In view of it being Holy Week, I debated whether to post. But the betrayal of Jesus brought to mind the betrayal of Catholic moral values that seem to have been encouraged by many of the speakers and sponsors Fr. Bryan Hehir recruits for his recent Social Justice Conferences so I thought I should share highlights.
These conferences have been officially sponsored by the Archdiocese of Boston—with Fr. Hehir, of course, as keynote speaker and primary driver behind the scene. The conference is called, “Moving Towards the Light” and their have been two in recent years. In the same way that moths are attracted to light, these conferences seem to be magnets that draw an array of speakers and sponsors with controversial backgrounds and histories of supporting those who work against the Church.
2006 Social Justice Conference . This took place on March 19, 2006 and was funded by the Campaign for Human Development. That would be the same USCCB-affliliated “Catholic” Campaign for Human Development (CCHD) which the American Life League reported on March 5th had a “scandalous relationship” with groups advocating for abortion and same-sex marriage. The American Life League identified 15 organizations supported by CCHD who were promoting abortion and same-sex marriage, and another 31 who are partnered with the pro-abortion Center for Community Change. For others not familiar with CCHD, its also the same organization that collects money from Catholics in the pews every year claiming it goes towards anti-poverty programs, while they were funding ACORN and a range of Saul Allinsky-modeled radical, left-wing political organizations. CCHD would be a series of columns all there own. I refer you to the following excellent coverage.
US Bishops Anti-Poverty Arm Defunds Accused Group (March 25, 2010)
Green Bay bishop questions Catholic charities (March 2010)
Notice the flyer for the event (page 15-16), distributed to all parishes, was included in the handout/package for a quarterly meeting of the Cardinal Sean O’Malleys Archdiocesan Pastoral Council. The first two sponsors listed—The Labor Guild and Catholic Charities—fell under Fr. Hehirs direct responsibility at the time.
Lest this post run too long, let’s just take a look at just the first presenter listed, Kate Carter. TKate’s topic and area of expertise was Parish Social Justice Committees because she was running the social justice committee at Our Lady Help of Christians in Newton, MA. (Credit to blog reader Diane from Newton for passing along this info!). By the way, for those not familiar with Our Ladys and their social justice committee, that would be the same group that sponsored Our Ladys’ participation in the annual Boston Gay Pride Parade. The parish bulletin listing from May 25, 2005 reads in part:
One way to show your support is to join the Gay & Lesbian Faith Sharing Group and the Justice and Peace Committee in the Gay Pride Parade and Pride Interfaith Service on Saturday, June 11th. To participate and/or for further details, please contact Kate Carter at ext. 232”
I hate to be digging up what for many readers is no doubt old news (so please don’t complain in the comments you didn’t learn something new), but I mention this because Fr. Hehir was clearly well aware of this background when he put together his social justice event in early 2006. Heres the Boston Globe’s coverage of the 2005 Gay Pride event, featuring a write-up about “newlywed” Rosa Buffone, who proudly marched in the parade as a member of Our Ladys Parish Council. Why would the Archdiocese and Cardinal archbishop want to still have today as a senior cabinet secretary advising the archbishop, the man who as Cabinet Secretary for Social Services in 2006 was responsible for and who key-noted an official archdiocesan conference funded by the CCHD and featuring this speaker talking about how to form and run a parish social justice committee—a speaker coming from a parish where the pastor advocated for gay marriage to the parish and in written testimony to the Massachusetts legislature?
Did Fr. Hehir somehow “not know” about the background described above and years of controvery about the organizations CCHD was funding? Hehir’s history, political acumen, connections, intellect, and well-documented Marxist leanings would suggest otherwise. Can someone in the Archdiocese or the Roman Catholic hierarchy explain via comments or email what Im missing and why Fr. Hehirs still around?
Lest this post get too lengthy, I’ll continue coverage by highliting detials of the 2009 Archdiocesan Social Justice Conference in a separate post.