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Cardinal announces shakeup at Brighton seminary over possible improprieties

Cardinal Sean O'Malley today announced changes at St. John's Seminary in Brighton:

Earlier this week I was informed that two former seminarians of St. John’s Seminary in the Archdiocese of Boston had posted allegations on social media sites including the Archdiocese’s Facebook page that during their time at the seminary they witnessed and experienced activities which are directly contrary to the moral standards and requirements of formation for the Catholic priesthood.

At this time I am not able to verify or disprove these allegations. As Archbishop of Boston, with responsibility for the integrity of the seminary and its compliance with the Church’s Program for Priestly Formation, I am committed to immediate action to address these serious matters and have made the following decisions regarding St. John’s Seminary.

First, I have asked Msgr. James P. Moroney, Rector of St. John’s, to go on sabbatical leave for the Fall Semester, beginning immediately, in order that there can be a fully independent inquiry regarding these matters.

Second, I have appointed Rev. Stephen E. Salocks, Professor of Sacred Scripture, to serve as Interim Rector at St. John’s.

Third, I have appointed the Most Rev. Mark O’Connell, Auxiliary Bishop of Boston, Dr. Francisco Cesareo, President of Assumption College and President of the USCCB National Review Board, which advises the USCCB on matters of child and youth protection policies and practices, and Ms. Kimberly Jones, CEO of Athena Legal Strategies Group to oversee an inquiry into the allegations made this week, the culture of the seminary regarding the personal standards expected and required of candidates for the priesthood, and any seminary issues of sexual harassment or other forms of intimidation or discrimination. The inquiry will be staffed by Mark Dunderdale, Esq., Director of the Archdiocesan Office of Professional Standards and Oversight.

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Comments

Sigh...

Sounds like reasonable and prudent first steps in this case.

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A decent 30 years ago an openly gay friend of mine revealed that he had been a seminarian at St Johns for about a year as he felt a calling to be in service to humanity. At the time he was closeted since he assumed being openly gay may prohibit his entry into this calling. Deception by a future priest? Yes, but read on.

Once on the inside he quickly learned that many in the building were gay and that there were known liaisons happening within. Many had turned to church life due to rejection in the outside world. Remember, this is 30 or more years ago.

He also revealed a story told to him that the administration had a quiet closed-door celebration when they had a graduating class that was predominantly straight.

The fact that there are a number of gay people drawn to a religious calling is not something that is new but has often been clandestine. Things are changing as many clergy now choose to be open about their preferences and many are welcomed regardless.

The "sudden revelation" about St Johns is an open secret. It may not have been known by Sean O'Malley since he came up through a different calling and he inherited an archdiocese already in turmoil. If this was hidden from him or otherwise kept quiet I'd not be surprised but there are plenty of current clergy and administrators who already knew this. Clearly, Bernard Law would have known. Mitchell Garabedian's work will not be that hard this time around.

As to the priest that had a heart attack in a gay bathhouse (see thread herein), well... I'd venture a guess that it was quite a few cities outside of their parish. You never engage on your own turf. That is another of their unwritten rules. Mitchell will soon find where Boston's gay RC clergy gathers. It's only a couple of hours drive, and out of collar of course.

While shocking to some, remember these are human beings that require acceptance and affection and personal relationships. It would be much better if there was openness but Catholic belief still refuses to accept what nature has ordained in a person (no pun intended there). You need to be yourself and be accepted for yourself before you can help others. That is a very tall order, and no amount of liturgical instruction can bring that to the table.

As to sexual assaults... never acceptable, but did the atmosphere and suppression have anything to do with that? Most seminarians undergo strict psychological counseling and review to assure they will be OK in parish life. This often weeds out a lot of candidates as was the case with my acquaintance. Could that process itself be flawed?

I offer no excuses for these people. I just happen to know this was already well-known to those on the inside and close to the topic.

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It was in a book about the history of Ireland. Each chapter dealt with a different decade over 100 years and ended in 2000 and the Millenium.

It was basically the rise and fall of Catholic Ireland.

The final chapter summed up the fate of the Church in Ireland. In it, it wrote about a priest who had a heart attack at a gay bathhouse in Dublin.

I'm paraphrasing here, but the last line of the book was

"Luckily there were several other priests on hand to issue last rites".

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For years, we've heard of the "pedophile priest" scandal which means priests assaulting boys before the boys reached puberty. This was almost never the case, it was gay priest predators on teen or early adult men (seminarians).

For Cardinal Sean to just be "getting around" to something known for years is ridiculous. The seminary has been a gay playhouse for years.

It was nice for once to see Cardinal Theodore McCarrick defrocked for gay sexual abuse. He was the Cardinal who buried Sen. Ted Kennedy after Kennedy spent years making a mockery of his own religion. Kennedy was a clerk/typist in the Army, to take a space at Arlington National and have a Cardinal preside, is why people don't go to Mass. McCarrick made a mockery of our religion too, apparently.

Eventually they will rent out the Boston Garden and have Uber take us to Mass. No parishes. It would be much cheaper. Meanwhile Cardinal Sean is advocating for MS-13 and illegal aliens, while his flock is strongly opposed. Glad to see him finally get around to longtime, well known seminary sex abuse. Maybe some young men will join/stay there now that it's safe. Many men that I know left due to the "gay bathouse" situation.

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Cardinal Sean is advocating for MS-13

Another lie from Fishy. No reason to believe anything he says. Ever. About anything.

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Oh, wait - did you live under the Alewife T station? Sorry.

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What did he say that was trollish? I’ve seen plenty examples in other posts by Fish but where in this one?

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The subject was about misbehaving seminarians. At this point, we don't know what the behavior was, but we can speculate.

O-FISH-L took this post to troll his point of view on various other right wing, red-meat topics.

Such as;

The priests weren't really pedophiles. They were gay. Which is worse in O-FISH-L's eyes. But it is also NOT TRUE.

He conveniently overlooks priests such as Paul Shanley who raped 6 year old children.

Or John Geoghan who sexually assaulted a 10 year old

or Robert V. Gale raped a 10 year old

O-FISH-L goes out of his way to hit Ted Kennedy, the political positions of Sean O'Malley, claiming that O'Malley is out of line with the views of his parishioners (The only growing demographic for Catholics in the US is immigrants from south of the border). MS-13 and illegal aliens. All subjects du-jour of the right wing troll factories.

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Not to let facts get in the way, but...

McCarrick didn't preside at Ted Kennedy's funeral. I don't even know if he was there - the Mass was in Boston. O'Malley was there, but praying in choir, not as celebrant. The parish priest did that.

Criticize Ted Kennedy all you want for specifics (God knows there's any number of things to criticize), but...

My father and godfather and lots of people like them enlisted or answered the draft or got called up with their Guard units in wartime and, yeah, ended-up spending their part of the war close to typewriters and file cabinets than anywhere close to hostile fire. They did what they were called upon to do and were ready to do more. It's no shame or poor reflection on them that they ended-up not needing to. If a knuckle-dragging comment-box commando can't understand that, maybe you ought'a keep your yap shut while the adults are talking.

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As the single eternal flame at John F. Kennedy’s grave burned just steps away up a grassy slope, and the Capitol dome and the monuments of Washington were illuminated against the night sky, Cardinal Theodore McCarrick stood next to (Ted) Kennedy’s casket.

Reading comprehension much? I wrote that Cardinal McCarrick, now defrocked for sexually abusing adult men (not pedophilia) presided at the burial of Ted Kennedy who long mocked the teachings of the church. Cardinal O'Malley presided at the Funeral Mass in Boston. I watched the whole thing from start to finish. Disgusting. Now they wonder how many churches to close in Dorchester. Soon there will be none, cheaper to rent a function hall or phone booth.

Meanwhile, pro-abortion, anti-Catholic Joe Biden's team running the "chancery" from one of Tom Flatley's office buildings in Braintree, the beautiful old chancery on Chestnut Hill sold off and a buried Cardinal disinterred for the sake of BC, where the Jesuits removed the crucifixes from the classrooms.

They wonder why people no longer attend Mass? As a confused Ted Kennedy once said on the Senate floor, "hello? hello?"

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They wonder why people no longer attend Mass?

Immigrants are the biggest growth group in US Catholicism. People like you threatening to bring ICE in and round them up as they pray isn't helping, I'm sure.

Get this: dinosaurs such as yourself are dying out. They don't go to mass because they are dead or dying of old age and bad habits. Their kids want nothing to do with their parents' hypocrisy or have moved on to other denominations. Immigrants to to mass. Immigrants pay for your Social Security, too. America is a land of immigrants. Deal with it.

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Thank you for clarifying about the graveside.

I don't know what you were watching that day from Boston, but O'Malley did not "preside" (as some people say), was not the celebrant of the Mass (to use the actual term). I promise you, I watched. Some other priest (from Mission, so far as I know) was the celebrant. O'Malley attended in choro - in choir - praying from the side. If you see that as presiding (overseeing, hosting...) since he was there, highest ranking, in a church in his archdiocese... then yes, cue up the Obi-Wan "true from a certain point of view" clip.

The chancery in Brighton was nice. If you think it was beautiful, you might need glasses.

So far as Cardinal O'Connell goes... Karma is a dog with fleas. He was moved out - with more consideration, charity, and grace than he showed to those he moved out.

...and you're still a troll for insulting honest clerks and typists.

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Cardinal O'Malley played one part in Sen. Kennedy's funeral: the Final Commendation.

https://abcnews.go.com/images/Politics/Kennedy_Mass_Program.pdf

What beyond disagreeing with the anti-abortion stance did Kennedy mock about the Catholic church?

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Kennedy was a clerk/typist in the Army

Okay. That's called serving in the military. You go where you are told to go and do what you are told to do. Even during times of warfare, the majority of billets are non-combat.

You mean he didn't have bone spurs?

Seems his brothers didn't have bone spurs either. One never came back, another went to great effort to cover for how badly he was messed up in the war. Fancy that.

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Kennedy, based on his Army service alone, would not have been eligible for burial at Arlington. His status as a vet and Senator allowed him to be buried there. Not sure how it relates to Catholics not going to Mass but anyways...

Also it's pretty common knowledge that Joe Kennedy pulled strings to get Ted a cushy gig in Europe while the Korean War was being fought.

Kennedy had already lost a son and let's be honest, Ted never had the mettle that John or Joe Jr. had. and he was the baby of the family. I can definitely see Rose telling Joe to keep him out of Korea.

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For bigots like Fish, life used to be pretty easy if you wanted to bash gay people.  They use to be able to say “It's unnatural. God made Adam and Eve. Gay sex is just icky.”  It even use to be okay to say a person was “mentally unbalanced” not to be sexually attracted to the opposite sex. 

But about 40 old years ago, the American Psychological Association decided after a couple decades of study, that being gay wasn't a mental illness.  Since then the courts have started listening to the psychologists and the social scientists, and more importantly, more gay people have come "out" so that their straight friends don't think of them as "icky". 

Ergo, the bigots needed something to restore the "ick" to homosexuality. In the last few years, lead particularly by the nutballs of right wing religious groups and accelerated by Trump and his followers, the association of being gay with pedophilia is the last gasp of the anti-gay minority to try and get their way back. 

It's a classic straw-man argument.  Some pedophiles are men who abuse little boys—the same sex, after all—therefore the pedophiles are gay, therefore gays are pedophiles.  Of course, it's scientifically disprovable, but science doesn't carry that much weight for the type of people who want to believe this stuff. Once you regard a group of people as beyond the pale - immoral, criminal, perverted -  then you can believe them pretty much capable of anything. 

Bigotry thrives on credulity.  One accusation leads to another.  Contradictory claims are equally accepted.  All labels stick fast.   Gay men, for example, are weak and yet fierce; hysteric but calculating; silly and vicious.  Notice the same type of logic used in their racism and misogynistic statements.

The prejudiced, like Fish, are as various as human nature itself.  On the one extreme are those with a cut-and-dried view of the world.  They're wised-up, or so they think; they've seen it all.  They know the rules; they know which ones you've broken.  For them there is no confusion of gay and pedophile. 

On the other extreme are the endlessly shockable.  The realization that people can be attracted to their own gender is like a glimpse into a chasm.  Who knows what else is down there in the darkness.  Childish themselves, they're the self-proclaimed saviors of children.  They imagine gay people as the enemies of children, destroyers of innocence; propagandists, recruiters, seducers. 

For Fish, homosexuality is a spreading disease, a conspiracy of the ill. Fish is going to spread the word…few things are more likely to achieve this than an imagined threat to children.  Some do this as fanatics and some as frauds; all in all, it scarcely matters which.  The best salespeople are the ones who believe in their spiel, or at least believe it while they say it.

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Has anyone ever noticed that the fish man rarely if ever engages in a dialog or responds to criticism? He just drops his little stink bombs then walks away. Fish man if you are listening please defend yourself and explain yourself otherwise this anon wonders if you are a cowardly troll.

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To call child molestation of a boy by a man “homosexual,” or that of a girl by a man “heterosexual,” is to misunderstand pedophilia. No true pedophile is attracted to adults, so neither homosexuality nor heterosexuality applies. [...] Anna C. Salter writes, in Predators, Pedophiles, Rapists and other Sex Offenders, that when a man molests little girls, we call him a “pedophile” and not a “heterosexual.”

https://www.huffingtonpost.com/joe-kort-phd/homosexuality-and-pedophi_b_...

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I think Fish is trying to convey that the scandal was about gay priests going after young "teens" not "boys", therefore they aren't pedophiles but predators.

A 40 year old male teacher who has a sexual relationship with a 14 year old student isn't typically called a pedophile but a predator. He can be charged with rape obviously, but I think our own thinking of when someone can consent to sexual activity is blurred around the teenage years (when someone might actually start thinking about sex).

The age of consent in MA is 16 for sex. A priest who has sex with someone under the age of 16 is a pedophile 100% of the time and I think the scandal has to do with that time of criminal activity (and the cover up) so in that sense, Fish is wrong.

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Pedophilia is termed pedophilic disorder in the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders (DSM-5), and the manual defines it as a paraphilia involving intense and recurrent sexual urges towards and fantasies about prepubescent children that have either been acted upon or which cause the person with the attraction distress or interpersonal difficulty.[4] The International Classification of Diseases (ICD-11) defines it as a "sustained, focused, and intense pattern of sexual arousal—as manifested by persistent sexual thoughts, fantasies, urges, or behaviours—involving pre-pubertal children." -- Wikipedia

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Most of the victims in the gay priest scandal were males, past puberty, so calling it the "pedophile priest" scandal is fake news. Cardinal McCarrick, who presided at Ted Kennedy's burial, was preying (not praying) on seminarians of college age. Please.

I think you would agree that the term pedophile appears nowhere in Massachusetts law. I believe age 16 is well past puberty. Swirly, as for Mass attendance, all I see are old white people when I drive by and I'm in a neighborhood of immigrants. The church will collapse on itself and be sold off as many great parishes have already been shuttered.

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The reason it was males more than females was ... ACCESS!

They didn't put priests in charge of girls - they put nuns in charge of girls.

The disproportionate number of male compared to female victims is seen as a reflection of the role that priests traditionally were expected to play as role models to young males. Keep in mind the fact that until fairly recently, only boys could be altar boys (servers) who got to work alongside the priests.[...] The Vatican's response, which is to remove known homosexuals from the priesthood, is not helpful. This is a case of scapegoating and a false equating of homosexuality with pedophilia.

Source:https://www.psychologytoday.com/us/blog/crimes-violence/201005/priest-ab...

TL/DR: OMG EVERYONE KNOWS HOMOSEX BLAH THE CHILLLLLDRUN! is not "actual reality of what happened" or "reality" in any sense of the word.

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The standard promotional one that has been the same for about 30 years not.

Situational and preferential child molesters come in all sorts of categories and cannot be classified as one "pedophile".

John Geoghan was only put in prison because he was caught grabbing the butt of a 10 year old boy at a swimming pool. 10 year olds are not your standard targets for gay or heterosexual adults looking for "young teens". 10 year olds are also not "past puberty".

Paul Shanley would fit right into the mold of the child molester described in those books. (I'm going by wikipedia) but he was "narcissitic, histrionic". Although Shanley and others were engaged in same sex relationships, they were also texbook situational pedophiles.

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Geoghgan did more than just grab the butt of a 10-year-old kid, or he wouldn't have ended up in prison, where he met his death at the hands of his inmates, who wouldn't tolerate a pedophile in their midst.

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Indecent assault and battery on a child under the age of 14. Maximum 10 year penalty where he got 9 years.

He was charged with several other rapes and sexual assaults, and I'm sure he committed dozens if not hundreds more. But the 1991 Indecent A&B was the only one that stuck.

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as for Mass attendance, all I see are old white people when I drive by

Well... We don't have any drive-by Masses that I'm aware of. Old-school, I know, but we still have to go inside for 45 minutes or an hour (or two). Come on in, maybe you'll be surprised at who you see.

There's an big outdoor rosary - roadside in northern New Hampshire or Maine someplace. The paths are wide enough that you could drive through that. That's the only thing I know of that's close to drive-by Mass.

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