First off, during this past week someone from the Archdiocese of Boston reached out in a polite and amicable way to Francis Marion. We appreciated that outreach since up to now the only thing we heard in nearly two months was from a secretary who finally acknowleged one of our emails on behalf of someone higher up and said we should not expect to hear anything more than that acknowlegement. Thanks. We have also learned that some of what we have done here on the blog may have had consequences other than what we intended. No specifics on that will be detailed here. Suffice to say we apologise for any harm unintentionally done and commit to avoid some areas and be more careful in the future. Also though we try hard to make sure everything is double or triple-checked for accuracy, if anyone finds what they think is an error on the blog we ask you to let us know and we will investigate it further and correct to ensure we dont say anything inaccurate or misleading.
Second, during the past few weeks an increasing number of readers and followers have been asking who Francis Marion really is. For example we have been asked does he work for the church? Is Francis Marion a priest? In reality Francis Marion was a military officer who served in the American Revolutionary war. (It is known that the British especially hated Marion). We never knew where this blog would head when it was started in early March and did not mean to apparently be so seemingly cryptic to readers, so now to be totally up front and transparent with our readers, we want to clarify that “Francis Marion” on this blog is a penname. A team of orthodox Catholics from different walks of life is behind the persona of “Francis Marion” doing research, writing and editing to deliver the blog content. In order to protect sources of information and to avoid potential threats to the reputations and livelihoods of all of the people involved the blog authors have simply reflected the pseudonym “Francis Marion” in blog posts and emails. We are brainstorming now on how to evolve this approach in the future. In the meantime, you can continue sharing your thoughts by writing to us at our new contact email address . We do want this to remain a place for orthodox Catholics to find timely, relevant information they could not find elsewhere and at the same time need to still protect the identities of team members from possible threats and repercussions.
Lastly, some of you might have noticed a blog post by Cardinal Sean O’Malley a few days ago, in which he made a point to recognize and commend Fr. Bryan Hehir. With all due respect, it seems like his gushing praises is intended to directly counter what we have been doing here. For color commentary and a rebuttal, see the posts from yesterday and today on ThrowtheBumsOutin2010. Catholic Citizens of Illinois responded with an email and post, “Heretical Priest and ‘”Call to Action” co-founder Fr. Bryan Hehir Praised by Boston Cardinal O’Malley.” Blog reader “LastCatholicinBoston” also offered interesting comments in his response to another post on this blog.
The blog post by Cardinal Sean is oddly reminiscent of the Caritas Christi/CeltiCare financial partnership arrangement fiasco of 2009. Orthodox Catholics complained that the partnership would require the Catholic hospital chain to refer women for abortions, and the Cardinal responded by defending the arrangement and criticizing the pro-lifers by saying their complaints did a “great disservice to the church.” 4 months later after the National Catholic Bioethics Center (NCBC) reviewed the arrangement and provided an assessment (which was never released publicly), the Cardinal ordered Caritas to withdraw from Caritas’ part ownership of CeltiCare. (One can’t help but assume that the NCBC concluded essentially the same thing after 4 months of review that the pro-lifers had said after looking at the deal for 5 minutes. Otherwise, why would Caritas have been ordered to back out of the financial partnership?)
So there you have it folks. We are making some changes here at the blog, you now know more about the blogging team known as “Francis Marion” and we continue here in Boston seeing people with records of dissent get recognized and listened to while the orthodox Catholics get, um, er, well, we’re not sure exactly what we get.