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Posts Tagged ‘U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops’

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

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

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

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

Reaffirming Catholic Identity

George Weigel
Posted: 1/7/2011

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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As the dust settles on the election of Archbishop Dolan as the USCCB’s new President and the defeat of Bishop Kicanas, since the name of Cardinal Bernardin was resurrected in many of the media reports, we thought we’d just make sure everyone knew the ties that connect Fr. Hehir, the late Cardinal Bernardin, and Bishop Kicanas. 

In the course of writing this, we stumbled across some articles about Bernardin that were, er, rather controversial and disturbing as relates to the advancement of the gay agenda and sub-culture in the Catholic Church by Bernardin. Grab a good strong cup of coffee or tea.  You’ll need it today.

Kicanas Connection to Bernardin

USA Today said about Kicanas:

The expected choice: the Bishop of Tucson Gerald Kicanas, a Chicago-born and trained bishop mentored by the late Cardinal Joseph Bernardin who was known as a voice for social justice in the era when the U.S.Conference of Catholic Bishops wrote major pastoral letters nuclear weapons, the economy and AIDS. In 2008, Kicanas won The Cardinal Bernardin Award for his commitment to finding common ground within the Catholic faith.

Bernardin’s pastoral letter on AIDS  talked about public education campaigns that could give out information about condoms, and it was later modified after objections by Cardinal Law, Cardinal O’Connor, and Cardinal Ratzinger becuase some of its passages went against Church teachings or appeared to condone immoral behavior.

Bernardin was mentioned as the model for a potential Kicanas USCCB presidency very frequently; just do a Google search on kicanas and bernardin and you’ll find 2700 results.

Kicanas Connection to Hehir

Since Kicanas was a protégé of Bernardin’s and Fr. Hehir was close to Bernardin too, it only makes sense that Kicanas would probably have some connection to Fr. Hehir.  Here is Bishop Kicanas speaking at the National Leadership Roundtable, where Fr. Bryan Hehir is on the Board of Directors along with Sr. Carol Keehan of the CHA, whom Hehir praised earlier for her leadership in supporting the abortion-funding ObamaCare.  (We wrote about that in Fr. Bryan Hehir “Wounds Catholic Unity” by Undermining U.S. Bishops on Healthcare).

Like most of the other organizations that Fr. Hehir is a member of, the National Leadership Roundtable is not without controversy:

“Bishops who might welcome the help offered by the Roundtable project in its early phases may later find that those who only wanted to be of assistance have effectively taken over a large part of the decision-making authority traditionally belonging to the episcopal office,” Fr. Richard Neuhaus, an influential New York archdiocesan priest wrote in First Things, the monthly journal he founded. “He who pays the piper, and all that,” wrote Neuhaus.  “An additional concern expressed by lay critics of the Roundtable project is that it would create a small elite of wealthy lay people and progressive activists falsely claiming to represent the millions of lay faithful,” continued Neuhaus. “In response to this concern, it is said that the Boisi group is only taking the initiative in a restructuring of the governance of the Catholic church that will, in its successive phases, expand to include democratically elected representation at every level of the church’s life.”

Practical assistance is just what the Roundtable offered the Tucson, Ariz., diocese, which is undergoing significant management challenges in the wake of bankruptcy proceedings that led to separate incorporation of the church’s 74 parishes.

Hehir Connection to Bernardin

As we told you in “Fr. Hehir and the Seamless Garment,”  Fr. Hehir and the late Cardinal Bernardin were close collaborators and friends.  From the 2001 book, “Religious Leaders and Faith-Based Politics” we hear:

Shortly after the pastoral on war and peace had been issued. and no doubt trying to take advantage of the momentum it bad generated within the hierarchy. Cardinal Bernardin undertook another major initiative intended to broaden the bishops’ pro-life agenda beyond abortion.

As one would expect, in undertaking this initiative Bernardin received the invaluable assistance of Bryan Hehir. Indeed it is fair to say that this initiative was chiefly the product of their long collaboration. After working together over the years, the two men had become close friends.

Bernardin Connection to Gay Agenda and Sub-Culture in the Catholic Church

If what’s documented in these various books and articles is accurate, our calling this Cardinal Bernardin’s “connection to gay agenda and sub-culture” is an understatement already. 

  • From Paul Melanson at Lasalette Journey, excerpting from Paul Likoudis’s “AmChurch Comes Out: The U.S. Bishops, Pedophile Scandals and the Homosexual Agenda”:

If the problem of a homosexual network in the Church is viewed in this larger perspective, one can understand more fully the remarkable role of Joseph Cardinal Bernardin in creating an ‘American Church’ that has become a trusted ally of all those various social, political and cultural forces promoting sexual libertinism…Bernardin, it must be recalled, at least briefly, was sponsored, tutored and promoted by a number of dubious characters, not only his clerical godfather and mentor, Archbishop Paul Hallinan of Atlanta, who served as a bishop in Bernardin’s hometown, Charleston. Bernardin’s other ‘godfather’ was Archbishop (later Cardinal) John Dearden, who would be responsible for the appointment of such notorious pro-homosexual bishops as Detroit Auxiliary Tom Gumbleton, Ken Untener of Saginaw, Joseph Imesch, of Joliet, and Springfield’s Daniel Ryan….His closest friend from his South Carolina days, Monsignor Frederick Hopwood, had been accused of abusing hundreds of boys dating back to the early 1950s, when he and Bernardin shared a residence at the Cathedral of St. John the Baptist in Charleston – where some of the alleged abuse took place….

To do real justice to Cardinal Bernardin and his entourage of clerical homosexuals and pederasts and ancillary hangers-on who made up the Chicago-Washington, D. C. Homosexual/Pederast Axis would require more than one full size book.

That Bernardin’s alleged sexual penchant for young men still remains an open issue even today, ten years after the cardinal’s death, is reflected in the remarks made by writer A. W. Richard Sipe in his keynote address, “View From the Eye of the Storm,” given on February 23, 2003 to the Linkup National Conference in Louisville, Ky.

According to Sipe, years before Bernardin was charged with sexual abuse by Steven Cook in 1993, “several priests who were associates of Bernardin prior to his move to Chicago revealed that they had ‘partied’ together; they talked about their visits to the Josephinum to socialize with seminarians.”

It is a fact that Bernardin’s accuser (Cook) did not ever retract his allegations of abuse by anyone’s account other than Bernardin’s,” said Sipe. He also told the audience that the Chicago Archdiocese’s pay off to Cook before he died of AIDS was in the $3 million range.

The massive reorganization of the old National Catholic Welfare Conference into the super bureaucracy of the NCCB/USCC proved to be an unbelievable boon to the Homosexual Collective within and without of the Church. It accelerated the rate of wholesale infiltration and colonization of dioceses throughout the United States and reached its zenith under the reign of Pope Paul VI.

One of Bishop Bernardin’s closest friends at the NCCB/USCC was fellow homosexual Father James S. Rausch whose background has been thoroughly covered in Chapter 11. In 1970, Bishop Bernardin appointed Father Rausch, Assistant General Secretary of the NCCB/USCC. After Bernardin was made Archbishop of Cincinnati in November 1972, Rausch succeeded him as General Secretary.

Rausch was consecrated an Auxiliary Bishop of St. Cloud, Minn. by Cardinal John Krol of Philadelphia on April 26, 1973. In January 1977, having served out his term of office at the NCCB/USCC, Rausch was made Bishop of the Diocese of Phoenix.

An up and coming prelate to whom Bernardin was especially attached was Auxiliary Bishop John Roach who later became the Archbishop of Saint Paul and Minneapolis. Roach served as President of the NCCB/USCC from 1980 to 1983.

Bernardin and Roach, who some AmChurch observers characterized as “conjoined twins,” dominated political life at the NCCB/USCC for decades, first directly, and later through the clerics they advanced to bishoprics and key positions within the American bishops’ bureaucracy. The two men were frequent traveling companions and cooperated on a number of important NCCB documents including the 1983 Pastoral Letter “The Challenge of Peace: God’s Promise and Our Response” that challenged the morality of nuclear deterrence.

“The Boys Club” Murder

On May 30, 1984, Frank Pellegrini, the organist and choir director for All Saints — St. Anthony of Padua Roman Catholic Church on Chicago’s Southside was found brutally murdered in his apartment. His hands had been tied with barbed wire and he had been stabbed more than 20 times. There was no sign of forced entry. Police officials investigating the case believed that the murder was committed either by a woman or a homosexual.

According to his girlfriend, Pellegrini had had a homosexual relationship with a Chicago priest and was part of a secret clerical “Boys Club” that not only included homosexual assignations, but also ritualistic, occult worship and the sexual abuse of young boys garnered from low income ethnic families in the city. Pellegrini’s girlfriend told the police that Frank had told her that he wanted out of the Club and had scheduled a meeting with Chancery officials on the matter shortly before his death.

Two young private Chicago investigators, Bill Callaghan and Hank Adema, were hired to look into the Pellegrini murder. They were able to confirm the existence of a clerical homosexual/pederast ring operating out of the Archdiocese of Chicago. It appeared that the alleged homosexual ring they had uncovered was the same one mentioned by Father Andrew Greeley in the paperback version of Furthermore! Memories of a Parish Priest written in 1999.

One of the puzzling mysteries surrounding the murder involved Cardinal Bernardin. According to the police who were present at the crime scene, shortly after Pellegrini’s body was discovered, Cardinal Bernardin arrived at the murdered man’s home to quiz the officers about the killing. The cardinal told police that he did not know the murdered man. This raises the obvious question of how he learned of the killing so quickly and of what special interest was Pellegrini to him since he did not know the victim. The Pellegrini case was reopened in the early 1990s, but to date, the crime remains unsolved and Father Greeley remains silent.

Bernardin and the Winona Seminary Scandal

Although the homosexual scandal at Immaculate Heart of Mary Seminary in Winona, Minn. has already been covered in the previous chapter in connection with Bishop Brom of San Diego, it may be helpful to recall the case again briefly as Archbishop Bernardin was implicated in both the scandal and the subsequent payoff, and because it ties into the well-publicized Cook Affair.

As reported earlier, the details of the Winona scandal did not come to public attention until 2002. However, it had its genesis in the 1980s when a small group of homosexual prelates decided to scout out fresh meat from candidates for the priesthood at Immaculate Heart Seminary in the Diocese of Winona.

According to reports based on an investigation by Roman Catholic Faithful, the bishops involved in the sordid affair were alleged to be Joseph Bernardin, John Roach, Robert Brom, and a fourth bishop whose identity is not known. (The Boston Globe briefly mentioned the scandal here)

At least two of the seminarians who were assaulted at Immaculate Heart Seminary took legal action, and it was through them that the existence of the predatory homosexual ring of bishops in Winona came to light.

One of the seminarians indicated that some of the homosexual activities at the seminary were connected to occult and Satanic rituals. He and other seminarians also mentioned that on occasion Archbishop Bernardin arrived at the seminary with a young traveling companion, Steven Cook. Years later, Cook gained worldwide notoriety as the man who accused Cardinal Bernardin of sex abuse in the late 1970s when Bernardin was Archbishop of Cincinnati.

Endnote 26:

Cardinal Bernardin’s “Seamless Garment” later renamed the “Consistent Life Ethic,” like “The Many Faces of AIDS,” is another illustration of how Bernardin helped to advance the agenda of the Homosexual Collective. The Seamless Garment strategy set out by Bernardin in the 1980s sought to broaden the pro-life tent by expanding the movement’s opposition to abortion, euthanasia, population control and school sex instruction to include other “social justice” issues such as war and peace, opposition to the death penalty, welfare reform and civil liberties. One of the immediate effects of the Seamless Garment ethic was the increase of power and financial resources of Social Justice offices at the diocesan level where the Homosexual Collective has always been strongly represented.

Since the Homosexual Collective has been extremely successful at framing the homosexual question in terms of a “civil rights” issue, the Bernardin strategy opened the NCCB/USCC and diocesan Social Justice Departments (and their considerable resources and manpower) to further exploitation by the Collective. At the same time the Collective benefited from the neutering effect the Seamless Garment strategy had on pro-life/pro-family forces within the Church that had become the backbone of public opposition to the political and social agenda of the Homosexual Collective. The Bernardin strategy served to breathe new life into the languishing Democratic Party and its pro-homosexual platform as well as promote the “big tent” inclusive policies of the Republican Party that sought to capitalize and exploit the political talents and financial wealth of the Homosexual Collective in America.

You may remember the name of Joseph Kellenyi. He figured in Michael S. Rose’s book Goodbye, Good Men, and in two of Rose’s articles in the NOR (Dec. 2002 and June 2003). Kellenyi, who was once a seminarian at Mundelein in the Chicago area, makes the following statement about a conversation he had with the Rev. John F. Canary, the Rector of Mundelein Seminary, in August 1999: “I told Rev. Canary that I had some problems with the Chicago Diocese. I told him that I perceived that while Cardinal Bernardin had probably lived a celibate life, and may not have abused Steven Cook, that he also was flamingly gay. I said that I perceived that under Bernardin’s regime, Chicago had become like Santa Rosa under Bishop Ziemann. I said that in Santa Rosa, those priests and seminarians not in the bishop’s gay clique were treated unjustly, and that the same was true of Chicago under Bernardin. I said that I perceived that Bernardin fostered and promoted a network of gay priests and bishops, and that they protected each other, covered up each other’s ‘mistakes,’ and promoted one another to positions of responsibility in Chicago and the church at large. I alluded to the fact that Bernardin had appointed Rev. Canary, and that he in turn had appointed the formation faculty. Rev. Canary’s response was ‘Your perception is accurate. The question is what are you going to do about it.’”

Do we have a smoking gun here? Kellenyi thinks so. In the same issue of AMDG, Kellenyi has an article detailing his story. Says he: “The polygraph results show that I discovered in 1999 that Cardinal Bernardin had fostered a network of gay priests and bishops who were covering up one another’s sexual indiscretions. The rector of Mundelein Seminary confirmed this fact.…Andrew Greeley has insinuated that Bernardin was gay. Will he now come out and simply admit that he knew it all along?”

In Paul Likoudis’s book Amchurch Comes Out: The U.S. Bishops, Pedophile Scandals and the Homosexual Agenda, Likoudis fingers Cardinal Berdanin as the “bishop-maker who…gave the American hierarchy its pronounced pro-gay orientation.…Bernardin acquired power rapidly. As his friends back in Charleston continued buggering little boys, Bernardin used his influence, starting in 1968, as General Secretary of the U.S. Catholic Conference, to select bishops (many of whom are still ordinaries) who would, to put it charitably, condone and promote homosexuality as an acceptable lifestyle and tolerate the sexual abuse of children by priests.”

A telling aside: James Hitchcock reported that “the Windy City Gay Men’s Chorus was asked [by Bernardin, who knew he was dying] to sing at his wake in the Cathedral. The chorus’s director said that they regarded the invitation as a sign of approval by the Church…” (The Catholic World Report, Feb, 1997). Approval indeed! At least by Bernardin. The Gay Chorus performed six songs – in the sanctuary to the right of the altar.

Back to Kellenyi’s article. Says he: “I would urge the reader to search The New York Times archives for an article entitled ‘Can this Man Save the Catholic Church?’ The article is about Wilton Gregory [President of the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops], and in it he describes in detail how Bernardin mentored and handpicked him, grooming him from early on for a leadership position….One can reasonably presume that Bishop Gregory is well aware of the fact that he is where he is today because a gay Cardinal took a special interest in him at a young age. Bishop Gregory has benefited directly from the combination of homosexuality and power in the Church. This alone would explain his waffling over the gay priest problem.”

Well, yes it would. Meanwhile, we wait and wait to see if Rome will intervene and clean up the mess. (We’re not holding our breath.)

[Update: we have removed a link to an article from a source which we just learnd has been discredited.]

Bryan Hehir Exposed thought this would probaby be enough about all these guys for one post. Even beyond the issues of Kicanas’ judgment about seminarian Daniel McCormack documented in this post, since Bernardin was a mentor for Kicanas, and Kicanas was endorsed by the militant “Catholic” GLBT Rainbow Sash organization that disrupts Catholic Masses and thought Kicanas would be open and understanding to their views, we’re pretty pleased that Kicanas was defeated.

Lest we lose sight of the namesake of this blog in the midst of all of the Bernardin material, we remind you that this generally flattering chapter about Fr. Hehir in the book “Religious Leaders and Faith-Based Politics”–whose content drew from interviews with Fr. Hehir and many of his friends and collaborators–said about Hehir and Bernardin, “After working together over the years, the two men had become close friends.” (p. 214)

Hehir and Bernardin were long-time collaborators and close friends.  Hehir is viewed by Cardinal Sean O’Malley as a highly trusted “strategic advisor.”  Need we say more about the questionable judgement of the key people highlighted in this post when it comes to choosing their friends, collaborators, mentors, and advisors?

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Yesterday’s defeat of Bishop Gerald Kicanas is a huge win for those of us who feel the time has come to finish unraveling the late Cardinal Bernadin’s and Fr. Bryan Hehir’s “seamless garment” principles.  This piece from George Neumayr at Catholic World Report said it well:

In the years following Roe v. Wade, the US bishops debated the place of abortion in their agenda. Cardinal John O’Connor of New York argued for giving primacy to the abortion issue, while Cardinal Joseph Bernardin of Chicago wanted abortion integrated into a long and dubious list of “threats to life.” The latter view prevailed in the USCCB, and became known as the “Seamless Garment.” The upset election of New York Archbishop Timothy Dolan to the USCCB presidency over Bishop Gerald Kicanas of Tucson, the media-described Bernardin “protégé,” is a posthumous victory of sorts for O’Connor.

Not that the Bernardin Left is now powerless in the Church in America. It retains plenty of influence in chanceries and Catholic classrooms across the country, not to mention—as evidenced by the close vote between Dolan and Kicanas—the episcopate itself. But the “Seamless Garment” bishops are running out of steam, stopped not only by their overtly political liberalism, which looks painfully passé in the light of the Democratic Party’s crack-up and the nation’s changing mood, but also by the moral fallout of their doctrinal liberalism.

Historians will likely note that what ultimately silenced and discredited the “Seamless Garment” bishops was not this or that silly political stance, but the sex abuse scandal. Before it erupted, bishops like Roger Mahony could command an audience on topics like amnesty; after it, their moral authority seemed shot. People were in no mood to be lectured on “justice” from bishops who hadn’t provided any to children in their own dioceses.

The irony of Bishop Kicanas’ defeat is that the fingerprints of dissenters are on the weapon that felled him: members of SNAP—who normally wouldn’t object to a politically liberal, doctrinally vague candidate like Kicanas—broadcast to the press his complicity in ordaining a priest who went on to molest minors. Kicanas’ explanation of the ordination to Tim Drake of the National Catholic Register managed to unite liberals and conservatives against him: SNAP found his refusal to apologize offensive, while his admission that he knew of the candidate’s homosexual experiences and ordained him anyway left conservatives dismayed.

The media casts Kicanas’ defeat and Dolan’s win as a “traditionalist” victory. But that is overstating it. For one thing, Dolan—though he sees himself walking in the footsteps of John O’Connor—is far from a confrontational conservative. According to the media’s telling, the “moderate” lost and the “conservative” won. But it is more accurate to say that the moderate won and the liberal lost. In reality, the immediate outcome of the USCCB election has to do primarily with the slow unraveling of the “Seamless Garment” and the aftershocks of the abuse scandal. Bernardin’s dream of the USCCB as a Vatican-resistant body of progressive political opinions was simply overtaken by the nightmare of clerical corruption.

Do re-read our “Seamless Garment”  post that documents Bryan Hehir’s influence on Bernadin’s “seamless garment” if you have forgotten it, including some of the comments like this one from David:

His “seamless garment” approach has not contributed anything positive to the political process. Its’ legacy is that politicians who support abortion might invoke it to rationalize their support of the culture of death.  By rejecting the notion that Catholics should adopt a single-issue approach to politics – even when that issue hapens to be abortion – Bernadin effectively undermined the pro-life movement in the United States.

Frankly, Bryan Hehir really has no meaningful job working for the Archdiocese of Boston any more, and we encourage him to take off to Harvard where he can work free from criticism by this blog.  He was originally brought here by Cardinal O’Malley to be Secretary of Social Services, which meant, running Catholic Charities of Boston.  (That’s what his predecessor, Dr. Joseph Doolin did).  Hehir brought in Tiziana Dearing and now he has Debbie Rambo running Catholic Charities, so there is no job there.  The Caritas Christi hospitals that he served as the liaison to have been sold off, so he has no work there either.  For Hehir to be over the pro-life ministries adds no value and in fact is a scandal.

Fr. Hehir, with all of your speaking engagements around the country, think-tank board memberships, contributions to the left-leaning National Leadership Roundtable on Church Management, teaching responsibilities for 3 classes at Harvard, and who knows what else you are doing, why don’t you stop pretending that you are doing work to build the body of Christ for the Archdiocese of Boston, and instead  just head off to Harvard full-time?  With the “seamless garment” unraveling at a national level, now would be a perfect time for you to free yourself from criticism by this blog, keep teaching and doing all the other stuff you do, and keep collecting your six-figure salary and vesting in your Harvard pension as you’re doing anyway.

What would it take for you to leave voluntarily?

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The Boston Catholic Insider blog has launched a Red Alert” campaign asking the U.S. bishops who meet in Baltimore this weekend to NOT elect the lead candidate for the new national leader (current USCCB Vice President Bishop Gerald Kicanas, since he is known to have enabled a priest convicted of child sexual abuse who is now defrocked and jailed.

Boston Catholic Insider asked us for help with quickly staging their campaign, so we shared the approach and Web technology we used in the past.  Here is their blog post. 

In short, the lead candidate, Bishop Gerald Kicanas of Tuscon, was rector of a seminary in the 1990′s where he approved ordaining a seminarian even after receiving 3 allegations of sexual improprieties, including abuse of a minor.  After that ordained priest went on to abuse as many as 23 boys and was jailed and defrocked, in 2007 Bishop Kicanas looked back in hindsight and was quoted in the Chicago Sun Times as saying “It would have been grossly unfair not to have ordained him…There was a sense that his activity was part of the developmental process…I was more concerned about his drinking.”

Here is the letter they have posted at the website www.usccbelection.com

Your Excellency,

I am writing to respectfully ask that you vote for a candidate other than Bishop Gerald Kicanas for the new president of the USCCB.

Many bishops may not be aware that Bishop Kicanas was rector of Mundelein Seminary in 1992 when he approved ordaining a seminarian, Daniel McCormack, despite knowing about three cases of homosexual “sexual improprieties” including one with a minor. Fr. McCormack went on to abuse 23 children and was defrocked and jailed.

After McCormack’s history of child sexual abuse was known, in 2007 Bishop Kicanas was quoted in the Chicago Sun Times saying, “It would have been grossly unfair not to have ordained him. There was a sense that his activity was part of the developmental process and that he had learned from the experience. I was more concerned about his drinking. We sent him to counseling for that.”

In view of this information, I feel his comments and actions represent a moral, spiritual and pastoral disaster for souls under his care, people affected by sexual abuse, and the whole Catholic Church. Beyond that grave scandal, electing Bishop Kicanas as USCCB president would also seriously harm the credibility and fund-raising ability of the U.S. bishops and Catholic Church.

I respectfully request that you vote for as president a candidate who will be first and foremost a shepherd of souls in imitation of Christ, and that Bishop Kicanas also voluntarily withdraw his name from consideration.

Yours in Christ

According to this article, Bishop Kicanas was aware that McCormack abused 23 children–including the homosexual rape of a boy who he ordered to undress, take a shower and then bend over–and his observation in 2007 when he looked back retrospectively was that this was “part of the developmental process”!    This is scandalous!  If this is the judgment of Bishop Kicanas in 2007, five years into the sexual abuse crisis, then he should not be in charge of even a diocese, or a parish, let alone president of the U.S. Bishops Conference.

If you’ve been reading this blog, you know what you have to do.  Click on the graphic to the right to get to the campaign web page, fill in the blanks with your name and contact information, click “send the letter,” confirm your information is correct, and then click submit.  It will take less than one minute.  For more information, see this Boston Catholic Insider post from yesterday or today.

Boston Catholic Insider urges you to also please forward this to friends and relatives, and also contact your local bishop and leave a message saying you want them to NOT vote for Bishop Kicanas. If  you do not know how to reach your local diocese, click here for a map and contact info.

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Yesterday the Massachusetts Bishops announced
members of the search committee to select the new Exec. Director of the Mass Catholic Conference.  They’re looking to replace the previous head, Ed Saunders, who passed away due to cancer–and who had been hired under a search process led by and rigged by Fr. Bryan Hehir (see Fr. Hehir and the Muting of the Church’s Public Policy Voice).  You would think that with all of the blogging underway lately and the controversy over how Fr. Hehir picked Saunders, they’d be a bit more careful this time around.  Nope.  It’s so bad that we are converting our FedUp campaign today to tell the Holy See how the Massachusetts Bishops are flubbing this one already.  One reader already said to us, “The Massachusetts Bishops need basic instruction in how to do a Google search.”  We agree.

The search for the leader of the public policy voice of the Mass Catholic Bishops  is being led by Bishop Coleman of the Fall River Diocese.  But the search committee announced yesterday includes Sr. Annette McDermott, SSJ from the Diocese of Springfield; James Brett, President and CEO of the New England Council; Rev. Michael K. McManus, Chancellor of the  Diocese of Fall River and Msgr. Thomas Sullivan, Chancellor of the Diocese of Worcester.  Bryan Hehir Exposed has no comment on the two priests.  But Sr. McDermott and James Brett spell trouble, and suggest the fingerprints of Fr. Hehir are all over this one once again. See Tenth Crusade (formerly ThrowtheBumsOutin2010 for Carol McKinley’s perspective on this).

Here’s what we learned about Sr. McDermott within 1 minute of getting the news.  She was a member of the left-wing George-Soros-funded Catholic Alliance for the Common GoodCatholicCulture.org describes Catholic Alliance for the Common Good as follows:

Voting for the Common Good: A Practical Guide for Conscientious Catholics published by Catholics in Alliance for the Common Good — which is led by former advisors to Senators John Kerry and Hillary Clinton — is nothing other than a well-funded attempt to try to persuade Catholics that it is morally acceptable to continue to vote for the “personally opposed” pro-choice candidates who have swindled them in the past.

As the Catholic Key Blog (from the staff of the Diocese of Kansas City newspaper) summarized it in 2008,  their purpose was convincing Catholics it was OK to vote for pro-choice Democrats.  They describe how Cardinal George slammed the “fraud” of CACG’s  “common good” approach and banned their materials from parishes.  (Here’s a link to Cardinal George’s letter, critical of their approach, without naming names).  After the 2008 campaign, it came out that CACG was actually an instrument of the Obama presidential campaign, and that the board chair of CACG personally raised $350,000 for the Obama Campaign.  If you are not already FedUp with the prospect that Sr. Annette, a member of CACG, is on the search committee to select the new head of the Mass Catholic Conference, hold onto your seat.  There’s more.

As if Sr. McDermott’s membership in Catholic Alliance for the Common Good wasn’t bad enough, she is also listed as a consultant to the Catholic Campaign for Human Development in this 2006 newsletter.  Those are the guys that funded ACORN for years, and you can either check out our post on them, or just do a Google search of “Catholic Campaign for Human Development” and ACORN and you’ll find articles like these:

     US Bishops Anti-Poverty Arm Defunds Accused Group (March 25, 2010)

     CCHD Pushes Pro-Abort Groups in Lent Stations of the Cross (March 2010)

     Green Bay bishop questions Catholic charities (March 2010)

     Time to Start Answering Questions about Catholic Campaign for Human Development (Feb. 2010)

     More Proof the Catholic Campaign for Human Development Should Be Eliminated (Sept 2009)

    The Bigger Scandal: Catholic Church Funding of ACORN (Sept 2009)

     Catholic Campaign for Human Development and ACORN – Rotten to the Core (Oct 2008)

 This combination of items in Sr. Annette’s background should not only have disqualified her from the search committee, but is grounds for her being removed from the board of the Mass Catholic Conference.  Fed up yet?  There’s more.

Let’s look at James Brett.  Carol McKinley over at Tenth Crusade (formerly throwtheBumsOutin2010) weighed in on him and the whole situation saying:

Boston appointed James Brett, President & CEO of The New England Council.  In 2009, James Brett’s New England Council presented “New Englander of the Year” Awards to some folks whose names might ring a bell to readers of Boston Catholic Insider and Bryan Hehir Exposed:  John Kerry of Massachusetts, Jack Connors, Jr., Founding partner and Chairman emeritus of Hill Holliday and John Fish, CEO of Suffolk Construction Company.

The former President and CEO of The New England Council is also Bryan Hehir’s friend and former member of Catholic Charities,  Peter Meade.    Peter resigned Catholic Charities to ‘protest’ the Bishops asking for a religious exemption so that Catholics could continue in the adoption business without disobeying our faith.  Coincidently, James Brett is also a Catholic Charities colleague of Bryan Hehir’s.

These two people must be removed from the search committee for the new Executive Director of the Mass Catholic Conference, and whomever nominated them from each diocese should be removed from their position as well. 

We are working to updated our FedUp campaign petition, but that will take another day, so we are asking all readers to drop a dime today to Bishop George Coleman’s office in Fall River at 508-675-1311 and let him know you think his committee needs to immediately lose Sr. McDermott and Mr. Brett.  You can also try sending email to their Director of Communications, John Kearns (jkearns@fallriverdiocese.org), but we suggest you make the call to Bishop Coleman’s office ASAP.  Check back later today for our updated FedUp campaign.

ps. Beyond the Catholic Conference search, we got an anonymous tip last evening that the Jack Connors’ hand-picked choice for Secretary of Development, Kathleen Driscoll, may have been settled on.  If so, we have a huge crisis on our hands beyond MCC, but we’re just focusing on MCC for now until we learn more).

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Before we continue discussing Fr. Bryan Hehir’s “substantive contributions” to the U.S. bishops’ 1976 Bicentennial “Liberty and Justice for All” program and notorious “Call to Action” Conference, we’d like to share this contribution from a reader for your amusement.  He said the picture to the right should be titled, “The Pope Learns about Fr. Bryan Hehir.”

OK, now back to serious stuff.  In our last post we gave some fairly heavy food for thought about Marxism and flawed theology in the discussion book that Fr. Hehir played a key role creating for the U.S. bishops when he was Director of the U.S.C.C’s Division of Justice and Peace.  That discussion program was rolled out across the country as a tool for Catholics to prepare for the U.S. bicentennial in 1776 and provide input back to the U.S. bishops.  Rather than get you bogged down with heavy theology this time, we thought we would just give you a few selected excerpts of the high-level theological, moral, and social drivel you will find in the discussion book.

Note, the first name recognized in the Acknowledgments on page 7 is Fr. Bryan Hehir. “The substantive contribution of Fr. J. Bryan Hehir, Director of the USCC Division of Justice and Peace deserves particular thanks.”  That means he played a significant role in the program.

In the Liberty and Justice for All Introduction by Fr. Hehir (p. 7), he writes

work to transform the world toward a more just Society” has “a place of equal standing with the preaching of the Gospel and the celebration of the sacraments in the Church.”

That’s simply wrong.  The theology is so bad, it is almost painful.

Hehir writes:

Pope Paul VI in his letter, A Call to Action recognized the limitations of social teaching taken by itself.”

He got the name of the apostolic letter wrong–“A Call to Action” was merely the name of the 4th chapter in Pope Paul’s apostolic letter “Octogesima Adveniens, on the eightieth  anniversary of Rerum Novarum

Hehir writes:

The process of forming a community with a conscience is not accomplished by a “top-down”approach to the complex issues which make up the agenda of the bicentennial observance program. While initiative and leadership on the part of the Episcopal magisterium are essential and imperative, the equallyessential role of dialogue between the bishops and the wider Catholic community must be given its necessaryscope and weight.”

So, in forming conscience, dialogue between the bishops and the people is of equal importance to the Episcopal magisterium?!  That is flat out wrong.


Then we get into Part 2, Discussion Series. It was authored by Dr. Dale Olen and Sr. Francis Borgia Rothleubber, O.S.F., but remember, Fr. Hehir made “substantive contributions” to the whole program and he authored the Introduction to the whole guide, which means he would have approved of the entire contents.

They say:

As we know the United States is considered a democratic government and a capitalist economic structure; the Soviet Union is considered a totalitarian state and a socialist economic structure; Chile before the coup in 1973 was considered a democratic government and a socialist economic structure. Assuming that all of these concrete systems as lived out have strengths and weaknesses.

  • What kind of political and economic theories do you feel fit best the principle of liberty and justice for all?
  • Why?

Oh, so Fr. Hehir and his collaborators consider democracy to be on par with a socialist economic structure?

They write:

Every year about 200 billion dollars are spent on military weapons by nations around the world. Most evenings we view nations fighting against nation on television.  Would you yourself support a violent revolution to attain a higher level of freedom or social justice?

  • In light of this discussion, what specific issues would you like the 1976 Bicentennial Conference to consider?

Naturally, I’d like the U.S. Bishops’s Bicentennial Conference and  the Catholic Church to support a violent revolution  to bring about more freedom.  Wouldn’t you  have answered  that way?

They write:

The Catholic Church has spoken out strongly on many concerns, abortion to name one. The Church has even imposed the sanction of excommunication for those participating in an abortion.

  • Do you feel the Church should speak and act as strongly in opposing prejudice and discrimination against ethnic and racial groups?
  • What would be your feelings and response if the Church excommunicated people for their expressed prejudicial and discriminatory actions?

So the authors are using the questions to suggest that prejudice and discrimination against ethnic and racial groups are on equal footing with taking the lives of the unborn.

They write:

Imagine that the term “woman” is the generic term for humanity. Imagine that “man” is obviously included when mention is made of “women.” When we use the word “women” in this imaginary scene we often mean men also. Imagine that everything you have ever read and heard all your life uses female pronouns — she, her — meaning both women and men. You have no men senators in Washington. Women are the leaders of the nation and of its institutions. The man’s place is in the home and the woman’s place is to be the bread winner, provider and protector of the family.

  • How do you feel about this imaginary scene?
  • Do you think the language we use in relation to women and men makes any difference. If so, how?
  • How have traditional roles promoted personal growth for men and women?
  • How have those roles blocked that growth?

I’m imagining it now. Even at the time when the Equal Rights Amendment was a hot topic, it is astonishing that Fr. Hehir and the U.S. bishops would publish this.

They write:

In the last seven years two issues have dominated our thinking about the respect for life movement.They are the Vietnam War and abortion. Many people have supported or opposed both.

  • What are the similarities between these two issues? What are the differences?
  • Are there other issues besides Vietnam and abortion that should be considered part of respect for life? What are they?
  • They were already thinking about “seamless garment” back in 1976.

    They write:

    Given the high cost of health-care today, many people cannot receive the kind of health attention they need.

  • Do you believe that health-care is a right that can be demanded or a service that should be paid for?
  • Education is a right Americans have. For much of it the government pays. Is health as much a right as education? Should the government pay for health as it does for education?
  • Socialized healthcare.  How prophetic.  Now we have Obama-care with federal funds for abortion, backed by the Catholic Health Association whose leadership Fr. Hehir recently praised for their efforts.

    The document was “intended to help the leadership of the Church to listen to the voices of people expressing their ideas about freedom and justice in American life, and to plan an effective response to those voices.”

    Good Lord.  If Bryan Hehir’s document really served that purpose, one can only imagine what kinds of voices would have been listened to?   Actually, those voices were heard in their national input sessions, and they came through loudly and clearly at the 1976 Call to Action Conference asking for 1) Divorced, remarried couples to receive Holy Communion while still living in adulterous unions. 2) Ordained women priests and bishops. 3) Women given the power to preach the Gospel with authority. 4) A reversal on the doctrine of artificial birth control. 5) A mitigation of the doctrine on abortion. 6) A teaching approving Marxism, Socialism and pacifism as doctrinally true and morally good practice. 7) A denial of the right to property and to reasonable profit. 8) The creation of a new Church, democratic, non-hierarchical in structure, a classless church.

    Frankly, many of these themes and voices are still coming through today from Fr. Hehir, as we have documented on this blog. We understand there is a meeting of the Archdiocesan Pastoral Council this coming week with Cardinal O’Malley.  Maybe a few members should print this out, hand it to Cardinal O’Malley and ask him why the person responsible for publishing the drivel above is still his Secretary for Healthcare and Social Services and “highly trusted advisor.”  What more would the Cardinal need to see about Fr. Hehir in order to relieve him of his archdiocesan responsibilities and let him just work full-time at Harvard with the other intellectual elites there?

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