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.”

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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.

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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.

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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,

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The priest didn’t respond to this email.

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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.

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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.

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

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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.

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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.


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.


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.



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

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.

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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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