Red Hat Blues
Boston's New Cardinal Reigns Over Wreckage

Steve O'Brien

( Old timers in Boston still like to wax nostalgic about Scollay Square, the now-eradicated end of town that was composed of burlesque houses, cheap barrooms, tattoo parlors, and other seedy joints.  Burlesque houses such as the Old Howard were reputed to be great social levelers, places where blue-blooded Brahmins joined the hoi polloi in the peanut gallery, hooting their appreciation for the raucous entertainment.

Alas, good old Scollay Square is no more.  In the early 1960s, the bawdy houses fell to urban renewal and the real estate was utilized to erect a new city hall.  That structure is a brick and concrete insult, an ugly, stupid profanity shouted at the unfortunate citizens who have to pass by.  It is a fitting space for the mayor and his cronies who occupy it.  

Just a stone’s throw from City Hall is a Charles Bulfinch-designed building, an elegant expression of the Georgian Neoclassical style.  This is the State House, the seat of the legislature, still officially called, in the pompous phraseology of the British colonial era, “The Great and General Court of the Commonwealth of Massachusetts.”  This edifice has never domiciled angels, but the people’s representatives who presently befoul this place are the worst that can be dredged, typically occupied with  enacting new laws involving the normalization of sexual perversions that most decent people never even knew existed until a few decades ago.  Naturally, the primary target of these soul-killing dictates is children.  Just as naturally, the only real opposition to the legislative stalkers should be the Catholic Church.  Should be.

Scollay Square exists only in misty memory now.  Today, once-celebrated strip-teasers like Ann Corio and Sally Keith are twirling their tassels in another world, their theatrical gyrations replaced by the hardcore shows common in both Boston and the upscale and downscale suburbs.  Porno shops thrive side by side with legitimate retailers and eateries, and here, in Brokeback East, “gay” bookstores do a landfall business.  As for the gross slapstick of the vaudevillians, the archdiocese has done its best to uphold the tradition, and for decades, one bishop after another, not to mention innumerable priests, have behaved in ways that would have shamed the crudest baggy-pants comic.

A few months ago in this space, I wrote of the moral chaos which prevails in the Archdiocese of Boston and of the archbishop’s plan to close Holy Trinity church, the one parish allowed the Latin Mass.  Much has happened since Christmas, which was supposed to be the fare-thee-well of the 129-year-old church.  Holy Trinity is still open for the Lord’s business, the parishioners holding on each day while the encircling heretics and money-changers lick their lips.

As one of the sixty-five churches slated to be closed to raise a bundle of pay-off money, Holy Trinity’s survival this long is a minor miracle.  Originally an ethnic parish that served the small Boston German community, the church has since 1990 been the only parish in the archdiocese officially allowed the Tridentine Mass.  While the remaining Germans and the Traditionalists are attached to different liturgical practices, they are united in their devotion to the structure itself, which was one of the hundreds of churches designed by Patrick Charles Keely, the most prolific Catholic architect in American history.  The selling-out and selling-off of Holy Trinity by the archdiocese will very likely result in the church’s demolition, since much of this part of town, once neighborhood, is now largely dominated by medical and office buildings.  Real estate here is so valuable that any area which comes up for sale would almost certainly fetch millions of dollars per acre.

Lurking behind all of this is the humble friar, Sean O’Malley, O.F.M, Archbishop of Boston and, if the Boston Globe is to be believed, all-around nice guy.  He’s non-confrontational, he’s cordial, he’s concerned as he can be about the “marginalized” in society, with a particular affinity for Haitians.  He breaks out into Portuguese, Spanish, or Creole at the drop of a voodoo doll.  With Traditional Catholics, he’s not so nice.  When he captained the Fall River diocese, he made it clear that he “did not feel the need” for the celebration of the Latin Mass.  Having moved on to bigger things, he still mustn’t feel the need, since the smashing of Holy Trinity would disperse the tight-knit Latin Mass community.  For these marginalized folks, he has no affinity, no kindly words.

Shortly before Christmas, it looked like curtains.  Then the other shoe dropped. One of the ploys of the bureaucrats conducting the euphemistically-termed “reconfiguration” process has been to imply that various parishes slated for closing are financially unviable and have to be sacrificed for the greater good.  The parishioners of Holy Trinity did not believe that was the case with their church and were determined not to go without a fight.  For months they had been demanding a comprehensive audit and accounting of the parish’s finances by the archdiocese.  

On December 15, in a letter emanating from the office of the chancellor and addressed to a parishioner, the archdiocese admitted that over $176,000 had been improperly transferred from Holy Trinity to another parish.  The priest who did this served since 1988 as the “pastor” of the beneficiary church, St. James the Greater, and also as the “administrator” at Holy Trinity since 1996.  The revelation that such a large amount of money had been funneled from thriving Holy Trinity to bail out a Cantonese parish put the lie to the premise that Holy Trinity was an economic liability to the archdiocese.  The exact opposite was true, with the generous parishioners there being bled of their contributions to sustain the priest’s other church.  The news, coming when it did, served as an early Christmas present for Holy Trinity, which is credited as the parish that introduced various Christmas customs to America including the Christmas tree and Christmas pageant.  The realtors and demolition crews had to stand down for the moment.

In the Boston Archdiocese, where Catholics have become numbed to relentless scandals du jour, this one was just a minor blip, and for once did not even involve the rape of boys.  Nevertheless, for Holy Trinity parishioners, it was like an innocent man, railroaded into the electric chair, being saved by a blown fuse.  When the lights went back on, representatives of the archdiocese promised that the money would be repaid, but also asserted that no crime had been committed, and so it was tacitly understood that the matter was closed. 

As if to punctuate this exhortation, the priest involved with the two parishes submitted his request for retirement status and Brother Sean accepted it without hesitation.  A fait accompli, but the sword of Damocles still hangs by a hair over Holy Trinity, while the parishioners continue to hope and pray from Sunday to Sunday in a purgatory of uncertainty.

Feeling at the parish toward the priest who took the money is mixed, but all the problems in the Church inexorably lead back to the bishops.  At this juncture, Bernard Law has almost no defenders and is pretty much universally reviled.  Despite the ravings of  Notre Dame “theologians” and the Globe writers who inspire them, serious Catholics never worshipped  Law.  He was the archetype of John Paul-era episcopal appointments, and that’s no praise.  His timber was recognized long before the molestation stories surfaced.   From the start, he was a drumbeater for the anti-white apartheid system known as “affirmative action,” and for this alone he had zero moral credibility.

How Law ended is now old news to everyone in Christendom, yet few people understand that Bernard Law could have been a hero rather than a despicable villain.  When he arrived in Boston in early 1984, some of the worst of the sexual predators including John Geoghan, Ronald Paquin, and the flamboyant, unabashed champion of man-boy love, Paul Shanley, had all been diocesan priests and had all been satisfying their lusts with boys for years.  These beasts, and many others of the same ilk, thrived under the administrations of cardinals  Richard Cushing and Humberto Medeiros.  Cushing is still regarded by many as a “saintly” man even though he was the pet bishop of the repugnant Kennedy clan.  Medeiros was a native of the Azores who spoke broken English and during the agony inflicted by forced busing exhibited his furious contempt for the working-class, Irish Catholic victims.  Neither Cushing nor Medeiros lifted a finger to stop the homosexual priests who were destroying so many Catholic boys and who could only survive as long as the bishops protected them.  Upon taking control of the archdiocese, Law would have almost immediately known of the sexual outrages of the predator priests, since, as we have subsequently learned, repeated complaints had been lodged against them for years.

Bernard Law was faced with a moral dilemma.  He could either expose and cashier the predators, which would have been embarrassing but courageous, or he could continue moving them from parish to parish and hope that the lid didn’t blow off until he retired.  He took the coward’s route and the rest is history.

Sean O’Malley also had a tough decision to make when he became Archbishop of Boston after Law’s fall.  He was not burdened with the problem of trying to deny the horrific sins and crimes of the pervert priests.  Instead, he had the choice of continuing on as his three predecessors had, playing ball with the world, the flesh, and the devil, or he might have taken a deep breath and decided to do what he could to combat the forces that have spawned the spiritual cancer afflicting the archdiocese.  On the day of his installation at the cathedral, O’Malley made it plain that there would be no reform coming from his office.  At the ceremony, both Ted Kennedy and John Kerry were seated as honored guests.  The bishop of the nation’s fourth largest archdiocese would continue to cower before pro-abortion, pro-sodomy, apostate politicians.

It’s long past time to face some uncomfortable truths. Catholics have been a victimized minority in America since English colonial days and the only periods in which persecution temporarily receded was when individual bishops enjoined the laity to fight back against injustice.  

Traditionalists like to point to the wretched quality of the bishops since Vatican II and while that is absolutely true, it must also be said that even in the good old pre-conciliar era, most bishops found it expedient to play the “Uncle Tom” card.  Catholics were routinely commanded to be meek, unobtrusive, to not give offense, to be patriotic, to be super-patriotic, to be good citizens by not questioning their secular rulers, to sacrifice their sons to Mars in unconscionable wars, to go along, go along, until someday they would be viewed as “equals.”  They have succeeded.  Most have found equality in depravity.  Reflecting their mature Catholicism, they elect specimens such as Kennedy and Kerry to represent them.  They have marched out of the ghetto, right into the abortion mills and alternative bathhouses.

So it is no surprise that O’Malley’s few flaccid attempts to defend Catholic teachings have failed utterly.  A stand against the parody of homosexual “marriage” went for naught, sabotaged in part by some of his own priests.  One in particular, Walter Cuenin, recalls Paul Shanley in his screaming advocacy of the sodomite “lifestyle.”  While Sean was taking a stab at defending marriage as a bond between a man and a woman, Cuenin was testifying before the legislature in favor of man-man nuptials, to wild acclaim.  O’Malley did move him from his heterodox parish, not because of this disgrace but because of the routine financial irregularities.  Cuenin landed at Brandeis, the wealthy Jewish enclave, as the school’s “Catholic” chaplain, with Sean’s blessing.  So much for immutable Church teaching.

O’Malley found himself behind the eight ball again when it was revealed that the Catholic Charities organization, notorious for many years for its funding of left-wing causes, had also been adopting innocent children to homosexual pairs.  The name is an oxymoron.  The organization, apart from gathering donations from unwitting Catholics, reportedly takes over $2.5 million of Caesar’s coin, meaning tax money looted from those of us who are not so unwitting.  O’Malley was slated to appear at a big-money fundraiser for this gang, which was also honoring “Tongue-tied Tommy” Menino, Mayor of Boston and fanatical homophile. 

The publicity surrounding the homosexual adoption scandal, combined with a letter from the papal nuncio, convinced Sean that maybe Catholic Charities should not throw kids to men who like to fornicate with other males and he finally called a halt to the practice (the adoptions, not the fornication). 

In response, seven of the forty-two member board resigned in a snit.  O’Malley’s flop here was in failing to boot the other thirty-five.  But when O’Malley said no more man-man-boy adoptions, he incurred the wrath of the State,  which discriminates against no one except Catholics who are faithful to  their religion.  He then went around begging  the State House Democrats for an exemption on religious grounds, and those creatures, almost all of whom loathe the teachings of the Church they claim to still belong to, gave him the predictable answer.  In a pathetic move that should have set William Henry O’Connell bursting from his tomb, Sean next crawled to the Osmond-like Mormon governor to override the anti-Catholic Catholic legislature!  Governor Mitt Romney demurred and O’Malley then abjectly capitulated by canceling all adoptions, including those to normal men and women desperate for a child.

There are other crises which are entirely O’Malley’s own making. He refuses to acknowledge his own culpability in the auto-destruct of the diocesan schools because of his filthy “Talking about Touching” program.  Parents pleaded with him to drop this violation of the innocent, but he dug in his sandals and is sticking with it.  In government schools, the environment is vile.  In Catholic schools, more of the same.  Forced from both, serious Catholic parents now homeschool in droves and the pious friar feigns bewilderment.

In the middle of all of this, the Pope of Rome decided to intervene, but who would have thought that his response to Sean’s actions would be ... a promotion?  The announcement that O’Malley was to be elevated to the College of Cardinals begs for interpretation, if not an explanation.  An archdiocese the size of Boston presumably rates a cardinal.  Nevertheless, a promotion for O’Malley has to be seen as a personal reward.  Does Benedict think he is doing a good job?  Does Benedict still believe, as he apparently did when he was Ratzinger, and as John  Paul definitely did, that priestly child molesting is a fabrication of the American press?  A Commie plot? The Reds are guilty of many terrible things, but surely the K.G.B. did not put Geoghan and Shanley up to it.

Some deluded sheep are hoping that O’Malley’s elevation will somehow give him the “rank” he needs for whatever it is that he is supposed to be doing. At the same time, the very characters who should be cringing have also expressed joy over his promotion.   But a red hat is a sorry substitute for fortitude and Sean can’t be compared to, say, a Thomas a Becket who, when elevated to  episcopal rank, found the courage to defy the crown.  On the other hand, the politicians who persecute Catholics in Massachusetts aren’t  Henry II, either.  They’re larval flies that need nothing so much as to be squashed wriggling on their dung heap. A mendicant friar wearing $190 open-toed shoes isn’t the man for that task.

In a rambling interview with the Globe  the day before St. Pat’s, Sean was asked about the significance  of cardinal’s red and he spoke wistfully of suffering and shedding his blood for the Church.  He said, “I hope that God will give me the grace to be faithful to that.”  Inspiring stuff, yet when pressed about what he would suffer persecution for, he did not mention the government’s attacks on heterosexual marriage, or the homosexualization of children.  He was mum about police torture of, and judicial tyranny against Catholic defenders of life.  No, for Brother Sean none of these minor annoyances is worth a night in the jug.  However, he did encourage civil disobedience to prevent the proposed documentation of eleven million illegal aliens.  “I think that would be outrageous,” he thundered.  To seal his doom, he praised Roger Cardinal Mahoney’s actions in behalf of those marauding criminals.  Said Sean of Rog,  (he’s) “captured the imagination of the country.”  Many of us would like to imagine them both captured, in  a different country, along with their eleven million illegal amigos.

Safe to say, O’Malley is not going to be hacked to pieces in his cathedral over this stand, since it’s identical with that of the Democrat bosses anyway.   It must be a wonderful thing to offer oneself for martyrdom when there’s no chance of being hurt.  Bishops like O’Malley (and they’re all like O’Malley) are no threat to the State. 

Make no mistake, there is a war of extermination underway, and the victims are Catholic children.  The whole campaign of sexual perversion is really about the destruction of children, body and soul.  Everything – the homosexual predator priests, homosexual marriage and adoptions, mandatory homosexual indoctrination in schools, harassment of homeschool parents, and the grievous sin of abortion – are all of the campaign of annihilation against Catholic families.  The ultimate goal of the Enemy is for  every predator to have total access to every child, enforced at the muzzle of  policemen’s guns. This isn’t prophecy, it’s happening.  Only a courageous Catholic defiance, a  nationwide resistance to the forces of hate, a Vendee to counteract the Terror, will stop it now.  The bishops are an integral component of this war.  The trouble is, they’re on the wrong side.