I am blogging for the first time and want to make this an open blog/letter to Cardinal Sean O’Malley of Boston regarding the situation with Fr. Bryan Hehir.
After hearing the pitch for the 2010 Catholic Appeal last weekend, my wife said something about Fr. Hehir trying to influence the direction or organization of the Mens and Womens Conferences and also something about the structure or responsibilities of the cabinet. Posts to this blog and elsewhere confirmed what the wife heard so I feel people should say and do something. I would ask Cardinal Sean if I could speak with him the following question: After all of the scandal Fr. Hehir has helped bring upon the Church through his words and actions, is he still really in a position of responsibility and providing advice you listen to?
Cardinal Sean, I invite you to look at this article from Catholic Culture about Fr. Hehir from several years ago. Here are just a few highlights from the article and also what we have observed over time. I have decided I will blog more details about these that I have researched and learned more about:
- Fr. Hehir advocated that the Church be silent in the public square regarding contraception
- His writings on contraception have been used by Catholics for a Free Choice to oppose a conscience clause for employees of Catholic hospitals that would exempt them from having to provide contraceptive products and services
- His positions on communism, nuclear disarmament, and U.S. policy in Nicaragua have all proven to be wrong
- He hired the current head of the Mass Catholic Conference, despite the person’s history of personal donations to politicians who rabidly opposed the Church on key issues
- He honored the pro-abortion Mayor Tom Menino at a Catholic Charities fundraiser dinner. I think you, Cardinal Sean, pulled out from the scandal and controversy if my memory serves me correct
- His Social Justice conferences have featured speakers or representatives of organizations who publicly dissent from Church teachings, including a woman who led a Catholic church’s participation in Boston’s Gay Pride parade
- He defended gay adoptions by Catholic Charities as a part of a need to “balance various goods”. As we all know, the Vatican later ruled him wrong.
- As your liaison to Caritas Christi to maintain the hospitals Catholic identity, he neglected to head-off the Centene fiasco and scandal last year over referring patients for abortions before it exploded publicly. He also helped pick many of the Caritas Board members who contributed to the scandalous decision in the first place.
- He serves today as a Board member of several prominent University centers that sponsor speakers who publicly dissent from Church teaching. He has also accepted honors and awards from organizations that publicly dissent from Church teachings
- His speaking engagements include being keynote speaker with an advocate for gay priests, and featured talks with a lesbian feminist who advocates for women priests and at a gay-friendly church in a series with a gay activist who published a graphic guide to safe gay sex
The author of the Catholic Culture article wrote in conclusion, “the Church cannot regain her health until churchmen stop promoting those who are uncommitted to her teachings and values. When someone with questionable antecedents is finally identified as complicit in an intolerable evil, the chain of advancement needs to be traced back to those who had every reason to know better. Their records too must be regarded as blemished so that their future recommendations will be ignored. This is the first step to untangling the web of ecclesiastical promotion, which is also the key to straightening out nearly everything else.”
My wife and I have to ask the question: Cardinal Sean, are you accepting or are you ignoring Fr. Hehir’s recommendations today? If you are still accepting his advice and recommendations, I humble ask and pray that you reconsider.
I feel the future of the Catholic Church in Boston hinges on your answer to the question.