With everything going on around St. Cecilia’s in Boston earlier in the summer, I forgot to mention that Fr. Bryan Hehir, Secretary for Health and Social Services for the Archdiocese of Boston received the “prestigious Joseph Cardinal Bernardin Award at the Philip J. Murnion Lecture, at the Catholic Theological Union in Chicago on June 10.” According to this blurb from “Around the Archdiocese“:
Ordained in 1966, Father Hehir has worked for 45 years as priest in the archdiocese, including being a Professor of Religion and Public Life at Harvard University, and as president of the Catholic Charitable Bureau of the Archdiocese of Boston. He is known locally, nationally, and internationally as a teacher on matters of social justice.
The Cardinal Bernardin Award is given annually to an individual whose work embodies the spirit of the Catholic Common Ground Initiative, promoting unity, dialogue and collaboration within the Church.
Congratulations to Fr. Hehir! He’s is in good company. Previous recipients of the award are:
- 2010: Sr. Catherine Patten, R.S.H.M.: She’s former director of the Catholic Common Ground Initiative, from when it was based at the National Pastoral Life Center in New York
- 2009: Sr. Carol Keehan. She’s president and CEO of the Catholic Health Association. Keehan was selected because of “her extraordinary contributions to creating common ground between church leaders and government officials, organized labor and Catholic health care providers, the rich and the poor,” according to the citation presented to her. In 2010 she publicly suppored Obamacare, in opposition to the U.S. Catholic Bishops, promoting the USCCB to call the CHA’s efforts a “wound to Catholic unity.” Shortly after that, Fr. Bryan Hehir spoke at the CHA conference, praising her “intelligent and courageous leadership” and undermining the U.S. bishops’ position by saying there was a a basis for the “multiple voices” and “different judgments” on the bill. My post, Fr. Bryan Hehir “Wounds Catholic Unity” by Undermining U.S. Bishops on Healthcare” detailing his CHA talk prompted an angry response by Vicar General, Fr. Richard Erikson in the comments on June 24, 2010.
- 2008: Bishop Gerald Kicanas. Here’s what one blogger said about Kicanas’ receiving the award: “It was recently announced that Bishop Gerald Kicanas of Tucson has won the 2008 Bernardin Award. Kicanas is a Bernardin protege. As Chicago’s seminary rector, he ran interference for a student who racked up charges of sexual misconduct. (That student went on to become a priest now in prison for molesting boys.) So you might say he’s a worthy recipient.”
- 2007: Dr. Eugene Fisher. Fisher was associate director of the US Conference of Catholic Bishops’ Committee on Ecumenical and Interreligious Affairs and has his own controversies. On September 2, 2005, the USCCB Office of Media Relations issued a statement by Dr. Fisher on the death of New York Rabbi Balfour Brickner on August 29, 2005 that was gushing with praise. Read this Matt Abbott column at RenewAmerica for more details:
But according to Randy Engel, executive director of the Export, Pa.-based U.S. Coalition for Life:”Dr. Fisher’s unqualified praise of Rabbi Brickner as ‘a great friend’ of Catholics and the Church carefully omits any reference to the seedier aspects of Rabbi Brickner’s well known, long-time crusade for ‘abortion rights’ and ‘homosexual rights.’ Rabbi Brickner served on the boards of the Planned Federation of America (PPFA), the PPFA Board of Advocates and the PPFA Clergy Advisory Board, Planned Parenthood of New York City. Rabbi Brickner was a founder of Religious Leaders for a Free Choice, a New York-based pro-abortion organization. Rabbi Brickner was a founding member and board member of the National Abortion and Reproductive Rights Action League (NARAL), renamed NARAL — Pro-Choice America. Rabbi Brickner served on the board of the New York affiliate of the Religious Coalition for Reproductive Choice (RCAR). In the mid-1970s, Rabbi Brickner, testified on RCAR’s behalf before the U.S. Senate in favor of abortion rights. He stated that in Judaism the fetus in the womb is not considered a person and has ‘no juridical personality of its own.’ In fact, he stated, ‘a fetus did not acquire legal standing until thirty days after its birth.’ “In ‘Bush Administration Alchemy Would Turn a Fetus into a Child,’ Brickner charged that by making the fetus eligible for health care, the Bush Administration was turning ‘a fetus into a child and a woman into a vessel.’ He stated that the unborn fetus ‘is not a child’ and ‘it is not a living soul.’ “Rabbi Brickner helped draft the 2000 SEICUS (Sex Education and Information Council of the United States) ‘Religious Declaration on Sexual Morality, Justice, and Healing,’ which upholds contraception, abortion and homosexual rights including the right to ‘the blessing of same sex unions,’ cradle-to-grave sex instruction and population control.” “Dr. Fisher’s claim, made on behalf of the USCCB, the official arm of the American bishops, that Rabbi Brickner was a great religious leader whose name may ‘forever be a blessing,’ needs to be refuted; Dr. Fisher and his superior, the Rev. Arthur Kennedy, executive director of the Secretariat, [Bryan Hehir Exposed note: Kennedy is now Aux. Bishop in Boston and rector of St. John’s Seminary] need to be sent packing; and the members of the hierarchy who permitted this scandalous statement to be issued need to issue an apology to the pro-life community. In addition, the Vatican should remove Dr. Fisher from any advisory position to the Holy See on Jewish ecumenical relations.” [This report from the U.S. Coalition for Life summarizes the final outcome].
- Archbishop Wilton Gregory: 2006
- Boston College: 2005. For its “Church in the 21st Century” project
- National Council of Catholic Women: 2004
- Archbishop Harry Flynn: 2003. Flynn was archbishop of the Archdiocese of St. Paul and Minneapolis at the time.
As I wrote in “Fr. Hehir and the Seamless Garment,” Fr. Hehir and the late Cardinal Bernardin were close collaborators and friends. From the 2001 book, “Religious Leaders and Faith-Based Politics” we hear:
Shortly after the pastoral on war and peace had been issued. and no doubt trying to take advantage of the momentum it bad generated within the hierarchy. Cardinal Bernardin undertook another major initiative intended to broaden the bishops’ pro-life agenda beyond abortion.
As one would expect,in undertaking this initiative Bernardin received the invaluable assistance of Bryan Hehir. Indeed it is fair to say that this initiative was chiefly the product of their long collaboration. After working together over the years, the two men had become close friends.
In this post, Fr. Bryan Hehir, Bishop Kicanas, and Cardinal Bernardin, I talked about the Bernardin Connection to the Gay Agenda and Sub-Culture in the Catholic Church, including excerpts from Randy Engel’s book The Rite of Sodomy: Homosexuality and the Roman Catholic Church published in a column by Matt Abbott entitled “Remembering Joseph Cardinal Bernardin“The Special Case of Joseph Cardinal Bernardin:
- “To do real justice to Cardinal Bernardin and his entourage of clerical homosexuals and pederasts and ancillary hangers-on who made up the Chicago-Washington, D. C. Homosexual/Pederast Axis would require more than one full size book.”
- “The Boys Club” Murder
On May 30, 1984, Frank Pellegrini, the organist and choir director for All Saints — St. Anthony of Padua Roman Catholic Church on Chicago’s Southside was found brutally murdered in his apartment. There was no sign of forced entry. Police officials investigating the case believed that the murder was committed either by a woman or a homosexual.
According to his girlfriend, Pellegrini had had a homosexual relationship with a Chicago priest and was part of a secret clerical “Boys Club” that not only included homosexual assignations, but also ritualistic, occult worship and the sexual abuse of young boys garnered from low income ethnic families in the city.
Two young private Chicago investigators hired to look into the Pellegrini murder were able to confirm the existence of a clerical homosexual/pederast ring operating out of the Archdiocese of Chicago. It appeared that the alleged homosexual ring they had uncovered was the same one mentioned by Father Andrew Greeley in the paperback version of Furthermore! Memories of a Parish Priest written in 1999.
One of the puzzling mysteries surrounding the murder involved Cardinal Bernardin. According to the police who were present at the crime scene, shortly after Pellegrini’s body was discovered, Cardinal Bernardin arrived at the murdered man’s home to quiz the officers about the killing. The cardinal told police that he did not know the murdered man. This raises the obvious question of how he learned of the killing so quickly and of what special interest was Pellegrini to him since he did not know the victim. The Pellegrini case was reopened in the early 1990s, but to date, the crime remains unsolved and Father Greeley remains silent.
- Bernardin and the Winona Seminary Scandal
Although the homosexual scandal at Immaculate Heart of Mary Seminary in Winona, Minn. has already been covered in the previous chapter in connection with Bishop Brom of San Diego, it may be helpful to recall the case again briefly as Archbishop Bernardin was implicated in both the scandal and the subsequent payoff, and because it ties into the well-publicized Cook Affair.
…the details of the Winona scandal did not come to public attention until 2002. However, it had its genesis in the 1980s when a small group of homosexual prelates decided to scout out fresh meat from candidates for the priesthood at Immaculate Heart Seminary in the Diocese of Winona.
According to reports based on an investigation by Roman Catholic Faithful, the bishops involved in the sordid affair were alleged to be Joseph Bernardin, John Roach, Robert Brom, and a fourth bishop whose identity is not known. (The Boston Globe briefly mentioned the scandal here)
Cardinal Bernardin’s “Seamless Garment” later renamed the “Consistent Life Ethic,” like “The Many Faces of AIDS,” is another illustration of how Bernardin helped to advance the agenda of the Homosexual Collective. The Seamless Garment strategy set out by Bernardin in the 1980s sought to broaden the pro-life tent by expanding the movement’s opposition to abortion, euthanasia, population control and school sex instruction to include other “social justice” issues such as war and peace, opposition to the death penalty, welfare reform and civil liberties. One of the immediate effects of the Seamless Garment ethic was the increase of power and financial resources of Social Justice offices at the diocesan level where the Homosexual Collective has always been strongly represented.
Since the Homosexual Collective has been extremely successful at framing the homosexual question in terms of a “civil rights” issue, the Bernardin strategy opened the NCCB/USCC and diocesan Social Justice Departments (and their considerable resources and manpower) to further exploitation by the Collective. At the same time the Collective benefited from the neutering effect the Seamless Garment strategy had on pro-life/pro-family forces within the Church that had become the backbone of public opposition to the political and social agenda of the Homosexual Collective. The Bernardin strategy served to breathe new life into the languishing Democratic Party and its pro-homosexual platform as well as promote the “big tent” inclusive policies of the Republican Party that sought to capitalize and exploit the political talents and financial wealth of the Homosexual Collective in America.
Fr. Hehir’s been the recipient of many awards, so he’d be well versed in knowing the histories of previous award recipients and the award’s namesake. This award adds to others like the Institute for Policy Studies’ 1983 Letelier Award, named after Orlando Letelier, a Marxist-Leninist and IPS fellow who was assassinated in 1976 in Washington by the Chilean government’s secret police. A new report describes the IPS as “a Washington, D.C. think tank that provided a cover for Chilean Marxist and Cuban agent Orlando Letelier to conduct communist political influence operations in the nation’s capital.”
So, congratulations again to Fr. Bryan Hehir on winning the Cardinal Bernardin award!