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Archive for October, 2010

If you do not yet understand why we have been making such a fuss over the search for the new head of the Mass Catholic Conference, the meaningless statement on voting Catholic just issued  from the four Massachusetts bishops and this video from Michael Voris at RealCatholic TV should  confirm exactly why.

Take a couple of minutes to watch the RealCatholic TV video.

Voris describes the statement as something you would “read, put it down, and wonder why be a Catholic at all…Its murky messaging offers nothing in the way of guidance.”

The statement concludes by saying, “Go to the polls on Election Day and, through your choices at the ballot, act on your vision of a better society.”

To which Voris responds it’s exactly the lack of clarity and guidance of that “vision of a better society” that is the problem.  Supporters of Planned Parenthood, abortion, or the gay agenda all think they are voting for a better society.  He asks rhetorically, “Who goes into a voting booth and acts on their personal vision of a ‘worse society’?”

Voris rightfully says there “isn’t one shred of help in there that helps Catholics understand that the life issues are of primary importance.”  Yes, the statement mentions the importance of defending the sanctity of life, and family based on marriage between a man and a woman, but then it continues in the next breath with religious freedom and the well-being of the poor as equally important.  It’s classic Fr. Bryan Hehir “seamless garment.”   Voris calls it “innane.” Fed up yet?

Compare this to what Cardinal-designate Archbishop Raymond Burke just said about voting Catholic:

Speaking on the contentious topic of abortion in the upcoming mid-terms, Cardinal-designate Burke said one “can never vote for someone who favors absolutely the right to choice of a woman to destroy a human life in her womb or the right to a procured abortion.”

You may in some circumstances where you don’t have any candidate who is proposing to eliminate all abortion, choose the candidate who will most limit this grave evil in our country,” he explained, “but you could never justify voting for a candidate who not only does not want to limit abortion but believes that it should be available to everyone.”

The Vatican prelate also addressed the issue of same-sex “marriage,” asserting that maintaining the definition of marriage as between one man and one woman is not unjust discrimination.

“Where there is unjust discrimination –for instance, where you say that a fellow human being, because of the color of his skin, is not a part of the same race as someone, say, who is a Caucasian, that is a kind of discrimination which is unjust and immoral,” he said.

However, he added, “there is a discrimination which is perfectly just and good, and that is the discrimination between what is right and what is wrong.”

“Between what is according to our human nature and what is contrary to our human nature. So the Catholic Church, in teaching that sexual acts between persons of the same sex are intrinsically evil, are against nature itself, is simply announcing the truth, helping people to discriminate right from wrong in terms of their own activities.”

Try getting Archbishop Burke’s words from the Massachusetts Catholic Conference and Massachusetts bishops.  And as long as we have two members of the search committee, Sr. Annette McDermott and James Brett, who have records of supporting pro-abortion politicians and others who dissent from the faith, the search effort for a new “faithful Catholic” leader (who can hopefully help drive better statements from the Massachusetts bishops) is tainted.

While we’re at it, frankly the Mass Catholic Conference Executive Director position should also report directly to the bishops, with no reporting relationship to Fr. Bryan Hehir or oversight by him.  And Fr. Hehir and Sr. Annette should also be removed from the MCC board.

But for now, let’s focus on getting the two controversial figures off the committee.  If you haven’t yet sent a letter off to the Papal Nuncio, Massachusetts bishops, and Holy See, just click on the FedUp button to the right.

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If you’ve been following the saga of the tainted search for the new head of the Mass Catholic Conference, you know by we still have two people on the committee with backgrounds of support for pro-abortion politicians and/or Catholics who publicly dissent from Church teachings.  That does not seem a good way to go about picking a new faithful Catholic head for the Catholic Conference to represent the Massachusetts bishops on Beacon Hill.

We ask you once again to let the Holy See and Massachusetts bishops know that you are FedUp.

Here’s the updated letter reflecting the latest on Sr. Annette McDermott.  As you may recall from our last post, a couple of years ago Sr. Annette wrote that she was inspired  in her religious experience by figures like Anthony Padovano, Mary Luke Tobin, Joan Chittister, Christina Vladimiroff, Teresa Kane, Elisabeth Schussler-Firorenza, and Pierre Theilard de Chardin.  We documented in our last post how those who inspired her are all a veritable “Who’s Who” of public dissidents including members of Call to Action, people reprimanded by the Vatican or U.S. bishops, and people like Anthony Padovano, Joan Chittister and others who have publicly dissented from Church teachings on such issues as women’s ordination, voting for pro-abortion Catholic politicians, doctrine of original sin, who should celebrate the Eucharist, and more. 

So, we have now updated our FedUp campaign message.  Whether you filled it out before or not, please give it another try.  Here’s the letter.  Just click on the FedUp button.

I am writing to ask that you intervene in the search process for the new Executive Director of the Massachusetts Catholic Conference to remove two search committee members with backgrounds of support for pro-abortion politicians and Catholics who publicly dissent from Church teachings.

The search committee announced October 13 includes Sr. Annette McDermott, SSJ representing the Diocese of Springfield and Mr. James Brett representing the Archdiocese of Boston.

Sr. McDermott was a member of the George-Soros-funded Catholic Alliance for the Common Good, whose main purpose was convincing Catholics it was permissible to vote for pro-choice Democrats in the 2008 U.S. national elections. Cardinal Frederick George criticized the “fraud” of CACG’s “common good” approach and banned their materials from parishes. After the 2008 campaign, the Diocese of Kansas City newspaper reported CACG was an instrument of the Obama presidential campaign, and the CACG chair personally raised $350,000 for Obama. Sr. McDermott has also been a consultant to the Catholic Campaign for Human Development, which funded ACORN, an organization that supported pro-abortion and pro-gay causes. In 2005, she published an article describing how she has been inspired in her religious experience by “wisdom figures” including notorious Call to Action members and dissenters from the faith on matters such as ordination of women and voting for pro-abortion Catholic politicians.

Mr. Brett has personally contributed to pro-abortion politicians including Sen. John Kerry, Rep. Michael Capuano, and Rep. Edward Markey. As head of the New England Council, he presented the 2009 “New Englander of the Year” Award to Sen. John Kerry.

The search announcement says candidates must be “a faithful and committed Roman Catholic, in good standing with the Church.” Since Sr. McDermott and Mr. Brett have been involved supporting pro-abortion political candidates in recent years, their continuing presence on the committee risks discouraging faithful, committed Catholics from even applying.

Two individuals with such controversies in their backgrounds should not be on a committee to select a “faithful and committed Roman Catholic” to represent the public policy voice of the church.

Thank you for your immediate intervention to ensure that this search process and committee is not tainted from the start by this concern.

So folks, have at it.  Click the FedUp button, fill out the form, click submit letter, verify you have entered the correct info, click submit once more, and let the bishops and Holy See know how you feel.  

For extra credit, drop a dime to Bishop McConnell’s office in Springfield at 413- 732-3175.  Tell them you think Sr. Annette should be removed from the MCC search process because she was a part of a committee that pushed for Catholics to vote for pro-abortion Catholic politicians–and because she’s on the record as viewing as “wisdom figures” some of the Catholic Church’s most prominent dissenters from the teachings of the Church.  Ask them what Bishop McConnell is doing about this problem and tell them you’d like to call back on Monday afternoon to get an answer.

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Thank to everyone who has written to the Massachusetts bishops and Holy See via our latest FedUp campaign, “Take Action on Tainted Search for New Mass Catholic Conference Head.” We have gotten some feedback from the bishop’s staff and other channels that we want to share with you as the campaign continues, and we have more on committee member, Sr. Annette McDermott, SSJ that may leave some of you even more FedUp!

Feedback from Diocese of Fall River

A Bryan Hehir Exposed reader forwarded this response they got from the Diocese of Fall River’s Communications department:

At the outset of their decision to form a search committee for the selection of an Executive Director of the Massachusetts Catholic Conference, the bishops of the four dioceses in the state agreed that each would appoint one person from his diocese to make up membership of that committee. Bishop Coleman agreed to chair it. Bishop Coleman then appointed as his delegate on the committee Father Michael McManus, who is chancellor here in the Fall River Diocese. The other members on the committee were appointed to it by his/her respective bishop, not Bishop Coleman.

In other words, we are told that Bishop Coleman just took whomever the other bishops put forward and did not feel as “Chairman” of the committee that leadership role called for any review of the background of the people before he went on the record saying, “I look forward to working with such a respected group to advise the bishops in selecting the next Executive Director for MCC.”  Thanks a lot, Bishop Coleman, for the value-added, er, leadership on this one, making sure the group you publicly said you respected you really did respect.

More on the Committee Members

We told you before that in view of the mission of the Catholic Alliance for the Common Good (giving air-cover to pro-abortion Democratic Catholic politicians) and their funding from George Soros, Sr. Annette McDermott’s membership in CACD should flat-out disqualify her from serving on the search committee for a faithful Catholic MCC leader.  But this is not the only reason we are calling for her removal from the committee.

We did not have time or space in the earlier posts to mention that in 2005 Sr. Annette wrote about contemplative prayer (or centering prayer a la Thomas Keating) as a grounding force in her life. Here’s a link to the piece, called “In the Quiet of the Morning.” She says she was inspired as a teen by a book by Antony Padovano, and her “search for a deeper relationship with God has also been strengthened by the wisdom figures that have graced my religious experience.”

I feel so privileged to have had the blessing of opportunity to experience and know of the works and lives of Mary Luke Tobin, Joan Chittister, Christina Vladimiroff, Teresa Kane, Mary Daniels, Helen Wright, Maria Reilly, Sandra Schneider, Elizabeth Johnson, Elisabeth Schussler-Firorenza.

She also names Pierre Theilard de Chardin.  A 10-minute session with Google gets you the following:

  • Anthony Padovano: banned from speaking in the Archdiocese of Detroit by Cardinal Maida, for theological views “clearly in opposition to the authoritative teaching of the church” including advocacy for the ordination of women and his view that the celebration of the Eucharist need not be limited to ordained ministry
  • Mary Luke Tobin: a former head of the Leadership Conference of Women Religious and advisor to the Womens Ordination Conference
  • Joan Chittister: A supporter of Call to Action who promotes women priests. The Vatican asked her not to attend the 2000 Womens Ordination Conference but she went anyway.
  • Christina Vladimiroff: who received the Call to Action Leadership award in 2002 and defied a request from the Vatican to prohibit Sr. Joan Chittister from attending a dissident women’s ordination conference in Dublin
  • Elisabeth Schussler-Firorenza: feminist theologian and Call to Action national conference speaker.  Was on a panel with Fr. Bryan Hehir at Harvard where she complained about people who criticized Catholics that voted for pro-abortion politicians
  • Teresa Kane: best known for her 1979 speech to Pope John Paul II in which she asked for women priests.   The Holy Father responded negatively.  In 2009, she criticized the Vatican for their visitations to women’s religious communities saying: “Regarding the present interrogation, I think the male hierarchy is truly impotent, incapable of equality, co-responsibility in adult behavior…In the church today, we are experiencing a dictatorial mindset and spiritual violence.”
  • Pierre Theilard de Chardin: From Wikipedia, we see that he abandoned traditional interpretations of creation in the Book of Genesis in favor of a less strict interpretation. This displeased certain officials in the Roman Curia and in his own order who thought that it undermined the doctrine of original sin developed by Saint Augustine. Teilhard’s position was opposed by his Church superiors, and some of his work was denied publication during his lifetime by the Roman Holy Office

So, what we have is Sr. Annette saying that most of the people who represent “wisdom figures” for her are pretty much objectively “off the reservation” in terms of their public adherence to Church teachings.  Sr. Annette is on-the-record as being inspired by these people, of course along with being involved in the Catholic Alliance for the Common Good and the ACORN-funding Catholic Campaign for Human Development.  We are not criticizing Sr. Annette as a person–she may be very nice. But, should someone like her who feels these people are “wisdom figures” and who felt OK being involved in the CACG for whatever period of time she was a member really be on the search committee for a faithful Catholic leader of the public policy voice of the Massachusetts bishops? Can’t the Diocese of Springfield do better and find someone less controversial to serve on the committee?

We are updating our campaign letter to mention this. In the meantime, try dropping a dime to Bishop McConnell’s office in Springfield at 413 732-3175.  Tell them you think Sr. Annette should be removed from the MCC search process because she was a part of a committee that pushed for Catholics to vote for pro-abortion Catholic politicians–and because she’s on the record as viewing as “wisdom figures” some of the Catholic Church’s most prominent dissenters from the teachings of the Church.  Ask them what Bishop McConnell is doing about this problem.

Check back later today for the updated FedUp buttons this evening.

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Last week we told you that the search for the new leader of the public policy arm of the Mass Catholic Bishops  is tainted from the get-go by having two people on the search committee who have supported pro-abortion Catholic politicians. People have called and emailed Bishop George Coleman of the Fall River Diocese, who is heading the search.  Though the people answering the phone have been pleasant and have forwarded messages on to the Bishop, as far as we can tell, nothing has changed.  Today we raise the volume level up a couple of notches with our FedUp campaign. Click on the button now–it will take only 1 minute of your time.

Why would solid faithful Catholics want to even throw their name in the application process when you have 2 of 5 search committee members they’d have to meet who have opposed the Catholic Church by publicly supporting pro-abortion Catholic politicians?  This is absurd!!  If you’re FedUp, today is the day to ratchet-up the complaints to the Holy See by sending a letter via Fax or email to the Holy Father, Bishop Coleman, the Papal Nuncio, the prefect of the Congregation of Bishops, Cardinal O’Malley, and Cardinal-designate Raymond Burke (Congratulations to him!!)

Here is the letter we have prepared that you can sign and fax/email off with the push of a button.

I am writing to ask that you intervene in the search process for the new Executive Director of the Massachusetts Catholic Conference to remove two search committee members with backgrounds of support for pro-abortion politicians.

The search committee announced on October 13 includes Sr. Annette McDermott, SSJ representing the Diocese of Springfield and Mr. James Brett, President and CEO of the New England Council representing the Archdiocese of Boston.

Sr. McDermott was a member of George-Soros-funded Catholic Alliance for the Common Good, whose main purpose was convincing Catholics it was permissible to vote for pro-choice Democrats in the 2008 U.S. national elections.  Cardinal Francis George criticized the “fraud” of CACG’s  “common good” approach and banned their materials from parishes.  It was led by former advisors to Senators John Kerry and Hillary Clinton. After the 2008 campaign, the Diocese of Kansas City newspaper reported that CACG was an instrument of the Obama presidential campaign, and that the board chair of CACG personally raised $350,000 for the Obama Campaign.  She has also been a consultant to the Catholic Campaign Human Development, which has been broadly criticized for funding ACORN, an organization which in has used portions of those Catholic funds to support pro-abortion and pro-gay causes.

Mr. Brett has personally donated funds to pro-abortion politicians including Sen. John Kerry, Rep. Michael Capuano, and Edward Markey.  As head of the New England Council, he presented the 2009 “New Englander of the Year” Award to Sen. John Kerry.

The announcement about the search says candidates must be “a faithful and committed Roman Catholic, in good standing with the Church.”  Since Sr. McDermott and Mr. Brett have personally been involved supporting pro-abortion political candidates in recent years, their continuing presence on the committee risks discouraging faithful, committed Catholics from even applying for the position.

It seems clear that two individuals who have supported political candidates who favor abortion should not be on a committee to select a “faithful and committed Roman Catholic” to represent the public policy voice of the church. 

Thank you for your immediate intervention to ensure that this search process and committee is not tainted from the start by this concern.

You can read all of the details about these two people in our last post on this issue, Mass Bishops Flubbing Search for Catholic Conference Director.  What’s not covered there are Brett’s political donations to pro-abortion politicians.  Although he voted pro-life while he was serving in the Massachusetts legislature and donated $250 to pro-life Rep.  Stephen Lynch in 2001, it’s the $1,800 in contributions to the likes of abortion supporters Sen. John Kerry, Rep. Michael Capauno, and Rep. Edward Markey and the Democratic Senate Campaign Committee (which funds other candidates) that remain troubling about him. (see FEC listing of political contributions to the right).  Plus, there are all of his associations with Jack Connors and Fr. Bryan Hehir documented last time.  We also see at another blog that he has connections to Chancellor Jim McDonough and the Hanover crowd, who are basically doing the will of Jack Connors.  Mr. Brett may have a fine record of community service, but that does not mean he is the right person to help select a faithful Catholic to be the voice of the Massachusetts bishops.

FedUp yet?  Just click on the FedUp button right now, fill in your name and address, verify your information is correct, and click submit one more time.  It will take only one minute. 

The Mass Catholic Conference is the public policy voice of the Massachusetts Bishops on a variety of concerns—the culture of life, family, and an array of social issues–and the head needs to be a faithful Catholic.  Period.  Since the head is to be a faithful Catholic, then all of the search committee members should be also, with nothing in their records that suggest otherwise.   Let’s not let them screw this one up!  

Do share this with friends and family members as well and encourage them to send the letter. And do encourage great people you know to apply for the job.  Instructions for applying can be found here.

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October 22 Update: We are having tech difficulties on the blog and some readers are not seeing today’s important post about taking action on the Mass Catholic Conference situation.   Please click here to read our October 22 post.

 

Word of what faithful Catholic bloggers and people using new media are doing to help clean-up the Church seems to be spreading across the country.  This article, in none other than the Arizona Daily Star, highlights this blog along with other efforts.  Here are a few excerpts from “Theological conservatives unafraid to blog and call out fellow Catholics”:

Pressure is on to change the Roman Catholic Church in America, but it’s not coming from the usual liberal suspects. A new breed of theological conservatives has taken to blogs and YouTube to say the church isn’t Catholic enough.

Enraged by dissent that they believe has gone unchecked for decades, and unafraid to say so in the starkest language, these activists are naming names and unsettling the church.

• In the Archdiocese of Boston, parishioners are dissecting the work of a top adviser to the cardinal for any hint of Marxist influence.

• Bloggers are combing through campaign finance records to expose staff workers of Catholic agencies who donate to politicians who support abortion rights.

RealCatholicTV.com, working from studios in suburban Detroit, is hunting for “traitorous” nuns, priests or bishops throughout the American church.

“We’re no more engaged in a witch hunt than a doctor excising a cancer is engaged in a witch hunt,” said Michael Voris of RealCatholicTV.com and St. Michael’s Media. “We’re just shining a spotlight on people who are Catholics who do not live the faith.”

John Allen, Vatican analyst for the National Catholic Reporter, has dubbed this trend “Taliban Catholicism.” But he says it’s not a strictly conservative phenomenon – liberals can fit the mindset, too, Allen says. Some left-leaning Catholics are outraged by any exercise of church authority.

Yet on the Internet and in the church, conservatives are having the bigger impact.

Among Voris’ many media ventures is the CIA – the Catholic Investigative Agency – a program from RealCatholicTV to “bring to light the dark deeds of evil Catholics-in-name-only, who are hijacking the Church for their own ends, not the ends of Christ.”

In an episode called “Catholic Tea Party,” Voris said: “Catholics need to be aware and studied and knowledgeable enough about the faith to recognize a heretical nun or a traitorous priest or bishop when they see one – not so they can vote them out of office, but so they can pray for them, one, and alert as many other Catholics as possible to their treachery, two.”

The work of the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops is another frequent target.

They got us just partially right, and perhaps only looked at the more recent posts where they saw our exposing Marxist influence.  Our exposition of Fr. Bryan Hehir goes way back to his advocating that the Church’s teachings on contraception be kept as a matter of private morality rather than public morality in the early 1970s.  Then we got into his:
  • Initial work on the socialist-themed program that led up to the “Call to Action” movement and conference  in 1976
  • Involvement with the Communist/Marxist-oriented Institute for Policy Studies in the early 1980s
  • Key role in Cardinal Bernadin’s “seamless garment” and “consistent ethic of life” which downplayed the Church’s teachings on abortion and has given air-cover to pro-abortion “Catholic” politicians such as the Kennedys for decades.
  • Honoring of the pro-abortion, pro-gay-marriage Mayor of Boston at a Catholic Charities fundraiser
  • Presiding over the brokering of adoptions to gay couples, even though the Vatican said this was doing violence to the child by depriving them of an environment conducive to full human development.
  • Publicly contradicting and criticizing Cardinal Ratzinger’s 2004 statement regarding voting for pro-abortion politicians
  • Telling a Boston College forum he was concerned Catholic conscience rights for healthcare workers opposed to abortion could harm the woman who “needs” abortion services.
  • Praised the “intelligent and courageous leadership” of the Catholic Health Association immediately after they helped pass the Obama-backed healthcare legislation actively opposed by the U.S.C.C.B. because it allowed funding for abortions.

Other than that, Mrs. Lincoln, how was the performance?

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Archbishop Raymond Burke spoke at the Human Life International World Prayer Congress Saturday and received sustained applause when he noted that Catholic politicians who support abortion are required to repent publicly. 

What Archbishop Burke said makes milk toast of the dismissive approach Fr. Bryan Hehir, Vicar General Fr. Richard Erikson, and Cardinal O’Malley have displayed to those standing up for the pro-life teachings of the Catholic faith in recent months and years.

According to LifeSiteNews, in speaking to pro-life leaders from 45 nations, the Prefect of the Apostolic Signatura (the highest Vatican court) also noted that those who recognize the scandal caused by such public, dissident Catholics assist the Church in repairing a serious breach, but are nevertheless often ridiculed for it.

Let’s pause here for a moment. This is EXACTLY what happens here in Boston.  Remember the reaction of Cardinal O’Malley where he criticized faithful Catholics who complained about the 2009 Caritas Christi/Centene financial partnership that involved abortion referrals?  Remember his criticism of faithful Catholics who complained about the coronation-style funeral for the late Sen. Ted Kennedy?  Remember the Vicar General’s criticism of this blog?

Achibishop Burke stressed that:

both bishops and the faithful” must be obedient to the Magisterium – which he described as the teaching of Christ as handed down through the successor of Peter and the bishops in union with him. “When the shepherds of the flock are obedient to the Magisterium, entrusted to their exercise, then surely the members of the flock grow in obedience and proceed with Christ along the way of salvation,” he said.  “If the shepherd is not obedient the flock easily gives way to confusion and error.”

Turning to the issue of scandal within the Church, the archbishop said,

We find self-professed Catholics, for example, who sustain and support the right of a woman to procure the death of the infant in her womb, or the right of two persons of the same sex to the recognition which the State gives to a man and a woman who have entered into marriage.  It is not possible to be a practicing Catholic and to conduct oneself publicly in this manner.”

To resounding applause Burke said, “When a person has publicly espoused and cooperated in gravely sinful acts, leading many into confusion and error about fundamental questions of respect for human life and the integrity of marriage and the family, his repentance of such actions must also be public.”

The Prefect of the Apostolic Signatura then voiced a concern that struck a deep chord with many of the Catholic pro-life activists present at the conference. 

One of the ironies of the present situation is that the person who experiences scandal at the gravely sinful public actions of a fellow Catholic is accused of a lack of charity and of causing division within the unity of the Church,” he said.  “One sees the hand of the Father of Lies at work in the disregard for the situation of scandal or in the ridicule and even censure of those who experience scandal.”

The Vatican prelate concluded the point stating:

Lying or failing to tell the truth, however, is never a sign of charity.  A unity which is not founded on the truth of the moral law is not the unity of the Church.  The Church’s unity is founded on speaking the truth with love.  The person who experiences scandal at public actions of Catholics, which are gravely contrary to the moral law, not only does not destroy unity but invites the Church to repair what is clearly a serious breach in Her life.  Were he not to experience scandal at the public support of attacks on human life and the family, his conscience would be uninformed or dulled about the most sacred realities.

(Read the complete talk – in PDF format – here)

In Catholic Bloggers faithful to the Magisterium causing harm to the community? we recapped how faithful Catholics who complained about the scandal of the over-the-top Kennedy funeral were criticized by Cardinal for their “zeal,” and their “attitudes and practices [that] do irreparable damage to the communion of the Church.”  

When Caritas Christi announced a joint venture with Centene Corporation and faithful Catholics complained that it included provisions for referring patients to abortion providers, Cardinal O’Malley responded that anyone who suggested Caritas would ever do anything to promote abortions or participate in actions contrary to Catholic moral teaching was “doing a great disservice to the Catholic Church.”

When this blog highlighted and documented in extensive detail the scandalous comments by Fr. Bryan Hehir that undermined Church teachings at the risk of leading souls from salvation, Vicar General Fr. Erikson responded, ” I believe there is much on your blog that is untrue and harmful to individuals and to the Body of Christ.”  He never came up with even one example to back his unfounded claim.

“The person who experiences scandal at public actions of Catholics, which are gravely contrary to the moral law, not only does not destroy unity but invites the Church to repair what is clearly a serious breach in Her life.”

We invite Cardinal O’Malley and Vicar General Fr. Erikson to prayerfully consider the dramatic difference between their attitudes and the message of Archbishop Burke. 

Inspired by Archbishop Burke’s comments, very shortly we are going to up the volume level of our campaign to Bishop Coleman and the Holy See asking them to remove two people from the search committee for the new Mass Catholic Conference head who have histories of support for pro-abortion political candidates.  As Archbishop Burke said, it’s part of what we must do to invite the Church to repair what clearly poses a serious breach in Her life.

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Yesterday the Massachusetts Bishops announced
members of the search committee to select the new Exec. Director of the Mass Catholic Conference.  They’re looking to replace the previous head, Ed Saunders, who passed away due to cancer–and who had been hired under a search process led by and rigged by Fr. Bryan Hehir (see Fr. Hehir and the Muting of the Church’s Public Policy Voice).  You would think that with all of the blogging underway lately and the controversy over how Fr. Hehir picked Saunders, they’d be a bit more careful this time around.  Nope.  It’s so bad that we are converting our FedUp campaign today to tell the Holy See how the Massachusetts Bishops are flubbing this one already.  One reader already said to us, “The Massachusetts Bishops need basic instruction in how to do a Google search.”  We agree.

The search for the leader of the public policy voice of the Mass Catholic Bishops  is being led by Bishop Coleman of the Fall River Diocese.  But the search committee announced yesterday includes Sr. Annette McDermott, SSJ from the Diocese of Springfield; James Brett, President and CEO of the New England Council; Rev. Michael K. McManus, Chancellor of the  Diocese of Fall River and Msgr. Thomas Sullivan, Chancellor of the Diocese of Worcester.  Bryan Hehir Exposed has no comment on the two priests.  But Sr. McDermott and James Brett spell trouble, and suggest the fingerprints of Fr. Hehir are all over this one once again. See Tenth Crusade (formerly ThrowtheBumsOutin2010 for Carol McKinley’s perspective on this).

Here’s what we learned about Sr. McDermott within 1 minute of getting the news.  She was a member of the left-wing George-Soros-funded Catholic Alliance for the Common GoodCatholicCulture.org describes Catholic Alliance for the Common Good as follows:

Voting for the Common Good: A Practical Guide for Conscientious Catholics published by Catholics in Alliance for the Common Good — which is led by former advisors to Senators John Kerry and Hillary Clinton — is nothing other than a well-funded attempt to try to persuade Catholics that it is morally acceptable to continue to vote for the “personally opposed” pro-choice candidates who have swindled them in the past.

As the Catholic Key Blog (from the staff of the Diocese of Kansas City newspaper) summarized it in 2008,  their purpose was convincing Catholics it was OK to vote for pro-choice Democrats.  They describe how Cardinal George slammed the “fraud” of CACG’s  “common good” approach and banned their materials from parishes.  (Here’s a link to Cardinal George’s letter, critical of their approach, without naming names).  After the 2008 campaign, it came out that CACG was actually an instrument of the Obama presidential campaign, and that the board chair of CACG personally raised $350,000 for the Obama Campaign.  If you are not already FedUp with the prospect that Sr. Annette, a member of CACG, is on the search committee to select the new head of the Mass Catholic Conference, hold onto your seat.  There’s more.

As if Sr. McDermott’s membership in Catholic Alliance for the Common Good wasn’t bad enough, she is also listed as a consultant to the Catholic Campaign for Human Development in this 2006 newsletter.  Those are the guys that funded ACORN for years, and you can either check out our post on them, or just do a Google search of “Catholic Campaign for Human Development” and ACORN and you’ll find articles like these:

     US Bishops Anti-Poverty Arm Defunds Accused Group (March 25, 2010)

     CCHD Pushes Pro-Abort Groups in Lent Stations of the Cross (March 2010)

     Green Bay bishop questions Catholic charities (March 2010)

     Time to Start Answering Questions about Catholic Campaign for Human Development (Feb. 2010)

     More Proof the Catholic Campaign for Human Development Should Be Eliminated (Sept 2009)

    The Bigger Scandal: Catholic Church Funding of ACORN (Sept 2009)

     Catholic Campaign for Human Development and ACORN – Rotten to the Core (Oct 2008)

 This combination of items in Sr. Annette’s background should not only have disqualified her from the search committee, but is grounds for her being removed from the board of the Mass Catholic Conference.  Fed up yet?  There’s more.

Let’s look at James Brett.  Carol McKinley over at Tenth Crusade (formerly throwtheBumsOutin2010) weighed in on him and the whole situation saying:

Boston appointed James Brett, President & CEO of The New England Council.  In 2009, James Brett’s New England Council presented “New Englander of the Year” Awards to some folks whose names might ring a bell to readers of Boston Catholic Insider and Bryan Hehir Exposed:  John Kerry of Massachusetts, Jack Connors, Jr., Founding partner and Chairman emeritus of Hill Holliday and John Fish, CEO of Suffolk Construction Company.

The former President and CEO of The New England Council is also Bryan Hehir’s friend and former member of Catholic Charities,  Peter Meade.    Peter resigned Catholic Charities to ‘protest’ the Bishops asking for a religious exemption so that Catholics could continue in the adoption business without disobeying our faith.  Coincidently, James Brett is also a Catholic Charities colleague of Bryan Hehir’s.

These two people must be removed from the search committee for the new Executive Director of the Mass Catholic Conference, and whomever nominated them from each diocese should be removed from their position as well. 

We are working to updated our FedUp campaign petition, but that will take another day, so we are asking all readers to drop a dime today to Bishop George Coleman’s office in Fall River at 508-675-1311 and let him know you think his committee needs to immediately lose Sr. McDermott and Mr. Brett.  You can also try sending email to their Director of Communications, John Kearns (jkearns@fallriverdiocese.org), but we suggest you make the call to Bishop Coleman’s office ASAP.  Check back later today for our updated FedUp campaign.

ps. Beyond the Catholic Conference search, we got an anonymous tip last evening that the Jack Connors’ hand-picked choice for Secretary of Development, Kathleen Driscoll, may have been settled on.  If so, we have a huge crisis on our hands beyond MCC, but we’re just focusing on MCC for now until we learn more).

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