the life and mission of Christ's Church?
If you are unaware of how traumatizing that statement is to people who understand the authentic faith, I certainly would be happy to give you my own personal experiences with my mother who was medflighted to Brigham & Women's hospital in a coma with a broken neck. She was "blessed" by a priest who had been removed from a parish by Cardinal Law for working with a woman in a ministry together which had feigned sacraments. I luckily had access to a priest who was willing to come and administer the official sacrament of the Church to her. As bad as I knew things were, I had no idea this was going on. When I explained my experience to the undertaker, he told me this was the norm in hospitals in Massachusetts - lay chaplains have wormed their way into positions where they can hijack the Sacrament of the sick. It's frightening that you greatly value these kinds "contributions" by feminists stampeding our faith.
"Appreciate Ms. Marchant's many years of service"? Sorry. I don't.
Last year, the director of healthcare "ministry" for the Archdiocese of Boston lied about her name and pretended to be "ordained" a priest. She came clean recently, quit her job, and got a lovely, flattering spread in the Boston Globe for doing it.
Spokesman Terrence Donilon:
"We greatly appreciate Ms. Marchant's many years of service in healthcare ministry. The archdiocese greatly values the ministry of lay and religious women. Their contributions are vital to the life and mission of the church."
I think this is a load of bleep. In any case, I do not "appreciate" Jean Marchant's "service."
I do not appreciate that, as far back as 2001, while in the Archiocese's employ, Jean Marchant attended the 2001 "ordination " of Mary Ramerman of Spiritus Christi Church, Rochester, New York. (Google this "church" if you can stomach it.)
I do not appreciate that the Archdiocese's employee, Jean Marchant, said that she "always seen my role as to stay within the church and to push the boundaries."
But far more seriously, I do not appreciate the fact that, since her "ordination," Jean Marchant has "quietly `anointed' some sick people and privately `consecrated the Eucharist'."
In fact, I find it worse than appalling.
Understand that I do not judge Jean Marchant. However, I strongly condemn the statement of "appreciation" released by the Archdiocese.
May God have mercy on us.
Archdiocese of Boston Entertains Dissenters by Deal W. Hudson
The Boston Globe reports that on Friday Cardinal Sean O'Malley will meet with members of the dissenting group Voice of the Faithful. A spokesman for the Archdiocese, however, explained that the meeting does not represent a change in policy regarding VOTF.
Voice of the Faithful is presently forbidden from meeting in Boston parishes.
Catholics in the Boston area, who have been battling the Voice of the Faithful since its inception, are concerned that this meeting will give the group credibility. Leaders of Voice of the Faithful are already claiming a symbolic victory.
Carol McKinley, a founder of the group Faithful Voice, has been Boston's leading lay critic of Catholic dissent. She is deeply disturbed by the Cardinal's decision: "Boston Catholics are appalled by continued statements from the Archdiocese giving the appearance that the Cardinal welcomes a group with a side-car mission that is heretical and invalid sacramentally. We're in real trouble."
Voice of the Faithful began in Boston over four years ago during the sex abuse scandal. From the beginning the group was closely associated with dissenters and leaders of the far left in the Catholic Church. For example, Jim Muller, the VOTF founder, issued a public letter calling for a national convention to ratify a constitution for an American Catholic Church separated from the authority of the Vatican.
Subsequent leadership, notably president Jim Post, tried to address similar issues under the banner of seeking "structural change." But most ecclesial leadership had already recognized VOTF's true intent and shut their doors. Only a handful of chanceries and parishes in the United States will host their meetings.
The latest reinvention of VOTF, as represented by their Web site, is an attempt to recover the outrage generated by the sex abuse scandal. The Web site also contains clear assurances of VOTF's obedience to Church teaching and Vatican authority. Their long-awaited statement on the meaning of "structural change" is innocuous and reflects nothing of the debate the group has expressed through its media coverage over the past four years.
C. J. Doyle, another leading critic of dissent in Boston, heads the Catholic Action League. Doyle says VOTF has little life outside its coverage in the Boston newspaper: "I hope the Archdiocese will do nothing to extend life support to this dying organization of left wing revolutionaries posing as Catholics. This organization has no public existence outside of Michael Paulson's articles in the Boston Globe."
VOTF has retained some presence in Boston because it receives moral support from institutions like Harvard and Boston College and financial backing from well-connected Catholic business leaders who agree with their dissenting attitude toward Church authority. A good example is O'Malley's appointment of Jack Connors, Jr., a prominent businessman and highly vocal critic of the archdiocese, to oversee the renewal of parochial education. Business leaders like Connors also sit on the board of Boston's Catholic Charities, an organization necessary to the survival of archdiocesan social ministries.
The appointment of Connors by Cardinal O'Malley was the first of several notable appointments that have been questioned by lay Catholics in Boston. Another example is the appointment of Dorothea Masuret, CSJ, as director of the office of Pastoral Ministry. She is a well-known heterodox nun who has worked closely with Jean Marchant, who earlier this week resigned from a position in O'Malley's cabinet. Marchant revealed that she had been secretly ordained last year and has been "quietly blessing" the sick and performing "Masses."
On the Cardinal’s meeting with VOTF
William Cousins, a long-time resident of the Boston area and Knight of Malta, comments, "I am hoping that Cardinal O'Malley will tell them what the rules are. In other words, that their desire to change the structure and doctrines of the Church is out of bounds. I am also very concerned about what he's saying to the relatives of the people who were given invalid sacraments by the woman health-care cabinet officer."
Whether the Archdiocese will release any information on the meeting is unknown. However, you can be sure that Voice of the Faithful will be telling the press how much their point of view is appreciated by the Cardinal.
Cardinal O'Malley's meeting with VOTF not only gives them credibility but also gives them the opportunity to represent the meeting any way that serves their purpose.
Jesuit Urban Center
VOTF Winchester Area, MA (representing 22 towns)
The highlight of our activities in July was an Evening of Prayer on July 28  for the new Archbishop of Boston, Sean O’Malley. The service focused on the possibility for renewal and reconciliation, from the opening hymn (“We Will Rise Again”), the first reading (Jeremiah 23:1-6, “I will appoint shepherds for them who will shepherd them so that they need no longer fear and tremble”), the psalm (Psalm 23, in a version written by John Baldovin, S.J. of the Weston Jesuit School of Theology), the communal song (“Make Me a Channel of Your Peace”), and the prayers of the faithful. Members had been encouraged to write prayers or the service, or to post them on our web site. One of the prayers read at the service was written by Svea Fraser, and perfectly captured our hopes and aspirations: “Dear Lord, please continue to make our new servant leader Sean O’Malley a channel of your peace; and may all your people in Boston join hands and hearts in mutual support for Your glory and the good of all the Church.” Regina Pontes with assistance from Mary Lou Burke, Judy Eisel, Clare Keane, John Mahoney, and others prepared the brilliant order of worship. Bonnie Rogers of our group presided. After the service, attendees signed a card for the new Archbishop. Bonnie thereafter delivered the card, prayers for the new Archbishop posted on our web site, as well as a stole made for him, to the Archdiocese’s offices in Boston. (Some of the prayers submitted appear in this issue under “Prayers for a new Archbishop”)
We welcomed two guest speakers in July. On July 7, Sister Betsy Conway CSJ, and Sister Dorothea Masuret, CSJ, Assistant Director of the Office for Pastoral Ministries for the Archdiocese of Boston, discussed their different perspectives on their experiences in the sisterhood, and the challenges ahead for Sisters and the Church. Sisters Betsy and Dorothea provided a wonderful example of dialogue and respect for those in the Church who do not see eye to eye on a number of issues. On July 14, we welcomed Edward Vacek, S.J., Professor of Moral Theology at the Weston Jesuit School of Theology. Fr. Vacek addressed the Church’s teachings on sexual ethics, and explained how teachings on a wide variety of issues have changed over time.
Why is someone who works in the Archdiocese speaking at VOTF meetings?!
Does Cardinal Sean have 2 sides? A blogging/podcasting, beautiful homilies side and a side which hires (and/or retains) heterodox staff...
To add a bit of balance, Cardinal Sean is well-respected by many orthodox young Catholics in the Boston area. He is also highly thought of by Father Benedict Groeschel, some one I have immense respect for. And last, but not least, if he is disliked by someone like this, can he be all bad?