Posts Tagged ‘Bryan Hehir’

This column by internationally recognized author and lecturer, Dale O’Leary, appeared in The Boston Pilot on Friday. She is author of The Gender Agenda and  One Man, One Woman: A Catholic’s Guide to Defending Marriage.  Cardinal Sean O’Malley described Dale in an August 2008 blog post about a Courage event  as “always so good.”  Here is an excellent piece by Dale about Catholic Schools that she wrote in May 2010.

This one’s equally excellent. You’ll never hear these words come from Cardinal O’Malley, Bishop Hennessey, Fr. Bryan Hehir, or Fr. John Unni at St. Cecilia’s in Boston, or from John Kelly and the members of the St. Cecilia Rainbow Ministry.

True Compassion

Dale O’Leary, Posted: 7/22/2011

The Church, by which I mean hierarchy, clergy, religious, and laity, must step up and face the challenge posed by the militant gay, lesbian, bisexual, transgendered, and queer activists — the GLBTQ coalition. It is simply not enough to defend marriage; we have to explain to the people in the pews, to our children, and to world why the Church does not — cannot — accept sexual relations between two persons of the same sex. We must do so with love and compassion, but without sacrificing the truth.

First, while many people sincerely believe that individuals are born with same-sex attraction (SSA) and gender identity disorders (GID) and can’t change, there is no replicated scientific evidence to support that belief. There is overwhelming evidence SSA and GID are not genetic or biological conditions. If they were, then identical twins would virtually always have the same pattern of sexual attraction and this is not the case.

That does not mean that SSA and GID are a choice. Nor is there a single explanation for all SSA. Each person with SSA has his or her own unique personal history. A number of therapists are convinced that some babies are born more vulnerable to the anxiety. This vulnerability combined with early negative experiences can affect the babies’ ability to identify with their same-sex parent or peers. The child grows up trying to find the love and acceptance missed as a baby and this need becomes interpreted as sexual desire. Because these negative experiences occur during the first two years of life before memory, GLBTQ persons may honestly say they always felt different and were born that way.

Although persons with GID and SSA have free will and can choose not to act on their feelings, the inner forces driving them to engage in sexual behavior with persons of the same sex are very strong and their struggle and suffering should not be underestimated. There are, however, numerous reports of change of sexual attraction — both spontaneous and through therapy. The more we understand about the origins of SSA, the greater the potential for prevention.

Therapists who work with people who want to be free of SSA and GID have made real progress in understanding the early childhood traumas and deficits which put a person on the path to GID and SSA. I strongly recommend “Shame and Attachment Loss: The Practical Work of Reparative Therapy” by Joseph J. Nicolosi and “The Heart of Female Same-Sex Attraction: A Comprehensive Counseling Resource” by Janelle M. Hallman.

There is growing understanding of the part failure to attach plays in many psychological disorders. According to attachment theory, in order to achieve psychological wholeness a person needs to successfully negotiate several stages in early childhood: attachment to the mother, separation from the mother, identification with the same-sex parent or peers. Failure to negotiate the first stage, makes it more difficult to negotiate the second, and third. While a history of failure to securely attach, separate, and identify probably accounts for many instances of SSA and GID, there are other less common reasons. When the individual histories of persons with SSA and GID are probed, the reasons for their patterns of thought can usually be discerned.

As Catholic Christians we have an obligation to treat every person as a fellow sinner in need of grace. We can thank God that we do not have these particular temptations, while at the same time making sure that therapy, counseling, support groups (like Courage), and understanding priests in the confessional are available. If the problem is never mentioned from the pulpit, if support and counseling are not easily accessible, if the priest in the confessional has no practical direction to offer, those who suffer from such temptations will rightly feel alone and abandoned. They will be tempted by the world which says “Come out. Join the gay community. Be proud.”

When they do so, they will join a community where psychological disorders, suicidal ideation, substance abuse problems, relationship instability, domestic violence, STDS, HIV, cancer and other health problems are far more common. They will cut themselves off from the source of grace and often become angry at God.

Compassion requires that we do not, like the priest and the Levite, pass by the man who fell among thieves, but offer real help.

Dale O’Leary is an internationally recognized lecturer and author of “The Gender Agenda: Redefining Equality.”

#   #   #   #

To Cardinal O’Malley, Bishop Hennessey, Fr. Unni, and Terry Donilon: did you read this?  Dale says that the Church–namely you guys–hierarchy, clergy, and laity–must step up and face the challenge posed by the militant gay, lesbian, bisexual, transgendered, and queer activists — the GLBTQ coalition. It’s simply not enough to defend marriage (which we’ve done meekly at best lately)–we have to explain to the people in the pews, to our children, and to world why the Church does not — cannot — accept sexual relations between two persons of the same sex. We must do so with love and compassion, but without sacrificing the truth.

Fr. Roger Landry stepped up with 3 powerful, personally-written columns in the Fall River diocesan newspaper. What exactly have Cardinal O’Malley, Bishop Hennessey, and Fr. Unni done to step up with their own names on it  and actions behind it?  We got a couple of ambiguously worded, often conflicting statements from the archdiocese, and a barely-noticed piece by the editors of The Boston Pilot, “A teachable moment,” that reprinted excerpts from the USCCB’s 2006 document. But those do nothing to actually address what’s happening at St. Cecilia’s and in other Catholic parishes and schools under the nose or acquiescent eye of our bishops. Fr. Unni has continued to say nothing about Church teachings on sexual morality and chastity for homosexuals. His Rainbow Ministry was thrilled to finally get their Mass, and they’re now off spreading their philosophy that gay youth should “come out” to get “new energy and life” to confused youth at risk at the Waltham House.

We’ll be back with more in the next two posts.

Read Full Post »

Fr. Bryan Hehir’s buddy, Jack Connors, Jr, is in the news yet again.  When last we gathered here to talk about Jack Connors, he was helping organize support to raise money for pro-abort VP Joe Biden.   Apparently, no one told Mr. Connors that was a no-no, so he’s one-upped himself and just raised $2M for an even more egregiously pro-abort and pro-gay politician, President Obama.  What do we hear from Cardinal O’Malley about this?  (Hint, think of the name of a Simon and Garfunkel song).  The sound of silence.

Even though Bryan Hehir hasn’t done much new lately to merit a post, Jack’s done enough that we think Bryan Hehir Exposed readers should take action and ask the Vatican to intervene.  Click here to sign the petition sponsored by Boston Catholic Insider asking the Papal Nuncio and Vatican to intervene and do something about the mess that Cardinal O’Malley’s allowed.

Over at Boston Catholic Insider, this post mentioned our good friend, Bryan Hehir, as one of the reasons behind Cardinal O’Malley’s failure to effectively defend life in recent years:

If indeed Sean Patrick is the “pastor” (think Latin) of his flock, he is called to consistently and frequently behave as if he believes that abortion stops a beating heart. He must publicly teach that the fragile women who seek abortions, and their children, not yet born, at risk of death, need everyone’s support. He needs to privately call out Jack Connors, and publicly ask him what he’s done lately to help the most vulnerable among us — women who can see no other solution than abortion, and their children who deserve life (and a good one at that). Are these not as worthy as those who receive face transplants, and “miracle” cancer cures at Jack Connors’ hospitals? Where’s the Partners Healthcare PR about supporting women at risk of abortion and their babies who need to breathe life?

But we need to change, too. We need to understand that the woman who is sufficiently desperate to seek an abortion will tell you that her primary “problem” is not that she is pregnant. It is homelessness, or violent physical abuse, or substance use, or some very real and desperate fear of the responsibility for this child, that takes her to an abortion provider. But once the abortion is over, the problems she took into the clinic with her remain. The only difference is that she isn’t pregnant. And she has a new problem… the day she eventually wakes up — and it is inevitable — and realizes that her child died. All in all, a messier conversation than, “Abortion is wrong.” Takes a lot more thought and work.

But Sean doesn’t want to do the work… to speak up. He doesn’t want to demand that his well-heeled friends support these women and their fragile, unborn children. Why? Because Bryan Hehir won’t LET him. Hehir will let him walk in the Boston Life Walk in October (though note Hehir, who oversees “Life” from his cabinet position, does not appear), and he will let him “march” in DC in January. But that’s about it. No point “offending” people and “marginalizing” himself by stirring up the conversation that Hehir proclaims (and I heard him say this) “will never be solved in our lifetime.” If that’s the most rigorous intellectual argument Hehir can raise for the cardinal’s cowering at a public discourse on alternatives to abortion, the Kennedy School of Government is not getting its money’s worth letting Hehir occupy an endowed chair.

To Bryan Hehir: Among problems that will not be solved in your (or my) lifetime: Homelessness, cancer, and not even baldness. But WE will be judged — not on some progress measured by the arbitrary yardstick of our lifetime — but by the quality and effectiveness of our efforts to provide another way for these women and their children.

Sean flunks the test because he demonstrates a consistent and longstanding pattern of mere lip service to an abortion conversation, and utterly fails to rally the likes of Jack Connors in the support of abortion alternatives in Boston. Why? He fails to act solely in deference to Bryan Hehir’s undue influence and insatiable addiction for political expediency. Sean doesn’t flunk merely by bowing down to Jack Connors, and failing to send him packing from the Finance Council. He fails utterly because he has a longstanding pattern of failing to act to find another way for these women and their children. FACTA NON VERBA, Sean. And that’s why you who read BCI should write to the nuncio.

Cardinal O’Malley flunks for caving in to Bryan Hehir. And Bryan Hehir flunks for his pattern of relativism and compromise. Seems he and Sean have  also not learned much from Hehir’s history of being wrong on just about every big issue he’s taken up for the past 40 years.  How much you want to bet that Bryan still thinks his position on nuclear disarmament was right, the Call to Action conference was a good thing, it was OK to honor the pro-abort, pro-gay Mayor Menino at that Catholic Charities fundraiser, and it was a good thing for Catholic Charities to broker adoptions and place young children with gay parents?  I betcha neither Sean or Bryan has ever mentioned the word ‘abortion” to Jack Connors.

Bryan Hehir will say, “We can’t fight abortion (or gay marriage) on Beacon Hill because it will alienate our allies.”  What allies?  All of the Catholic legislators vote against the Church on abortion and “gay marriage” anyway.

Bryan Hehir will say, “This is a complicated issue.”  Everything is complicated. As though no other mind can handle “complicated” issues” like abortion or “gay marriage” but his.

Bryan Hehir will say, “We live in a complex pluralistic society” and so we need to compromise. No–because of societal values, we need to hold even stronger to our beliefs, not compromise them.

Bryan Hehir or his like-minded colleagues will say, “We can’t fight ___ because if we lose on this issue, then it sets a precedent and we’ll probably then lose on this next one.”  So that means you don’t even try?

But for now,  Jack’s influence as one of the shadow archbishops in Boston needs to end.  Take Action today in the Stop the Scandal campaign and let the Vatican know what you think.

Read Full Post »

Before reading today’s post, you’ll want to read the previous post about How People from the Archdiocese React to Your Emails.

A priest who serves on the Presbyteral Council and who also works at the Chancery on an important initiative responded back to our email/fax campaign (“Catholics Ask Holy See to Intervene in Boston Archdiocese“) over the Catholic Schools policy to admit children of gay parents and complained about getting “spammed” by our emails.

In How People from the Archdiocese React to Your Emails, he sent us a short email asking to be removed from the emails. Since he’s a member of the Presbyteral Council who apparently approved this ill-conceived policy, we asked him a few questions:

  • Are you OK with the use of the Holy Father’s quote out of context at the beginning of the policy, which has the intended effect of deceiving readers into believing the Holy Father approves of such a policy?
  • When a gay or lesbian couple becomes chair of a fund-raising or parent committee, how exactly will the school avoid implicitly or explicitly giving recognition to the validity of their relationship?
  • When a five-year-old asks their parents why Johnny has two daddies, how does this avoid corrupting the innocence of the young mind of that child?
  • Is there some process for how individual Catholics should communicate directly with the Presbyteral Council members?

He responded back, but never answered the questions about the deception or the problems with the inherently flawed policy.  That’s probably because he had no credible answers for them. He conveniently skipped those, and only commented on how he personally would like to receive communications.

Communications from the faithful to him need to be neat and not bothersome.  If a lot of people have the same thing to say, we should go to the effort of aggregating all of the input in one petition with all of the signatures, so he is not troubled by multiple emails.

He feels people should each go to the effort of writing their own personal messages, rather than signing a pre-written letter, even though the Cardinal and his leadership team have such a well-established practice of ignoring personal correspondence from faithful Catholics, that people just don’t want to waste the time any more composing personal letters they know will end up going nowhere.

Our method of communicating didn’t help him understand how we came to our conclusions.  Isn’t this one-page letter with six points pretty much self-explanatory about the rationale?

Here’s his email back to Joe, and then you’ll see Joe’s response back to him, slightly edited to not reveal the identity of the priest:

From: Reverend___@rcab.org
To:     Joe Sacerdo <joesacerdo@gmail.com
Date:  Tue, Feb 15, 2011 at 8:51pm
Subj: RE:  Stop sending copies

Mr. Sacerdo:

I am very interested in hearing the voices of Catholics and their opinions. It is important that Catholics share their ideas and concerns with their priests and bishops. It helps our dialogue and helps us to know the “sensus fidelium.” Normally, priests and pastors get these perspectives in personal conversations with their people or at their parish pastoral councils. They bring those concerns to Presbyteral Council meetings on a regular basis.

If your group, using the same words, had decided to send one petition with numerous signatures that would have been instructive and helpful.

If your group had instructed members to send their individual perspectives to me, in their own words but with similar thoughts, that too would have been instructive. I would have been happy to receive all of them.

What I got today was the same message in my email box…over and over again, with only the signature changed. Thus, my comment that, after one, I understood the issue and the concern.

The method you used was not helpful in making sense of how your group arrived at its conclusions. It gave no background. It did feel like “spamming,” even if that were not your intention.

I want to hear important ideas, strong convictions, deeply held beliefs, as long as they are expressed without calumny or detraction and are spoken with true charity.

I have met and spoken with the members of the Archdiocesan Pastoral Council on several occasions. I have found them to be dedicated and hardworking members of the Church, men and women who love the Church very much. I would not characterize them and have no reason to believe that this “organization is corrupted.” To characterize this fine group of people in such a way saddens me. I believe it to be an unfair and unjustified accusation, based on what came through today.

Thank you for contacting me. I hope we can continue to find actions that build up the Body of Christ and continue the Cardinal’s mission of recovery, trust and evangelization.

God bless,

Fr. ____

From: Joe Sacerdo
To: “Reverend___@rcab.org”
Date: Wed, Feb 16, 2011 at 6:47 PM
Subj: Re: Stop sending copies


Thanks for taking the time to share your thoughts back in the detailed message.  Much of what you outlined would make sense and would work in the means you outlined–if the actions by the archdiocese weren’t rooted in deception and were rooted in the teachings of the Church.

I think we may differ on much, but on this we should agree–the Catholic Schools admission policy and it’s means of coming about were rooted in deception. Cardinal Sean put out his statement last May saying the Denver policy would be carefully studied and considered, but Fr. Bryan Hehir said a day later on WBUR that the Denver policy didn’t matter at all to the Cardinal–the Boston Archdiocese was already admitting children of gay parents and would continue doing so, just with a formal policy.  One of the these two gentlemen was lying.  Based on the outcome policy, it would appear that it was the Cardinal.  The policy released says that “we are guided by the words of the Holy Father, by Canon Law, and the USCCB.”  We both know that is also a lie.  Mary Grassa O’Neill is on the record in September saying the archdiocese had two options in which way they went with the policy, and an internal decision was made to not discriminate, then the policy was written around that decision.  There was no guidance by the words of the Holy Father, whose quote talked about all students being able to access Catholic education without regard to financial limitation.  The reality is that the decision was made internally to “not discriminate”, apparently based on some combination of the Cardinal’s own belief, Bryan Hehir’s input or pressure from Jack Connors and other donors–and then people went out and found quotes that could be used in some way to back that position. If they read Canon law, they’d know that the Code of Canon Law: Canon 22: prohibits the canonization of civil laws that are “contrary to divine law.” Because same-sex “marriages” or civil unions and mutatis mutandis adoptions are contrary to divine law; it is arguable that the civil law allowing them cannot be regarded by the Church as valid. Admission of the children to Catholic schools would certainly give the impression that the status of the parents is comparable to parents united in the bonds of Holy Matrimony. Furthermore, the principle of subsidiarity would require decisions be made at the pastor level, not by the archdiocese.

What should faithful Catholics make of the objective reality that the Cardinal, the Presbyteral Council and APC all let this through with an intentionally deceptive use of the quote by the Holy Father opening the policy and an outright lie that the archdiocese was guided by the words of the Holy Father?

The policy was created in secret. There was no opportunity for input by rank-and-file Catholics.We tried providing input and it was completely ignored.


APC members were asked to not share drafts with anyone. After the fact, are people supposed to go to their pastor, who might be on the Presbyteral Council, or their local APC member, and politely ask afterwards, “Why did you allow this deception? Could you try to have more integrity in the future?”

Start with deception, you’re going to get angry people when it’s clear what’s happened.

How to communicate with you and others? Ideally, it would be nice if everyone composed their own thoughtful message; however, we have well-established precedents where organizations offer a pre-written letter to sign online in order to weigh-in on issues with Congress or other representative organizations. They operate almost exactly as we created ours… We could consider an approach where the signatures are queued up and one petition with many names is submitted. However, since the Cardinal has established a precedent where he ignores letters and emails sent to him by both lay Catholics and clergy, an individual letter even with many signatures would never be noticed. Perhaps if you can ask him to start responding to letters, as his precedessor did, more people would be willing to take the time to write individual letters. But since he ignores all letters, faithful Catholics no longer want to waste the time composing their thoughts individually so a form-letter is the best solution.

As for the APC, yes, they’re hard-working and many are dedicated to the Church. But they let the Schools Policy go through with no comments about the deception referenced above and they let the archdiocese sponsor a conference featuring Fr. Thomas Massaro, who had a record of supporting a pro-abortion politician excommunicated by her bishop. I know you are quite familiar with that conference. From what I read in another email sent to us, the APC recording secretary obviously has an agenda and it’s not necessarily advancing the teachings of the Church. And she’s now on the Pastoral Planning Commission to plan the future of the archdiocese. More orthodox Catholics from the APC could have no doubt been chosen for this commission, but instead we have a woman who, as evidenced by the email I received, seems to be manipulating the minutes of APC meetings to highlight feedback that goes against Church teachings and minimizing feedback that supports church teachings. That sounds corrupt to me. Previous Social Justice Conferences also backed by the APC had similarly controversial speakers.

I hope this helps explain what got us to this point, and I hope and pray that you and other priests will stand-up and defend Church teachings on the important issues embodied in this policy and other matters.

God bless,

#   #   #   #

The priest didn’t respond to this email.

Read Full Post »

Catholics who oppose the Archdiocese of Boston’s ill-conceived policy to admit the children of gay and lesbian parents to Catholic schools and who are FED UP with the leadership of the archdiocese can now voice their opinion directly to the Holy See–and ask them to intervene and rescind the policy. Just click the FedUp button to the right.

As you may already know from our previous posts and mainstream media news reports, Boston’s Cardinal Sean O’Malley pandered to people pushing the gay agenda on Catholic schools by approving a policy that directs pastors they cannot discriminate against children of gay parents in school admissions.  So, if two gay parents want to place their child in a Catholic school, the policy says the pastor is not to refuse the child admission.

Never mind that the young child who depends on their gay/lesbian parents for sustenance might be harmed by hearing their teacher say their parents’ lifestyle is considered disordered and immoral. Never mind that the Church would be giving some implicit or explicit seal of approval on the gay relationship of the parents.  Never mind the rights of faithful Catholic parents to protect the innocence of their own children’s minds at a young age. Never mind that the Boston Archdiocese misappropriated a quote from the Holy Father saying on a financial basis all children should be able to access Catholic education, and instead used it to deceive people into thinking the Holy Father condoned this policy.

Gay “Catholic” organizations like DignityUSA praised the archdiocese and Catholics for Marriage Equality said they “hope dioceses around the country will adopt Boston’s guidelines.” So, like “gay marriage” that originated in Massachusetts, this disaster too could sweep across the country quickly if faithful Catholics do not act quickly.

Here is a letter that you can easily send with the click of a button to the Holy See:

I am writing to ask that the Holy See immediately intervene in the Archdiocese of Boston to stop implementation of a policy directing Catholic schools to admit children of homosexual parents.

This policy should be rescinded for the following reasons:

  1. The partnership needed between the Catholic school and parents is not possible when parents live a lifestyle openly opposed to Church teaching.
  2. The good of the child is not served–and is instead harmed–by learning values in school that say their parents’ acts and values are morally wrong.
  3. The policy makes it impossible for faithful Catholic parents to protect the innocence of their own young children.
  4. The policy forces Catholic schools to implicitly or explicitly recognize the gay/lesbian relationship of the parents as valid by the Catholic Church, since the gay/lesbian parents will inevitably be present at the school and may assume positions of volunteer leadership.
  5. The policy violates the principle of subsidiarity by making the decision at an archdiocesan level and removing that decision-making authority from pastors.
  6. The use of the opening quote by Pope Benedict XVI out of context from his actual statement deceives Catholic faithful into thinking the Holy Father approves of such a policy.

With salvation of souls at risk, I ask that the Holy See immediately act to rescind this policy before further damage is done in Boston and before other dioceses might take steps to follow the misguided direction that Cardinal Sean O’Malley and his advisors have taken. I also ask that the Holy See take steps to formally clarify Church teaching in this area, hopefully using the Archdiocese of Denver policy of non-admission for children of gay/lesbian parents as a model..

Thank you for your intervention, and God bless.

We have set this up so it automatically sends an email or a fax to the following people: Pope Benedict XVI, Archbishop Sembi (U.S. Papal Nuncio);  Cardinal Ouelett (Prefect, Congregation of Bishops), Cardinal Burke (Prefect, Apostolic Signatura), Cardinal Levada (Prefect, Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith), and Archbishop Zenon Grocholewski (Prefect, Congregation for Catholic Education), Cardinal O’Malley and members of the Archdiocese of Boston Presbyteral Council who approved the policy.

Just click on the FedUp button, fill in your name and other information, click the “Sign the Letter” button, verify your information is correct, and then click “Submit.”  (wait a few moments, and it’s done).

Please share this post with other like-minded friends and family members and ask them to take steps to stop this policy before other dioceses follow suit.

Read Full Post »

The campaign to complain to Rome about the misguided policy to admit children of gay parents is almost there.  In the meantime, these comments at the National Catholic Register on their article, When a Pupil Has 2 Daddies” merit reading. 

Posted by jailministry on Thursday, Jan 27, 2011 6:47 PM (EST):

Some retorts. I think Boston’s idea is not prudent-

1) Objection: Why not just look the other way if same-sex parents of Catholic school children keep a low profile and don’t put the spotlight on themselves?

Response:  Ignorance or error about a notorious fact about another is not presumed. The fact that they have presented and identified themselves as a same sex couple impacts the purpose, mission and partnering of our Catholic schools.

2) Objection: Singling out the children of same-sex couples is really aimed at disapproving of their same-sex parents.

Response: Vatican II stresses a shared partnership in Catholic schools between the students, families, teachers and school associations; Catholic schools partner with parents and families; it’s a far richer concept than just about educating kids disconnected from their parents and families.

3) Objection: There is already a precedent for offering a Catholic education to a child whose parent’s did not partner with the Church because they were either not validly married, contracepting, neglectful, divorced or cohabitating.

Response:  Yes; parents have gone against the mission and purpose of Catholic schools in the past but did not ask our schools to give them a categorical recognition for their behavior.

4) Objection: Why can’t you accept the child’s enrollment if the parents sign a covenant of compliance with Catholic teachings.

Response:  Our schools are meant to be “partners in faith with parents.” If parents live in a manner that doesn’t reflect that, a covenant can’t come about.

5) Objection: What kind of message would it send to a child to discriminate against her because something her parents did?

Response: We are very concerned about the environment of such children but do not want to enable behavior that would attempt to legitimize same gender couples who adopt them which goes against our two-thousand-year-old faith tradition. Part of enabling behavior is denial.

6) Objection: All types of parents have the right to choose a Catholic education for their children.

Response: The definition of both marriage and parent don’t come from human institutions, but from God’s plan for marriage and family. The first meaning of parent is the mother and father of the child. Adoptive parents stem from that model. Our faith will not allow us to redefine God’s definition of marriage or parenthood.

7). Objection: Same sex marriage is here to stay and so are their kids.

Response: God’s plan of   marriage being between a man and a woman and their children is the first and vital cell of society.  It’s the starting point and future of the human race.

8). Objection: What if a same-sex couple thinks their adoption of a child is fine with their conscience?

Response: Conscience is not just “what I think” on an issue. Conscience has to be formed.

– – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – –

Please stick to the post’s topic in any comments.

Read Full Post »

This article appeared in the National Catholic Register on January 27.

Boston Catholic schools will accept kids of same-sex ‘parents,’ but other dioceses take a different approach. The Archdiocese of Boston has decreed that children of same-sex couples can enroll in its parochial schools.

by STEVE WEATHERBE 01/27/2011

CNS photo/Archdiocese of TorontoCardinal Sean O’Malley of Boston is pictured during a press conference at the Pope John Paul II Cultural Center in Washington Feb. 26, 2009.

BOSTON — The Archdiocese of Boston has decreed that children of same-sex couples can enroll in its parochial schools, reversing a controversial 2010 decision at the parish level refusing one such admission.

The decision, very different from one made by the Archdiocese of Denver last year, drew a mixed reaction from Catholics, but won the swift endorsement of Michael Reardon, executive director of Boston’s Catholic Education Foundation, an independent organization that funds school construction and repair as well as scholarships. The foundation had announced in the wake of last year’s rejection of a same-sex couple’s child that it would provide no scholarships to schools that discriminated in this way.

“From the perspective of the foundation, the key part of this is that it does not exclude any group of students, and it promotes what is essential to Catholic education, which is inclusivity,’’ Reardon said.

The Jan. 12 statement from the Catholic Schools Office of the archdiocese cited a statement made by Pope Benedict XVI to an assembly of American Catholic education officials in 2008 that said, “No child should be denied his or her right to an education in faith, which in turn nurtures the soul of the nation.” The schools office also states that “Parent(s)/guardian(s) of students in Catholic schools must accept and understand that the teachings of the Catholic Church are essential and are a required part of the curriculum.”

In contrast, Denver Archbishop Charles Chaput strongly supported Sacred Heart of Jesus School in Boulder, Colo., last March, when it told a lesbian couple their child could not enroll for first grade.

As the archbishop explained at that time, Catholic schools are committed to working with parents in teaching the Catholic faith. But “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. It also places unfair stress on the children, who find themselves caught in the middle, and on their teachers, who have an obligation to teach the authentic faith of the Church.”

Teachers Conflicted

Noting that “most parents who send their children to Catholic schools want an environment where the Catholic faith is fully taught and practiced,” Archbishop Chaput argued, “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. That isn’t fair to anyone — including the wider school community.”

The archbishop said that children of non-Catholics and of divorced parents are allowed to attend Catholic schools “as long as their parents support the Catholic mission of the school and do not offer a serious counter-witness to that mission in their actions.”

He also noted that Catholic parents pay twice for education, once through taxes supporting the public system and a second time through tuition for the Catholic schools. They should be able to count on getting what they paid for, he argued: a Catholic education and not the education they might expect elsewhere.

However, Archbishop Michael Miller of Vancouver, British Columbia, former secretary of the Congregation for Catholic Education in Rome, said via e-mail that the children of same-sex couples would not automatically be excluded in his archdiocese: “A child of same-sex parents would not be treated any differently than any other child.”

He added, “All families must complete a ‘Family Statement of Commitment’ that they will work with school and parish to provide an environment where faith and learning go hand in hand.”

Archdiocesan spokesman Paul Schratz said that unmarried parents would face the same challenge as same-sex parents signing the commitment and convincing the school admissions committee, which includes the pastor, that they could honor the commitment. “It would be a teaching opportunity for the pastor with the parents.”

Schratz said several same-sex couples had been presented with the commitment document, but he was not aware of any children of same-sex couples presently enrolled.

Sending a Signal

Women for Faith and Family’s president, Helen Hitchcock, said she found Archbishop Chaput’s arguments compelling. She finds plausibility in an argument for inclusiveness — “that exposure to Catholic teaching would have a good effect even if the parents were 100% opposed to some elements of it.”

But given that many who call themselves Catholic openly disagree with the Church’s teaching on homosexuality, she said, admitting the children of homosexual couples “would send a signal that this behavior is all right. If the Church sees no problem with the children, then it looks like it doesn’t care about what the parents are up to.”

Hitchcock also raised the question of the parents’ motivation: “Why would they want to send their children to a Catholic school when they don’t agree with its teaching? Do they just want to make problems?”

Register correspondent Steve Weatherbe writes from Victoria, British Columbia.

The reader comments on the article are excellent.  Please take the time to read them.  We will repost selected ones here next time.

Read Full Post »

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.

Read Full Post »

Older Posts »