Friday, May 30, 2008

Cardinal McCarrick Celebrates 50 Years as a Priest

It has been a rather busy week here at he blog. A couple of dissenters have been here and I expect I will see more of them. As I said in a much earlier posting: "All Are Welcome, including dissenters."

I received my weekly copy of My Catholic Standard today. As expected, the focus of the edition is on Cardinal McCarrick and his celebration of his 50th Anniversary as a priest. There will be a Mass and reception this weekend at the Shrine and some of you may attend to wish him the best.

Like many of you, I had high hopes when he came to this Archdiocese. I read his weekly columns in the Standard, looked at his weekly calendar, and at the time thought he did a good job. I even had the opportunity, as some of you probably have, to do the "meet and greet" with him at a Church functions.

However, as I read through the Standard's coverage of him, I noticed that they seemed to leave out a couple of things:

  1. His comments on global warming or should I now say "climate change.
  2. His view that civil unions are okay.
  3. His view (like Archbishop Wuerl) on communion and pro-abortion politicians.

  4. His not so complete discussion at the 2004 USCCB Denver meeting of the letter from then Cardinal Ratzinger’s (now Pope Benedict XVI) of Cannon Law 915.

I could go on for a while about this, but for a more complete read go to Restore DC Catholicism

Thursday, May 29, 2008

Schools: Turnaround Starts with Students

From Sunday’s Washington Post a story about Washington Middle School for Girls, a private Catholic school:

Sister Mary and the faculty at Washington Middle insist that their girls perform at a high level. A private Catholic school with only 90 students in grades 4 through 8, Washington Middle aims to admit girls whose families cannot afford more than the school’s $25 monthly tuition. The school depends on philanthropy from individuals and foundations for the bulk of its $1.5 million budget.

The school features morning prayer and a religion class, and students wear classic Catholic school uniforms. Otherwise, the focus is on secular academics. Most of the girls are not Catholic, but, in contrast to the archdiocese, which is closing several inner-city schools, this private school is growing.

Launched a decade ago by the National Council of Negro Women, the Society of the Holy Child Jesus and the Religious of Jesus and Mary, Washington Middle hews to a traditional curriculum yet allows teachers the freedom to find their own ways to connect with children who often lack serious academic role models.

I had not really had a chance to read the Sunday paper this past weekend but this is a fantastic story. A story that shows that the Church, in many ways large and small, make a real difference in the lives of our young people.

Thanks to DC Catholic for posting it.

Wednesday, May 28, 2008

The Beginning of the Gospel According to Obama, the Son of God

I normally would not include this as part of my blog but since there are a number of Catholics in the Archdiocese who support Obama (and yes, even in my parish), I thought that they might find this interesting.

The Beginning of the Gospel According to Obama, the Son of God. According to Mark Shea.

Tip of the hat to The Curt Jester.

Tuesday, May 27, 2008

More on the CFO Situation

Well, it seems that from my sources, the issue regarding the J. Michael Kelly may become a bit of a problem for the Archdiocese. However, they seem to be dodging it for the moment.

At first, he was the CFO, attending meetings using that title. Now they are saying was volunteering as CFO. However, like the questions I asked last week, did he receive a background check into his financial dealings, not just the standards Child Protection one? If no, why? If yes, did it show up anything wrong? Did he have access to financial information of donors?

Now, my sources tell me that the Archdiocese is portraying Thom Duffy as the CFO all along. Mr. Duffy came to Washington DC from Pittsburgh in 2006, where he worked for Archbishop Wuerl. Now, if that is the case, then why did the Catholic Standard show him as the Executive Director of the Secretariat of Finance and Management in Nov. of 2007 and not CFO? And, if you go on the Diocese website, he is not even listed. There is no mention of him at all.

Now, let me say that I did get a chance to meet Mr. Duffy a couple of months ago. I won’t say where or under the circumstances, but he was listed as Executive Director (and not CFO). My impression of him (and a number in attendance) is that he believes that he can "snowball" most people (ie, people are too stupid to understand).

Finally, someone asked me why the media has not picked up on this. I believe that the reason is three fold. One, Jane G. Bedford and Susan Gibbs have done a good job of wiping out most of the information regarding Mr. Kelly from the websites. (In fact, if you read the Archdiocese Financial Statement, there is no mention of anyone who handles the financial information about the Archdiocese -- no Finance Board Members, no CFO, nothing, nada). Second, I don't believe that the media has picked up on the relationship between Kelly and the Archdiocese. Finally, at this moment, there has been no published reports of financial impropriety. If there is, there may be more questions than answers.

I will keep you posted as I get more information.

Friday, May 23, 2008

An Open Letter to Archbishop Wuerl re CFO Scandal

It has been a busy week here at the blog -- first w/ VOTF and now the CFO issue.

Having thought about this and discussed this, there are a number of unanswered questions (among many) about J. M. Kelley who was indicted by the SEC earlier this week.

So, I am publicly posting these questions to the Archbishop and the Archdiocese.

  • Who hired J. M. Kelly?
  • Is that person still around (it is my understanding that it was Jane Golden Bedford -- the Chancellor for the Archdiocese)? If yes, what did she know and when did she know it?
  • Was a background check completed on Mr. Kelly? (And I do not mean the one for Child Protection.) If yes, what did it show? (If there was an SEC investigation, it should have come up.) If there was information that he was being investigated, why was he hired?
  • Was there any indication of malfeasance with the Church's fund? If yes, what was done it about it?

From what I can gather, just before the story broke, the Archdiocese and Catholic Charities removed any indication that of Mr. Kelly's name from their websites.

What this reminds me of is the case of Fr. Lee. You remember him, the priest who was a Navy chaplain accused of sexual misconduct. The Archdiocese claimed they never knew anything about this until they were informed of the charged by the Navy. Besides, they said, he was under the Archdicose of Military Services, so it does not concern us. Yeah, right.

Thursday, May 22, 2008

VOTF and Holy Trinity Parish (in DC)

Well, it looks like St. John the Baptist in Silver Spring wasn't the only parish to advertise Bishop Robinson's book signing, sponsored by Voice of the Faithful (VOTF).

We also have
Holy Trinity in Washington DC, which advertised it in their May11th bulletin.

However, it only gets better!

It seems that VOTF has an affiliate in the Archdiocese of Washington DC. And guess where it is located?

If you guessed Holy Trinity, you go to the head of the class.

So, we actually have a dissenting organization supported by a Catholic parish in the Archdiocese. And, it has done so since 2003! What's next? A Planned Parenthood chapter?

Does not the Archbishop have authority over the parishes in his Diocese?

Is there anyone who cares about this in Hyattsville?

Wednesday, May 21, 2008

BREAKING NEWS: SEC sues Washington Archdiocese's CFO for alleged fraud while at AOL

J. Michael Kelly, chief financial officer of the Archdiocese of Washington, is among eight former America Online executives who have been named in civil lawsuits filed by the Securities and Exchange Commission in connection with an alleged accounting scheme that inflated the company's reported advertising revenues.

For more, CNS.

Yesterday, someone posted a comment about this but I was unable to confirm it (could not find anything that stated that he was the CFO of Archdiocese of Washington) which is why I did not post the story yesterday. Therefore, to ANON, I thank you but I hope that you understand that I needed to find something that stated the above, and was unable to do so.

Happy Birthday St. Augustine, Happy Birthday to You!!

St. Augustine Catholic Church, the city's oldest African American parish, marked their 150th anniversary on Sunday. Read it here in the WaPo.


And many more...

Tuesday, May 20, 2008

Usus Antiquior at Georgetown University

Reported that the Solumn Form of the usus antiquior at Georgetown University in Washington, DC. took place on May 16th.

For more details, click here.

Tip to the hat to The New Ligurgical Movement.

Monday, May 19, 2008

Catholic School Teacher Scholarships Available

Maryland state scholarships worth up to $4,000 annually are available for current teachers and college students in exchange for teaching in the state’s Catholic schools in a field with a critical teacher shortage.

The deadline to apply for the Workforce Shortage Student Assistance Grants for the 2008-2009 academic year is Tuesday, July 1. They are renewable for up to five years if the students remains eligible.

For more information, click

Thursday, May 15, 2008

Dan Stallings Sentenced to Twenty Years

(Deacon) Dan Stallings has been sentenced to twenty years in prison for abusing his stepdaughter and a former parishioner at St. John the Evangelist Church (Silver Spring, MD).

He may be released after serving five years, under Maryland law.

For more information, please click here.

VOTF and St. John the Baptist (Silver Spring)

Once again, we have another parish in the Diocese promoting Voice of the Faithful (VOTF), a dissident organization.

St. John the Baptist (Silver Spring) has recently placed an announcement in their parish bulletin advertising the local speaking engagement of the Most. Rev. Geoffrey Robinson, the retired Auxiliary Bishop of Sidney Australia.

Although he is not speaking on parish property (thank God), it is bad enough that they are advertising this event.

What makes it worse is that the Australian Bishops have issued a public statement about a number of doctrinal problems with this book.

According to Catholic World News:

At their May meeting, the Australian bishops warn that Confronting Power calls into question "the authority of the Catholic Church to teach the truth definitively." The book reflects "Bishop Robinson’s uncertainty about the knowledge and authority of Christ himself," the bishops report.

The bishops' statement goes on to note problems with the bishop's book on "among other things, the nature of Tradition, the inspiration of the Holy Scripture, the infallibility of the Councils and the Pope, the authority of the Creeds, the nature of the ministerial priesthood and central elements of the Church’s moral teaching."

Once again, what are they thinking over at St. John’s? First it was accolades for the former Montgomery Council member Marilyn Praisner. Now, they advertise of a dissident organization event with a bishop who seems to waiver on a number of doctrinal issues. What next?

Wednesday, May 14, 2008

Catholic Colleges and Homosexual Clubs

During the Papal Visit, the USCCB hosted a blog. One of the postings gave the number of Catholic schools at all levels.

Being the person that I am, I asked if this included everyone who called themselves Catholic (like Georgetown) or really and truly Catholic institutions. That posting was immediately removed. (You can see an earlier posting on this.) Note that it is their blog and they can do whatever they please.

However, in the Washington DC area, there are two “Catholic” institutions which have “homosexual associations”: Georgetown University and Trinity College.

To be honest, there is no surprise with either one.

But, I do know from previous reports, that the Archbishop refuses to do anything to go about closing these clubs, since the universities in question “are not administered by the Archdiocese.”

For a complete listing, click here.

Tuesday, May 13, 2008

Sen. Kennedy Recieves Communion at Papal Mass

According to the Washington Times:

In fact, Sen. Edward M. Kennedy, a liberal Massachusetts Democrat, got a personalized delivery of Communion, said Dan Skehan, a businessman from Lancaster, Pa., who sat in Section 216 directly above the senator.

Minutes before the rest of the enormous crowd lined up to receive the sacrament, Mr. Skehan and his two sons spotted a priest making his way down the steps to the senator to hand him the consecrated host.

"It was obviously prearranged," Mr. Skehan said, "maybe out of regard for his girth and lack of mobility. I turned immediately to both my sons and said, 'Oh my gosh, look at that.' Everyone in my section, which was filled with people from Lancaster, said, 'That is outrageous. How could they do that?'"
At first, on April 30, archdiocese spokeswoman Susan Gibbs denied that Mr. Kennedy had partaken, saying such a scenario "wouldn't be possible."

Then on May 1, Mr. Kennedy's office e-mailed The Washington Times a one-sentence statement saying the senator had indeed received Communion at the Mass.

"They know which priest was assigned to distribute Communion in that section," he said. "Those priests couldn't wander around. They had 47,000 people receive Communion in 15 minutes. That was orchestrated. They knew who was where."

Now, we have another pro-abortion, pro-homosexual politician who has received Communion. The Archdiocese claims that this could not have happened? Give me a break.

Will there be other names coming forward? Maybe this is why the Archbishop continues to push this notion that only the local bishop can do anything.

Personally, I think that a much better title to this story would be: “I see nothing, nothing!” Sgt. Schultz - Hogan’s Heroes television series.

Saturday, May 10, 2008

A Plea from the Comments Section (Dan Stallings)

I normally do not post over the weekend, but this comment (edited) was posted on the blog a short time ago. I have decided to post it, since I have followed the case of Dan Stallings (former Deacon of St. John the Evangelist Church in Silver Spring).

He lied to his family, his deceased wife, his faith, his parish...and has not asked for forgiveness from any one. The judge is currently thinking that he should serve no jail time since he is 73. I believe a man capable of sexually abusing his step daughter, niece, and making advances to a young woman in the parish 10 years ago is more than capable of committing this acts in the future! We need to protect all children from these predators, Catholic or not. I can tell you right now if he is not sent to jail it will be a crime. How many men are not sentenced to jail because of their age and allowed out in the community to potentially damage more young lives? This is a crime in our society!

He will be sentenced on May 15th.

I have heard from two other St. John's parishioners about this and they have encouraged me to let others know.

Therefore, if you can do so, please write (and no derogatory comments).

The judge in the case is:

Honorable Honorable S. Michael Pincus:
Circuit Court of Montgomery County
50 Maryland Avenue
Rockville, Maryland 20850

The States Attorney is Donna Fenton:

As I have asked before, please pray for the victims in the case. They have been hurt more than we can image.

Please pray for the parishioners of St. John the Evangelist. Please pray for all of the priests and religious associated with the parish. They have been devastated by this betrayal.

Friday, May 9, 2008

Tell Governor O'Malley NOT to sign SB566 or SB597

Two bills that undermine the institution of marriage by granting marriage equivalency to unmarried couples in the health and tax statutes could become law as soon as May 13 unless they are vetoed by Gov. Martin O'Malley.

SB 566 and SB 597 are seriously problematic. Under the bills, any two people - same-sex, or of opposite sexes - can gain state recognition as domestic partners if they jointly rent a car, jointly rent an apartment, and sign an affidavit that they are in an "interdependent" relationship. There is no requirement that the affidavit be filed with any agency, or even notarized. Domestic partnerships can be dissolved merely by signing another affidavit. SB 566 and SB 597 allow those domestic partnerships to be treated the same as marriages in parts of the health and tax statutes.

SB 566 grants medical decision-making rights to domestic partners. However, those benefits are already available to ALL couples in Maryland through advance directives and powers of attorney. SB 597 exempts domestic partners and former domestic partners from recordation and transfer taxes.

Governor’s contact by email is:

Governor’s contact by fax is: 410.974.3275

Governor’s contact by phone is: 410.974.3901 or 1.800.811.8336

Governor's snail mail address:
The Honorable Martin O’Malley

State House, 100 State Circle
Annapolis, MD 21401


NB: I must issue a Mea Culpa for my negligence in not linking DC Catholic earlier on my site. The website has some nice postings on various issues affecting Catholics in the DC area.

Thursday, May 8, 2008

Catholics Come Home - A Fantastic Website

Although there is much to be critical about, there are times when you come across something that is inspiring.

This is the case with the website Catholics Come Home.

Now, I am not a theologian, nor do I play one on the web, but this seems to be one of those sites that is easy to understand for both the Catholic and non-Catholic, as well as, provides you with solid resources.

If you are having a rough time with your faith (and we go through this, at one time or another), take a look at it. If you want to learn a bit more, go ahead and browse through it. If your non-Catholic neighbor has questions, refer him or her to it.

If you still have not given to the Archbishop's Appeal and are looking for a place to donate, this may be the place for you.

Enjoy and God Bless.

Wednesday, May 7, 2008

The 2008 Migration Conference or "How I Learned to Thwart the US Government on Illegal Aliens"

Well, it seems (from my humble reading) that the 2008 Migration Conference will be a humdinger.

Yes, the Catholic Legal Immigration Network, Inc. (CLINIC) and the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops/Migration and Refugee Services (USCCB/MRS), will be pulling out all the stops in attempting to stop the enforcement of immigration laws.

Yes, you too can attend such sessions as:

  • How To Combat Federal Raids, State & Local Immigration Enforcement Initiatives
  • Motions to Suppress and Evidence Issues in Removal
  • Strategy Session on State and Local Immigration Measures. Description: During the last two years, the number of anti-immigrant proposals in state legislatures and city councils has risen sharply…
  • Raid Preparation: Learn to Give 'Know Your Rights' Presentations in Your Communities

Now, I am surprised that they are staying at the Hilton Washington. I mean if they really wanted to show their solidarity with illegal aliens, they should hire a couple of dozen to help run the conference.

They could probably find a school that is not being used since it is summer (and pay a fee) and then call upon CASA of MARYLAND for assistance. CASA is well know for assisting illegal aliens via their laborer centers (and making a living off of government grants). You can link to CASA off of the Maryland Catholic Conference website.

Illegal aliens can staff the registration booths, put together the conference bags, cook food, clean up, pick up the evaluations at the end of sessions, staff the booths, set-up the rooms for presentations, etc. You can probably reduce the cost of registration by half.

Instead of calling upon the US government to help solve the problem, show that you are part of the solution. Show your solidarity with illegal aliens by hiring them to help run the conference.

Tuesday, May 6, 2008

A Communications Director who Refuses to Communicate

Well, it seems that Susan Gibbs must be having a really bad time due to the Archbishop’s statements on the matter giving Communion to pro-abortion politicians’.

She was contacted by the
Catholic News Agency (CNA) on this matter and according to the article:

Susan Gibbs, Director of Communications for the Archdiocese of Washington, said that she would not provide a statement. The reasons she gave for not providing a statement were that she doesn't consider CNA worthy of a statement and that she is "not interested" in providing one.

I must give a nod to
DC Catholic for pointing out this story.


Note: I am pleased to announce the addition of a new link: Dymphna's Road. Take a moment to go to her blog and take a look at some of her insights.

Monday, May 5, 2008

It's like deja vu all over again.

Yes, these are the some of the immortal words of Yogi Berra but they could be used to describe this week's column in (the) My Catholic Standard by Archbishop Wuerl.

This column in a sense starts that way by once again attempting attempting to explain his views on why he cannot refuse Holy Communion to pro-abortion politicians.

Unfortunately, he only seems to be digging himself deeper into a hole with this. Why? Because he only confirms his stance that only the local bishop of the politician can refuse him communion.

As mentioned in my blog last week, this will open up a can of worms, and the various Catholic commentators and bloggers are talking about this all over the place.

What also makes this different is that this is the first time I have ever seen him state the issue of the local bishop. In all of his previous statements (at least that I have heard), this was never mentioned.

I am once again disappointed in Archbishop Wuerl.

It's like deja vu all over again.

Thursday, May 1, 2008

Archbishop Wuerl Weasels Out

As many of you know, Cardinal Egan (Archdiocese of NY) has publicly admonished Rudy Guliani for receiving communion during the Pope's visit. This has of course put some of the members of our hierarchy in a bit of an embarrassing situation, like our own Archbishop Wuerl.

During the Pope's visit to Washington DC, US Senators Nancy Pelosi, Chris Dodd and John Kerry all received Communion at National Stadium. (There are photos circulating the web of Dodd and Kerry receiving Communion. I have not seen one of Sen. Pelosi, so if you know of one, please let me know.)

According to an article in the NYTimes:

The Archdiocese of Washington also issued a statement on Monday. It said that Archbishop Donald W. Wuerl had consistently and persistently presented the Church's clear teaching on the evil of abortion and the need for those in public office to recognize that the support of abortion is wrong.

How to respond to those in public office who support abortion legislation is open to various legitimate pastoral approaches, as the United States bishops affirmed in their June 2004 statement on Catholics in political life, the statement said. The decision concerning the refusal of holy communion to an individual can best be made by the bishop in the person's home diocese with whom he or she presumably is in conversation.

I am just dumbfounded by this statement. This is unbelievable. This just boggles the mind.

What Archbishop Wuerl has just said was that: "You can only be denied Holy Communion by the bishop where you reside, since they know you best."

No matter what you have said on the issue, no matter how you have voted on the issue, no matter how many fundraisers and how much money you have donated to supporting abortion, unless your bishop takes action, no other bishop can do anything about it.

This is the same argument made by those who say: "You can't talk about abortion, if you are not a woman." or "You can't talk about supporting the War in Iraq, if you have not served in the military."

What the Archbishop has just done, and will be picked up by pro-abortion politicians and others all around the world, is to reduce the authority of the church to speak on these issues and have Catholics listen, just another notch.

Can you see the conversation now:

Archbishop Wuerl: Abortion is evil. As a Catholic, you should not support additional funding for it.

Pro-Abortion Politician: Well, that is all well and good but since you are not the bishop of my diocese, it does not matter what you say. I only have to listen to the views of Bishop X in this matter. Since he has not said anything on it, I am free to support increased spending on abortion.

What a disaster this is.

No wonder why many Catholics in this Diocese have lost total confidence in the Archbishop's leadership.

He has not only failed us, but the entire Church!


NB: There are those of you who may think that using the term "weasels out" is too derogatory. I am using it since it was a term both he and I would recognize immediately, since it was used when both of us were kids. If you do not like it, then I suggest you may substitute other titles, such as "Archbishop Wuerl Cops-Out" "Archbishop Wuerl Pulls a Pontius Pilate" "Archbishop Wuerl Has No Backbone."