Church For Sale
Why is Boston Becoming a Catholic Graveyard?

Steve O'Brien, Ph.D.

Cardinal O’Malley received this ring in 2006 as the pope recited a prayer in Latin.

It was to symbolize the Pope's bond with the Cardinal. (Boston Globe's full story)

( Apart from the caperings of Moose and Squirrel, the old Rocky and Bullwinkle cartoon show also featured a segment called “Mr. Peabody’s Improbable History.”  Peabody was a genius dog who wore glasses, owned a pet boy named Sherman, and had invented a “wayback” machine which transported the duo to some pivotal event in history. 

After numerous misadventures accompanying, say, Napoleon or Custer, the cartoon would end with Peabody delivering an atrocious historical pun.  Even as a kid I knew the real story had been hopelessly mangled, but that was okay, since it was clear that the whole thing was concocted solely to conclude with the humorous punch line.  Only the most credulous children believed that the shenanigans were meant to be true to life.  I was reminded of the acerbic Peabody not long ago when I read Cardinal Sean O’Malley’s Thanksgiving tribute to the pilgrims after he visited Plymouth, Massachusetts.  Ah, what that wry dog could have made of Cardinal Sean’s fractured fairy tales.

In case anyone has not heard, O’Malley, the cardinal-archbishop of the archdiocese of Boston, is the first prelate in America to have his own web blog, replete with the Great One’s gems of pastoral wisdom for the week, a gaggle of LOLs, many, many pictures of Sean, and, at the bottom of the page, a series of fawning emails from his legions of admirers.  The fact that there is nary a discouraging word voiced in these Potemkin emails presumably means Sean enjoys a 100% approval rating amongst his flock.

Still, there are always the grumblers.  For instance, one of his blogs featured a photofest of his extended junket in Rome, where he had a fantastic time.  A malcontent might dare to question the decency of this behavior while his bailiwick is in financial collapse.  This friar, who reportedly enjoys $200 custom-made sandals, assuredly did not beg door to door for his daily humble fare, nor for the round-trip plane ticket from Boston to Rome.  My only minor criticism of his site is that the title is too bland.  Rather than the pedestrian “Cardinal Sean’s Blog,” something like “Tis’ Himself, Himself, Himself” is more appropriate, since it conveys the spirit of the thing: it’s all about Sean.

There are many things that the archdiocese of Boston needs. There has been no housecleaning, no essential reform since the archdiocese received worldwide publicity for being the very epicenter of the child molester plague in the Church.  To make cash payoffs to the victims (and more especially to their grasping lawyers) churches, schools, and other properties have been sold, with many more on the block, to the wailing of the second tier of victims, the Catholics who have to lose their birthright to pay for the unspeakable crimes of the sodomite priests.  Moral anarchy prevails, yet of all this, what O’Malley believes the archdiocese needs most, evidently, is a website of his vacation pictures and musings.

Sean’s blog of 1 December 2006 is the tissue of foolishness examined here. On Thanksgiving Day, O’Malley traveled to Plymouth, less than an hour south of Boston, to drink in the atmosphere of “America’s Home Town.”  That slogan itself is incorrect, but since it is painted on the cop cars there, the falsehood has teeth.  O’Malley’s visit to pathetic Plymouth rock and to the replica of the Mayflower put him in the mood to relate the founding legend, which has been the party line in public school textbooks since the 19th century.  Regrettably, Catholic school books have routinely echoed the legend, as Catholics were perpetually obsessed with assimilating to please the hostile Protestant majority, and sharing a “founding myth,” even if it is partially or wholly untrue, is a requisite of “belonging.”

O’Malley spoke of Thanksgiving being a “very religious holiday,” and that the pilgrims “suffered mightily.”  They also “came looking for religious freedom.”  The pilgrims “came here precisely for that reason.  They wanted to be able to practice their faith and freedom.” The idea is that those courageous sojourners set out in a rickety boat to breathe faith and freedom in an untamed wilderness and began the great nation that continues to spread the same the world over. That’s the politically acceptable version of the story.   Who were the pilgrims really, and what is O’Malley praising here? This.

The misnamed “pilgrims” were a separatist sect of the English Puritan heresy. The Puritans, recall, were zealous Calvinists whose primary belief was in “predestination,” the absurd proposition that God picks and chooses who is to be saved and who condemned prior to their birth.  Needless to say, the Puritan God is highly selective and most folks, regardless of their behavior on earth, are consigned to eternal damnation, while an “elect few” (conveniently, the money men) are on a fast track to Paradise.  The “theology” here does not merit argument.  However, even a poorly-catechized Catholic, even a Vatican II bishop, should recognize this theory as completely antithetical to what the Catholic Church has always taught about salvation.

By the latter part of the 16th century, the true Church had effectively been extirpated in Britain and everyone in the realm was expected to pay homage and pay taxes to the state religion, the Church of England.  The few Catholics who hadn’t been killed off were still hounded mercilessly, but in reality the government was being threatened by prosperous Calvinist dissidents, not papist peasants.  Though Catholics were miserably oppressed by the regime, they weren’t treated cruelly enough to suit the Calvinists.    The very word “Puritan” smacks of hatred.  What they desired was to purify, by fire and sword, the Church of England and England itself of all vestiges of Catholicism.

A small group originally left England for the Netherlands but they couldn’t tolerate their Dutch hosts so in the 1620s they established themselves in Plymouth and soon after in  Boston and Salem.  Here they could enjoy their New Zion, entirely cleansed of Europe’s Christian past.  How they worked things out in Salem is well known.  The irony of the story is that the whole trip was unnecessary.  By the early 1650s King Charles I had been executed and England was then ruled by Oliver Cromwell, one of the most sadistic mass-murderers in history.  Cromwell carried out a genocide in Ireland in order to rid the island, as he so colorfully phrased it, of “papist lice.”  His crimes against humanity are virtually unknown in America, since most secondary and college textbooks remain philosophically Anglocentric and fail to mention this Catholic holocaust.

In England, Cromwell likewise attempted to excise every trace of Catholicism and one of the most galling remnants that needed to be stamped out was the papish celebration of Christ’s Mass; Christmas,  the joyous holy day which honors Jesus’ birth. Modern-day fanatics who work to eradicate Christmas are merely following in Cromwell’s bloody footprints, whether they have ever heard of the dictator or not.  The hatred of Christmas was, to the Protestant Puritans, and remains today, an expression of hatred for Catholics, not generic “Christians.” Christmas was banned in Puritan Massachusetts, just as it was in Puritan England.  Thanksgiving, that quintessentially American holiday, was begun as an ersatz Christmas, a day of gorging without thought of Christ’s nativity, and without having to recognize His mother’s infuriating importance in the scheme of the universe.

Therefore, when Sean O’Malley praises the Puritans’ quest for faith and freedom he is praising their vision of a world without Catholics.  Ironically, had a scarlet cardinal such as O’Malley shown up at Plimoth Plantaion in the 17th century, he very likely would have had his tongue torn out (so that he could tell no more Romish lies) before being dragged up Cole’s Hill to be hanged.

O’Malley isn’t alone in his efforts to obscure the historical record.  The bishops from Peoria to Rome routinely make statements about the past which are patently false, with the de facto result of deluding the rump Catholics who still pay any attention to their utterances.  Certainly the American bishops as a lot are not renowned for intellectual achievements and some are likely too dimwitted to realize they are repeating hoary anti-Catholic lies.  The essential problem, however,  is a moral one. The commitment of modernist churchmen to fraudulent ecumenism means that all other considerations, including the requirement for Catholics to speak the truth, have been jettisoned. 

In order to please non-believers, the Vatican II popes and their minions portray pre-conciliar Catholics as oppressors from time immemorial and those who hate them as innocent victims.  This perverse inversion of reality, of course, accomplishes nothing for interfaith “understanding” since non-believers have no desire to “understand” the Church of their groveling supplicants. They do understand how to use the bishops’ words as a gnarled club to bludgeon devout Catholics, and they wield this club generously after every papal and episcopal kowtow.

The contempt the bishops hold for their own kind is exquisitely expressed in the disgraceful scam called “reconfiguration,” a  euphemism that means the destruction of what their betters labored to build. In Massachusetts, as I am sure everywhere, Catholic churches are being snapped up for a song, some for vile secular purposes but others by different “faith communities” to hold their ceremonies. There is a grim jest in this. Novel Protestant groups have benefited by the Church’s decay by acquiring buildings on the cheap and also by a burgeoning membership comprised of – you guessed it – ex-Catholics.  New Order popes and bishops indeed work in mysterious ways when their long, dark, springtime results in mass defections from the true Church and provides those apostates with formerly Catholic churches at fire-sale prices.

Protestants are not the only ones to profit by the rotting Church. A parish in central Massachusetts, in the Springfield diocese, is now being converted into a mosque by those folks who are marked by their eagerness to have large families and to fight and even die for their beliefs.  Admirable, very admirable.  If more than a few Catholics did the same, the bishops wouldn’t be able to steal their churches and sell them with such impunity.  The Catholic News Service article on the one being turned into a mosque revealed that  St. Matthew’s church and rectory in Indian Orchard was sold for $150,000.  Now, in Massachusetts it’s near impossible to purchase an outhouse for $150,000, but somehow the Turkish American Islamic Society picked up both buildings for that sweetheart price.

The same article quotes the pastor of  another local parish, who was walking on air over the Turkish triumph.  “I think it’s going to be very exciting,” the giddy priest squealed.  He also thought it was an “opportunity to talk about the Islamic faith, to talk about Turkish culture and to use it as an example of our multicultural world.” Allah has no more devoted and useful slaves as such “Catholics.”  Incidentally, St. Matthew’s was built in 1864 by Irish immigrants who labored in the hellish area mills for pennies a day and likely starved themselves to contribute money for the construction of their spiritual home.  See how nobly the diverse Church honors them?

The practice of lowballing sacrificed Church buildings has also created a lucrative racket for the entrepreneur seeking to “flip” the properties quickly at a whopping profit.  Understand what is happening here: churches, some of which were built with the life’s blood of degraded immigrants, are being turned into quick cash to line the bishops’ coffers, and are then quickly resold by jackal developers who know fantastic opportunities (and suckers) when they see them.  How could those homosexual priests, when they were raping those boys, have foreseen the benefits they were bestowing on the bishops, the Boston Globe reporters, the shyster lawyers, the real estate speculators, and the other “faith communities”?

In the pre-Christian world it was said that all roads lead to Rome.  This trail of tears inevitably leads back to Boston, and its episcopal prince.  The latest heart-wrenching outrage, which involves all of the aforementioned bottom-feeders, concerns St. Mary Star of the Sea in the working-class neighborhood of East Boston   The sheep there were shorn of their parish by the archdiocese, which forked it over to a purported photographer, who claimed to want the structure for a studio and a few condos; you know, the good neighbor routine.  In the middle of November the deal went through and he became the proud possessor of the neighborhood’s church and its rectory, hall, and garage.  The price?  A paltry $850,000, far less than many single-family residences, at least  those in the non-working class parts of town.  Still, the evicted parishioners in East Boston got a regular Joe to care for their old house of worship, right?   Of course not.  The fix was in.  Less than a month after the “photographer” paid a nickel and a dime, real-estate wise, for St. Mary’s and the other properties, he flipped it to the Universal Church of the Kingdom of God, a vicious anti-Catholic cult, for $2.65 million.  That’s a $1.8 million profit in less than 30 days.  When questioned, O’Malley’s mouthpiece sputtered a bit, but it’s a fait accompli,  and everything has worked out after the Vatican II fashion. There’s a neighborhood parish lost and its people fleeced, a hustler richer by almost $2 million, a hate group empowered and entitled in a Catholic, (soon to be ex-Catholic neighborhood), and the diocesan bureaucrats who “never knew nuthin.”

Unfortunately, there will be a flurry of such stories coming up as O’Malley has been putting on the pressure lately to move more properties. Last year, I related in these pages the story of Holy Trinity in the South End.  The church has been on the cardinal’s hit list for years and has had several closing dates set, but each time something has intervened to stay his hand.

The structure, of German gothic design, looks like a Catholic church should look.  To the outside world, it is a fortress of solid granite;  inside, it’s a wonderment for the eyes, a reward of beauty for those who belong there.  It isn’t an edifice that represents the limp, impotent Church, crawling for a measure of acceptance from the commissars of multiculturalism.  The parishioners, too, an unlikely coalition of Germans and Latin Mass Catholics, are an annoyance to the Novus Ordo establishment.  The parish was founded in the 19th century to serve the small German community in the city and their descendents have managed to hang on through the storms.   As for the Latinists, Cardinal Law grudgingly allowed the Tridentine Mass there in what is now primarily an Asian neighborhood, surely expecting it to fail. Instead, the Traditionalists and Germans combined, not merely to keep the doors open, but to revitalize the parish.

Today, Holy Trinity is what a Catholic parish should be, busy with traditional devotions, ethnic celebrations and concerts of real, western music.  Most importantly, though, Holy Trinity is a place of worship for serious Catholics, from seniors to young families.  The Jesuits who built the church in the 19th century would recognize the things that go on there as the Church that they knew.

And so, for all these reasons, Holy Trinity has to go.  Everything about it is a reminder of the Church’s better past, and of all of the church properties to be eliminated, this is the one that must be destroyed primarily for ideological reasons, less than sheer greed.  If the parishioners declared themselves Jews and the building a synagogue, or if they turned Mohammedan and called it a mosque, or if they became Protestant cultists and the church a kingdom hall, O’Malley would turn sandals over head to placate them.  But Catholics receive no such respect and Holy Trinity, if the cardinal has his way, will end up like St. Mary’s and all of the others, physically destroyed or spiritually defiled.  The only real question left is, will this house of God be prostituted to a slimy flipper, a false religion, or both.

Since friend Sean has entered the cyberage and has shown himself willing to entertain the vox populi via email, why not visit his site and give him a two thumbs up, or whatever gesture he deserves, for the things he’s done in Boston.  Like Mr. Peabody, his stories are more than slightly askew.  Unlike Peabody’s pointed quips, the punch line here, in which Catholics living and dead continue to be betrayed, isn’t at all funny.