Folks, it’s official now. The coup that we talked about
back in April is a fait accompli. Today’s Pilot reports that Scot Landry will now be Secretary for Catholic Media, leaving his position as Secretary for Institutional Development. Though it’s good that they kept an orthodox Catholic guy in the Cabinet, the expression “spinning a silk purse from a sow’s ear” comes immediately to mind about a role involving media & communications for this particular diocese. That cannot be underestimated as a problem, but we don’t have more to say now. Beyond that seemingly insurmountable problem, we learned that Neal Finnegan is on the board of Catholic TV. Neal was chair of Catholic Charities when Bryan Hehir was president of CC, so they are long-time buddies. Neal is turning out to be more influential than many people may have realized, and it all seems to come back to extensions of the Bryan Hehir power-base. Finnegan also led the search that hired Chancellor James McDonough (who was part of the coup), and Finnegan has given more than $12,000 since 2004 to pro-abortion, pro-gay political candidates like Joe Biden, the late Sen. Ted Kennedy, and John Kerry. How do folks with this history of supporting politicians who rabidly oppose the Catholic Church get named to key positions like that? We wish Scot good luck in his new role–but how would you like to be in charge of Catholic media given the deeply ingrained institutional forces above and around you who spend personal funds and energies supporting politicians who oppose the Church?
What was published about the search committee for the new secretary of development is already grounds for concern–it will include Chancellor McDonough, the Vicar General, and unnamed members of the Catholic Foundation Board. It is known that Chancellor McDonough had a role in the coup, so that is troublesome. No evidence of strong leadership by the Vicar General has been reported since he took his role nearly 4 years ago. And we don’t know who the Catholic Foundation Board members are. Cardinal O’Malley should publish the names of everyone on the search committee for this position, there should be no one on the search committee who has a history of donating to politicians who have opposed the Church on abortion and marriage, and no candidate should even make a short-list of consideration (let alone get hired) who has donated to pro-abortion politicians. In addition, no one from the Catholic Schools Foundation fundraising campaign who threw Fr. Rafferty under the bus and said they were disturbed about him legitimately rejecting the child of a lesbian couple should be even remotely under consideration for this role.
Keep reading our “Big Picture on the Catholic Schools Situation” blog post started yesterday. The content is the first and only place you will see everything you need to know about this.