It came as a complete surprise to me when the Archdiocese of Boston backed down on its statement regarding the “All Are Welcome” pro-homosexual Mass which was scheduled to be celebrated at St. Cecilia’s Catholic Church, then cancelled, and then resurrected for a later date. The archdiocese issued a statement as clear as mud addressing its reversal, saying,
The Archdiocese of Boston is committed to evangelization and to being a welcoming Church for all of God’s people. St. Cecilia’s is a wonderful example of the exceptional parishes in the Archdiocese which seek to serve the Catholic faithful with grace, dignity, respect, compassion and love and being devoted to the Gospel and Christ’s saving ministry.
The reports that the Mass, originally scheduled June 19th, was cancelled are not accurate. Rather the Mass was postponed. As indicated in the statement of the Archdiocese on June 10, a Mass welcoming the wider community of the faithful, including gays and lesbians, will be held. The Mass has been rescheduled to Sunday, July 10th at 11am.
The Mass is always welcoming to the community of sinners. So why a special Mass calling attention to the homosexual community? As I said in my statement earlier this week, “Even with the deliberate parsing of words, it is clear to the faithful and the public that this Mass is intended as an affirmation of homosexual activity.”
The Boston Globe reported that St. Cecilia’s Rainbow Ministry applauded the archdiocese’s change of heart as a victory for the homosexual rights community. The newspaper quoted Richard Iandoli, vice chairman of the parish council,
“To single out a group for pastoral care is neither unusual not unorthodox,’’ Iandoli said, citing special services planned for inmates, invalids, and college students. “We do not want to homogenize or hide our differences.’’
What is disconcerting about the situation in Boston has a great deal to do with the false message that is being sent to the Catholic community as a whole. C.J. Doyle, executive director of Boston’s Catholic Action League said it best:
Obviously, there has been a massive failure of formation and catechesis in Saint Cecilia’s Parish. Priests and prelates are supposed to be physicians of the soul, not enablers of spiritually destructive behavior. Since “charity rejoices in the truth,” our priests and bishops have a moral obligation to tell homosexuals that their behavior imperils their immortal souls. “The highest law of the Church is the salvation of souls.” It is time for the Archdiocese of Boston to stop trying to prove that it is not prejudiced against homosexuals, and to start worrying about the spiritual welfare of its flock at Saint Cecilia’s.
We could not agree more, but as we have witnessed in recent times, the archdiocese continually embraces questionable behaviors. There is no difference between this current situation and the past confusion created by Cardinal Sean O’Malley when he celebrated a very public funeral Mass for one of the most ardent, pro-abortion politicians in the history of our country—Senator Edward Kennedy.
There is no difference between this current situation and the problematic nature of the sale of a string of Catholic hospitals to Cerberus Capital Management with the agreement that the hospitals could easily drop their Catholic credentials with a $25 million payment (payoff) to the archdiocese.
Clarity of Catholic teaching has somehow evaded the Archdiocese of Boston in the wake of its efforts to placate the world and its expectations rather than fostering a spirit of healing to those who are troubled and confused.
During a time when contraception, abortion and homosexuality—all fruits of the culture of death—are enjoying celebrity in our morally sick nation, isn’t it time for the Church to lovingly, but with conviction, minister to the hurting instead of rejoicing in the troubles?
Judie Brown’s new book, The Broken Path, to be released this fall, addresses the ongoing challenges facing the Catholic Church in America today.