Wednesday, October 7, 2009

Cardinal O'Malley Praises Dissent

On the heels of calling Catholics who publicly opposed a business arrangement that required the diocese to enter into multiple contracts for services to perform moral evils (including abortion contracts), and the elaborate political canonization of Ted Kennedy "people who divide the Church", Cardinal O'Malley's spiritual discernment is back in the news.

Numerous complaints resulted in a CDF investigation of the The Leadership Conference of Women Religious (LCWR) which has been going on since 2000.

While LCWR does not mention the injustice of abortion, among the causes listed as their priorities are immigration, “empowerment of women,” wetlands and water resources, “climate change,” opposition to the death penalty and, “Incorporating the Principles of the Earth Charter.”

The head of the CDF, William Cardinal Levada noted that LCWR leaders had met with his office in Rome in 2001 to address their acceptance of Catholic teaching on the restriction of priestly ordination to men, the nature of the Church, other religions and Christian denominations and “the problem of homosexuality.” Levada said that in the intervening years, “the problems which had motivated its request in 2001 continue to be present.”

Levada cited plenary meetings of LCWR at which speakers regularly oppose Catholic teaching, especially on sexuality. At the group’s 2007 meeting a keynote speaker described the more liberal or “sojourning” religious communities who are leaving behind “institutional religion” and “moving beyond the Church, even beyond Jesus.”

Don't you go looking now for anything on Cardinal O'Malley's blog stating the LCWR is doing a disservice to the Church and dividing the flock.

No, no.

Instead, Cardinal O’Malley, who heads up the USCCB’s Committee on Clergy, Consecrated Life and Vocations publicly disputes the CDF by referring to the credos of the LCWR as "gifts of perserverence, commitment and fidelity". O'Malley, in fact, says he's grateful for all that LCWR has done and continues to do to advance the mission of the Church:

In letter to LCWR, O’Malley said, “The Church is grateful for all that your communities have done and continue to do to advance the mission of the Church, especially in the areas of health care, education, social services and pastoral ministry, as are highlighted in the exhibit.”

Nobody here in Boston on the ground is surprised by the ideology the people the Cardinal is giddy about. Priests promoting promiscuity and dissent among Catholics are appointed, promoted and frequently featured in the Cardinal's programs and educational resources.

One of the most notorious dissenting priests featured on the diocesan media website is "the Concord Pastor", Rev. Austin Fleming who once publicly admitted he left God out of an invocation so as not to offend people.

Rev. Fleming got himself into a bit of hot water this week over a homily he gave on Respect for Life Sunday. Rev. Fleming got out his guitar and sang "GoD and DoG". A local Catholic sent me the feature which Fleming posts about it here with the following note:

He followed by talking about how marriage is between two "Human Beings" and is focused on "Companionship." As someone noted in the comments, the church defines marriage as between a man and a woman, and also involves procreation. This is part of the feel good, focus-on-the priest, dumbing down of the faith that drives much of what passes for spiritual instruction in too many parishes in the Boston area.

For several days, Fleming tries to quell opposition to the latest theological dust up in the comments section.

Today, our Catholic friend sent me the following:

Another FYI:

The Dog/God post has changed. Fr. Fleming inserted a parenthetical "male" and "female" into his homily text on marriage. He explains why in the last comment, #18.

(Briefly: Concord Pastor can't understand why anyone suspected he had an agenda when he said "human beings." And, after three days, he reluctantly acknowledged that procreation does have a role in marriage. But he's angry anonymous people dared use the combox to question him about the parish -- even though everybody on the internet uses a nickname, and he writes about his own parish under a pseudonym. He will not tolerate personal attacks on his blog -- although the one poster who defended traditional marriage got bashed by others -- for days).

Boston Catholic TV features Fleming's blog.

Many of Flemings parishioners who are drawn to his parish to be told their sins are virtues take up a stronghold in his comments section and frequently discuss what Fleming teaches. It's an eye opener. This is Cardinal O'Malley's wing man in the diocese when Bryan Hehir isn't tied to his hip. Last year, another wing man left the priesthood to follow his lover who had a job transfer to New York. It's all hush-hushed but it's true. Anytime the Cardinal needs a priest for a pet project, he selects priests who are notorious dissenters of the teachings of life and human sexuality. The pattern cannot be denied. Priests faithful to the teachings of the Church have been bullied and silenced and are living in fear under O'Malley's regime.

The people of Boston are tired of the excuses that he's under the influence of this one or that one or somehow this is all not his fault.

Perhaps the Cardinal's affirmation of the LCWR perhaps indicates that he's finally going to practice some intellectual honesty in the public square about what he's doing that the Holy See is unable to chart under the radar.

BTW, if you thought Jesus Christ was the only Son of God, Cardinal O'Malley and the ladies of LCWR have some news:

“A sojourning congregation is no longer ecclesiastical,” Dominican Sister Laurie Brink said. “Religious titles, institutional limitations, ecclesiastical authorities no longer fit this congregation, which in most respects is Post-Christian.”

She added, “Jesus is not the only son of God. Salvation is not limited to Christians.”

To wit Cardinal O'Malley concludes his letter to them:

The Church needs your gifts of perseverance, commitment and fidelity, and your unique charism, as guided by the Holy Spirit. Please know that your ministry is greatly valued,” he concluded.


Anonymous said...

Carol, It is a sad situation, isn't it? I remember talking with one pastor about the gross behavior of a particular priest. I said, "Why doesn't somebody speak up? Why don't the good priests complain?" He turned white and said, "Please don't ever use my name. They'll destroy me!" They, I assume, being the powers-that-be in the chancery.
And yet there are points of light. Think of Rev. Paul O'Brien up in Lawrence, of Father Tom's little flock, of the great Hispanic and Ugandan Catholics in Waltham. The Oblates at the Prudential Center are wonderful Marian priests and are terrific in confession. And there are the Charismatics down in Medway at that Marian Center. There are very good seminarians these days, too, thanks to our youngish vocations directors (whose names I forget). We just have to try to out live the '60s retreads, the social justice and peace crowd. Maybe if it wasn't for the priest shortage, there would be more weeding in God's garden.(If I was in charge, I'd do a whole bunch of weeding right now,and the heck with the consequences.)


Anonymous said...

Thanks for posting this, Carol. We need to know about as many of these things as we can.

It's all about connecting the dots: as more dots get printed, it's easier for people to connect them.

Nancy Danielson said...

Why has Cardinal O'Malley not spoken out about the fact that Professor Fitzgibbons has been attacked by Boston College Law School Professors for supporting the Sacrament of Marriage? Isn't the Cardinal on The Family Council?

Anonymous said...

Nancy, I hate to be the bearer of bad news but the Cardinal is not on the same team as Professor Fitzgibbons.

Jeff said...

Thanks, Carol. I'm so tired of these examples of dissenting priests and nuns being allowed to lead people astray. I think Judie Brown of American Life League has a good idea: money talks. She says that she gives to the capitol campaign fund at her parish exclusively because that money stays in the parish. She doesn't contribute to the weekly offerings because the parish has to kick a portion of that money to the diocese. So she still fulfills the obligation of supporting the Church, but doesn't help advance the cause of heretics. Sounds like a good plan.

TheLastCatholicinBoston said...

There is no priest shortage.
There is a virtue shortage.
The Cardinal virtues: Prudence,
Justice, Fortitude and Temperance
only increase through practice.
What we observe around us; Boston Katholic Nice-guyism is not based
on virtue it is based on popularity
and the desire for human respect it is
a vice with truth as its victim.