Saturday, May 22, 2010

Will The Real Archbishop of Boston Please Stand Up (UPDATED)

Did you get this week's Pilot?

Several articles/editorials dedicated to the St. Paul's kerfuffle and all of them educate the faithful on the problems with Bryan Hehir's thesis on the future of Catholic education. 

It doesn't mention Hehir but it completely contradicts everything Hehir said on WBUR which  contradicted the Cardinal who contradicted the Boston Catholic School Foundation.

Joe Sacerdo (who is on a roll over at BHE!) charts the bizarre and now very public power struggle in the Archdiocese of Boston here.

To cite a few things from the post doesn't do it justice.  Please take the time to read the whole thing.

So where do we sit right now?  In the absence of any correction by the Archdiocese since Hehir’s comments were first aired on Thursday, the Archdiocese is leaving the impression that Hehir’s comments represent the final word on this situation. Given that his trusted senior advisor contradicted the boss a day after the Cardinal’s statement, we do know is that the Cardinal seems incapable or unwilling to stand-up and govern his own leadership team, advisors, and archdiocese at this time.

Who is leading the Archdiocese of Boston today?  Is it Cardinal O’Malley?  Fr. Bryan Hehir?  Jack Connors?  Chancellor James McDonough? As the old TV game-show To Tell the Truth used to say, “Will the real Archbishop of Boston please stand up?

The National Catholic Register has a somewhat balanced story about the confusion over who is in control in the Archdiocese. 

Boston Decision Raises Questions About Catholic Schools’ Response to ‘Alternative Families’

Privately, though, Church administrators acknowledge that their public response sidestepped the key role of pastors in school admissions decisions, and even suggested that the policies of fundraising entities, like the Catholic Schools Foundation, trumped the traditional chain of command.
I give her credit for saying it out loud.  

Let me break out the reasons it's a bit of an understatement.

At the same time, parochial school administrators must continue to deal with budgetary issues that force them to seek support from corporate and community leaders who may not wish to be associated with controversial Catholic practices.

When the Boston story surfaced in the news, superintendent Grassa O’Neill sought to balance the needs of students with the mission of Catholic education. She said that parochial schools “welcome children based on their parents’ understanding that the teachings of the Church are an important component of the curriculum and are part of the students’ educational experience.’’

"welcome children based on their parents' understanding the teachings of the Church are an important part of the curriculum"

Since the Hingham mother said she DID NOT WANT the teachings of the Church to be part of the curriculum and she therefore does not meet Grassa O'Neils own  criteria for "welcome" -

But the woman said she was uncertain she would enroll her son in another Catholic school because she needed to learn more about their educational programs. She added: "I will be a little bit more guarded in my questioning so I'll be able to have a real clear picture where they stand."

  - this is an orchestrated farce to come up with a "policy" to prevent pastors from declining the enrollment of children whose mothers tell them they want the teachings of the Church silenced.

James Flynn, vice chancellor of the Denver Archdiocese and a canon lawyer, said that two canonical principles shaped Archbishop Chaput’s response: “The pastor is the administrator of the parish and, with some exceptions, it is his prerogative to decide these issues. Second, the parents are the child’s primary educators, and the school is their partner.”

“If that partnership isn’t going to work out because the two aren’t aligned on human sexuality, human dignity or doctrinal teachings,” Flynn concluded, “that partnership can’t continue.”
 And, it should not have continued even by Grassa O'Neil's own litmus test - much less use the situation to come up with a policy to beat pastors up with.

The Cardinal's highest ranking Cabinet Secretary, Bryan Hehir, was on National Public Radio explaining any nuance from the Cardinal that he would protect the teachings of the Church for all children was a ruse.  They are going to water the teaching of salvation down to picking a smorgasbord of nice things to do during the day so that when you sleep around outside of the Sacrament of Marriage, you still think you are on the path of salvation.   

As Frawley Desmond points out, the Cardinal wants the eight million dollars Jack Connors is providing for him.  And, as Jack Connors points out, he is 'chagrined' that the Cardinal has shifted the power of what is taught to children in this Archdiocese to him and his donors.

 To repeat the question, "Will the real Archbishop please stand up?"

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