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Archive for December, 2010

In follow-up of our last post about the Catholic Schools policy (see September 2010 draft version) to admit children of gay parents, here’s an email/letter written by a member of the Archdiocesan Pastoral Council opposed to the policy and sent to several APC members.  In the email, this person summarized their sentiments about the policy as shared with the APC back in September. It is “must reading” by every priest in the Archdiocese.

Dear [names redacted],

I think it would help us to look at the policy for admission to Catholic schools within the historical context of the past few years.  In 2006 when Catholic Charities of Boston closed its adoption services because it would no longer place children with homosexual couples, as required by state law, the Cardinal proved then to be a man of principle and prudence.  I was not in the APC then, but I am sure he would have not wanted to end the adoption program, but he was left with no realistic option by the state.  His position was also clear on May 15, 2007, when the Cardinal Archbishop of Boston came to the defense of marriage with his strong opposition to so-called “gay marriage” via his Marriage Prayer.  To this day, we at Saint ___ we pray this prayer at every Sunday Mass.  In this prayer, he states Catholic teaching unequivocally as follows: “Help us treasure the gift of marriage that reflects the love of Christ for the Church, where the self-giving love of husband and wife unites them more perfectly and cooperates in your plan for new life created in your image…Help us uphold the institution of marriage in our society as the place where love is nurtured and family life begins.”  Now, again the facts on the table are forcing his hand to seek standards regarding the admission to Catholic schools and thus the need of a policy on this matter in the Archdiocese.  He stated in a May 19 blog post when referring to a similar situation in Denver: “The Archdiocese of Denver has formulated a policy that calls into question the appropriateness of admitting the children of same-sex couples. It is clear that all of their school policies are intended to foster the welfare of the children and fidelity to the mission of the church.  Their positions and rationale must be seriously considered.”

So let us review the Denver case.  The decision to refuse the continuation of a child from kindergarten to 1st grade was based on their policy that states: “Parents living in open discord with Catholic teaching in areas of faith and morals unfortunately choose by their actions to disqualify their children from enrollment. To allow children in these circumstances to continue in our school would be a cause of confusion for the student in that what they are being taught in school conflicts with what they experience in the home.”   The soundness of this policy is explained by the Denver Archbishop Charles Chaput when he states that the Catholic Church teaches that marriage “can only occur between a man and a woman, if parents don’t respect the beliefs of the Church, or live in a manner that openly rejects those beliefs, then partnering with those parents becomes very difficult, if not impossible.”  So, the homosexual partners by “openly” flaunting their relationship while seeking to enroll the child in a Catholic school is the key item in his statement, for their lifestyle is the de-facto rejection of the teaching of the Church.  It is not sufficient that the guardians of any child may reject any particular teaching of the Church but that they do so in an “open” manner.  The “open” manner issue is the key in understanding the dilemma that appears to confuse many; for the issue of being in open defiance is the one that causes the problem, since it calls into effect the sin of scandal.  The Catholic Catechism states: “2284 Scandal is an attitude or behavior which leads another to do evil. The person who gives scandal becomes his neighbor’s tempter. He damages virtue and integrity; he may even draw his brother into spiritual death. Scandal is a grave offense if by deed or omission another is deliberately led into a grave offense.”  The proposed “non-discrimination” policy will, without a doubt, lead to scandal among the faithful.  Regrettably, scandal will occur for many reasons and this after having had such clarity in the past on certain matters relating to the gay agenda; namely, adoption by homosexual partners and the Archdiocese’s staunch opposition to so-called “gay marriage”.  Why then now yield to political correctness and consent to the proposed School admission policy?  What forces are at work that may have caused this shift? Why, during the presentation of the policy at the meeting, did we not seriously consider, as the Cardinal suggested, Denver’s positions and rationale?

 I venture an answer: The Catholic Schools Foundation; an independent organization that provides scholarships to students at inner-city Catholic schools, which has stated in a letter their funding requirements.  They said that the organization will not fund schools that have “an exclusionary admissions policy or practice” and that refuse to admit students of same-sex parents.  How is it possible that an independent organization that seeks the good of Catholic children would do so at the expense of Catholic principles?  The Catholic Schools Foundation should be at the service of the Mission of the Church and not the other way around.  They have confused their role because they are looking through the glasses of proportionalism and political correctness, both of which fail the test of Catholic fidelity.

 A Catholic education is indeed a prized commodity, not just because it excels in the temporal education of their pupils, but because the Catholic schools serve a higher end: the Mission of the Catholic Church.  This Mission is the proclamation of the Good News of the Gospel for the conversion of sinners and having as its ultimate goal the beatific vision for all her children.  We will fail in this Mission if we are the cause of scandal by appearing to condone the behavior that the Catechism describes as follows: “2357…Basing itself on Sacred Scripture, which presents homosexual acts as acts of grave depravity, tradition has always declared that “homosexual acts are intrinsically disordered.” They are contrary to the natural law. They close the sexual act to the gift of life. They do not proceed from a genuine affective and sexual complementarity. Under no circumstances can they be approved.”  So, let’s not be naïve in thinking that a “non-discriminatory” policy will not convey to those applying or already in Catholic schools a sense that we are making an equivalence between a homosexual partnership and a true Catholic family.

 The Catholic Church is Catholic because it is universal and invites all men to be her children, but at the same time she has discriminatory policies; for instance, we do not ordain women and this teaching of the ordinary Magisterium has been upheld as infallible by the Vatican in its November 8, 1995 publication by the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith regarding this matter, which stated as follows – “Dubium: Whether the teaching that the Church has no authority whatsoever to confer priestly ordination on women, which is presented in the Apostolic Letter Ordinatio Sacerdotalis to be held definitively, is to be understood as belonging to the deposit of faith. Responsum: In the affirmative.”  The document goes on to explain that “this teaching requires definitive assent, since, founded on the written Word of God, and from the beginning constantly preserved and applied in the Tradition of the Church, it has been set forth infallibly by the ordinary and universal Magisterium.”  So, as Catholics we are obliged to give our assent of belief to this teaching in the same manner as we believe anything else the Church teaches us authoritatively in matters of faith and morals.  She also discriminates when it comes to whom and when she receives someone into the Church through the sacrament of baptism.  Canon law states: “868 §1. 2/ there must be a founded hope that the infant will be brought up in the Catholic religion; if such hope is altogether lacking, the baptism is to be delayed according to the prescripts of particular law after the parents have been advised about the reason.” 

 Furthermore, subsequent to the mainly homosexual clerical abuse in America, the Vatican issued new directives regarding the admission of candidates to the priesthood that in part reads: “Deep-seated homosexual tendencies, which are found in a number of men and women, are also objectively disordered and, for those same people, often constitute a trial. Such persons must be accepted with respect and sensitivity. Every sign of unjust discrimination in their regard should be avoided. They are called to fulfill God’s will in their lives and to unite to the sacrifice of the Lord’s Cross the difficulties they may encounter.  In the light of such teaching, this Dicastery, in accord with the Congregation for Divine Worship and the Discipline of the Sacraments, believes it necessary to state clearly that the Church, while profoundly respecting the persons in question, cannot admit to the seminary or to holy orders those who practice homosexuality, present deep-seated homosexual tendencies or support the so-called “gay culture”.”  This again is in line with what the once Prefect of the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith, now our present Pope, stated back in 2003: “the adoption of children by gay people was against the Church’s teaching and to allow it was to do violence to those children in the sense that their condition of dependency would be used to place them in an environment that is not conducive to human development”.  So, why the conundrum?

 So, ignoring for the moment those who would recur to slogans and simplistic characterizations, such as “homophobe” or “zealot”, we will hear the argument that the children of those couples should not suffer for the sake of the sin of their guardians, without realizing that the ones at fault are these guardians who by their lifestyle stand in direct contradiction to the constant teaching of the Church.  However, and more importantly, it is absolutely necessary to take into consideration the just expectations of the many Catholic parents who have the right to a Catholic education for their children.  These parents, enroll their children, not only for the excellence a Catholic education brings, but because they wish their religion to be taught without self-imposed restrictions.  We know now the pattern: first the gay agenda pleads for toleration and when that is granted they make demands in excess of justice.  Not to mention the necessary interactions among children during the school year and the certainty that the homosexual guardians would be present at school events, whether in the school itself or even at the house of these same homosexual guardians. By these means the children would be exposed to this disordered social arrangement with their innocence severely compromised.  All this despite the best efforts of the Catholic parents who sought to protect the innocence of their children by enrolling them in a Catholic school only to find themselves in this unfortunate, yet unnecessary, predicament.                                      

We were told at the APC meeting that Catholic teaching would not suffer on account of the new policy, but how could that be?  Do we really think that by adding the word “qualified student” we have solved the problem?  The answer is definitely not, if our goal is to keep our Catholic identity and not become just another public school with a Catholic name.  And this surrendering of our identity because we wish to maintain funding sources that come with strings attached?  It would be preferable to reduce our services than to sell our character and do violence to our children.  We need to be reminded that toleration of sin is no virtue.

So, let us not fail in our advising role to our Cardinal, keeping the admonition of Christ found in the Gospel of Matthew 6:24 “No one can serve two masters. He will either hate one and love the other, or be devoted to one and despise the other. You cannot serve God and mammon.” Reason demands consistency: consistency internally with the Archdiocese’s previous stands on matters related to the issue at hand and consistency externally with the decision another American Archbishop has inscribed into his policies regarding admission to Denver Catholic schools.  The last thing we need is to pit Archbishop against Archbishop on this matter.  Let us not surrender to money or political correctness, while perhaps gaining a few lines of praise from the Boston Globe or those who advance the Gay Agenda, but stand by solid principles that would advance the Mission of the Catholic Church in Boston.  The Boston Globe and the Gay Agenda are not the barometers of our Faith, but part of the Culture of Death, which must be confronted.

This situation brings to mind another scenario in 1968, when the commission established by Pope Paul VI advised him to relax the Church’s teaching regarding contraception.  Yet the Pope, in a display of moral fortitude and against the majority, decided to uphold the traditional Catholic teaching regarding the evils of contraception, which is not simply a “mean” Catholic rule, but something intrinsic to man that goes to the essence of our humanity and natural law.  Let us advise our Cardinal with uprightness and courage, so that once again he sees in us his true collaborators and friends by saying NO to the proposed policy of “non-discrimination”.

–APC member opposed to forthcoming policy

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The writer of the letter adds one final point.  If the Archdiocese were to proceed with the policy, with any qualifiers they wish, it would contribute to the Balkanization of Belief (one diocese saying and doing one thing and another, another) to the great confusion of the faithful and to the glee of those who seek to silence the moral voice of our Holy Catholic Church and to Her very Mission.

Every member of the Cardinal’s Cabinet, the Cardinal himself, every priest, and every member of the Archdiocesan Presbyteral and Pastoral Councils should see this letter.  If you know any of them, send it along.  Stay tuned for our upcoming campaign soon.

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Back in May, everyone was up at arms over the situation at a local Catholic Church, St. Pauls, in Hingham, where the pastor, Fr. James Rafferty, courageously denied admission to the child of lesbian parents based on his assessment of what would be in the best interest of the child.  The Archdiocese of Boston said they would be writing a policy to set guidelines for admitting children of gay parents to avoid a similar uproar in the future, and we sent them our input towards the process in “The Big Picture on Catholic Education for Children of Gay Parents.”  The policy has been under review behind the scenes for the past few months and though it’s nearly done, the early draft version we saw makes us feel the policy needs to be stopped in its tracks sooner rather than later.

Before we dive into the outright lies and various agendas that are a part of the Archdiocesan policy effort, for today, since it’s been a while since we covered this topic we’ll just make sure you’re all up to speed by re-publishing an outstanding article by Hingham writer, Gail Besse, that appeared in the July-August issue of the New Oxford Review which gives you all of the background.  At the end of the article below, we’ll give you a brief summary of where things stand today.

GUEST COLUMN
Catholic Education for Children of Same-Sex Couples?

July-August 2010  By Gail Besse

Gail Besse taught in public and parochial schools for eighteen years. She has worked as a reporter, editor, and bureau chief for Massachusetts daily newspapers, and is currently a freelance writer.

One day after he rescinded the school admission of a boy being raised by two lesbians, Fr. James Rafferty heard from the Associated Press. The women had called the AP claiming discrimination. Forty-eight hours later, television satellite trucks and news crews converged on St. Paul’s Church and Elementary School. Helicopters circled the small town square in Hingham, Massachusetts.

Global publicity enveloped the Archdiocese of Boston, the pastor, and the beleaguered parish, whose parishioners Fr. Rafferty had ministered to for sixteen years as the sex-abuse scandal unraveled, exposing the guilt of four of its former priests, including the infamous John J. Geoghan, who in 2003 was murdered in prison.

The “gay-parent” controversy that hit in May stemmed in part from the particular individuals involved. The women were less than truthful, and key archdiocesan players castigated the pastor in the press days before Sean Cardinal O’Malley finally rose to his defense. Still, the general factors at play here will continue to challenge other Catholic schools. Should they admit children being raised by practicing homosexuals? As it stands, some do and some don’t.

In any case, it would seem reasonable that at least the following four issues should be considered: Church teaching on homosexuality, a school’s mission as defined by the Magisterium, the role of parents as partners in faith, and the consequences of accepting same-sex couples as part of the school community.

Apparently, none of these issues was raised publicly by Boston archdiocesan spokesmen during the first week Fr. Rafferty was pilloried in the media — and sadly by many Catholics — as “punishing the child for having gay parents.”

The women, to whom the AP granted anonymity, told the press they had been forthcoming about their relationship, having written both names as “parents” on the application form when the boy was accepted for third grade in the upcoming 2010-2011 school year.

Actually, they had written the mother’s full name and under “father,” had listed the other woman’s last name and first initial only, according to numerous reliable sources who asked to remain anonymous because Fr. Rafferty, who adamantly guarded the women’s privacy for the child’s sake, chose not to speak publicly about it.

The mother reportedly said that she was not Catholic, but her lesbian partner, whom she referred to as her “husband,” was a fallen-away Catholic. When the pastor scheduled a parental meeting, a normal practice at the small school, he hoped that his offer of spiritual guidance could help them.

It was during this meeting that their lesbian relationship came to light. After prayerful discernment, Fr. Rafferty made the difficult decision to rescind enrollment, a pastoral move that quickly heaped coals upon his head from the Boston chancery and beyond.

The fundraising director of the Catholic Schools Foundation warned that any administrator who followed St. Paul’s “exclusionary admissions policy” could wave tuition grants good-bye.

Power-broker Jack Connors, who had raised $60 million for the schools, told the Boston Globe that the incident was an “unfortunate aberration” that should not “discourage corporate donors.”

Superintendent of Schools Mary Grassa O’Neill issued a statement saying that the Church does not prohibit children of same-sex parents from attending Catholic schools and that the archdiocese will “develop a policy to eliminate any misunderstandings in the future.” She assured the women that she’d find them another school.

Ironically, while this transpired, Cardinal O’Malley was in Fatima, Portugal, with Pope Benedict XVI, who condemned same-sex “marriage” as a “dangerous and insidious” challenge to society. Yet no such counter-cultural message echoed from the Archdiocese of Boston; and to those acclimatized by moral relativism, the priest’s decision was simply unintelligible.

C.J. Doyle of the Catholic Action League of Massachusetts, on the other hand, urged the archdiocese to “vigorously defend” the decision. “The real question here is why two people who radically repudiate the moral teachings of Catholicism would want their child educated in a Catholic school,” Doyle said in a statement.

Eventually, The Pilot, the archdiocesan newspaper, did editorialize on the possibility of “scandal,” and the cardinal did defend Fr. Rafferty in an entry on his blog and in The Pilot. He called the priest “one of our finest pastors,” who has his “full confidence and support.”

O’Malley acknowledged that Fr. Rafferty had “made a decision based on an assessment of what he felt would be in the best interest of the child.” But, unfortunately, the cardinal never clarified the decision’s underlying reasoning. A teaching moment was lost.

The mission of Catholic schools is primarily to educate children in the truth and beauty of the Catholic faith. Vatican II’s “Declaration on Christian Education” (Gravis­simum Educationis) states that its goal is to introduce to the baptized the knowledge of the mystery of salvation and help them become aware of the gift of faith. Its purpose is to lead youth “to worship God the Father in spirit and truth (cf. John 4:23)…and be conformed in their personal lives according to the new man created in justice and holiness of truth (Eph. 4:22-24)….”

This document, and the Congregation for Catholic Education’s 1977 directive “The Catholic School,” clearly indicates that a Catholic school’s primary mission is to impart the faith. But as the Boston controversy revealed, battles are played out over how this mission is put into practice.

Cardinal O’Malley said on his blog that “the good of the child must always be our primary concern,” but did not address the thorny issue of homosexuality. That issue was likewise skirted in a radio interview the next day by his key advisor, Fr. Bryan Hehir, who is known for stressing social-justice issues over those involving sexuality. “We want to accept all children and their families who want to come,” he said.

Observers were left with a paradox. How can a Catholic school unambiguously present Church teaching on human sexuality with children of same-sex couples in the classroom?

A few dioceses informally surveyed concluded that for the protection of all involved, it can’t be done.

In response to a question on the policy in the Diocese of Lincoln, chancellor Fr. Daniel Rayer said it would be to “not enroll in our Catholic schools children of parents who are living an active homosexual lifestyle. If the children are to be raised Catholic, then we would allow them to be baptized and attend CCD instruction.”

When a situation strikingly similar to Boston’s occurred in Boulder, Colorado, in March, Denver’s Archbishop Charles Chaput explained his rationale for supporting Fr. William Breslin, who declined school enrollment of two girls being raised by a lesbian couple. In a column in the archdiocesan Denver Catholic Register titled “Partners in Faith with Parents,” Archbishop Chaput wrote: “The main purpose of Catholic schools is religious; in other words, to form students in Catholic faith, Catholic morality and Catholic social values…. The Church never looks for reasons to turn anyone away from a Catholic education. But the Church can’t change her moral beliefs without undermining her mission and failing to serve the many families who believe in that mission.”

“These beliefs are central to a Catholic understanding of human nature, family and happiness, and the organization of society. The Church cannot change these teachings because, in the faith of Catholics, they are the teachings of Jesus Christ,” Archbishop Chaput continued. “Our schools are meant to be ‘partners in faith’ with parents. If parents don’t respect the beliefs of the Church, or live in a manner that openly rejects those beliefs, then partnering with those parents becomes very difficult, if not impossible.”

Others concerned with the welfare of the student body in general and children of gay couples in particular have also concluded that admitting them would cause more harm than good.

“It is reasonable for Catholic elementary schools to explain to same-sex couples that this is not the place for their children,” wrote Dale O’Leary, author of The Gender Agenda, in her essay “Catholic Schools.” “A Catholic school cannot agree to hide the truth…. If schools accept the children, they will either be alienated from their parents, on whom they rely, or alienated from God, who would be seen as condemning their parents’ choices.”

Fr. Roger Landry, in a subsequent editorial in The Anchor, the Fall River diocesan newspaper, concurred on that point: “There is a requirement, for the good of the child, that parents commit to raise the child in a situation that at least does not contradict the values and formation given at the school,” he wrote. “If the child’s education will not be coupled to a way of life consistent with it, the parents and school would be placing the child in a spiritually and morally schizophrenic situation — which is obviously harmful.”

Why none of these reasoned arguments emanated louder than a whisper from the Archdiocese of Boston is a matter of conjecture. One St. Paul parishioner suggested in a letter to the local paper that “chancery spin” deflected attention away from the issue of homosexuality so as not to resurrect in the public eye the parish’s painful history, which included not only Geoghan but also two other suspended or laicized priests and Fr. Rafferty’s predecessor, John R. Hanlon, now serving life in prison.

Certainly court-imposed “gay marriage” has dispirited and confused many over the past six years. That is all the more reason why those who want schools to cling to their Catholic identity and mission are hoping that Cardinal O’Malley regains the strong voice he had in a 2005 letter he issued on homosexuality. “If we tell people that sex outside of marriage is not a sin, we are deceiving people. If they believe this untruth, a life of virtue becomes all but impossible,” he wrote. “We must teach the truths of the Gospel in season and out of season.”

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What’s happened since all this happened, you may be asking?  As we told you on May 21, Fr. Bryan Hehir said in a WBUR interview, that Catholic schools in this archdiocese have been and will remain wide open to children of gay couples.  He said, “Are we doing it already?  Yes.   And we intend to do it as the Cardinal indicated, with formal policies!”

We’re aware that Cardinal O’Malley, under advisement by Fr. Bryan Hehir, Jack Connors, and others of their ilk, apparently told his staff to create a policy that admits anyone, and schools superintendent, Mary Grassa O’Neill has done just that. Their internal way of describing this uses the same kind of language the gay movement uses to push gay marriage–they “don’t want to discriminate” against anyone, even if the resulting policy means they will be discriminating against faithful Catholics who just want a solid Catholic education.

Here’s a draft version from September, posted at Boston Catholic Insider.  It’s supposedly undergone subsequent review and editing to try and fix some of the more egregious flaws, but we haven’t yet gotten to see the most recent draft and can’t imagine how they could ever “perfume the pig” from this as a starting point.  We’ll go through all of the problems with the draft tomorrow.  Suffice to say, the Archdiocese basically ignored everything we told them in the “Big Picture.”   More tomorrow.

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Can anyone tell us what’s going on at Massachusetts Citizens for Life (MCFL) lately?  Years ago, when MCFL endorsed a political candidate you  could be very confident the candidate was 100% pro-life and supportive of marriage between a man and woman.  And when they held an event, you could be certain all of the speakers had Catholic/Christian values consistent with life, family, and the teachings of the Church. Neither of those are true any more, as exemplified by MCFL’s plans to have the frequently anti-Catholic columnist, Howie Carr, as featured speaker at their January Assembly for Life event.

Under MCFL President, Anne Fox, now we never know what to expect from MCFL.  Are Fr. Bryan Hehir’s tentacles of relativism somehow extending beyond the Archdiocese of Boston to MCFL?

  • MCFL’s PAC endorsed pro-abortion candidate, Tim Cahill for Governor, saying, “Tim Cahill will be an outstanding advocate for the unborn,” despite the minor matter of fact that Cahill was on the record saying, “I believe in and support a woman’s right to choose.  I also believe that abortion should be safe, legal, and rare.”  Huh?  Here’s a links to the RedMassGroup that shows where that statement had appeared on his website until shortly before MCFL came out with their endorsement, when it was mysteriously scrubbed.  Later, when MCFL had to clarify the endorsement under pressure from pro-lifers, they acknowledged Cahill was not totally on-the-mark, but was simply better than the other pro-abortion candidates, Deval Patrick and Charlie Baker.  Why did MCFL feel they HAD to endorse someone?  And if they felt they HAD to, why did they mislead people at first?  Why didn’t they say he was at best, OK on a couple of issues, in the wrong place on other important issues, and overall, just nominally better than the others who were totally against pro-life, pro-family positions?
  • Strong pro-life Catholics like Phil Moran and Marie Sturgis have apparently been pushed out by President Anne Fox, or they quit on their own.  Stalwart defender of life, Phil Moran, is now off the Board of Directors.  Marie Sturgis was the long-time executive director of MCFL and she’s gone. In 2002 and 2005, she had no problem publicly questioning Gov. Mitt Romney’s supposed “pro-life” credentials and saying MCFL saw him as a supporter of abortion who was “not pro-life and does not meet their requirements” for an endorsement.  In 2005 in this Boston Globe article, Marie publicly questioned Fr. Bryan Hehir’s appointment of Ed Saunders to head the Mass Catholic Conference because of Saunders’ past donations to pro-abort and pro-gay politicians:
Marie Sturgis, executive director of Massachusetts Citizens for Life, said the group is ”investigating” Saunders’s background. ”I realize lobbyists do what they have to do, but we’re talking about principles here, and strong beliefs in some fundamental human rights,” she said. ”There’s a side of me that wonders, if there are personal contributions given to lawmakers or political candidates who are not in synch with what the church teaches, then doesn’t that call into serious question the motives of this individual?”
  • Fr. Bryan Hehir has responsibility over Pro-Life Ministries in the Archdiocese of Boston, and those ministries are headed by Marianne Luthin, whose husband, Henry Luthin, is Chairman of the Board of MCFL. Whatever Marianne says and does in her official role in the archdiocese needs to comply with what Fr. Hehir wants to do.  So, if Fr. Hehir is opposed to a program like the 40 Days for Life running in the Archdiocese of Boston or if he were to stonewall moving ahead with it, Marianne would be in the awkward position of having to acquiesce to Hehir’s opposition.  Everything we hear about Marianne and Henry says they are very solid pro-life Catholics.  We’re not into conspiracy theories here and don’t know if Hehir’s influence over Marianne is extending to influence her husband Henry as well.  So what’s up with Henry allowing the absurdity of what Anne is doing at MCFL and allowing his good name to be sullied?
Below is the letter from C.J. Doyle at the Catholic Action League to Anne Fox regarding the planned appearance by Howie Carr.  Although we find Howie’s criticism of corruption in government worthwhile and his criticism of liberal Democratic politicians often amusing, his slams against Catholics, ethnic minorities, and those less fortunate in society are offensive, intolerable and not consistent with the values MCFL should be promoting.

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December 17, 2010

Anne Fox, President
Massachusetts Citizens For Life
The Schrafft Center
529 Main Street
Charlestown, MA 02129

Dear Anne,

We were astonished to learn that Howie Carr will be featured at MCFL’s Annual Assembly For Life on January 16th.  Carr is a notorious Catholic-basher with a long record of vicious and gratuitous attacks on the Catholic Religion.

On April 8, 1998 — Wednesday in Holy Week — in response to a decision by the Red Sox to forgo alcohol sales in Fenway Park because Opening Day would fall on Good Friday, Carr hosted a segment on his program in which he invited listeners to comment on selling “Catholic Eucharists for $3.49 a bag” as a substitute for beer.  The result was a half hour of offensive slurs profaning the Blessed Sacrament.

In one particularly vile episode later in 1998, in a conversation between Carr and his producer Doug Goudie evidently intended to disparage Arabs, it was asserted that shepherds in the Middle East had unnatural relations with the animals in their flocks.  Into this depraved subject the name of Saint Joseph — the Virgin Spouse of the Virgin Mother of God — was introduced.  Saint Joseph was then misidentified as a shepherd.

In an interview with Malachy McCourt, Carr laughed and snickered over McCourt’s assertion that the late Francis Cardinal Spellman was not only a homosexual but a pedophile.  Carr went on to recount a story alleging that an episcopal ring was found by police in a homosexual brothel, implying that the ring belonged to Spellman.

In January, 2002, Carr hosted a segment in which he asked his listeners ” Are you ashamed to be a Catholic?”, during which he boasted that he never went to Mass.  All throughout the molestation crisis of 2002, Carr contemptuously referred to the Cardinal Archbishop of Boston as “Bernie Law”, and on November 29th of that year the Boston Herald published a column by Carr in which he described the Cardinal as “a Bulger bum kisser.”

Hispanic Catholics, with their large families and culture of life, are the future of the Church and the Pro-Life movement in America.  Howie Carr however, is not only an anti-Catholic but a crude nativist.  One of the recurring themes of his program is the attempt to link illegal immigrants to crime.  A particularly offensive gimmick is his habit of playing Mexican music while reading the names of criminal suspects with Hispanic surnames.  This hostility to Hispanics and immigrants places Cardinal O’Malley, or whoever represents him from the Archdiocese of Boston, in the embarrassing position of sharing a stage with someone who boorishly castigates some of the neediest members of his flock.

In a Catholic community which has a significant number of Eastern Rite Catholics of Lebanese and Syrian descent (the Melkite Cathedral is in West Roxbury) it is unimaginable that MCFL would actually provide a platform to a rabble rousing shock jock who has described Arabs in the past as “towelheads”.

Inviting Howie Carr to address the Assembly for Life is an act of monumental ingratitude to elected officials who defended the right to life and came to the aid of MCFL in difficult times.  Men such as William Bulger, Ray Flynn, Thomas Finneran, and the late Jim Craven have been the victims of vulgar insults, venomous denunciations, and malevolent diatribes by this spiteful demagogue.

A larger issue here is why an organization with a predominantly Christian membership would want to showcase a public figure whose life and career embody such a cynical negation of Christian values.  Howie Carr is infamous for his uncharitableness of speech, his lack of compassion, and his sneering contempt for the objects of his scorn.  He preys upon the vulnerable, exploits the misfortunes of others, incites rancor and envy, and has grown rich by his indifference to the Eighth Commandment.  He mocks the Church, derides the poor, maligns men who have more integrity than he does, and has ridiculed the Body, Blood, Soul and Divinity of Jesus Christ in the Holy Eucharist.

Inviting such a miserable creature to address an organization dedicated to the sanctity and dignity of human life is an affront to the Christian religion and everything the Pro-Life movement professes to uphold.

We urge you to reconsider this improvident decision and cancel the invitation to this inappropriate choice for a speaker.

Sincerely,

Daniel T. Flatley                                  C. J. Doyle
Chairman Emeritus                           Executive Director

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We are totally supportive of Mass Citizens for Life’s mission: “to promote respect for human life and to defend the right to life of all human beings, born and preborn.”  They have a lot of great, hard-working solid pro-life people involved in the organization. But they’re losing site of that mission and losing supporters by a series of ill-conceived decisions lately that reek of the kind of relativism that characterizes Bryan Hehir’s approach to Church teachings and public policy.
We hope the Board at MCFL does something about both this event, and what seems like the increasingly misguided leadership of President Anne Fox.  The credibility of the organization amongst Massachusetts pro-lifers and their ability to accomplish their mission are dropping like a rock.

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Meet the Liberal Elite

Sorry for the long lag in our posts.  We’ve not forgotten about you, but have been busy working on our next campaign.  In the meantime, we just came across this video called, “Meet the Liberal Elite.”   Imagine replacing the “liberal elite” person in this video with a certain priest we have been writing about for a while.  Enjoy!

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