To the author(s) of this blog:
You have made many statements and assertions in the text of your blog that call for comment and engagement by the leadership of the Archdiocese of Boston. We are open to entering into serious and sincere discourse with individuals who have the confidence to identify themselves and engage in civil discourse with respect for all individuals involved. Such has not been the case with your blog. We have reached out to you before. I am reaching out to you again. You do not identify yourselves and you regularly engage in disrespectful, discourteous and inaccurate attacks including consistently inappropriate and cruel disparagement of Fr. J. Bryan Hehir. Should you be interested in coming forward for thoughtful and respectful conversation on issues that matter to you, we would be happy to reciprocate such courtesy.
Fr. Richard Erikson
Vicar General and Moderator of the Curia
To wit blogger Joe Sacerdo responded:
Thank you for your comments. Time does not permit a thorough response at this moment, so let me just ask for now if you could let us know any specific points or things we have posted here that you, Fr. Hehir, or the Archdiocese believe are factually incorrect. We do make mistakes occasionally (mostly with spelling), and if there are any factual inaccuracies, they will be immediately corrected. Almost always when we ask this question, it turns out that there was not a factual error, but instead it was a complaint that the actual actions or words of the person described in the blog didn’t look so good presented publicly along with a logical interpretation of those facts. We will respond with a more thorough response separately. Readers, please do feel free to comment with your thoughts as well.
Several readers also responded in the comments section, testifying to what is well-known to grassroots prolifers and Catholics who want faithful doctrine taught in the archdiocese working hands on in the trenches: Since the day of Cardinal O'Malley's arrival in Boston, there has been a zealous effort by thousands of Catholics to engage in courteous and respectful conversation with the Cardinal and his Administration about dissent we want silenced. In seven years, if they were serious, we'd have a report or two that was positive, wouldn't we.
Here are some of the comments from people who have tried that route:
"While I appreciate your trying to initiate a meeting, I have to agree with Catholic Mom that Father Erikson’s sincerity is in question here when he says “we are open to entering into serious and sincere discourse …”
Several of us – and I’d bet many others – have tried repeatedly over the years to contact the cardinal with problems and not even gotten a response to our requests for meetings or for action to be taken on problems.
Now all of a sudden since this blog started they’ve turned over a new leaf? I’m afraid it’s motivated more by a sincere desire to stop the negative publicity."
"As a very active Catholic mother and former employee of the archdiocese (I left because I could no longer live on the salary), I know many people who would be anxious to hear any story where such a person were not taken for a fool or treated like an enemy. You get a patronizing letter from Fr. Kickham but not only will nothing be done about the error, you’ll find whoever you brought to their attention with new gig on BCTV (literally happened with the Concord Pastor). What is frightening is, this is the complete opposite of how errors were handled under Cardinal Law."
"Catholic Mom — don’t give up. I have had the very same experience. When I was younger, I witnessed something very wrong on the part of a priest, and was naive enough to believe that once the authorities understood the facts, all would be taken care of. Ha! I will never, ever, forget reading the eyes of the authority sent to “clean things up” and seeing that it was not the evidence in front of him that he was judging, but the strength and quality of the threat I represented."
That has been the rude awakening for all of us. Sadly, this includes raping children. As far as I am concerned, nothing has changed with this flaw. We see the evidence clearly, that they continue on a path of not righting wrongs but rather seeing whether you will expose them and/or give them argita.
Up until this point in time, the strategy for "outreach" to people who want the perversion of teachings of the Church to be stopped has been to lull them into a state of complacency with flattery and an appointment to some kind of a "committee" to "study" the problem and come up with a solution with a
First, they pretend your ideas are epiphanies the likes of which 2000 years of Christendom has never heard about. You are so important and
Meanwhile, they kill the momentum of something effective by taking a grassroots the effective leader out of their leadership role. They undermine the unity of the apostolate and mission by making character assassinations against other grassroots leaders. You're not one of "those people", you are a person who can sit down and have respectful conversations about things that matter to you. You get lots of flattery and invitations to swanky events. Wow, you're almost a Catholic Saint.
Eventually, like this poor fool, rational people learn their game.
Coakley said yesterday that he persuaded parishioners and students from Tufts University, which abutted Sacred Heart, not to occupy the church to prevent its closing. Instead of becoming a protester, he said, he took the advice of archdiocesan officials to join the pastoral council and work through the system.
"I did the wrong thing," Coakley said in his resignation letter to the Rev. Robert T. Kickham, O'Malley's secretary. "I misled my parishioners and was fooled by you and others that I could somehow help make a difference by serving" on the pastoral council.
"They were very, very effective at wearing us down and making us go away," he said.
Take heart. Here's a comment from BHE that demonstrates the new game in town:
Many of us have been getting dirt under our fingernails living The Faith as revealed through time and the Magisterium for many many years. We have seen liturgical abuse and scandal so frequently we have hardened our resolve.
I and many others don’t need you to “reach out to us.” We need you to do your job and give fraternal correction to your peers rather than show up indignant smelling of clericalism.
Pope Benedict has energized us faithful. We now see order where there was chaos, we see true Charity where there was patronizing nicety, and we see Truth where men like Fr. Hehir toyed with it for political gain for a generation.
Many Catholic observers are now suggesting that a full-on assault on the Church in America is coming soon. I’d suggest that your Pentagon is in Rome, not Braintree.
And your troops? You’ve found them."
Amen to all that.
When you stand up and say, enough is enough - pretty soon people will be joining your side. The public discontent grows and grows. Soon enough, a new revolution is at hands and there is nothing your oppressors can do to stop it.
They better stalk up on the antacids. The gig is up.