Thursday, May 20, 2010

Cardinal O'Malley Says Too Much and Not Enough All at the Same Time

I was out having dinner with a substantial donor of the Archdiocese when my phone got very busy.

The Cardinal made a statement about the Catholic education controversy a few days sooner than we expected.

We still have a great deal of work to do on this to head off a disaster in Catholic education but there is an indication that our hard work educating the grassroots, national and international Catholics is paying off.

The long and the short of it is, he's seeking his advice about educational policies from the Presbyteral and Archdiocescan Councils.    I'm about as comforted by that as seeking advice about the Liturgy from the Paulist Center.

He starts out with a lovely story about a Memorial Mass he celebrated for a local "madame" in the West Indies.  The woman was murdered by her lover. 

At the Mass I met the woman’s daughter, a lovely little girl. I asked her what grade she was in. She replied that she didn’t go to school. I sent a stern glance to her grandmother, who said: “Her name is the same as that of the brothel. The other children were so cruel to her, she left the public school.” I told her grandmother, “Take her to the Catholic school tomorrow.”
It's a very nice story but it's a little short onthe circumstances we have going down.

Here's how to make the story work to fit the scene of crime at St. Paul's:

The grandmother shows up the next day, sits with the pastor and asks what her grandson will be taught about the family business of prostitution.

When they tell her, she says she doesn't want those teachings taught in a school where her grandson is enrolled because it's discrimination.    The grandmother gets upset, angry about the teachings of the Church on prostitution until it becomes clear to the pastor that the grandmother is going to make it difficult for the other 600 other children in the school to hear the teachings of the Church so her child can carry on in life believing prostituting yourself is not an obstacle to your salvation.

Nana wants to run the family business at home without being morally challenged by anyone in the community.

I'm afraid the Cardinal's parable falls a little short.

The two lesbian moms said they were not hiding, they were right up front about the structure of their family and their son was admitted.  

In a meeting with Fr. Rafferty, it becomes clear the mother considers the teachings of the Catholic Church discrimination and her expectations were not compatible with teaching doctrine to all the other children.

Catholic parents pay tuition and send their child to Catholic School so their consciences to be formed to know right from wrong so that they can make the right choices for their own salvation.  That is the whole purpose.

Therefore Fr. Rafferty declined the lesbian mother's invitation to repress the teachings of the Church.

You see, the "category of people" we are talking about is people who express demands to have the teachings of the Church repressed.

There's no need to assemble a committee.   Here's your answer:   We do indeed exclude "the category of people" who demand the teachings of the Church be repressed.

I have deep concerns about this statement:

I believe all would agree that the good of the child must always be our primary concern.
 The primary concern is not the good of one child whose mother does not want the teachings of the Church distributed.  

Our primary concern is our freedom to teach our children their faith.  That's the mission statement of a Catholic school.

The Cardinal does mention that Bishop Chaput's well-written policy and pastoral guidance should be given serious consideration in Boston's "new policy".

Here are the reasons why I think we have to keep on lobbying.

We've just had a trial run.

Even when gay parents made crystal clear to a pastor they expect the moral teachings of the Church be excluded from the curriculum - the Archdiocese took the following actions:

They lied about what transpired by proclaiming this situation as a parent who wanted her son taught the moral teachings of the Church on human sexuality.

They compounded that lie by characterizing the pastor and principal as bigots.

They threatened to cut off grants to the children of the poor in every school who does not admit a child under these circumstances and said these actions are based upon donors' wishes.

Jack Connors runs to the press saying he is chagrined by the "shift in power" on who is in control of the Archdiocese.

Therefore, we don't have to wonder what will happen when priests and principles meet with a parent who demand the teachings of the Church be repressed.

In these circumstances, the Archdiocese will choose repression.

Personally, I am appalled the Cardinal qualified the actions of the people he has "shifted power" to as "respectful of all the people in the matter" and "showed leadership".

I'm here to remind you that  we are talking about lying about what happened and circulating a letter  saying what Fr. Rafferty did was "disturbing" and it will not be tolerated by the donors. 

From these circumstances, we have Fr. James Martin, among others, spewing off malicious editorials.

I can't find the link at this moment - but we also had an opinion published in the Boston Globe which compared Fr. Rafferty to a pedophile who must be removed.

This is respectful leadership with the "heart of Christ"?

Look, here's the major problem we are dealing with here in Boston:

Going forward, we will be consulting on these issues with a wide-range of people including the Presbyteral Council and Archdiocesan Pastoral Council. We will work to develop policies and procedures to guide our faithfully carrying on the mission of our Catholic Schools to serve children and to do so with the heart of Christ.

Since many who are on these councils are known dissenters on the teachings of the Church, why would you run that direction to come up with consensus?

There is a Roman Catholic Church sitting in Rome that is there for this exact purpose.

This Cardinal gets his doctrine by rounding up consensus from the people.

This is the antithesis of the Roman Catholic Church.

We have a small window of opportunity to preserve the deposit of faith for our children and grandchildren.

We have much work to do in these next few days and weeks.


Anonymous said...

Yes Carol.

Cardinal O'Malley writes:
"...the essence of what we are looking at is the question of how do we make Catholic schools available to children who come from diverse, often unconventional households, while ensuring the moral theology and teachings of the Church are not compromised."

The essence of what is happening is that the teaching of the Church is already compromised when the priority -- even shown in his sentence construction -- is diversity and unconventionality, rather than the truth. ("Unconventional" of course evokes the unquestioned oppression of "convention.")

I do appreciate that this may seem to many to be yet another "complex pastoral matter" in the bulging dossier of tests for freedom of religion in this country; but it seems to me the question for a Cardinal to put forth is not "how to make available... while ensuring no compromise"; but rather, what is Catholic education? That question is answered simply: teach the faith of the Catholic Church. Teach it first, teach it clearly, teach it to the parents and to the children and to the donors; stand on the shoulders of Catholic tradition, not on the shoulders of special committees and consultants.

Catholic teaching is actually pretty impressive on these issues:

"Moral conscience requires that, in every occasion, Christians give witness to the whole moral truth, which is contradicted both by approval of homosexual acts and unjust discrimination against homosexual persons."



But we wish to make it clear that departure from the Church's teaching, or silence about it, in an effort to provide pastoral care is neither caring nor pastoral. Only what is true can ultimately be pastoral. The neglect of the Church's position prevents homosexual men and women from receiving the care they need and deserve.



Anonymous said...

His Emienence's statement is deliberately and completely obfuscatorial (i.e., "smoke and mirrors") and thus utterly useless.

Anonymous said...

There are certainly parishes in the archdiocese in which openly gay couples have enrolled their children in religious education without any issues or concerns being raised. I fear that children who are in First Communion or Confirmation classes with these children of same-sex marriages definitely get the wrong impression of Catholic family life from teachers and pastors eager to promote diversity.


Ben said...

The women were not "up front" about their relationship. They wrote their initials and last names on the school admission form, which called for the names of "Father" and "Mother." It was not until the "Mother" one was in a meeting with Father Rafferty that the relationship became known. Then, amazingly, the national press descended. I think it was a set-up.

Tim said...


It's disheartening to watch pastors abandon salvation.

What made Reardon and Grassa's reaction to despicable was the knowledge that Fr. Rafferty was attending to the salvation of the mother.

The distortion are the byproducts of a sick and twisted administration.

Anonymous said...

Perhaps the very point of all of this is to get you accustomed to it, wear you down, and desensitize you to it.

Jerry said...

I hope you had a nice dinner with that "substantial donor" of the Archdiocese. Did you get a chance to discuss continuing support?

I stopped giving about 18 years ago when I observed Cd. Law's support for classroom sex-ed. If that's not enough for some, then how about Cd. Sean's abortion co-op at Caritas?

There are plenty of Catholic operations to support. No one is obligated to keep this travesty afloat.

Jerry said...

Oh, and another thing, my wife and I are agreed that, given a choice between any diocesan school in the US and a government school, we'd put the kids in a gov't school. They can understand that the gov't lies to them, but not priests and bishops. When they see you fighting with a priest over doctrine, they'll simply take the third option. And Cardinal Destroyer wins just the same.

Maria said...

Thursday 5/20/10--Carol--Have you checked out Fr. Martin's latest at America on O'Malley. Your input is needed. Hope all is well...