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Archive for the ‘Bryan Hehir’ Category

We’re about to launch our campaign try and undo the disastrous Catholic Schools non-discrimination policy baked and approved by Cardinal Sean P. O’Malley and his team, and thought you might want to see what Michael Voris of RealCatholic TV has said about it in two recent programs.

In “Heads in the Sand,” he said the following:

Some people seem to be of the opinion that to say anything publicly of an ongoing matter of spiritual or temporal corruption is somehow disobedient or gives scandal. Well .. if its being addressed or resolve .. it probably is better to stay quiet and while others fix it….People .. Catholics .. not only have a right to know about corruption in the Church ..have a duty and responsibility to fight against it to whatever degree their circumstances…

Catholics of all rank .. clergy and religious and laity .. simply cannot keep their heads buried in the sand and claim ignorance. We don’t get to look the other way when the Bride of Christ is being battered and abused .. especially .. most especially when that abuse comes from those charged with cherishing her the most allow.

You should watch the whole video, but if pressed for time, start at 5:00 and watch through 5:40 for the part about Boston (starting at 5:19):

When the Archdiocese of Boston caves in to the culture and issues a directive that their schools cannot discriminate against categories of children for admission in response to criticism about not letting the child of a lesbian couple be admitted, it too bespeaks a willingness to run away from its duty to take a stand for Christ.

A few days ago, Michael Voris covered this again in a news program.  We couldn’t get the embedded video to work right so click here to access the video, and after it starts downloading it, click “open” to play. Advance to about 5:10 for the story about the Archdiocese of Boston.  He says the following:

Archdiocese Compromises Catholic Education

It’s being considered a pro-homosexual “rights” victory in Boston and around the country… as the Archdiocese promulgates a policy that tacitly approves of homosexual activity.The controversy stems from an incident last May when a Catholic school in Hingham, Massachusetts did not permit a lesbian couple to enroll their eight-year- old boy in classes because they were living a lifestyle contrary to Church teaching. The new Admission Policy says that schools “do not discriminate against or exclude any categories of students”… but does not offer any further guidelines regarding how to deal with the sinful lifestyle of a child’s “parents” or how these individuals might be fully engaged in the education of their child according to Christ’s natural law.

Dignity USA and Catholics for Marriage Equality … both anti-Catholic organizations officially banned by the Catholic Church … have come out in support of the Boston Archdiocese’s new school policy.

As we’ve said before, the fingerprints of Fr. Bryan Hehir are all over this policy.  Last May he declared the Archdiocese of Boston was moving full-speed ahead with this policy.

Are you Fed Up with Fr. Hehir and the Archdiocese for moving ahead with this policy? Now we just need to ask for divine intercession and help from readers in our next FedUp campaign to try and get the policy scrapped and Fr. Hehir removed before yet more damage is done.

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This article at LifeSiteNews and the associated comments gives additional perspective on the difference between what the courageous Archbishop Charles Chaput of Denver did vs what Cardinal Sean O’Malley in Boston did with advice from his most trusted advisor, Fr. Bryan Hehir .

Boston and Denver Archbishops differ on permitting children of gay couples in Catholic schools
by Kathleen Gilbert Fri Jan 14, 2011

BOSTON, January 14, 2011 (LifeSiteNews.com) – Following directions from Cardinal Sean O’Malley, the Archdiocese of Boston has formulated a Catholic schools admission policy that prohibits “discrimination” against students who come from a homosexual household, a move that has won praise from dissident “Catholic” gay rights leaders. Last year Archbishop Chaput decided differently for Catholic schools in his diocese saying: “Most parents who send their children to Catholic schools want an environment where the Catholic faith is fully taught and practiced. That simply can’t be done if teachers need to worry about wounding the feelings of their students or about alienating students from their parents.”

The new policy was sparked by the decision of Boston’s St. Paul’s elementary school last May to withdraw acceptance of a student after learning the child was guarded by two women in a lesbian relationship. The archdiocese subsequently distanced itself from the decision.

That decision occurred only weeks after a school within the Archdiocese of Denver also rejected the application of a student guarded by a lesbian couple. Denver Archbishop Charles Chaput supported the school’s action. “The Church does not claim that people with a homosexual orientation are ‘bad,’ or that their children are less loved by God. Quite the opposite,” he explained.

“But what the Church does teach is that sexual intimacy by anyone outside marriage is wrong; that marriage is a sacramental covenant; and that marriage can only occur between a man and a woman. These beliefs are central to a Catholic understanding of human nature, family and happiness, and the organization of society.”

In announcing the new Boston policy, Cardinal O’Malley said that the archdiocese has “never had categories of people who were excluded” and that “Catholic schools exist for the good of the children and our admission standards must reflect that.”

“While there are legitimate reasons that might lead to a decision not to admit a child, I believe all would agree that the good of the child must always be our primary concern,” wrote O’Malley on his blog.

Archbishop Chaput concluded that since Catholic schools owe Catholic students the full teaching of the truth and children being brought up by homosexual couples could be hurt by the teachings, allowing them into Catholic schools “isn’t fair to anyone—including the wider school community.”

Boston Vicar General and Moderator of the Curia Father Richard Erikson confirmed that, “We will not exclude any category of child from our schools and we expect pastors will be in conformity with the decision,” in remarks published by the Boston Pilot this week.

The new policy does not specify the meaning of a “category” of students. Secretary for Education Mary Grassa O’Neill declined to state how the policy would have affected last year’s case. The dissident group Catholics for Equality hailed the new Boston archdiocesan policy on its Facebook page as “a good news story.” “Let’s work to implement similar policies in Catholic schools nationwide!” said the group, half of whose board members hold leading positions at the top homosexualist group Human Rights Campaign.

Comments

Posted by familygonzalez on Jan 14, 2011
Cardinal Sean O’Malley has opened up a Pandora’s box!

Posted by maryernie on Jan 14, 2011

Archbishop Chaput will not abandon the schools entrusted to his care! He remains faithful to his calling as the spiritual leader of his people! Praise God!

Posted by Nancy D. on Jan 14, 2011

It is important to note that the bishop fails to mention that which is for the common Good which would include both the child and the parent. If it is true that the bishop has been properly catechized regarding The Catholic Church’s teaching on homosexuality, he would have clearly stated that it is out of Love and respect for the Dignity of every human person that The Catholic Church teaches that we must never condone sexual behavior and sexual relationships that do no respect the inherent Dignity of the human person and are thus demeaning.

Posted by Just Say’n on Jan 14, 2011

It will be interesting to see how Cardinal Sean O’Malley of the Archdiocese of Boston is going to teach according to the Catholic Church that “HOMOSEXUAL ACTS are MORTAL SINS”, so that ALL of the children in his schools are not influenced by another MORTAL SIN that seems to be over looked by too many Bishops – that of SCANDAL. CCC # 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.” Children learn by example. The homosexual lifestyle is NOT OK. Unfortunately too many children will be Cardinal O’Malley’s guinea pigs while he pushes a liberal and non-Catholic agenda.

Posted by subterratigress on Jan 15, 2011
It seems to me that if the principle (or whoever is in charge of this sort of thing) sat down with any homosexual parents who wanted their children enrolled in the school, and explained, as charitably as possible, that all the children learn about the fact that the only place sexual intimacy is acceptable in God’s eyes is between a husband and wife, man and woman, in marriage. Then ask them if they still want their child[ren] enrolled, given the nature of their relationship. My guess would be that they would high-tail it and take their child[ren] elsewhere. But hey, if not, why not let the child be exposed to a hopefully good, Catholic/Christian environment?

Posted by Just Say’n on Jan 15, 2011
PRACTICING homosexual ‘parents’ do not care about their own Eternal lives, so for them to care about another’s Soul would be highly unlikely. Their lifestyle example to children in their homes is scandalous. If they were not publically advertizing that they were homosexuals, the school administration and no one else would ever know, since in this economy people share homes (not bedrooms). This appears to be another attempt to push the public homosexual lifestyle onto Catholics and waterdown the teachings in the CCC and in Holy Scripture. (Gen 19:1-29; Rom 1:24-27; 1 Cor 6: 9-10; 1 Tim 1:10; and the CCC 2357-2359. Tolerating or complaisance of Mortal Sin is sinful in itself. (CCC 2480, 1868) Cardinal O’Malley is not allowing the Catholic Schools in his Diocese any discretion.

Posted by Kathy16670 on Jan 15, 2011
I’m quite certain his is an intentional attempt to weaken the Church’s correct stance on homosexuality. I believe the line of thinking is “once we are in, and they start teaching about homosexuality (aka hate speech,) we can slap them with a law suit.” They have succeeded in pushing their agenda in the public square, and now the Catholic Church pretty much stands alone in saying homosexual activity is wrong. Praise God for courageous leaders like Archbishop Chaput.

Posted by Just Say’n on Jan 15, 2011
This needs repeating – – – – – “Archbishop Chaput concluded that since Catholic schools OWE Catholic students the FULL teaching of the TRUTH and children being brought up by homosexual couples could be hurt by the teachings, allowing them into Catholic schools “isn’t fair to anyone—INCLUDING the wider school community.” (caps are mine) Catholic Schools must teach religious Doctrine, and Doctrine must be supported in the children’s homelife. If homosexual couples (not really parents) do not support Catholic teachings in their homelife, what is their motivation for sending them to a Catholic school in the first place?

Posted by Raymond Peringer on Jan 15, 2011
Homosexual households wanting to send their children to Catholic schools are expressing a vote of confidence in the quality of Catholic teaching. Otherwise they would be trotting off to the other place. This must be of concern to public school advocates.

Posted by Just Say’n on Jan 15, 2011
Even if it were better than the local public school, I would never send my children to a Muslim School – since their beliefs are different from what I believe, and I know they would faithfully be taught a religion that was contrary to my beliefs and lifestyle – at a tender and impressionable age. Further, other children would discriminate against them for my not living according to the Muslim faith -which they believed to be correct. Kathy (above) has a good point, that once children of homosexual couples are admitted, their parents can sue under “Federal HATE Crimes” teachers and children who express the teachings of the Church regarding homosexual acts beiung Mortal Sins and all that that implies. Posted by carmen on Jan 15, 2011 What a mess, can it get any worse? what are these bishops thinking? Lord help us.i hope they are going to be taught the right way. i can see many law suit under hate crimes,

Posted by Idaho Pete on Jan 15, 2011
Remember this is the same Cardinal O’Malley who held a gala funeral for a baby killing politician, who spent most of his adult life advocating and promoting this. This same politician through the power of his political machine gave the state same sex marriage. This same individual was described as a model Catholic at the funeral, yet history shows he was a drunkard, adulterer and total abortionist.This of course was a total slap in the face to those in the pro-life movement and this act (by not defending the Church and her teachings) further shows that this diosese is a defiler and is corrupt to its core to the same degree of the time of the Borgias who could buy and sell their way in the corrupt Church of that time. If you haven’t yet, I recommend viewers go to RealCatholicTV.com it’s an eye opener

Posted by Reginald on Jan 15, 2011
Why don’t we just call a spade a spade. O’ Malley is just the latest of these heretical Vatican II modernists who have destroyed the Church…

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By now, most of you have probably heard about the disaster of a policy the Archdiocese of Boston’s supposedly “Catholic” Schools office unveiled this past week that officially says Boston Catholic schools can’t discriminate in admissions.

At this blog “Queering the Church,” in a post called, “Catholic School Admissions: Sanity in Boston,” they are excited about the policy, saying “representatives of leading gay and lesbian Catholic organizations welcomed the new policy.”   When gay “Catholic” organizations like DignityUSA, praise the archdiocese and Catholics for Marriage Equality says they “hope dioceses around the country will adopt Boston’s guidelines,” you know there’s a big problem. This disaster could sweep across the country quickly if faithful Catholics do not act quickly.

Lots of people are asking what to do about this.  Here is our initial thinking, but more will be coming as we launch our campaign.

First and foremost for right now, educate yourself.  It’s troubling to hear from readers, friends, and other bloggers that a lot of Catholic laity and priests in the Boston area seem ambivalent about the policy, so you may even have to educate your pastor and other Catholics.   Read this post in its entirety if you can, but for those with limited time, here’s an initial attempt at distilling the longer content we have covered before into a shorter set of key talking points:

1. Good of the Child Not Served by Learning Values in School Radically Different from Those at Home
2. Private Schools Can and Do “Discriminate”
3. Need Partnership Between Catholic School and Parents
4. Protecting Innocence of Children is Impossible
5. Policy Mandates Implicit or Explicit Recognition of the Gay/Lesbian relationship as Valid
6. Use of Holy Father’s Quote is Deceptive
7. Policy Violates Principle of Subsidiarity


1. Good of the Child Not Served by Learning Values in School Radically Different from Those at Home

For all of the talk about not depriving the innocent child of gay parents from a Catholic education, no one ever explains how the good of the child is served by being educated with one set of moral principles in school and encountering something radically different in their home.

As Dale O’Leary put it, “Persons in same-sex relationships who have children naturally want to protect their children’s feelings. They aren’t going to want their children to be exposed to the truth. A Catholic school cannot agree to hide the truth.  What is in the best interest of the children of same-sex couples and the other children? If they accept the children in the school, the children will either be alienated from their parents on whom they rely or alienated from God who would be seen as condemning their parents’ choices. While older children might be able to understand and even appreciate the Church’s teaching, younger children certainly will not. To them it will just seem mean. It will put the teachers in an untenable position and confuse the children’s classmates. Therefore, it is reasonable for Catholic elementary schools to explain to same-sex couples that this is not the place for their children.”

Archbishop Chaput wrote the Church teaches that “marriage is a sacramental covenant; and that marriage can only occur between a man and a woman.  These beliefs are central to a Catholic understanding of human nature, family and happiness, and the organization of society.”  When the Church teaches that gay marriage is against the will of God at the same time the parents live a lifestyle that rejects those beliefs, then the child will hear the Church saying their parents (upon whom they rely for sustenance) are bad.  The burden and stress is borne by the child, who is caught in the middle, and on their teachers, who have an obligation to teach the authentic faith of the Church.

Fr. Landry at CatholicPreaching noted, “There is a requirement, for the good of the child, that the parents commit to raise the child in a situation that at least does not contradict the values and formation given at the school. 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.”

How exactly do proponents of the policy reconcile this conflict and claim what they are doing is for the good of the child still?

2. Private Schools Can and Do “Discriminate”

Catholic schools are private schools, and by nature, a private school admits some students and not others.  Catholic children could and should have preference over non-Catholics in admissions. Children are excluded from schools on an individual basis because of behavioral problems.  The Vatican has declared that active homosexuals should be excluded from seminaries. It’s a private school, and as such someone will inevitably be excluded.

The Catholic Church “discriminates” in the sacrament of baptism, where the Church wants all children to be baptized but the priest has the duty to determine that there is a “well-founded” or “realistic” hope that the child will be raised in the Catholic faith (Canon 868 in the Code of Canon Law). As Fr. Roger Landry has written, “If there is no realistic hope that the parents are going to raise the child in the faith…the pastor…must reluctantly delay the baptism in view of the good of the child, who assumes rights and responsibilities upon being baptized. If the child is not going to be nourished in the faith to know and live by those privileges and duties, then the Church defers the baptism, hoping that either the parents will have a change of heart or the child, upon maturity, will freely request baptism as a catechumen.”

3. Need Partnership Between Catholic School and Parents

Archbishop Chaput, Dale O’Leary, Fr. Roger Landry and Vatican documents including Declaration on Christian Education (Gravissimum Educationis) have said it well.  The school  needs to partner with parents to develop children in the faith.  That means the parents have to accept the teachings of the Catholic Church and help reinforce them in the home and family life.  Archbishop Chaput wrote, “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.” There is an inherent conflict here with gay parents  who are happily living a relationship that is considered immoral, which permanently deprives children of their natural law right to both a mother and father, and which can never ever be considered valid by the church.  This is uniquely different than situations where parents are divorced, single parents, or co-habitating heterosexual couples, where those parents themselves may hope for the potential of a valid marriage, and where the relationship can indeed hopefully become valid in the eyes of the Church some day.

4. Protecting Innocence of Children is Impossible

By forcing the admission of children of active gay and lesbian parents, the Archdiocese of Boston has declared that the desires of those gay and lesbian parents living in a relationship considered immoral by the Church trump the Church-granted rights of Catholic parents and children to keep their children’s minds innocent.

The Vatican’s Pontifical Council on the Family’s 1995 document, Truth and Meaning of Human Sexuality says when premature information about sex is imposed on children who are not yet equipped to integrate that information with moral responsibility:

Such information tends to shatter their emotional and educational development and to disturb the natural serenity of this period of life. Parents should politely but firmly exclude any attempts to violate children’s innocence because such attempts compromise their spiritual, moral and emotional development. [No. 83]

“Parents must protect their children, first by teaching them a form of modesty and reserve with regard to strangers as well as giving suitable sexual information but without going into details and particulars that might upset or frighten them [No. 85]

Apostolic Exhortation on the Role of the Christian Family in the Modern World His Holiness (Familiaris Consortio): says:

The Church is firmly opposed to an often widespread form of imparting sex information disassociated from moral principles.”

With actions like this policy, the Boston Archdiocese is overruling the primacy of parents as the first educators of their children.  In addition, by condoning the exposure of young children to homosexual parents of other children–and likely public displays of affection in front of young children at school functions or events hosted at their homes–they are ensuring that all children will be put in a situation of confusion that will require explanation by parents.

How will seeing such displays of affection between homosexual couples not corrupt the mind of a young child? How does the Archdiocese explain their rationale behind keeping parents out of the loop and breaking the innocence of a 6-year-old mind to explain why Johnny has two daddies?

5. Policy Mandates Implicit or Explicit Recognition of the Gay/Lesbian relationship as Valid

Pope John Paul II’s Letter to the Bishops on Pastoral Care of Homosexual Persons says:

The Church is also aware that the view that homosexual activity is equivalent to, or as acceptable as, the sexual expression of conjugal love has a direct impact on society’s understanding of the nature and rights of the family and puts them in jeopardy.”

Considerations Regarding Proposals to Give Legal Recognition to Unions Between Homosexual Persons from the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith cautioned about recognizing homosexual unions and making them a model in society.

11. The Church teaches that respect for homosexual persons cannot lead in any way to approval of homosexual behaviour or to legal recognition of homosexual unions. The common good requires that laws recognize, promote and protect marriage as the basis of the family, the primary unit of society. Legal recognition of homosexual unions or placing them on the same level as marriage would mean not only the approval of deviant behaviour, with the consequence of making it a model in present-day society, but would also obscure basic values which belong to the common inheritance of humanity. The Church cannot fail to defend these values, for the good of men and women and for the good of society itself.

The U.S.C.C.B’s Guidelines for Ministry to Persons with Homosexual Inclination say the following:

Special care must be taken to ensure that those carrying out the ministry of the Church not use their position of leadership to advocate positions or behaviors not in keeping with the teachings of the Church. They must not belong to groups that oppose Church teaching. It is not sufficient for those involved in this ministry to adopt a position of distant neutrality with regard to Church teaching.

The Church does not support so-called same-sex “marriages” or any semblance thereof, including civil unions that give the appearance of a marriage. Church ministers may not bless such unions or promote them in any way, directly or indirectly.

Pope John Paul II’s Letter to the Bishops on Pastoral Care of Homosexual Persons also warned about this problem.  The Church “is also aware that the view that homosexual activity is equivalent to, or as acceptable as, the sexual expression of conjugal love has a direct impact on society’s understanding of the nature and rights of the family and puts them in jeopardy.”

The Pilot, acknowledged this problem, saying, “it can be argued that the appearance of normalcy and acceptance of homosexual behavior that would follow from accepting gay parents into the life of a Catholic school — at parish functions, fundraisers, as chaperones for field trips, etc. — could lead other children to grave confusion about the nature of marriage as the union between a man and a woman.”

How does this policy not force the Church to give direct or implicit recognition of the gay relationship of the parents?  In admitting children of gay parents to Catholic schools, how will the Church avoid giving the impression that the status of the parents is comparable to parents united in the bonds of Holy Matrimony?

6) Use of Holy Father’s Quote is Deceptive

The first line in the draft policy says, “In creating this policy we are guided by the words of the Holy Father…”:

No child should be denied his or her right to an education in faith, which in turn nurtures the soul of a nation.”  Address of His Holiness Benedict XVI to Catholic Educators in Washington DC. April 17, 2008.

This out-of-context use of the Holy Father’s words is a deception to justify the policy.  Anyone who reads the Holy Father’s actual address to Catholic University of America can plainly see that he was referring to the “financial needs of our institutions” and “long-term sustainability”—and thus Catholic education would be accessible on a financial basis “to people of all social and economic strata.”  When he said “no child should be denied his or her right to an education in faith,” he was clearly saying that financial means should not be a reason for denial. That Cardinal O’Malley would allow repurposing this quote to justify admitting children of gay and lesbian parents is scandalous.

As another blog asked, did the archdiocese ever actually ask for the Vatican’s input or input from the Holy Father?

7) Policy Violates Principle of Subsidiarity

The policy says that pastors, principals, advisory and/or governing boards may develop specific admission policies for their school provided they are in conformity with the Archdiocesan Admission policy.

This violates a core principle of subsidiarity in Church law, which  means the Church usually assumes that problems are best defined and resolved by those most closely affected by them. By entrusting a pastor to care for the people of his parish, and by empowering a pastor to make certain decisions on behalf of his parish, the bishop is exercising the principle of subsidiarity, but regardless of the spin-control from the archdiocese, the letter of this policy negates that, forcing the pastor to conform to the top-down policy.

For now, make sure you know these points well. Don’t sit there stewing over this waiting for Bryan Hehir Exposed to do everything and miraculously resolve the scandal and crisis.  Forward a copy of this blog post to your pastor via email. Visit the Take Action page and send your own letter to the Roman Curia people listed there.  We think that the policy should be scrapped and some people in high positions in Boston need to be replaced, but it’s going to take multiple rounds of contacting Rome to get them to respond. We’ll make more suggestions when we get our own campaign launched.

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They did it.  Today the Archdiocese of Boston released the policy to officially admit children of gay and lesbian parents to Catholic schools.  We just received this message from a local Catholic reader of the blog and we’re publishing it just as we received it. 

To: Apostolic Nuncio Archbishop Pietro Sambi
cc: Cardinal Sean O’Malley and members of the Boston Presbyteral Council

I would like to ask for the immediate intervention by the Apostolic Nuncio and Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith [to] prevent a crisis in the Boston archdiocese from spreading across the country.  As you can see below, a policy has just been promulgated for the purpose of forcing pastors to admit children of homosexual parents.

1) The policy is rooted in deception from the first line!  Selected words of the Holy Father originally used in one context are repurposed to justify the policy. Cardinal O’Malley, and anyone who approved this policy with these words knowing they were used out of context should be asked to resign. That the Cardinal Archbishop of Boston would knowingly misuse the words of the Holy Father and deceive his entire archdiocese destroys any trust between the ordinary and priests and laity and creates a climate where his governance and words can no longer be believed.

2) The policy tramples the principle of subsidiarity by taking decision-making away from the pastor and making him beholden to the archdiocesan policy. See this blog post for details.

http://bostoncatholicinsider.wordpress.com/2010/11/10/diocesan-deception-in-catholic-schools-admission-policy/

3) Input by many of the people consulted, including members of the Presbyteral and Archdiocesan Pastoral Council was completely ignored.

4) These two blog posts explain everything else that is wrong with the policy, from the lack of mention about the need to partner with parents in Catholic school education, to the consequence that the policy will force the Catholic church into giving explicit recognition to gay unions and marriages, in direct contradiction to the teachings of the Roman Catholic Church.

https://bryanhehirexposed.wordpress.com/2011/01/05/archdiocese-of-boston-to-announce-catholic-school-admission-policy-for-children-of-gay-parents/

https://bryanhehirexposed.wordpress.com/2010/12/22/catholic-school-admission-policy-apc-member-feedback/

I urge you to take whatever actions are necessary to stop this policy effort immediately before other dioceses follow suit.

Sincerely in Christ,

ML, Boston

 
To:       Pastors, Principals and Heads of Schools
 
From:   Catholic Schools Office
 
Date:   January 12, 2011
 
Over the past many months, at the direction of Cardinal Seán, the Catholic Schools Office has worked to develop an admission policy for our schools.  Our goal has been to provide clarity and guidance for pastors, school principals, administrators and the wider school community.
 
During an extensive review process we consulted with the Presbyteral Council, Archdiocesan Pastoral Council, Pastors, Principals and a number of lay and academic leaders.  We sought a process that would allow us to reach consensus on a policy that would be appropriate in a Catholic school environment while understanding the diverse population of students we are entrusted with educating.
 
I want to thank everyone who participated in the review for their thoughtful and caring input.  The future of Catholic education is bright in the Archdiocese because of many good and talented people such as our pastors, principals, teachers, staff and students.  By working together we are creating an environment for our students that offers them opportunity and a future filled with promise. 
 
Catholic education is one of the most important ministries in the Church.  Parents choose to send their children to a Catholic School because of our commitment to strong moral values inspired by Gospel teachings, a track record of academic excellence, and safe learning environments, among other reasons.  They also choose Catholic education with the knowledge that the child always comes first.  With the adoption of this admission policy we hope to clarify our overall commitment to serve families who are accepting of our approach to the academic and moral development of our students. 
 
If you have any questions about the admission policy, please do not hesitate to contact us.
 
Following is the policy approved by the Cardinal. 
 
 
Archdiocese of Boston ~ Catholic Schools Admission Policy

Introduction
In creating the Catholic Schools Admission Policy, we are guided by the words of the Holy Father, by Canon Law and by the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops:
 
“No child should be denied his or her right to an education in faith, which in turn nurtures the soul of a nation.”   (Address of His Holiness Benedict XVI to Catholic Educators in Washington DC, April 17, 2008.)
 
 “As important as a sound Catholic school education is for the new immigrant and the poor, it continues to be of prime importance to those children and grandchildren of the generations who earlier came to our shores. Our Catholic schools have produced countless numbers of well-educated and moral citizens who are leaders in our civic and ecclesial communities. We must work with all parents so they have the choice of an education that no other school can supply—excellent academics imparted in the context of Catholic teaching and practice.”  (“Introduction,” Renewing Our Commitment to Catholic Elementary and Secondary Schools in the Third Millennium, United States Conference of Catholic Bishops, Inc., 2005.)
 
“The Church has in a special way the duty and the right of educating, for it has a divine mission of helping all to arrive at the fullness of Christian life.  Pastors of souls have the duty of making all possible arrangements so that all the faithful may avail themselves of a Catholic education.  Education must pay regard to the formation of the whole person, so that all may attain their eternal destiny and at the same time promote the common good of society. Children and young persons are therefore to be cared for in such a way that their physical, moral and intellectual talents may develop in a harmonious manner, so that they may attain a greater sense of responsibility and a right use of freedom, and be formed to take an active part in social life.” (Code of Canon Law, Title III, Catholic Education, Canon 794-795.)
 
“Young people of the third millennium must be a source of energy and leadership in our Church and our nation. Therefore, we must provide young people with an academically rigorous and doctrinally sound program of education and faith formation designed to strengthen their union with Christ and his Church.”  (“Why We Value Our Catholic Elementary and Secondary Schools,” Renewing Our Commitment to Catholic Elementary and Secondary Schools in the Third Millennium, United States Conference of Catholic Bishops, Inc., 2005.)
 
“While we look with pride to the many successes and achievements of our Catholic elementary and secondary schools, the entire Catholic community must now focus on the future and the many challenges we face…We must then move forward with faith, courage, and enthusiasm because Catholic schools are so important to our future…In addition, Catholic schools should be available to students who are not Catholic and who wish to attend them. This has been a proud part of the history of Catholic schools in the nineteenth and twentieth centuries. We must continue this outreach in the new millennium.”  (“The Challenges of the Future”, Renewing Our Commitment to Catholic Elementary and Secondary Schools in the Third Millennium, United States Conference of Catholic Bishops, Inc., 2005.)
 
The Policy
 
The goal of our Catholic Schools is to present Catholic faith and Catholic teaching to our students in a rigorous academic, spiritual and moral education program.   Catholic school students strive for high academic achievement, are taught to love and worship God, and live the Gospel teachings.  Catholic school students work together, build community and give service to others. 
 
Our schools welcome and do not discriminate against or exclude any categories of students.  Admission is dependent both on academic qualifications and the desire to promote what is in the best interest of the student.  Students are considered “academically qualified” if they meet a school’s written academic criteria for admission.  Academically qualified Catholic students may be given priority for admission to Catholic Schools.
 
Parent(s)/guardian(s) of students in Catholic schools must accept and understand that the teachings of the Catholic Church are an essential and required part of the curriculum.
 
Guidelines for Policy Implementation
Pastors and principals should consult the Catholic Schools Office with any questions pertaining to admissions or the policy.
 
School admission policies must be written, included in the school handbook, consider the welfare and best interests of the child and be disseminated to prospective students and their parents prior to registration.
 
In accord with the principle of subsidiarity, pastors, principals, advisory and/or governing boards may develop specific admission policies for their school provided they are in conformity with the Archdiocesan Catholic Schools Admission Policy.
 
Each school should implement a recruitment and marketing program to maximize its enrollment consistent with its capacity and location.

#   #   #   #

The Cardinal and his leadership team ignored all of our messages about the problems with the policy and are thumbing their noses at faithful Catholics.  He goes to Ireland supposedly to help prevent future sexual abuse of minors, yet he’s allowing moral corruption of young minds in his own Catholic schools. Gay activists who have no interest in partnering with the Catholic school and just want to disrupt the Catholic school education by putting their child in the school?  No problem, Cardinal Sean and Bryan Hehir said, “C’mon on in, everyone’s welcome here!”  That takes priority over other Catholic parents ensuring their children get a solid Catholic education, and pastors have to abide by the policy. 

Does anyone trust Cardinal O’Malley’s leadership of Boston any more?  Bringing in and keeping Fr. Bryan Hehir was already inexplicable.  At this point, it can’t just be about Cardinal O’Malley happlessly surrounding himself by bad advisors.  A regular reader of the blog keeps reminding us that a fish rots from the head.  We’ve been hoping they were wrong, but think the handwriting is probably on the wall.

If anyone reading this thinks the policy is a good idea, do us a favor and read this post before you write comments so you’ll save us the trouble of moderating out your comments.

More next time on what Catholics can do to try and address this atrocity before it spreads to the rest of the country.

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We’re still working on how to deal with the problem of Catholic identity slowly being expunged from the Archdiocese of Boston’s institutions, like Catholic schools and Catholic hospitals–thanks to the help of Fr. Bryan Hehir.

We recently commented that Bryan Hehir Speaking on Catholic Identity Is Like Tiger Woods Speaking on Marital Fidelity. As we know, Hehir was a key architect of the “seamless garment” concept that’s given air-cover to pro-abortion “Catholic” politicians for decades, he honored the pro-abortion, pro-gay-marriage Mayor of Boston at a Catholic Charities fundraiser, he presided over Catholic Charities brokering adoptions to gay couples even though the Vatican said this was doing violence to the child, he claimed the issue of ordaining women as priests raised doctrinal questions “that have to be worked through,” and he praised the “intelligent and courageous leadership” of the Catholic Health Association at their 2010 conference immediately after they helped pass the Obama-backed healthcare legislation that was actively opposed by the U.S. bishops because it allowed funding for abortions. Those are just a few highlights.

It’s nothing short of absurd that he was just tapped to speak on Catholic identity in Catholic schools, let alone that Cardinal O’Malley considers him a trusted “strategic advisor” who brings “fidelity to the work of the Church” and ”clarity to our message and mission.”  If Cardinal O’Malley really believes that, then he should seriously invite Tiger Woods to come and speak at the new marriage preparation program on marital fidelity.

As a refreshing alternative to the expunging of Catholic identity seen in Boston, we thought you’d enjoy reading this column by George Weigel which appeared in First Things as well as in The Pilot.

Reaffirming Catholic Identity

George Weigel
Posted: 1/7/2011

Throughout his recently completed three-year term as president of United States Conference of Catholic Bishops, Cardinal Francis George, OMI, gently but firmly led his brother bishops through a reflection on their duties as defenders of the integrity of the Catholic “brand.” A deeper commitment on the bishops’ part to being the stewards of Catholic identity in their dioceses was, one may speculate, one factor in the election of Archbishop Timothy Dolan of New York — a robust defender of Catholic truth — as Cardinal George’s successor in the president’s chair at the USCCB. Not everything that is labeled “Catholic” warrants that label, the bishops have come to understand; and if anyone is to do something about that, the bishops are going to have to be the principal agents of change.

The debate about the Catholic identity of Catholic institutions of higher education has been underway for decades, and may well take some interesting turns in the years ahead. At the moment, however, the hottest of hot buttons on this front involve health care institutions that call themselves “Catholic” but which have acquiesced to practices approved by an increasingly aggressive secular culture — and to the lure of government dollars. On that new front in the campaign to reaffirm Catholic identity, Bishop Thomas Olmsted of Phoenix has become an important leader.

Bishop Olmsted inherited a terrible situation in Phoenix: the previous bishop had been disgraced; the local legal authorities had stated publicly that they could not trust the Church to police its own house in matters of sexual abuse, and proposed to take over that function themselves. Bishop Olmsted didn’t squawk, nor did he deny that serious problems existed. Rather, he quietly and decisively set about fixing what needed fixing, so that the public authorities were soon content to revert to a more normal Church/state relationship.

Then, in 2009, a “therapeutic” abortion was performed at Phoenix’s St. Joseph’s Hospital, a part of the Catholic Healthcare West system. When Bishop Olmsted wrote the president of CHW, asking what on earth was going on, CHW attempted to justify what had happened through arguments advanced by M. Therese Lysaught, who teaches theology at Marquette University. Bishop Olmsted was not impressed, and informed CHW that it was his duty, as the local bishop, to be the authoritative interpreter of the moral law in his diocese and the authoritative interpreter of the hospital guidelines adopted by the USCCB. And the bishop went on to state that, on Dec. 17, 2010 (the day after this is being written), he would declare that St. Joseph’s Hospital is no longer to be considered a Catholic institution — unless CHW admits that the 2009 abortion that happened there violated the U.S. bishops’ norms and unless CHW pledges that such an abomination will not happen again.

However the Phoenix/CHW situation eventually sorts out, an important marker has been laid down by a bishop known for both his integrity and his personal sanctity. Bishop Olmsted will undoubtedly be criticized by those for whom “dialogue” is the holy grail of Catholic life. But in our current cultural situation (and given the pressures that the Obama administration and unsympathetic state governments are likely to increase on Catholic health care facilities), the call for “dialogue” too often amounts to a prescription for slow-motion surrender, with the Catholic identity of Catholic institutions being slowly whittled away while the “dialogue” partners carry on.

The Catholic integrity of Catholic educational and health care institutions was at stake when those institutions were segregated in the 1950s and early 1960s; brave bishops like Joseph Ritter in St. Louis, Joseph Rummel in New Orleans, and Lawrence Shehan in Baltimore took a lot of heat, but did what they had to do to bring the conduct of Catholic institutions into sync with the Church’s teaching on human dignity. No less ought to be expected of the Church’s ordained leaders today, when the stakes are just as high, although the issues have changed. So full marks to Cardinal George for putting the issue of Catholic identity on the bishops’ plates, and full marks to Bishop Olmsted for giving that new commitment real teeth.

George Weigel is Distinguished Senior Fellow of the Ethics and Public Policy Center in Washington, D.C.

Oh, to have a Bishop Olmsted or Cardinal Burke in Boston instead of our current situation where the Catholic identity of our institutions is getting continually confused and destroyed by the likes of Fr. Bryan Hehir, Jack Connors, the Catholic Schools office, and others, all with the tacit capitulation of Cardinal Sean O’Malley.

If you’d like to send a Letter to the Editor of the Pilot commenting on the Weigel column, you can do so by clicking here, and then clicking on Comments.  In the meantime, we’re still working on our next campaign, which we expect to announce within just a few days.

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We just got all of the emails letting us know about the latest bird-brained decision from the Cardinal Archbishop of Boston to feature Fr. Bryan Hehir as keynote speaker at Thursday’s meeting of pastors and Catholic school principals. Fr. Hehir’s talking on the topic of “Catholic Identity: Its Roots and Realization in our Schools.” 

Seems to us here at Bryan Hehir Exposed that inviting Bryan Hehir to talk about Catholic identity is like inviting Tiger Woods to talk about marital fidelity. 

We’ve questioned Cardinal O’Malley’s judgement before, and this takes the cake.  The Cardinal’s well aware of these points we made before, when Fr. Hehir keynoted the last Socialist, I mean, Social Justice Conference:

  • Fr. Hehir was a key architect of the “seamless garment” concept that has downplayed the importance of abortion by the Catholic Church and has given air-cover to pro-abortion “Catholic” politicians such as the Kennedys for decades.  He also was a reviewer of Mario Cuomo’s intellecually mischievous 1984 Notre Dame speech (“I’m personally opposed, but I can’t impose my views on a pluralistic society”), which the Hehir/Bernadin “seamless garment” concept helped validate politically.
  • Fr. Hehir honored the pro-abortion, pro-gay-marriage Mayor of Boston at a Catholic Charities fundraiser
  • Fr. Hehir was President of Catholic Charities when they were brokering adoptions to gay couples, even though the Vatican said this was doing violence to the child by depriving them of an environment conducive to their full human development.
  • Fr. Hehir publicly contradicted and criticized Cardinal Ratzinger’s 2004 statement regarding voting for pro-abortion politicians
  • Fr. Hehir told a Boston College forum this spring he was concerned that Catholic conscience rights for healthcare workers opposed to abortion could harm the woman who “needs” abortion services.
  • Fr. Hehir praised the “intelligent and courageous leadership” of the Catholic Health Association at their 2010 conference immediately after they helped pass the Obama-backed healthcare legislation that was actively opposed by the U.S.C.C.B. because it allowed funding for abortions. USCCB President, Cardinal George, called the CHA’s actions a “wound to Catholic unity.”

Boston Catholic Insider said the following about the situation, which we sort of agree with and moreso disagree with:

One can only surmise one of two things about this situation:

  1. Cardinal O’Malley genuinely wants to take the archdicoese in a direction aligned with the ideologies of Jack Connors (who chairs Partners Healthcare, a large abortion provider in the state) and Fr. Bryan Hehir (who has no problem honoring people who publicly work against Church teachings), or
  2. Cardinal O’Malley is remarkably tone-deaf to the concerns of the laity and priests of the archdiocese

BCI’s being too kind.  Cardinal O’Malley’s a smart man who isn’t tone deaf. He knows very well what he’s choosing to do and not do.  Cardinal O’Malley’s actions– capitulating to Jack Connors on the Catholic Schools admission policy (where the Cardinal, himself, has said he doesn’t want to discriminate against children of gay parents), capitulating by surrendering the adoption service by Catholic Charities rather than fighting to keep the state from encroaching, commending Bryan Hehir with lavish praises last year, and continuing to put Bryan Hehir forward as a keynote for events like this–basically say “yes” to point 1–that the Cardinal wants to go in this direction. AND, it also says he actually doesn’t give a hoot what orthodox Catholics think–he is simply thumbing his nose at us.  He did that with the first Caritas deal (with Centene Corp/CeltiCare and the financial partnership that involved abortion referrals).  He did that with the Ted Kennedy coronation/funeral.  He did that with the last Social Justice Conference.  And he’s doing it again with this event.  Cardinal O’Malley is sending a very clear message that he doesn’t care about orthodoxy or what faithful Catholics think or believe.  He just doesn’t.

We knew this before, but the latest gives even more clarity that there are really two problems–1) Cardinal O’Malley himself and 2) Fr. Bryan Hehir.  Unless something’s done about Cardinal O’Malley, we may never be able to deal with Fr. Hehir.

Here’s the relevant part of the message from the desk of the $325,000/year, grossly over-paid Mary Grassa O’Neill:

January 3, 2010

Dear Principals, Pastors, and Heads of Schools:

Cardinal Seán O’Malley and I look forward to seeing you at our Convocation and Celebration of Education.  The event will take place at the Pastoral Center on Thursday, January 6th, 2011 from 1:00 to 3:00 p.m. This annual celebration always has drawn together nearly all our school leaders. We hope that you will take the opportunity to join your fellow Catholic school leaders on Thursday.

We will open with a prayer and remarks from Cardinal Seán.   Our featured speaker will be Fr. J. Bryan Hehir, who will discuss “Catholic Identity: Its Roots and Realization in our Schools.”  Lastly, I will provide a multi-media overview of our shared achievements and challenges this past year and our priorities for the future.  We will close with a reception and refreshment.

We look forward to this celebration of our school community and your unflagging spirit, strength, and leadership that make it all possible.  Happy New Year!

Mary Grassa O’Neill

 

She doesn’t care what faithful Catholics think either. 

This Convocation featuring Fr. Hehir is an affront to every faithful Catholic in the Archdiocese of Boston. At the same time, the policy to officially force pastors to admit children of gay and lesbian parents is barrelling forward.  

We’re thinking about what the best response strategy should be, since neither the Cardinal Archbishop nor the Vicar General care what we think.  We’ll update you tomorrow on the campaign we are considering.

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With the controversy still alive and kicking over the Pope’s recent comments about condom usage and contraception, we’re dipping a small toe in the water—not about the condom controversy–but just to share what we know of Fr. Hehir’s views on contraception.   That’s it—nothing about the Pope’s condoms comments (except a suggestion people might want to read this post from Veritatis: The Cartoon).

One of Fr. Hehir’s most famous comments you’ve probably known about for a while—that contraception should be a matter of private not public morality.  But most people probably don’t know how Bryan Hehir actually questioned the truth of the Church’s teaching on contraception a few years ago while defending  the now-disgraced gay Archbishop Rembert Weakland.

Here’s the “Cliff Notes” version.   Pope John Paul II held a “Synod on the Laity” in  October of 1987, and among the delegates representing the U.S. Bishops was Archbishop Rembert Weakland.  At a pre-Synod meeting In June of 1987 moral theologian, Germain Grisez, who supported the Church’s teaching on contraception, got into a public disagreement with Weakland, who was known to not accept Church teachings on a range of issues.  Hehir, being consistent with what we’ve documented here on the blog for 8 months, defended Weakland by questioning Grisez’s assumption that the Church’s teaching on contraception was true.  Yup, that’s right–Hehir, who has responsibility over the Archdiocese of Boston’s pro-life ministry, questioned the validity of the Church’s teaching on contraception.

If you stop here, you’ve got the gist of today’s post. But if you keep reading, grab a cup of coffee or tea first.  Then fast-forward 23 years to 2010, you’ll see the alarming extent to which some of these people are still influencing Church policies today.

First this on Weakland, then onto Hehir’s comment.

Rembert Weakland

Author and Culture Wars editor E. Michael Jones had this to say about Weakland:

The bishops who chose him as a delegate may or may not have known that Rembert Weakland was a homosexual; they may or may not have understood that homosexuals subvert the institutions they occupy, but they most certainly knew that he did not accept traditional Catholic teaching on issues like contraception, abortion, homosexuality and the ordination of women. That is, in fact, why they chose him as a delegate to the synod, to send precisely that message to Rome. Even if Weakland had never opened his mouth at the synod, that message would have been clear. That is why they chose him as a delegate.

We note that Archbishop Weakland’s having had an adult gay relationship from 1979-80 with Paul Marcoux only erupted into a full-blown public scandal in 2002, when it was revealed Weakland had paid Marcoux $450,000 in 1998 to keep quiet about the sordid affair.

Bryan Hehir Questions the Truth of Church Teaching on Contraception

In case those reading the blog are not familiar with the Synod on the Laity, during the pontificate of Pope John Paul II, every two or three years a select group of Roman Catholic bishops from around the world was invited to Rome to advise the Pope. At the 1987 synod, the month-long conference included 232 bishops from 92 countries summoned to discuss the role of the laity, joined by 51 official lay observers.

About a half-dozen meetings were arranged prior to the U.S. bishops’ trip to Rome so they could meet with selected individuals, lay and clerical, in order to prepare the agenda for their synodal presentation.  After these meetings, what was then a“secret” meeting took place at St. Mary’ s College at Notre Dame June 7-9, 1987.  It included members of the U.S.C.C. Laity Committee and the six bishops who would represent the U.S. Church at the Roman meeting: Cardinal Joseph Bernardin, Archbishop Rembert Weakland, Archbishop of St. Louis John May, Bishop of Baton Rouge Stanley Ott, Bishop of New Ulm Raymond Lucker, and Bishop of Las Cruces Ricardo Ramirez.

Besides the bishops, other invited participants included moral theologian, Germain Grisez, Lisa Sowle Cahill, Bishop of Joliet Joseph Imesch, (chaired committee that wrote bishops’ pastoral on women), Fr. Robert Kinast (American Theological Union), Doris Donnelly (St. Mary’s College Center for Spirituality), Dr. David Thomas, and USCC staffers including Fr. Bryan Hehir.  Grisez, perhaps the only orthodox theologian of this group, wrote a 14-page letter to a number of colleagues afterwards which he did not intend to be published. Many excerpts were published in The Wanderer referring to him anonymously as the “orthodox theologian” but it was clear that he was the author.  To get the full picture, read the Wanderer’s 1987 article “Letter Shows How U.S. Bishops Synod Agenda Rigged”.  Here are the highlights:

As to why an orthodox theologian was invited to the St. Mary’s consultation, it may be surmised that the meeting’s organizers and the Rome-bound bishops wished to be able to say, if ever challenged, that “conservatives” had been part of their consultative process.  They can point to the theologian.  It may also be conjectured that is exactly why he wrote his friends.  He wanted to be on record somewhere reporting that even as soon as he was sent the meeting’s schedule he saw that “it was clear” he would “not be allowed to present anything.”

Grisez recounts presentation after presentation that conveyed dissent from Church teachings by Fr. Bryan Hehir, Donnelly, Lisa Sowle Cahill, and David Thomas.  Some participants wanted women priests, and assuming that was not yet realistic, most of the participants wanted the bishops to go to the synod asking for female altar servers.  Read the Jones article or the Wanderer Article “Letter Shows How U.S. Bishops Synod Agenda Rigged” to get the whole picture.  Here are excerpts:

Fr. Hehir: “Though Americans may be perceived as imperialistic, they should not hesitate to push their program at the synod, and particularly to insist on the rightness of their idea of the Church in the world. The US experience is valid–certainly for the US–and the rest of the world should learn from it too” (cf. E. Michael Jones, “The Synod on the Laity Just says No to Altar Girls,” Fidelity, December 1987, p. 32ff). Father Hehir, who was then at the peak of his fame as the author of bishops’ statement on nuclear weapons, was not alone in promoting Americanism at the secret meeting. In fact he was articulating the fundamental consensus of the delegation of American bishops who were heading off to the synod.

All of those who attended the meeting (with the exception of Germain Grisez, who wrote the report exposing the machinations there) were united in the belief that America had something to teach the universal Church. Just what it had to teach became apparent in the course of the meeting. What America had to offer the Catholic Church was sexual liberation. The resentment of Church bureaucrats tied to what they perceived as an oppressive sexual code while living in liberated America was palpable, to Germain Grisez at least, at the secret meeting. Doris Donnelly, a feminist from St. Mary’s who gave the conference’s keynote address, claimed in Grisez’s words that the 1976 [Sacred Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith] declaration on the ordination of women holds that women are incapable of imitating Christ and thus departs radically from the whole Christian tradition about following Christ! She wants a canon law making rape and incest crimes if abortion is to remain a crime (obviously she resents the canonical provision on abortion). She thinks that the draft’s treatment of sexuality is okay but not very clear. Sexuality is one’s need to be in communion with others. God is not solitary. She doesn’t like anything on the roman working paper’s statement on women. She rejects its attempt to mark out distinguishing feminine and masculine characteristics, but she makes her own attempt: Men fear being tied down by relationships, whereas women fear the rupture of relationships.”

Theologian Lisa Sowle Cahill, one of the people at the conference who, unlike Grisez, had ready access to the microphone anytime she wanted to say something, attacked the Church’s position on contraception “as if the whole thing were a matter of terminology.”

Now you need to follow what Germain Grisez said, and then Weakland and Hehir’s responses.

Grisez: “I began by…suggesting that the bishops should go to the Synod and say: “In the U.S. dissent has been tried and we’ve tolerated it, and we’re here to tell you on the basis of experience that it’s a disaster. The initial promise was that contraception would solve all sorts of problems, help people cement their marriages, and also forestall abortion, but our Catholic divorce and abortion rates approximate those of the U.S. at large. Also. the new sex morality, was not supposed to open up sex, outside marriage, but in fact it has, with terrible results. I pointed out that experience does not interpret itself, but has to be understood in some sort of framework.  If one understands experience in the light of faith, one sees that traditional morality is sound. Naturally, if one interprets experience by some contemporary, non-believing framework, it provides evidence to getting rid of that morality.

Grisez: “I then recounted the story of a man who some years ago followed bad pastoral advice and tried to develop a lasting homosexual relationship, but soon gave in to unlimited promiscuity, and now is dying of AIDS. He has repented, but has had to learn by experience that if you live according to the flesh, you die.”

Cahill: countered by claiming that “the bad experience of people trying to live up to the Church’s teaching outweighs the odd case where things work out badly.”

Weakland: Came back to challenge Grisez by invoking the actual situation which has developed in the Church.  He holds that modern techniques have simply separated procreation from love-making, and there is no longer anything anybody can do about that.

Grisez: answered that the situation in the Church is the Bishops’ responsibility and it’s up to them to change it.

Bryan Hehir: moved to defend Weakland by saying that I (Grisez) was begging the question by assuming that the received teaching (on contraception) is true.

Grisez: replied that if the Bishops do not believe it, they could, at least, go to the Pope privately and tell him that, and urge him to get a process going which will face and resolve these issues.  I pointed out that the Pope is not a neurotic, that he is intelligent, and that it should be possible to get him to see the urgency of beginning to resolve the issues.

There’s a lot more about Hehir’s role in this session and his defense of dissent, but this should be enough for you to get the gist of the matter.

Incidentally, though Grisez is retired and no longer teaching, he is still active enough as a moral theologian that he was tapped for his views on last week’s condom controversy in a widely-distributed AP article by Rachel Zoll:

Germain Grisez, a prominent moral theologian who advises bishops, said that promoting condoms as protection against disease would be “pernicious” because it assumes a person does not have the capacity to make good, moral choices. He lamented that the pope’s comments “can be – and are being – misused to sow doubt about Catholic teaching.”

To summarize, as we covered on the blog, in 1974, Hehir wrote that the Church could

regard contraceptive practice as an issue of private morality that the church continues to teach for its members, but not an issue of public morality on which it seeks to affect public policy” (Theological Studies, March 1974)

In 1987 Hehir defended a bishop known to dissent from Church teachings (who later came out as gay) by criticizing an orthodox moral theologian for assuming that the Church’s teaching on contraception was true. In other words, Hehir felt it was wrong to assume the Church’s teaching on contraception was true.

Next time someone bumps into Bryan Hehir, do us a favor and ask him if he accepts and believes the Church’s teaching on contraception. If he says he does, ask him why he criticized Germain Grisez for his acceptance of the teaching?

And next time someone bumps into Cardinal O’Malley, could you ask him how Bryan Hehir, his trusted strategic advisor, could possible bring “fidelity to the work of the Church” when Hehir consistently makes statements that suggest he does not accept Church teachings?

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