Sunday, June 12, 2011

Father John Unni has the full confidence and support of Cardinal O'Malley and the Archdiocese of Boston

The Boston Globe reported yesterday that, "Opposition to the Mass [the so-called "Gay Pride Mass" which had been planned for St. Cecilia's Parish in Boston's South End] grew out of a post by a local blogger who writes under the pseudonym Joe Sacerdo and who has criticized the Archdiocese of Boston for what he describes as 'relativism’' and deviation from doctrine.

Sacerdo also criticized the parish for sponsoring an upcoming trip to the Boston Gay Men’s Chorus, which it also advertised in its most recent bulletin.

'I think it’s the right thing to do,’' he said yesterday of the archdiocese’s decision. 'There’s not a place for a Mass like that in the Catholic Church.’'

In his blog post Wednesday, he questioned Cardinal Sean P. O’Malley’s commitment to church doctrine: 'What’s next, NY Rep. Anthony Weiner and Tiger Woods giving a talk at the church on the topic of marital fidelity?’'

'Celebrating a ‘Gay Pride’ Mass isn’t expressing the moral teachings of the church with clarity and fidelity or telling people their behavior is unacceptable — it’s telling them their behavior is just fine,’' Sacerdo said.

He called on O’Malley to put the pastor on leave.

Donilon said that would not happen. “Father Unni has the full confidence and support of the Cardinal and the archdiocese,’’ Donilon wrote in an e-mail. “He is a great pastor."

Apparently the Archdiocese of Boston has some rather unique ideas as to what constitutes "a great pastor."  Vatican II teaches us authoritatively that, "Among the virtues that priests must possess for their sacred ministry, none is so important as a frame of mind and soul whereby they are always ready to know and do the will of him who sent them and not their own will (cf. Jn 4:34; 5:30; 6:38)...Aware of his own weakness, the true minister of Christ works in humility tring to do what is pleasing to God (cf. Eph 5:10)...the priestly ministry, since it is the ministry of the Church itself, can only function in the hierarchical union of the whole body.  Pastoral charity, therefore, urges priests, as they operate in the framework of this union, to dedicate their own will by obedience to the service of God and their fellow men.  In a great spirit of faith, let them receive and execute whatever orders the Holy Father, their own bishop or other superiors give or recommend." (Presbyterorum Ordinis, No. 15).

And in No. 4 of the same Vatican II document, we are told that: "The People of God are joined together primarily by the word of the living God. And rightfully they expect this from their priests. Since no one can be saved who does not first believe, priests, as co-workers with their bishops, have the primary duty of proclaiming the Gospel of God to all. In this way they fulfill the command of the Lord: 'Going therefore into the whole world preach the Gospel to every creature' (Mk 16:15), and they establish and build up the People of God. Through the saving word the spark of faith is lit in the hearts of unbelievers, and fed in the hearts of the faithful. This is the way that the congregation of faithful is started and grows, just as the Apostle describes: 'Faith comes from hearing, and hearing through the word of Christ' (Rom 10:17).

To all men, therefore, priests are debtors that the truth of the Gospel which they have may be given to others. And so, whether by entering into profitable dialogue they bring people to the worship of God, whether by openly preaching they proclaim the mystery of Christ, or whether in the light of Christ they treat contemporary problems, they are relying not on their own wisdom for it is the word of Christ they teach, and it is to conversion and holiness that they exhort all men."

According to the Council, the task of priests is "not to teach their own wisdom but God's Word." And this task is of no less importance for the priest than his offering of the Eucharistic Sacrifice. Both of these are inseperably linked to each other: "The ministerial priesthood has the task not only of representing Christ - Head of the Church - before the assembly of the faithful, but also of acting in the name of the whole Church when presenting to God the prayer of the Church, and above all when offering the Eucharistic sacrifice." (Catechism of the Catholic Church, No. 1552).

For this reason, priests have the very serious obligation to teach the faithful under their care that it is never licit to have sexual relations outside of marriage; that a Catholic cannot (having been validly married in the Church) after divorce, marry another or otherwise pretend that sexual relations with another individual are somehow "marital"; that "formal cooperation in an abortion constitutes a grave offense" and that '"the Church attaches the canonical penalty of excommunication to this crime against human life" (CCC, 2272); and that "every action which, whether in anticipation of the conjugal act, or in its accomplishment, or in the development of its natural consequences, proposes, whether as an end or as a means, to render procreation impossible, is intrinsically evil.." (CCC, No. 2370, citing Humanae Vitae, No. 14).

The Church proposes these (and other teachings) as true and it does so in the name of Christ. The priest is not to question them. He is not to ignore them or neglect them out of a false sense of "compassion" or "charity." It was Pope Paul VI who said that, "To diminish in no way the saving teaching of Christ constitutes an eminent form of charity for souls." (Humanae Vitae, No. 29). Pope John Paul II reiterated these words in Familiaris Consortio, No. 33."

During a meeting with priests and religious from the Diocese of Rome on March 10, Pope Benedict XVI called upon priests to exhibit "full-time" fidelity to their vocation as priests, "being with Christ and being ambassadors of Christ." The Holy Father also called upon priests to proclaim "the entire plan of God," stressing that, "The Apostle does not preach Christianity 'a la carte,' according to his own tastes, he does not preach a Gospel according to his own preferred theological ideas; he does not take away from the commitment to announce the entire will of God, even when uncomfortable, nor the themes he may least like personally.." (See here).

Father John Unni may have the full confidence and support of the Cardinal and the Archdiocese, but there are serious questions about his fidelity to the teaching of the Magisterium and his vocation which is to "announce the entire will of God, even when uncomfortable" and not his own "preferred theological ideas."  In one of his parish bulletins, for example, Father Unni advertised a presentation entitled "Don't Ask, Don't Tell," which was given by Chuck Colbert, who has served on the board of the National Lesbian and Gay Journalists Association and has written for various "gay" and lesbian publications such as Boston Spirit Magazine.

Mr. Colbert is a propagandist for the homosexual lifestyle.  His association with the National Lesbian and Gay Journalists Association is most significant.  As Bernard Goldberg wrote in his book entitled Arrogance: Rescuing America from the Media Elite, " other newsroom lobbies, by definition the NLGJA represents a constituency - and that constituency is not the public at large.  The National Lesbian and Gay Journalists Association has an agenda, which is to make sure that gay-related stories are reported with what it regards as the appropriate slant and the necessary sensitivity...Can anyone imagine the howl if the NLGJA stood instead for the National Law-Abiding Gun-Loving Journalists Association, whose goal was to ensure that gun owners' perspectives were prominently featured in every story about firearms?" (pp. 172-173).

The Archdiocese of Boston may insist that Father John Unni is "a great pastor."  But, like Joe Sacerdo, I dispute this.  A great pastor is always first and foremost a lover of souls who fully embraces and preaches the entire plan of God as interpreted by the Magisterium of the Church.

Father Unni's promotion of a homosexual propagandist and his desire to have a "Gay Pride Mass" at his parish are not the hallmarks of "a great pastor."  We should ask ourselves what Saint Jean Vianney would have done.  Would the Patron Saint of Parish priests have promoted homosexual agitprop and homosexual liturgies?

You know the answer.  And for that reason, it is not only Father John Unni who is suspect but a Cardinal and his Archdiocese which gives him its "full confidence and support."


BostonCatholic2011 said...

If Mr. Donilon is right and Fr. Unni has the complete support and confidence of His Eminence Sean Cardinal O'Malley, God help and save the Boston Church!

John Ansley said...

It was St. Gregory, who as a very young priest, spoke these words [aimed at his fellow priests]: "We must begin by purifying ourselves before purifying others; we must be instructed to be able to instruct, become light to illuminate, draw close to God to bring him close to others, be sanctified to sanctify." (Oratio 2, 71, 74, 73: PG 35, 480-81.).

Homosexual propaganda does not illuminate. It does not purify. It does not draw us close to God. Fr. Unni is not offering his parishioners wheat. He offers chaff instead.

ShrewsburyCatholic said...

Chuck Colbert wrote an article praising the Religious Coalition for the Freedom to Marry and said that, "Both fairness and justice propel RCFM's public advocacy, making a key distinction that same-sex marriage is a civil right, not a religious right."

Colbert believes that same-sex marriage is a civil right and Father Unni has no problem with this?

Mr. Donilon, this is a great priest? Tell me sir, is Father Mike Boutin also a great priest?

Anonymous said...

You yourself printed Cardinal O' Malley's 2005 pastoral letter, which contains nothing that opposes the Church's official teaching about pastoral care for those with same-sex attractions.

Therefore, if lesbians and gays are living chaste lives, like they are called to by the Church, it's not your business to dictate to a parish that they can't hold a Mass for these practicing Catholics.

Paul Anthony Melanson said...

Anonymous, as I said in a previous post, "The 'Gay Pride' Mass is an attempt to politicize the Holy Mass for the purpose of homosexual agitprop. In the words of His Excellency, The Most Rev. Thomas Doran: 'We do not politicize the Mass...The Mass is an act of worship. It is not the place for political or ideological statements.'

Like most dissenters on this issue, you demand not only that we accept homosexual persons but that we affirm them in their immoral activity or dissent from Church teaching. The former is acceptable but the latter is not. Which is why homosexual persons are welcome in any Catholic parish. But they are not welcome to use the Mass to promote their ideology.

The same holds true for other dissent groups.

This we cannot do.

Wendy said...

Fr. Unni's bulletin touts Colbert as one who has engaged in "marriage equality struggles in California, Connecticut, the District of Columbia, Maine, Massachusetts, and New Jersey."

In other words, Fr. Unni's bulletin is praising Colbert as one who has worked very hard for same-sex "marriage."

And the Archdiocese trusts him? Dear God.

Marie Tremblay said...

Paul, I just left this comment at the Bryan Hehir Exposed Blog:

In this comments thread, I have asked “Last Catholic in Boston” to refrain from constantly attacking Paul Melanson, a good and faithful Catholic. I did some checking and it seems LCIB has been warned by Francis Marion and others to “keep the personal assaults and bomb-throwing out of the comments.” See here:

This is an excellent Blog. I think so. Paul Melanson thinks so. He has done much to promote this Blog on Facebook.

Is this his reward? Snide remarks and false accusations? Why can’t we work together?

I really think it's sad that Catholics who are faithful to the Magisterium cannot work together. I guess because yo're not a Feeneyite the attacks will continue.

No good deed goes unpunished huh?

Paul Anthony Melanson said...

Marie, I received another comment from "Last Catholic" in which he apologized (sort of) saying, "Paul, The Church and local Bishop in the area has spoken definitively on Medjugorje. This is fact. There is a huckster who lives in Boston who claims that the BVM has appeared to him 8,000+ times and runs trips to his home town and has created a multi-million dollar scam. I have a problem with that. I'm sorry if I interpreted your tolerance for this hoax as endorsement. It is what it is..."

First of all, the Church has not ruled definitively on Medjugorje. In fact, the Vatican, as noted Catholic journalist Michael Brown makes clear, is now "formally investigating the apparitions." See here:

At no time have I commented on the apparitions at Medjugorje either pro or con. But I'm accused of "tolerance" for what "Last Catholic" deems a "hoax."

I think this uncharitable soul needs to settle down and wait for the Church to render a judgment on Medjugorje.

But I'll tell you something, whatever the Church decides is fine with me. My spirituality doesn't depend on the outcome of Rome's decision.

I'm far too busy with other projects. I do agree with you that it is a shame orthodox Catholics cannot work together. It is always unfortunate when an unholy spirit of competition and divisiveness enters into our camp. Where do you suppose such a spirit comes from if not the Evil One?

Samantha said...

How can the Archdiocese not know about the rainbow ministry and Fr. Unni's promotion of Chuck Colbert? And they're okay with that? I don't understand. Has anyone told them about this?

Anonymous said...

Oh Samantha, you go right ahead and blow your whistle. It's your job. Be the police for the Archdiocese. Of course they know about the Rainbow Ministry...and guess what? There's nothing wrong with it. The parishioners who belong to the Rainbow Ministry do a lot of good and charitable things in the why don't you just mind your own business.

Ted Loiseau said...

Anonymous wrote, "Oh Samantha, you go right ahead and blow your whistle. It's your job. Be the police for the Archdiocese. Of course they know about the Rainbow Ministry...and guess what? There's nothing wrong with it. The parishioners who belong to the Rainbow Ministry do a lot of good and charitable things in the why don't you just mind your own business."

If this is true, then the Boston Archdiocese is complicit in a homosexual propaganda campaign then.

This should be sent to Rome.

Anonymous said...

The mass is politicized all the time.
whether it is Bishop Romero speaking for human rights or the Bishop speaking out against Ted Kennedy.

Paul Anthony Melanson said...

You are incorrect anonymous. The Gospel has political implications to be sure. But Archbishop Romero didn't politicize the Mass. He applied Gospel values to concrete circumstances in his homilies. But he didn't use the liturgy to advance a political agenda or ideology.

Likewise, a Bishop speaking out against the late Senator Kennedy's pro-abortion stance at Holy Mass is not an example of politicizing the liturgy. It is an example of preaching the Gospel.

Anonymous said...

How sad for Roman Catholics to be spending time railing against anyone who preaches inlusion. I'm certain there are sinners at every level of our religion. Is this the sin we want to focus on? Please. What about the campaign to retun to the Catholic church - only the "chosen ones"? I applaud both Fr. Unni and His Eminence!!! I have known Fr. Unni to be a kind, good soul who dersrves cheers not jabs!

Paul Anthony Melanson said...

Anonymous, homosexuality is ranked among the "sins that cry to heaven for vengeance." Which is why the angels said to Lot: "We are about to destroy this place, for the outcry reaching the Lord against those in the city is so great that he has sent us to destroy it." In his Second Epistle, St. Peter explains how the punishment inflicted on Sodom and Gomorrah stands as a warning to evildoers: "God condemned the cities of Sodom and Gomorrah to destruction, reducing them to ashes, making them an example for the godless of what is coming." (2 Peter 2: 6).

The Catholic Church welcomes sinners. But she cannot condone sin. Father Unni isn't simply preaching "inclusion." He is promoting the homosexual agenda.

And for this he should be removed from ministry.

ChristoJX said...

Father John Unni is a good and courageous man who obviously follows the inspirations of the holy spirit as manifested in his conscience. Who would dare judge a man who welcomes and accepts others regardless of race, creed, color, nationality or sexuality? Who would judge a man who does not measure a person by social status, poverty, wealth, ability or disability?

Father John Unni lives his Priesthood for the good of and in service of humanity, the humanity that breathes the breath of the spirit and shares in the body of Christ. The insidious motivation to discredit him is the most obvious of any AGENDA in this story.

Dogmatic bigots have tried throughout history to discredit and disgrace men by accusing them of having motives and agendas. According to the Pharisees Jesus mixed freely with tax collectors and sinners, making Him ceremonially unclean (Luke 7:39). He ate and drank with them, and was called a glutton and a drunkard (Luke 7:34) He broke their Sabbath laws by healing people (Luke 13:14, Matthew 12:1-2). He criticised the Pharisees for their hypocrisy and self righteousness (Luke 11:37-52). According to the Pharisees Jesus was a law breaker and blasphemer.
Who would dare judge Jesus Christ? Perhaps those with an AGENDA?

Martin Luther King was labelled a rabble rouser and accused of stealing money from the Civil Rights movement and numerous other accusations were made that he too had an AGENDA.

The Apartheid government of South Africa accused Nelson Mandela with stoking the fires of possibility in the hearts of millions of his country men and women to believe they deserved a voice,,, he too was a man with an AGENDA. But when he won his freedom he preached forgiveness of his oppressors, had he not they would have surely been hanging from the trees of South Africa.

The above examples of Jesus, King and Mandela are relevant comparisons to Father John Unni; good men, living simple lives of profound love and acceptance in the midst of judgement and accusation.

Paul Anthony Melanson said...

Christo, dogmatic bigots? Dr. Germain Grisez, in a talk entitled "Legalism, Moral Truth and Pastoral Practice" given at a 1990 symposium held in Philadelphia, had this to say:

"Theologians and pastors who dissent from received Catholic teaching think they are rejecting legalism because they set aside what they think are mere rules in favor of what they feel are more reasonable standards. Their views are thoroughly imbued with legalism, however. For dissenters think of valid moral norms as rules formulated to protect relevant values. Some even make their legalism explicit by denying that there is any necessary connection between moral goodness (which they restrict to the transcendental level of a love with no specific content) and right action (which they isolate at the categorical level of inner-worldly behavior). But whether their legalism is explicit or not, all the dissenters hold that specific moral norms admit exceptions whenever, all things considered, making an exception seems the best - or least bad - thing to do. Most dissenters also think that specific moral norms that were valid in times past can be inappropriate today, and so they regard the Church's contested moral teachings as outdated rules that the Church should change...During the twentieth century, pastoral treatment of repetitious sins through weakness - especially masturbation, homosexual behavior, premarital sex play and contraception within marriage - grew increasingly mild. Pastors correctly recognized that weakness and immaturity can lessen such sins’ malice. Thinking legalistically, they did not pay enough attention to the sins’ inherent badness and harmfulness, and they developed the idea that people can freely choose to do something that they regard as a grave matter without committing a mortal sin. This idea presupposes that in making choices people are not responsible precisely for choosing what they choose. That presupposition makes sense within a legalistic framework, because lawgivers can take into account mitigating factors and limit legal culpability. But it makes no sense for morality correctly understood, because moral responsibility in itself is not something attached to moral acts but simply is moral agents’ self-determination in making free choices. Dr. Grisez then went on to explain that, "Pastors free of legalism will teach the faithful how sin makes moral requirements seem to be alien impositions, help them see through this illusion, and encourage them to look forward to and experience the freedom of God’s children, who rejoice in the fruit of the Spirit and no longer experience the constraint of law..They will explain that while one sometimes must choose contrary to positive laws and cannot always meet their requirements, one always can choose in truth and abide in love. They will acknowledge the paradox of freedom - that we seem unable to resist freely choosing to sin - the paradox that Saint Paul neatly formulates: ‘I do not understand my own actions. For I do not do what I want, but I do the very thing I hate’ (Romans 7:15). But they also will proclaim the liberating power of grace, and help the faithful learn by experience that when one comes to understand the inherent evil of sin and intrinsic beauty of goodness, enjoys the support of a community of faith whose members bear one another’s burdens, begs God for His help, and confidently expects it, then the Spirit of Him who raised Jesus from the dead raises him from his sins, and he discovers that with the Spirit’s grace one can consistently resist sin and choose life."

Fr. Unni does not care for souls. Instead of proclaiming the liberating power of grace, he proclaims "gay pride." And he fails the faithful.

ChristoJX said...

Thanks Paul for sharing this very thoughtful and well researched response, all of which I am sure you believe to be the absolute truth. Such strong belief may be very comforting to you but I am 99.9 % sure that no man can truly know the mind/heart and soul of another's intentions in the care of souls. Thanks for being a power of example in sharing your thoughts.

Paul Anthony Melanson said...

Christo, the Church has been very clear as to what constitutes authentic pastoral care of the homosexual person. See my latest post.

Site Meter