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A lot of people are fed up with the lackluster, confusing responses from the Archdiocese of Boston to the ongoing scandal of the “Rainbow Ministry” at St. Cecilia’s in Boston, the promotion of “gay marriage” at the church, and the previously scheduled Gay Pride Mass–now rescheduled and repositioned as an “All Are Welcome” Mass for their GLBT community.  If you’re Fed Up, you can take action today.

For the many people who want to ensure the Catholic Church in Boston clearly articulates the teachings of the Church and leads people on the path to holiness and salvation, you can now easily ask the Vatican to intervene in this scandal.  Here’s the text of a letter.  If you agree with it, just click on the “Fed Up” button (or click here if the button doesn’t work for you), fill in the form, click submit, and your letter will be emailed or faxed to the Holy Father, Congregation for Bishops, Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith, and Papal Nuncio.  Here’s the text of the letter we’ve drafted:

I am writing to request that the Congregation for Bishops and Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith intervene to address the scandal over the Lesbian/Gay/Bisexual/Transgender(GLBT) Ministry at St. Cecilia Church in Boston.

As you may know, St. Cecilia Church had planned and promoted a Mass to “celebrate” and “commemorate”Boston’s Gay Pride Month on June 19. The Mass was rescheduled to July 10, and withapproval of Cardinal O’Malley and the Archdiocese of Boston it is still beingpromoted as an “All Are Welcome” Mass to welcome the GLBT community. The Mass is reflective of an ongoing scandal at this Church and in Boston:

  • This parish has an active “Rainbow Ministry” for lesbians, gays, bisexuals and transgender (LGBT) Catholics. Their blog, whose history was recently deleted, has promoted a number of speakers and programs incompatible with Church teachings on sexual morality.
  • Nothing about the Rainbow Ministry or ministry to homosexuals at St.Cecilia’s calls those with homosexual attractions to repentance, conversion and turning from sin, or chastity as essential to growing in holiness. Courage ministry is not present at the parish.
  • In recent years, the parish–with knowledge of the pastor, Fr. John Unni–has promoted speakers on “gay marriage” who specifically worked to advance legalized “gay marriage” and opposed the Church’s teachings on marriage.
  • Fr. Unni has called “hateful” those Catholics who opposed the original “Gay Pride” Mass. He preached in the presence of his regional bishop, Robert Hennessey, that he had no idea what the agenda of Gay Pride was, yet he had agreed to celebrate a Mass that was to commemorate Gay Pride.
  • Senior leaders of the parish council and Rainbow Ministry have been quoted publicly saying they believe a Mass to celebrate Gay Pride is analogous to a Mass for elderly and shut-ins or a Mass held in prison. They have also been quoted saying that teens who think they might be gay should “come out” and get “new energy and life.”

The Boston bishops, instead of addressing the problems with the Rainbow Ministry and promotion of the gay agenda at St. Cecilia’s, are praising the pastor and parish while criticizing faithful Catholics.

Cardinal Sean O’Malley, through his spokesman, Terry Donilon, reacted by saying Fr. Unni is an “outstanding pastor” who has the “full confidence” of the Cardinal and the parish is a “wonderful example of an exceptional parish.” At the same time, the archdiocese has expressed harsh criticism of Catholics who complained tha thomosexuals are being led astray at the church, saying criticism by faithful Catholics was “outrageous and disgraceful,” “malicious,” and was “about hurting, defaming, speaking mistruths.”

Beyond these problems, now the Catholic Mayor of Boston, Tom Menino, who has a strong record of support for gay marriage, Gay Pride, and abortion, has announced plans to attend the July 10 Mass. A number of individuals have asked Cardinal O’Malley if Menino will be denied communion consistent with Canon 915, and there has been no response.

Cardinal O’Malley, Bishop Hennessey, Fr. Unni, and Terry Donilon have all abdicated their responsibility to help lead Catholics to the truth in their response to the ongoing scandal at St. Cecilia’s. The failure to teach the truths of our faith is putting the salvation of souls at risk.

I respectfully ask that you intervene in whatever way you feel appropriate to ensure that the Truths of Catholic Church teachings on sexual morality are taught at this parish and promulgated publicly throughout the Archdiocese of Boston. I also ask that you take whatever action necessary to ensure that those responsible for these problems are no longer in such positions of responsibilit yin the future. Finally, I ask that you add to the topics planned for the Archdiocese of Boston’s November ad limina visit, the abdication of leadership and failure of archdiocesan leaders to teach the truths of our faith.

Thank you for your assistance and urgent action on this grave matter.

Sincerely yours in Christ,

If you’re concerned that St. Cecilia’s is not leading people on the path to holiness and salvation and you’d like for the Vatican to intervene to address this scandal, click on the Fed Up button to the right.

Have at it, and please share with your like-minded friends and family members.

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Today, I’d like to share an update on what’s happening with the Mass at St. Cecilia’s in Boston that started out as a Mass to  “commemorate” and “celebrate” Boston (Gay) Pride and which was postponed to next Sunday, July 10 at 11am.

So, the Mass is still on for July 10 at 11am with approval of the archdicoese.  Here’s how it’s listed in the St. Cecilia’s bulletin:

ALL ARE WELCOME!

PLEASE JOIN US FOR NEXT SUNDAY’S 11:00 LITURGY

Please join the entire Saint Cecilia Parish community for next Sunday’s eleven o’clock liturgy where we will reaffirm that Saint Cecilia is a place of welcome for all, including the LGBT community. This liturgy is in keeping with the parish’s Year of Celebration and Rededication and underscores the welcome we extend to all people.

In order to mark the occasion, Mass will be followed by a reception and a bountiful table. We are asking for your help to make the reception festive, so if you are able to bring a contribution for the feast, please contact Melon Regis-Civetta at XXX.

 There are a bunch of things still wrong with what’s happening there on July 10 and in general, but for now, let’s just talk about this July 10 “All Are Welcome” Mass.

On June 11, Terry Donilon was quoted in the Globe saying, “there would be a Mass in the future to welcome the community, but not specifically gays and lesbians” so why now is this Mass now specifically calling out the LGBT community? Even more of a cause for concern is the coded language  — “a welcoming Mass,” which the Archdiocese of Boston, Cardinal O’Malley, Bishop Robert Hennessey, and Terry Donilon all tacitly are approving of.  

Is there any question that language is to tell supporters of the gay agenda they won’t have to worry about being taught that the gay agenda is incompatible with Church teaching?  As you’ll see in the next post, the expression “welcoming Mass” now being used to describe the July 10 Mass doesn’t just mean people will be received with genuine Christian hospitality–it means people who might be living in objective discord with Catholic Church teachings won’t hear a word about that unpleasantry or anything suggesting the need for repentance, conversion, confession, or living in doctrinal, sacramental and moral communion with Christ in order to receive Jesus worthily in Holy Communion. 

How do I know this and why am I judging the situation this way?  They sponsor speakers talking at St. Cecilia’s in support of gay marriage. They organized a Mass to celebrate Gay Pride.  Members of their Rainbow Ministry publicly state that teens should “come out” to get “new energy and life.”  They think a Gay Pride Mass is equivalent to a Mass for shutins and elderly.  It’s all documented. Look at what Fr. Unni said in his June 19 homily, as quoted in The Rainbow Times:

“We here at St. Cecilia’s have an agenda…I have an agenda. Our agenda is the Jesus agenda…Jesus loved people. He accepted people. He ate with people, those who were the marginalized and ostracized sinners of his day. And by that compassion and interacting as Jesus did at this [communion] table by loving in a good way, people are strengthened, people are healed, people are reminded of their dignity, their beauty, goodness and worth — ready, ready — as they are! The last part of ‘Jesus agenda’  and I dare say the cardinal’s agenda is to be “supportive of all…You are welcome here, gay or straight, rich or poor, young or old, black or white..Here, you all can say, ‘I can worship the God who made me as I am'”

So, Fr. Unni is purposefully skipping the part of the “Jesus Agenda” that involves conversion, repentance, and turning from sin. To those who are criticizing this blog, show me one shred of published evidence Fr. John Unni is talking about that–or that there’s some plan to on July 10. There’s a need and responsibility for Cardinal O’Malley, Bishop Hennessey, and St. Cecilia’s to lead their parishioners to holiness, conversion and a path to salvation that’s being neglected. That’s the problem we will ask the Vatican to have addressed immediately.

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NOTE: Someone asked in a comment why this blog, “Bryan Hehir Exposed,” keeps dwelling on the Gay Pride Mass at St. Cecilia’s and their Rainbow Ministry to gays, lesbians, bisexuals and transgendered persons.  Well, in case people don’t know it, Fr. Bryan Hehir is the most senior, trusted advisor to Cardinal Sean O’Malley and he’s demonstrated through his actions and public statements a tendency to undermine  and obfuscate Catholic Church teachings on sexual morality, including homosexuality.  See these posts for more details:

  • Greatest danger to Church is internal pollution: Fr. Hehir honored Mayor Tom Menino at a 2005 Catholic Charities fundraiser even though Menino had public record that included marchng in Gay Pride parades, supporting “gay marriage,” sponsoring a gay prom for teenagers at Boston’s City Hall, and flying the gay rainbow flag over City Hall
  • Fr. Bryan Hehir on Panel with Lesbian Feminist Theologian“:  Fr. Hehir on panel at Regis College along with long-time friend a “Catholic” lesbian feminist theologian said, “…in twentieth-century Catholicism, teachings on sexuality have been “a chronically afflicted area,” and “there are issues that need to be examined and re-examined…dissent is an expected part of the theological tradition of which we are a part.”
  • Archdiocesan official Fr. Bryan Hehir keynoting conference with “gay priests” advocate: Fr. Hehir spoke at a April 30-May 1, 2010 conference along with a proponent of gay priests who wants everyone to “stretch the imagination” by watching gay-themed movies, like Brokeback Mountain, and reading gay novels
  • Gay-friendly church, Fr. Bryan Hehir, and gay sex activist: Fr. Hehir was featured in a series at the gay-friendly Paulist Center  (that participates in the Gay Pride parade) along with a gay activist whose organization published and distributed a graphic guide to safe gay sex. 

As trusted advisor to Cardinal Sean O’Malley, his role involves matters like this, even if he’s behind the scenes and his name isn’t on any of the statements. You can count on him to never be heard publicly supporting the Church’s teachings on sexual morality–his public comments only undermine and question them.

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After several email exchanges with Terry Donilon (Cardinal Sean O’Malley’s increasingly volatile spokesman and  communications secretary)–and seeing several other ones with other Catholics–many of us have concluded there’s no other choice but asking the Vatican to intervene in this mess.

Terry sent along a link to a National Catholic Reporter blog post that was critical of me and our “band of crazy culture warriors” though the writer agreed with our complaints about the Gay Pride Mass.

Pride, you may recall, is one of the seven deadly sins and gay pride festivals do tend to invite some pretty outrageous behavior. A dear gay friend in Washington used to call that city’s gay pride festival “Gay Shame Day” on account of the over-the-top, often exhibitionist behavior. So, it is understandable that Cardinal O’Malley asked the pastor at St. Cecilia’s to postpone the “Mass of Welcoming” for gays, lesbians and their friends and families to another suitable date. This sensible solution perfectly addressed the situation, guaranteeing that the Church was not seen as “endorsing” a social or political agenda alien to it.

The problem is that postponing the previous Mass promoted to celebrate Gay Pride didn’t “perfectly address the situation”–it merely moved the scandal over St. Cecilia’s plan to celebrate Gay Pride and failing to teach the truth about the path to holiness, virtue, and salvation to gays and lesbians back by a few weeks. Two follow-up comments on that NCR blog need to be read by Cardinal O’Malley, Terry Donilon, Bishop Robert Hennessey, and Fr. Unni:

 As one of the gay catholics
Submitted by Rod on Jun. 25, 2011.

As one of the gay catholics refered to in the above posting, I can tell you I certainly have agonized and am agonizing over how to reconcile the Church’s teachings with my life.
I have come to the conclusion that Our Lord knows best and not me. I have also allowed Our Lord to lead me, and if that means a celibate romanceless life, that is what is best for me.
The problem here isn’t one of loneliness or lack of a partner, it is a lack of faith in allowing Our Lord to guide and change you.
Gays like all people need to allow Our Lord to act in their lives, and they need to have the humility to accept their cross.
Our Lord himself had no romance and no sexual life, millions of people have neither of these things and yet they live full lives, often for the benefit of others.
Why can’t gays accept this cross? Probably because when it is all distilled, the reality is not one of two lovers for life, but of a sexual addiction.
From my experience, I know what the reality of gay life is like — and I thank Our Lord for trying to get me out of it.
Being a faithful Catholic is the real liberation.

So can we assume

So can we assume the homilies at this Mass will be warning the audience that homosexual activity is a mortal sin? Will they be told that they are putting their immortal souls at risk? Are all of the attendees at this there to sign up for the Courage program to help resist their same sex attractions. I didn’t think so.

Can we look forward in the future to a Mass of Welcoming for adulterers, practictioners of incest, pedophiles, or polygamists? Don’t we want to welcome those people too? Anyone who thinks this Mass is about anything other than an endorsement of the homosexual lifestyle and sinful homosexual activity is lying.

Since Terry Donilon and the archdiocese have repeatedly refused to answer these questions, we’re putting them out one last time before we take this to Rome.

  1. Do you agree St. Cecilia’s has featured speakers at the parish who promoted gay marriage, in direct opposition to the Church’s teaching on marriage?
    Hint:  see this post: https://bryanhehirexposed.wordpress.com/2011/06/19/pro-gay-marriage-speakers-at-boston-catholic-church/
  2. Do you agree that a Catholic church putting forward speakers who promoted gay marriage is wrong and confusing to the flock and leads them away from salvation and a life of virtue and holiness consistent with the Word of God?
  3. Do you agree that it’s legitimate for people to complain about a Catholic church putting forward such speakers since they lead gays and lesbians away from a life of virtue and holiness?
  4. Do you agree with the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith that all support should be withdrawn from any organizations which seek to undermine the teaching of the Church, which are ambiguous about it, or which neglect it entirely?  Do you agree with the CDF that permission to use Church property, though it may seem only just and charitable; in reality is contradictory to the purpose for which these institutions were founded, it is misleading and often scandalous?  What is the archdiocese doing about this?
  5. Do you think it’s suggestive of failed teachings at St. Cecilia’s that a leader of their gay ministry publicly equated a Mass for shut-ins and invalids as being equivalent to a Mass celebrating Gay Pride? What’s the archdiocese doing about the failed teachings at St. Cecilia’s that contribute to this misunderstanding of the purpose of the Holy sacrifice of the Mass?
  6. What is the archdiocese doing about the matter of the Rainbow Ministry and vice chairman of the parish council encouraging youth confused about their sexuality to “come out” as gay or lesbian in order to get “new energy and life”? Why is there no mention of turning to Jesus Christ, of Catholic church teachings that abstinence and chastity are the route to holiness consistent with God’s plan, and no  mention of prayer or any form of spiritual, psychological or family counseling? Is advising youth to just “come out” as gay or lesbian and you’ll get “new energy and life” condoned and supported by the Archbishop of Boston?  If not, then what’s being done about this?
  7. Why hasn’t anyone from the archdiocese talked to St. Cecilia’s Rainbow Ministry, disbanded it and/or intervened at St. Cecilia’s to make certain church teachings are clearly articulated, published in their bulletin and preached from the pulpit on how to live a life of virtue? Catholics have documented in black and white where St. Cecilia’s is straying from the truth and merely wants to lead people in the right direction to salvation. Why is the Archdiocese of Boston doing nothing, still pretending the problem doesn’t exist and rather than acting on the problem, instead criticizing bloggers and other Catholics for raising these concerns?
  8. Why did St. Cecilia’s promote a Mass to “celebrate” and “commemorate” Boston (Gay) Pride and plan it months in advance–with Fr. Unni telling them he’s not sure what will happen–if, according to the archdiocese’s claims, they didn’t intend to celebrate and commemorate Boston (Gay) Pride?  If it wasn’t Gay Pride they were celebrating and commemorating with the Mass promoted specifically to celebrate and commemorate Gay Pride, what exactly was it they intended to celebrate and commemorate?
  9. Why is the July 10 Mass being promoted by the archdiocese as “welcoming the wider community of the faithful, including gays and lesbians,” when all Masses are always welcoming to everyone, regardless of their sins?  Will Cardinal O’Malley be the celebrant and homilist at the July 10 rescheduled Mass for gays and lesbians, and will he preach and teach that homosexual activity is a mortal sin and puts the immortal souls of those who engage in it at risk, with Bishop Hennessey and Fr. Unni present to hear this message? If not, why not, and will whomever is the homilist preach and teach this? Will Courage ministry be publicly promoted with materials readily available?
  10. Does Cardinal O’Malley intend to enforce Canon 915 during the upcoming “Mass of Welcome” at St. Cecila’s and deny reception of the Blessed Sacrament to Mayor Tom Menino and the other pro-abortion/pro-homosexual marriage Catholic politicians who will be in attendance? (Canon 915 states that “those who obstinately perserve in manifest grave sin shall not be admitted to Holy Communion”)

In a LifeSiteNews interview, Terry Donilon publicly slammed those of us trying to defend Church teachings and ensure those with same-sex attractions are led to a path of virtue, holiness and salvation as being “about hurting, defaming, denegrating people, and speaking mistruths, and manipulating words and positions of the cardinal and archdiocese. I think they’re malicious.”  I think Terry is being malicious HE is the one speaking mistruths.

Terry Donilon and Bishop Hennessey won’t respond to me, Judie Brown at the American Life League, RealCatholicTV, and others who have asked him various versions of the questions above, but maybe they’ll respond to you. Here are their email addresses and phone numbers:

BishopHennessey(at)rcab.org
Terrence_Donilon(at)rcab.org

Terry’s office phone: 617-746-5775
Bishop Hennessey’s phone: 617-269-4001

Try forwarding this blog post to both of them by hitting (“Share this”) below and ask them for the answers to the questions. Give Terry or Bishop Hennessey a call. If Terry Donilon asks you what you’ve done to evangelize today, ask him what HE has done to evangelize the truths of Catholic teachings on sexual morality to the Rainbow Ministry today.  If Bishop Hennessey says he’ll be “looking into this,” ask him for a date when he’ll have answers.

Assuming the archdiocese still refuses to answer these questions, we’ll be back next time with instructions on how to take this scandal to Rome.

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After seeing the latest drivel that came out from the Archdiocese of Boston last week about the Mass to celebrate Gay Pride at St. Cecilia’s in Boston,  I feel Catholics need to just call it as it is.  The Boston Archdiocese is still in public denial over the reason for the original Mass at St. Cecilia’s which was promoted to celebrate Boston (Gay) Pride and over the state of the Rainbow Ministry at St. Cecilia.  It’s like they’re consulting with former Rep. Anthony Weiner for expertise on PR, honesty, and damage control.

Until they come out of denial and stop maligning bloggers like me and others and acknowledge what’s going on there, we’re going to keep seeking the truth to lead people to salvation. As I have said before, the problem is not the bloggers, it’s the Archdicoese.

On Friday, yet another statement was issued by Cardinal Sean O’Malley and the archdiocese. He said:

The philosophical and political agenda of Gay Pride in relation to marriage and sexual morality is incompatible with the Church’s teachings.”

That part’s very good! But then it went in the wrong direction.

“For that reason, Father Unni rescheduled a Mass of welcome for all his parishioners to a time that would not associate the Mass with the Gay Pride agenda.

Problem here is that the original Mass wasn’t a “Mass of welcome for all his parishioners” at all.  First off, why would we ever need a special Mass of welcome for all parishioners?  Isn’t that already happening every Sunday?  Has everyone been wrong all these years to be going to Mass because we now need a special Mass of welcome for everyone?   It’s plain silly.

Even worse is that the supposed “Mass of welcome for all parishioners” was promoted as follows:

Liturgy to commemorate Boston Pride 2011
The Rainbow Ministry of Saint Cecilia Parish invites all friends and supporters of the LGBT community to a Mass in celebration of Boston’s Pride Month.

It invited friends and supporters of the LGBT community to a Mass in celebration of Boston’s Pride Month. As worded in the original notice, the Mass was not actually welcoming all parishioners–it specifically invited and welcomed friends and supporters of the LGBT community to celebrate Boston’s Pride Month. If you were not a friend or supporter of the LGBT community who wanted to celebrate Boston’s Pride Month, then according to the bulletin notice, you were not among the people invited to the Mass whose theme was supposedly “All are Welcome.”

The Rainbow Times said the leaders of the group assumed it was a Mass for Gay Pride. “Iandoli also explained the need for a Mass, “specifically to celebrate Gay Pride, because it is difficult to be proud unless you are both loved and supported,” he said.

The Boston Globe said the Rainbow Ministry started planning 6-8 weeks ago: Members of the Rainbow Ministry first suggested the Mass to Unni six to eight weeks ago, he said, and he told them yes, “not knowing what would happen,’’ he said.

The Boston Globe caught Terry Donilon in the lie:
“Donilon declined to answer questions about the apparent contradiction of the church’s bulletin and his statement. He said, however, that there would be a Mass in the future to welcome the community.”

If it walks like a duck, looks like a duck, and quacks like a duck,  it’s probably a duck.

I have emailed Terry Donilon multiple times with these questions: “If the June 19 Mass was not intended to celebrate Gay Pride, then what exactly WAS it intended to celebrate?  When will you and the archdicoese stop deceiving people about what’s going on there? Even the Globe reporter caught you in the lie.”

The archdicoese made it a point to say in the statement issued a week ago today that the previous Mass (which was promoted to commemorate Boston Pride 2011 and which invited all friends and supporters of the LGBT community to a Mass in celebration of Boston’s Pride Month) was not cancelled, but merely rescheduled. Why?  If a Mass promoted to celebrate Gay Pride was wrong in June, why is it somehow OK  in July?  Had they not specifically made it a point in the Sunday night statement to say that the previous Mass (promoted to commemorate and celebrate Boston Gay Pride) was being rescheduled, then the media and others would not have used that statement as the basis for their headlines and their belief that the archdiocese was supportive of a rescheduled Mass to celebrate Gay Pride. THE ARCHDIOCESE created the problem with THEIR statements, not the bloggers.

Even Cardinal O’Malley’s latest statement published Friday did little to address the same problem. He maintained the previous Mass was rescheduled.

To Terry and Cardinal O’Malley ,I’ll say it yet again:

The problem isn’t the bloggers. The problem is what’s being allowed to happen with the Rainbow Ministry at St. Cecilia’s and what YOU’RE saying about it. Do you recognize this and just don’t want to say so publicly?

If the Mass promoted to celebrate and commemorate Gay Pride that specifically invited supporters of the GLBT community was in your opinion not being held to honor/recognize/celebrate Gay Pride, then can you please tell me and others what it WAS being held for?  If the bulletin was wrong, then what WAS it intended to say and promote?  They said they were planning it for 6-8 weeks and got Unni’s permission. They said they wanted and needed a Gay Pride Mass. Do you expect people to believe the bulletin had just a minor typographical error?  Even the Globe saw through it, and you wouldn’t answer them.

St. Cecilia’s promotes gay marriage. They tell gay teens to come out to get new life and energy.  They think a Gay Pride Mass is no different than a Mass for shut-ins. It’s all documented in black-and-white. There’s a Rainbow Ministry at the church that’s promoting views contrary to the teachings of the Church on sexual morality leading people to sin instead of salvation.. Do you and the Cardinal agree?  Yes or no?  You seem like you’re in denial that’s going on. If no, then what else do you need to see to understand what’s going on?  If yes, then what are you guys doing about it besides publicly pretending there’s not a problem?

Does the archdiocese still deny there’s a problem with the Rainbow Ministry and what Fr. Unni is allowing to happen there? I originally suggested that the archdiocese should have a priest from Courage Ministry celebrate the 11am Mass on July 10 and give the homily but reader, Chris had a better suggestion:

I think Cardinal O’Malley should attend and give the homily, a strongly worded and firm statement on the church’s views, while staring straight at Fr. Unni. Bishop Hennessy should join in with some words as well. Then the two prelates should stay after and answer questions from the Rainbow Ministry members and the press directly. They helped make this mess. They should clean it up. And Donilon should make sure the TV cameras are on hand to record everything, so there is no possible “spin” on what happened and why.

Beyond that, they should also announce that the Rainbow Ministry is disbanded and replaced with a chapter of Courage and publish a one-pager in the bulletin that discusses the Church’s teachings on sexual morality including chastity for homosexuals.

Otherwise, let Fr. Unni, Bishop Robert Hennessey, Terry Donilon, and Cardinal O’Malley keep following the lead of Rep. Anthony Weiner and see if they might not all end up in the same place eventually.

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Lots of people have criticized me and this blog for “hate,” saying Fr. John Unni at St. Cecilia’s in Boston is doing a great job of welcoming gays and lesbians into the Church.  The Archdiocese of Boston says the parish is “devoted to the Gospel and Christ’s saving ministry.” Well, when it comes to saving people from their sins and calling gay and lesbian people to repentance and conversion, there’s basically zero indication that’s happening at St. Cecilia’s and lots of evidence to the contrary. It’s all sizzle and no steak as best as I can tell.

You’ve got people who supported gay marriage and opposed the Catholic church on marriage speaking at St. Cecilia’s for years.  Is this how Fr. John Unni catechizes his Rainbow Ministry and leads them to salvation for their sins?  I’ve got a few questions for Terry Donilon, archdiocesan spokesman, and Cardinal Sean O’Malley also: How exactly does that synch with Church teachings that marriage is between one man and one woman? How’s that synch with Cardinal Sean O’Malley’s statements defending traditional marriage, and Terry’s own statement, that while the church does not reject anyone, it “opposes changing the definition of marriage, because to do so would weaken one of the oldest and most sacred institutions of human society”?

Terry, Cardinal O’Malley, and Bishop Hennessey, we’d like an answer: How can we oppose weakening one of the oldest and most sacred institutions of human society, while still supporting a church and pastor who puts forward speakers whose focus and expertise is weakening and redefining that institution?  And the Cardinal Archbishop of Boston has “full confidence” in the pastor?

Every time I think we’ve heard all of the story here, we find out there’s more.  Here’s this article from the Rainbow Times on the rescheduling of the Mass originally promoted to “celebrate and commemorate Boston’s Pride Month. We pulled just a few of the more interesting passages.

Be here on July 10,” said John Kelly, chair of the LGBT-affirming Rainbow Ministry at St. Cecilia, referring to a new date for the parish’s “All are Welcome” Mass, a liturgy that Boston archdiocesan officials initially halted because of the “unintended impression” it supported Boston Gay Pride.

The archdiocese issued a statement, indicating support for the lay-led service. “We respect the desire of those individuals organizing and participating in the prayer service,” the statement said. “We know that the postponement of the June 19th Mass has been disappointing to them.”

The statement also served as the official announcement of the date for “a Mass welcoming the wider community of the faithful, including gays and lesbians,” now rescheduled for Sunday, July 10, during St. Cecilia’s regularly scheduled 11 am Eucharistic celebration.

The prayer service included hymns, prayers, readings, and a reflection offered by Richard Iandoli, vice chairman of the parish council, who at times fought back tears.

St. Cecilia is in fact a spiritual home to a significant gay population, with many parishioners finding their way to the church, by way of archdiocesan assistance in 2007, when the primarily gay Jesuit Urban Center abruptly closed its doors.

Iandoli also explained the need for a Mass, “specifically to celebrate Gay Pride, because it is difficult to be proud unless you are both loved and supported,” he said. “You see we are not disordered, immature, or sinful because we are gay, lesbian, or transgender – just children of God.”

C. J. Doyle, executive director of the Catholic Action League of Massachusetts, said in a press statement, the idea of a Mass, as “an opportunity to celebrate one’s sexual identity is as offensive as it is obscene,” adding, “Homosexuals are welcome in the Catholic Church on the same basis as the rest of us poor sinners – they are welcome to the confessional.”

But Iandoli would have none of it. “We are discriminated against and hurt because we are gay. It is not in spite of it,” he said. “We need to minister to our needs cognizant of the facts. We do not have to hide them or act as if they are hidden.”

Furthermore, a special Mass “to single out a particular group for pastoral care is neither unusual nor unorthodox,” Iandoli explained, noting the church celebrates Mass “at home for the infirmed, in nursing homes for the aged, and in prison for the incarcerated.”  During the academic year, St. Cecilia celebrates a 6:00 pm Mass for college students.

And Iandoli offered strong words of encouragement to gay youth. “I urge you to come out,” he said  “The closet is a hateful, lonely, silent, and unholy place.”As Iandoli explained, “If you can, come out when you are ready and when it is safe, I think your yoke will be easier, your burden lighter. The freedom that comes from being honest with yourself, accepting yourself, and sharing that information about yourself when appropriate will release terrible psychological pressure and give you new energy and life.”

If I get this right, Fr. John Unni, under the watchful eye of auxiliary bishop Robert Hennessey and Cardinal O’Malley, is teaching his parishioners that a Mass that commemorates Christ’s sacrifice on the cross–which is celebrated in a hospital or nursing home for those who are elderly, physically infirm, sick, suffering from a chronic illness or maybe even close to death and can’t get to a church–serves the same purpose and is equivalent in their eyes to a Mass “specifically to celebrate Gay Pride”?  The same holds for a Mass in a prison?

The archdiocese calls this “a wonderful example of the exceptional parishes in the Archdiocese.”  Is Cardinal O’Malley not well?  I’ll say it again, has Cardinal O’Malley lost his marbles?

Then we have the vice chairman of the parish council encouraging youth confused about their sexuality to “come out “as gay or lesbian.  No mention of turning to Jesus Christ, no mention of abstinence and chastity as the route to holiness consistent with God’s plan, no prayer advised, no spiritual counseling advised, no psychological or family counseling advised, no medical risks of unsafe sexual behavior to be concerned about.  Just “come out”  as gay or lesbian and you’ll get “new energy and life”!  How is this leading people with same-sex attractions to a deeper relationship with Christ and a life of virtue and holiness?

As we cited in a prior post, the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith has said:

All support should be withdrawn from any organizations which seek to undermine the teaching of the Church, which are ambiguous about it, or which neglect it entirely. Such support, or even the semblance of such support, can be gravely misinterpreted. Special attention should be given to the practice of scheduling religious services and to the use of Church buildings by these groups, including the facilities of Catholic schools and colleges. To some, such permission to use Church property may seem only just and charitable; but in reality it is contradictory to the purpose for which these institutions were founded, it is misleading and often scandalous.”

Can anyone cite even one written statement anywhere from Fr. Unni or the Rainbow Ministry or an example of a speaker at St. Cecilia’s in the past several years talking about how those with same-sex attractions should practice chastity as the path to holiness?  One?

Cardinal Sean O’Malley, Bishop Robert Hennessey, Fr. John Unni, and diocesan spokesman Terry Donilon have all proven themselves ineffective in stopping this scandal and making sure that the Church’s teachings and message of salvation are clearly articulated at St. Cecilia’s Boston in-season and out-of-season. They’ve all failed to fulfill their canonical responsibilities as shepherds–dismally. There’s no choice but to ask for the intervention of the Holy See to have them removed.

For now, you can Take Action by emailing the Papal Nuncio, Archbishop Pietro Sambi at nuntiususa(at)nuntiususa.org and the Holy Father benedictxvi(at)vatican.va. Next week we’ll mount a full-fledged campaign where you can fax or email the Holy See.

 

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As if a Mass to celebrate Gay Pride wasn’t enough for St. Cecilia’s in Boston, now we get word that the pastor, Fr. John Unni, promoted in his parish bulletin talks by speakers who worked in favor of “gay marriage.”  He also promoted a talk by a gay activist who disrupted a Catholic Mass over the Church’s campaign against gay marriage. When will the scandal end?

Here’s a low-down on what’s happened up to now, but it’s getting more concerning literally by the minute:

  1. First there was the Mass to planned to celebrate and commemorate Boston Pride Month, which was to be celebrated by the pastor, Fr. John Unni tonight at 6pm.
  2. Then after Catholics complained, the Archdiocese said the Mass had to be canceled/postponed, and it was replaced by a sidewalk prayer service. Meanwhile back at the ranch, diocesan spokesman, Terry Donilon said the pastor has “the full confidence and support of the Cardinal and the archdiocese” and “is a great pastor.”
  3. Next, on Friday night Cardinal O’Malley posted on his blog a reminder about not wanting homosexuals to be the “object of discrimination or violence,” and also about the need to rally behind the Church’s teaching that marriage is between a man and a woman. He also reminded us “If we tell people that sex outside of marriage is not a sin, we are deceiving people. If they believe this untruth, a life of virtue becomes all but impossible.”

As the late Paul Harvey used to say, “Now, the rest of the story.”  But it’s not even the rest–it’s just a little bit more of the story.

We first learned here that in 2009 St. Cecilia’s promoted several speakers in a talk about “Gay Marriage” who worked to promote gay marriage–in direct opposition to the Church’s teachings on marriage. Here’s the listing from their June 28, 2009 bulletin:

I repeat, the evening’s presenters were Rabbi Lerner, who worked with the Religious Coalition for the Freedom to Marry to increase the number of Massachusetts clergy voicing their support of “gay marriage,” and Charles Martel, who worked in support of “gay marriage” to coordinate the efforts of Roman Catholics for the Freedom to Marry in Massachusetts.

What Catholic who supports the teachings of the Catholic Church could possibly justify St. Cecilia’s sponsoring and promoting a talk by people who publicly worked in opposition to the Church’s teachings on marriage?

There’s one more thing still.

On October 25, 2010, St. Cecilia’s sponsored a talk by Chuck Colbert on “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell.” Chuck in objective terms is a “gay activist.” His bio in the bulletin says, “Locally, he contributes to Boston Spirit Magazine, a gay and lesbian lifestyle magazine.” What the bio didn’t mention is what a simple Google search told us when Chuck posted a comment a few days ago here–back in 2004 he reportedly stood up in the middle of a Catholic Mass in Canton, MA to protest the Church’s defense of marriage efforts. Here’s a 2004 Globe report we found on Chuck’s protest:

On the day before state lawmakers were scheduled to continue considering a proposed amendment to the Massachusetts Constitution that would outlaw same-sex marriage, some parishioners spoke out against him, and ushers asked him to leave. Church officials called the police.

“The law is that there is no disrupting a worship service,” said the Rev. Michael Doyle, the church’s pastor… “Mass isn’t a time for people to voice their opinions about what they agree with or disagree with.”

At the 9 a.m. Mass at St. John’s in Canton, the presiding priest, Father Hal Obayashi, delivered a sermon about adultery and then showed the video, which he introduced by discussing how Christians should be tolerant of others but not avoid speaking the truth,

Note: be tolerant of others, but not avoid speaking the truth. Here’s another 2004 AP report we found on Chuck Colbert’s disruption of the Mass:

Man Disturbs Mass to Defend Gay Marriage

CANTON, Mass. – A gay man interrupted a church Mass on Sunday when he told congregants he objected to a video opposing same-sex marriage that was shown moments earlier.

Chuck Colbert created a brief disturbance when he stood up after the eight-minute video, identified himself as a Catholic and said he objected to the video, said the Rev. Michael Doyle of St. John the Evangelist church.

“We called police to maintain order,” Doyle said. “We had no interest in pressing charges against anyone.” Canton police said they went to the church but made no arrests.

Archdiocese spokesman the Rev. Christopher Coyne said it was appropriate to show the video and said only Colbert objected.

“He’s not even a member of that parish,” he said. “He doesn’t even worship in Canton. He was obviously alerted and decided to disrupt that Mass.”

So, let’s get this straight. Fr. John Unni and St. Cecilia’s think it’s OK to promote a talk on “Gay Marriage” featuring two people as speakers who worked against the Church by promoting “gay marriage.” Chuck to disrupt a Catholic Mass when the truth about Church teachings on marriage was presented and then promote him as a speaker. Then it’s OK for St. Cecilia promote as a speaker, a man who had disrupted a Catholic Mass when the truth about Church teachings on marriage was presented. Then Fr. Unni and St. Cecilia think it’s OK to plan a Mass to celebrate Gay Pride, but  it’s “hate” and bigoted and intolerant for me and other Catholics to say there’s something wrong going on over there with the Gay Pride Mass and merely defend what the Catholic Church teaches on sexual morality?

Who knew?

What’s the Boston archdiocese say about all that?  Spokesman, Terry Donilon, said a week ago that the pastor has “the full confidence and support of the Cardinal and the archdiocese” and “is a great pastor.” I wonder if they’ll still say the same thing tomorrow after having to acknowledge the above.

Tonight the prayer service took place at 6pm.  Latest update in the news: according to this report tonight by WCVB Channel 5, at tonight’s prayer service St. Cecilia’s parishioners said “the Mass honoring Gay Pride” has been been rescheduled to July 11. The archdiocese put out a statement tonight saying, “We respect the desire of those individuals participating in the prayer service.  We know that the postponement of the June 19th mass has been disappointing to them. Our hope and prayer is that we can come together as one community of Catholics sharing in the Lord’s divine love for each of us.”

If that next Mass is still intended to honor Gay Pride, then that next one should be canceled. The Rainbow Ministry should be canceled.  The employment agreement of the diocesan spokesman who said Fr. Unni is “a great pastor” should be canceled. Whoever is responsible for these programs or knew about them and approved them probably needs to be removed.

This isn’t hate.  This isn’t bigotry.  This isn’t intolerance.

This is about obeying God’s commands (Cardinal O’Malley’s words), fidelity to the Word of God, and fidelity to the teachings of the Roman Catholic Church which are intended to help us live a life of virtue and holiness: “The roadmap for a meaningful human life that allows us to draw near to God and to one another.

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This is my second of two posts for today.The first had pictures and commentary of what actually happened during 2011 Boston Gay Pride week.

The Globe has an article today talking about Cardinal Sean O’Malley’s blog post last night with his response to the uproar over the parish’s Rainbow Ministry Gay Pride Mass planned at St. Cecilia’s in Boston and then canceled/postponed and replaced with a prayer service.

Here’s the good part of the Cardinal’s blog post: He repeated the Church’s teachings on two things–both marriage between a man and woman, and sex outside of marriage (which includes homosexual sex).  Here’s the text of part of his 2004 letter on this topic republished on his blog last night:

During the heat of the debate on same-sex marriage in Massachusetts I wrote a letter to explain the Church’s position and would like to share that letter with you again today.

Dear Brothers and Sisters in Christ,

The Church’s efforts to defend the institution of marriage has been interpreted by some as an indication of the Church’s hostility toward homosexual persons. The way that the Supreme Judicial Court of Massachusetts framed the issue is unfavorable to Catholics or others who do not oppose anyone, but rather support an institution which is the cornerstone of society.

Right from the beginning of this controversy I have called on all Catholics to rally behind the cause of marriage. It is encouraging that a number of Catholics who are homosexuals have expressed to me their conviction that marriage between a man and a woman is important for children and therefore for society.

The Church’s position is not based on an animus against people with a homosexual orientation. Each and every member of the Church is called to holiness regardless of their sexual orientation. The Church has often warned against defining people by their sexual orientation in a way that diminishes their humanity.

The extreme individualism of our age is undermining the common good and fractionalizing the community. The Church wishes to call people to unity based on mutual respect and a commitment to the common good. We do not want Catholics who have a homosexual orientation to feel unwelcomed in the Catholic Church. We remind them that they are bound to us by their baptism and are called to live a life of holiness. Many homosexual persons in our Church lead holy lives and make an outstanding contribution to the life of the Church by their service, generosity and the sharing of their spiritual gifts.

We must strive to eradicate prejudices against people with a homosexual orientation. At the same time the Church must minister to all people by challenging them to obey God’s commands, the roadmap for a meaningful human life that allows us to draw near to God and to one another.

In the Gospel when the self-righteous Pharisees bring the adulteress to be stoned, Jesus says let he who is without sin cast the first stone. Then to make sure they got the point Jesus wrote their sins on the ground. The stones fell from their hands and they fled. Jesus said: “Neither do I condemn you”, but He added, “Go and sin no more.”

If we tell people that sex outside of marriage is not a sin, we are deceiving people. If they believe this untruth, a life of virtue becomes all but impossible. Jesus teaches that discipleship implies taking up the cross each day and following Him with love and courage. [my emphasis]

It is never easy to deliver a message that calls people to make sacrifices or to do difficult things. Sometimes people want to punish the messenger. For this reason we priests at times find it difficult to articulate the Church’s teaching on sexual morality. We must never deliver the message in a self-righteous way, but rather with compassion and humility. It is important to express the moral teachings of the Church with clarity and fidelity. The Church must be Church. We must teach the truths of the Gospel in season and out of season. These recent times seem to us like it is “out of season,” but for that very reason it is even more urgent to teach the hard words of the Gospel today.

We know that friends and relatives of homosexual Catholics sometimes feel torn between their allegiance to Christ and their concern for their loved ones. I assure them that these goals are not incompatible. As Catholics we profess a firm belief in the dignity of each person and in the eternal destiny to which God calls us. Calling people to embrace the cross of discipleship, to live the commandments and at the same time assuring them that we love them as brothers and sisters can be difficult. Sometimes we are told: “If you do not accept my behavior, you do not love me.” In reality we must communicate the exact opposite: “Because we love you, we cannot accept your behavior.”

God made us to be happy forever. That true and lasting happiness is accessible only by a path of conversion. Each of us has our own struggles in responding to the call to discipleship and holiness. We are not alone. Christ promised to be with us and has given us His Church and Sacraments to help us on the road.

Devotedly yours in Christ,

Seán P. O’Malley, Archbishop of Boston

Here’s the confusing part of the blog post.  C.J. Doyle of the Catholic Action League said in the Globe article “while O’Malley was correct in writing that bigotry against homosexuals is wrong, the cardinal may give too much credence to the notion that hatred of the gay community is widespread in the Catholic Church.”

I’ve been falsely accused of “hate” by Fr. John Unni and by others commenting on this blog. Terry Donilon of the archdiocese said I was “neither Christian nor civil.” I and others merely complained about a Mass promoted to celebrate and commemorate Gay Pride. The Holy Mass celebrates and commemorates Christ’s sacrifice on Calvary. Then, the archdiocese agreed it would be wrong to have a Mass that looked like it was celebrating Gay Pride (whether it was intentional or not) so it was canceled.

Where’d all the hate come from?  C.J. Doyle said “It needs to be said that much of the bigotry and the malice here is coming from the [pro-gay rights] side. We’re told [by gay activists] that we’re bigots and haters and homophobes.”  As far as I’m concerned, some of the hate has also come from Terry Donilon and Fr. John Unni, who complained about us in his homily last Sunday and in this weekend’s bulletin. (“snarky blogs…cause serious harm…Take a look at any opinionated religious blog, on the right and the left, and you’ll see all manner of terrible name-calling”).

Fr. Unni needs to grow up and accept that he caused this problem himself. He’s allowed speakers in his parish who support “gay marriage” and he put his Catholic parish name and personal name on a Mass sponsored by his parish’s Rainbow Ministry to “celebrate” and “commemorate” Boston Pride. That’s the cause of the problem, not the “hateful” “snarky” blog.  I complained about the Gay Pride Mass and the accompaning Gay Pride agenda, not about the people it was inviting.

Before all the pro-gay rights people start posting comments again about our being hateful, re-read the Cardinal’s message. If you’ve still got an issue with me and this blog for complaining about the Mass and associated agenda, fine, post it. If you’ve got an issue with Catholic Church teachings about marriage and sexual morality or with the archdiocese for putting the “ixnay” on the Gay Pride Mass, then take it to the archbishop and try posting it Cardinal Sean’s blog.

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