Saturday, May 28, 2011

Boston Globe Article on Retaliation Against Daughters of St. Paul

Another article ran in the Globe yesterday on the retaliation taken against the Daughters of St. Paul for airing the dirty laundry, corruption and misfeasance at the Archdiocese of Boston.

The Archdiocese wants to sweep it all under the carpet, but we are at a critical moment in time where it is important to keep the proper focus on what has transpired.

The successor to Sister Margaret Timothy Sato arrived at the Daughters’ provincial headquarters in Jamaica Plain shortly after the order’s superior general, Sister M. Antonieta Bruscato, flew to Boston from Rome and met with O’Malley in the rectory of the Cathedral of the Holy Cross in the South End.

In that meeting, the cardinal and Bruscato expressed dismay that the Daughters’ US province had taken the extraordinary step of suing O’Malley and other trustees of a church-run pension fund in court rather than resolving their differences in a more amicable way, according to a source with knowledge of the situation who was not authorized to speak about the conversation.

The Daughters of St. Paul most certainly did attempt to resolve their differences in a more amicable way for over four years. During that time, the Cardinal Archbishop's Administration and the Cardinal himself refused to give money back to the people to whom it belonged.

During the four years of the Daughter's asking the Archdiocese in amicable ways to hand over the money that does not belong to them, to their misfortune, the ineptitude, mismanagement, omissions, commissions, lying, arrogance, abuse of power, intimidation tactics, character assassinations and other frightening ethical problems each of us doing business with the Archdiocese has experienced, revealed itself.

The Cardinal did not have to call the mother superior at all. All he had to do in the five years of negotiating giving the money back to the people to whom it belongs was give it to them, along with the audits that account for the amount they hand over.

The Cardinal called the Mother General. She rushed over and met with the Cardinal at the Cathedral of the Holy Cross whereupon she immediately went to Jamaica Plain and removed the leadership.

Terry Donilon's quote in the article that 'we' don't retaliate is ludicrous. Moreoever, since when is the spokesperson for a Cardinal Archbishop included as the part of 'we' in the power structure of the Cathedra?

Our wise friend Jerry posted the following comment on another thread:

Carol, you know I'm not a fan of Cardinal Sean's. His withholding money from and his lack of transparency toward the Daughters is deplorable. Regarding the DSP's lawsuit, though, I think the cardinal has the better part of the confrontation. The Daughters exist in the archdiocese only with the permission of the cardinal, and must be obedient to him. Going outside the Church to sue him is over the top except in a very grave situation. Accordingly, the decision to sue should be approved by the superior of the order, and with consultation of highly regarded canon lawyers. That their superior had heads rolling indicates that the local sisters didn't contact her. That was a mistake.

I must wholeheartedly disagree. Here's the reason why.

For some time now, Chancery cronies have been mischaracterizing 'obedience' to include silence and cover up of their misdeeds, abuse of people including children, corruption and criminal activity. We all, including religious orders get called to the carpet to accept their mischaracterizations.

This has to come to an end.

It's not about loss of money, reputation, leadership position but because the disordered dynamic that covered up the rapes of children is more entrenched than it ever has been. Here in Boston, we experienced it when it even involved setting up an abortion business to enrich themselves.

Think about this for a minute. They will deploy these tactics even when it comes to murdering children to enrich themselves.

The "Dallas Charter" is a joke.

Nobody - no priests, lay person, nun or their superior general - or any other Catholic should rush in at the hour of exposition to help the Cardinal silence, penalize, retaliate and make an example in the public square of what happens to you when you expose it.

It is a serious flaw and in fact an obstacle for some people who feel called to vocations because they have made vocations a vow to cover up their corruption and retaliate and remove people who won't play along.

This can't be part of vocations. If and when you find unjust deeds and you exhaust good faith efforts to resolve it - four years is plenty - and you come across the dynamic we all know is operating under the Cardinal's nose - how do you accept your money and walk away knowing they will deploy it against others?

What just person could do this to others?

The hard way or the easy way, the end of this matrix of abuse of power is nigh.

This is just not good enough for Christ.


Jerry said...

Wow. I made a comment that bared repeating in a post!

To sue or not to sue: would it have been a sin not to sue? I don't think so. It wouldn't be cooperation by silence, because they were doing a lot to rectify the situation. My unknown is whether they cleared the lawsuit with the superior of the order. I suspect not. That is a serious omission.

Had they been denied by their superior, then they'd have two choices. Either keep working within their bounds, or leave the order. Neither of those choices would be sinful, to my mind, but going against their superior would be.

This situation brings to mind the actions of Archbishop Lefebvre in consecrating bishops against the will of the pope. As I run in "rad trad" circles, I know lots of folks who defend Lefebvre. I've been studying it for 20 years now, and I still can't see it. While the magnitude of Lefebvre's action is well beyond the Daughters', there is a similar issue, namely, that those under obedience have limited options. Once you've gone to the top and haven't received satisfaction, then you accept that or leave the order. Or in Lefebvre's case, leave the Church.

The sisters are lucky that O'Malley didn't throw them out of the archdiocese. Not that he'd be justified. His telling mother superior on them was a bit heavy handed given that he's in the wrong. But he could have done worse.

Joseph D'Hippolito said...

Carol, it's a pity that such "orhtodox," "Catholic" publications, such as the National "Catholic" Register, don't bother with the kind of muckraking that you and the Globe do. From my experiences as a Catholic who becomes more disenchanted by the hour, "obedience" to Church authorities is nothing but a synonym for fawning obsequiousness in which one has to renounce any sort of legitimate self-respect.

This is a fundamental problem w/in Catholicism. It's day-to-day structure is based too much on an outmoded model that encourages monarchistic pretentions for the prelates and class privledge for them and the priests. This is why, I believe, Rome will not touch this situation, sadly, since its own secular interests aren't immediately threatened (unlike the clerical sex-abuse crisis blowing up in Europe last year).

Nevertheless, Catholics must fight for what is moral, ethical and true...even (and especially) if the self-proclaimed "orthodox" ignore them. Those posers already have their reward, as Christ would have said (and, believe me, that ain't gonna be pretty).

Joseph D'Hippolito said...

Jerry, let me say one other thing.

O'Malley's actions would be very much approved in Scientology. They should not be approved in a church that claims to represent "the fullness of the Gospel." Neither Jesus nor Peter would have behaved in that way.

Can we trade O'Malley to the Scientologists for Katie Holmes?

Joseph D'Hippolito said...

One more point:

If the Daughters of St. Paul could not find resolution under canon law, they had every right to use the American court system to try to redress this grievance. That's another fundamental problem w/in Catholicism: no effective means of redressing legitimate grievances.

Then again, if you're one of the bigwigs operating under an ecclesiastical model that encourages monarchistic pretentions and class privledge, why would you ever want to make changes?

The church is a church for the prelates, not for the laity or lower clergy.

Carol McKinley said...

Jerry, you say many things worthy of repeating in a post!

I highly value your honesty and perspective. It's important to me because I have to keep on my toes to not falling into a state of losing my objectivity.

Your comments about LeFebvre are thought-provoking. I can't say I'm there yet though because the LeFebvre clearly drove the car off the cliff. In matters of faith and morals, so long as what they ask me to do is affirmed in the deposit of faith, we are to be obedient, no matter how flawed or even criminal a priest, Bishop is.

It would be one thing if this Cardinal Archbishop called up priests and nuns who are teaching error, shacking up with their lovers or worse, simulating sacraments by using invalid matter.

He doesn't. The only time we see him fly into action over 'obedience' and scandal is when somebody who is reporting some kind of abuse has exhausted good will and run into nothing but corruption and intimidation, slander and threats to seek justice outside of their kangaroo forums.

They are abusing their powers to intimidate righteous people. It would seem to me now is the time has come to start incorporating common sense rules about 'obedience'. When a Bishop uses that word to retaliate against somebody who exposed the corruption under his nose, we need to stand up and say 'enough'. Enough is enough. And four years of asking them to give you back your money and meeting nothing but the corruption -- that is definitely enough.

I don't see Cardinal O'Malley as a corrupt man - though he is a promoter of theological errors and those who teach them. He is a weak and paralyzed man in over his head and the people who are corrupt are taking advantage of the situation. The only time he seems to get lively is when his own backside is over the fire.

We've got a major problem here in our duty to pass on the Deposit of Faith intact to our children and the heirs.

That the mother superior would fly over here on his command and penalize righteous people under these circumstances here in Boston is outrageous.