Can’t get much more blatant

Can’t get much more blatant

Would the active promotion and participation of a pastor and a parish in a gay pride parade cross the line of appropriate action for Catholics? Should their bishop take action to prevent the spread of scandal and error and having the name of the Catholic Church associated with an event at which debauchery and immorality will be trumpeted?

From this past Sunday’s bulletin of Our Lady Help of Christians Parish, Newton, Mass. (PDF), Fr. Walter Cuenin, pastor:

Boston Pride Interfaith Prayer Service and Parade: The Gay and Lesbian Faith Sharing Group and the Justice and Peace Committee invite you to participate in this year’s Gay Pride Celebration. For over 35 years Boston Gay Pride has served as a means for showing the diversity and visibility of Boston’s Gay Community and provided an opportunity to comment on important issues with regards to social and political concerns of the times. Boston Pride is made up of people from all walks of life, straight and gay and many of the supporters are friends and family members. One way to show your support is to join the Gay & Lesbian Faith Sharing Group and the Justice and Peace Committee in the Gay Pride Parade and Pride Interfaith Service on Saturday, June 11th. The Interfaith Service, with keynote speaker Senator Jarrett Barrios, is being held at Old South Church on Copley Square starting at 10:00am. The Parade starts at 12:00pm beginning at Copley Square and ending at the Boston Common. Please join us in prayer and walk with us in solidarity as we affirm and support all people as they journey to become who God calls them to be. To participate and/or for further details, please contact XXX at ext. XXX or at .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address).

Just to be clear, the Church’s teachings on sexuality are not supported or promoted or even tolerate by the organizers and participants of these events and groups.

  • Do you get the impression this is being leaked intentionally, and that the confusion may be intentional as well?  It’s not the first time this has happened.

    The strategy of warring factions?

  • From the inside view, I thought it would make an interesting opera/concert theatre.  But not a Catholic Church.

    When I saw a picture of it earlier today, I was only thinking about the architecture of the thing.  Dom, you are making a good point about the money, and I hadn’t even considered that. .

    Tower of the Sith Lord?  Is it coming to that, do you think?  Discouraging, this is, she says in her best Yoda-speak.

  • As a San Franciscan who saw the photo in the newspaper, I thought it looked beautiful. My only question is where is the cross but I have to believe it is there…
    For Oakland, this is a great thing and it will anchor the Church in downtown Oakland at the end of Lake Merritt creating a strong Catholic presence in the center of the city.
    The cathedrals were built during hard times and good times—this is an answer to the need for a good worship space for the people of Oakland. Oakland is a poor town, high crime, and this is an investment and statement by the Church that the people of Oakland deserve a beautiful worship space.

  • Apparently no cafeteria in Houston, either.

    What I find really discouraging about the Oakland design is that it’s going forward under Vigneron. However, there is some good modern design, and perhaps he thinks he is supporting that “style” in using this design. Or it’s one of those things where his hands are “tied”, despite how people like me think bishops *should* act.

  • Oh dear. That Houston cathedral (“co-cathedral”?) looks beautiful. And that Oakland thing looks like an opera house.

  • “It just seems irresponsible that while dioceses across the country are declaring bankruptcy, billions are being paid out in legal settlements, and parishes and schools by the dozen are closing, that extravagances like this are being built. It strikes me as wrong.”—Dom

    Dom, I agree with you entirely.  Aside from the aesthetics—by Moloch and Associates, the construction of this Palace of Doom is sinful in its extravagance and more proof that some in the Church have had their minds taken over by aliens.  It revences a mind-set that is better suited to a Hollywood studio lot than a place where we come in contrition and humility to worship Our Lord.

    When I think of the individual and entirely voluntary labors of love, time, sacrifice, talents that were given so freely by our ancestors in building masterpieces of beauty, this shiny new toilet makes me want to weep.

    I wonder just how close it is to the San Andreas faultline?  (God forgive me!)

  • Rod, it’s a “co-cathedral” because the cathedral is the Basilica of St. Mary’s in Galveston. The population center shifted to Houston in the 20th century, and then about 40 years ago the chancery and bishop’s residence moved to Houston. Sacred Heart parish was designated a “co-cathedral” with this move.

  • Addendum … but Sacred Heart in Houston is the functioning cathedral of the archdiocese. St. Mary’s is small and far away, and retains its historic designation.

  • I seem to be following Rod around today.  That co-Cathedral is awesome.  Wow o wow.
    The Oakland thing? Yikes.  Can’t Rome say that any church or Cathedral (at least) plans must be approved by them?  Shouldn’t there be an “Office of Architecture Orthodoxy” or something?

  • Kathy,

    Calatrava, the original architect, belongs to a group of people who promote Gaia worship.  Many of them are the movers and shakers of the world, including James Lovelock and Lynn Margulis, creators of Gaia Theory; Christopher Bamford, Editor of Anthroposophic Press; James Parks Morton, former Dean of the Cathedral of St. John the Divine in New York; Robert McDermott, former President of the California Institute of Integral Studies; Michael and Dulce Murphy, founders of Esalen; Kathleen Raine, Gary Snyder, David Spangler, writers on Gnosticism and New Age; Maurice Strong, international politician; William Irwin Thompson, creater of Lindisfarne Associates; and a lot more.  E. F. Schumacher and Gregory Bateson were both members before their death.

    The architect and his firm who ended up building this thing are not some homegrown product.  They have international standing as the firm that pioneered this style of architecture for American corporations.

    You can read about their style of architecture at the website of Architronic, a web-based publication of the School of Architecture at Kent State University.  The article’s title is “Architecture and Theosophy:  An Introduction”.  The study done by Susan R. Henderson at Syracuse University is lengthy and involves other experts, but it clearly spells out what Modernism in Architecture represents.  Here’s the web address:

    Dr. Duncan Stroik, at Notre Dame put me onto this information.

  • Dear Dom,

      Thank you for keeping on this situation. I think both the LC and the accusers are playing the Spin game. The accusers certainly have engaged in attempting to dirty the pool with some of the quotes attributed to them. This does not excuse the LC’s wordgames.
      My hunch is that late into his papacy JPII and the then Cardinal Ratzinger reached the conclusion that the accusers’ stories were broadly speaking plausible and that all trails should be followed; but only after maciel had retired and the Constitutions of the Legion and Regnum Chrsiti were approved so as to limit any possible fallout. In the early days of B16 Sodano may be trying to turn the clock back so to speak. I’m sure B16 won’t go for that. We must be patient. 

  • Cane here,” while the CDF gives the quiet impression that there is. The press office says a lot, while the CDF says little and does a lot: interviewing alleged victims and such.

    What’s the real story? Who is behind the different emphases? What are the agendas? We may never know, but every day there is more evidence that there’s more here than meets the eye.

    Update: Now this is interesting. Reuters has a slightly different quote from Benedettini, but the difference is significant, I think.

    “There is no canonical process underway nor is one foreseen in the future,” Vatican deputy spokesman Father Ciro Benedettini told Reuters Monday, confirming a statement released by the Legionaries of Christ saying the case had been dropped.

    Notice that he says “canonical process,” instead of “investigation.” A canonical process would mean a trial, not simply an investigation. It’s my understanding that an investigation precedes and must be concluded before the canonical process can begin. And how do we explain the differences in the quotes? Was he asked the question twice? Is it a translation difference?


    2005-05-24 08:00:30
    2005-05-24 12:00:30

    2005-05-24 10:30:56
    2005-05-24 14:30:56
    Well, it would apparently seem that the “investigation” part took place in April with the interviews in various places.  With the current statements, it would appear that the investigation is over since there is not foreseen a canonical process in the future.  No one is obliged to give any info on just what those interviews entailed.  Perhaps we should just keep tuned for a final clarification on open or closed….or more additional stir ups by more disgruntled persons.

  • From your earlier item on this mess, it appears that the LC’s are lying by half-commission, using an affirmation from an unrelated Vatican official to “confirm” their story—in other words, they could have asked him to confirm that the sky is blue and they would have used his affirmation to confirm THEIR story.

    Regardless of the accuracy of the accusations, if the LC’s are playing these sorts of games with words, the smell-o-meter has just gone critical.

    Rod Dreher, where are you?

  • Are these folks Dignity or Courage? Wait, their having a big ol’ parade—my question has been answered.  The bishop really needs to do something, but, as we have seen, most bishops are more than a little reluctant to stand up to even a light breeze, let alone a hurricane!  So, if the bishop DOES step in, I shall fast hold my breath for an entire day!

  • The scariest part is, that before you get to the end, it look like an announcement from a homosexual group printed in the bulletin at someone’s request…

    Then it hits you. When you look at the bulletin, two things jump out:

    1.  The Peace and Justice Committee is a ministry of OLHC Church, and
    2.  The contact person has an extension and email address at the parish.

    I’m assuming that the homosexual group also is a ministry of the parish. (Could be wrong)

  • One day Fr. Cuenin will push the envelope too far and he’ll be ‘reassigned’ and all hell will break loose from the parishioners and hangers-on.  Of course, you can push the envelope practically off the table ‘round here, so who knows when this will happen.

    I wondered what ailed Fr. Cuenin until I watched a video of one of his talks – archived on the BC in the 21st Century website – well, a couple of minutes into the video, I figured it out. 

    You know what annoys me about all the “join us in prayer and walk with us in solidarity” crap? NOWHERE do I ever see a call to repentance and turning away from sin, ever. All human faults and sin and ignorance is taken as the way God made us, end of story, no change needed.

    I might be a little cranky tonight, sorry! But it is tragic when a priest leads the sheeple off the edge of the cliff even though he is smiling and loving and prayerful and in solidarity while doing so.

  • The Lord Jesus never said “come as you are” but He did say “go and sin no more”.

    Of course, Cuenin knows better. he is in this world and OF this world.

    What does it merit a man to be popular by being a false prohet, and then to lose his soul.

    PS. In case Cuenin thinks he is some great hero,  it takes no courage to gain the popularity and support of the world particularly through the MSM by being a champion of their agenda. Let him try and promote say the incontrovertible scientific fact that celibacy and/or abstinence as the only 100%, foolproof method of avoiding AIDS, and watch the world and the MSM make mincemeat out of him. 

  • Correction:

    for “celibacy and/or abstinence” please read
    “fidelity in marriage or abstinence outside of it” 

  • Why is Andrew Sullivan a proponent of “gay rights”?

    Why is Barney Frank a proponent of “gay rights”?

    Why, do you suppose, is Fr. Walter Cuenin a proponent of “gay rights”?


  • Ninenot is right on with this one. And this is not really the Vatican “playing games.” This is the Legion taking advantage of what is essentially a “no comment” from the Assistant at the Vatican Press Office. They still haven’t figured out that unless they say “off the record” anything they say can be attributed to them. What is worse is, the Legion is now saying the Vatican called them specifically to tell them this. According to Regain’s conversation with the priest, he did no such thing.

    What would be interesting would be to find out why Fr. Maciel was kicked out of the first two seminaries he attended.

  • “Of course, you can push the envelope practically off the table ent_date_gmt>2005-05-25 15:55:14
    Cuenin is more likely to be promoted to Monsignor or Bishop than he is likely to be reprimanded.

    Reprimands are for priests who protest baby killing.

  • John Allen at NCR (and Amy’s blog) has an update to this situation. Pope Sodano is taking over on things outside of his jurisdiction. This should be really interesting.

  • “Why, do you suppose, is Fr. Walter Cuenin a proponent of ‘gay rights’?


    It just seems irresponsible that while dioceses across the country are declaring bankruptcy, billions are being paid out in legal settlements, and parishes and schools by the dozen are closing, that extravagances like this are being built. It strikes me as wrong.


    2005-05-24 08:38:29
    2005-05-24 12:38:29

    2005-05-24 11:11:18
    2005-05-24 15:11:18
    The architect of this thing is a modernist.  Think Bahaus, and theosophical architecture.  The firm is noted for its impact on American corporate architecture.  Take a look at what Sara Garlick has to say about this firm.

    To me anyway, it appears as though Oakland has decided to build a cathedral that presents symbolically a religion that isn’t Catholic.  Michael Rose has posted on his website another design for Oakland that looks decidedly Catholic.  This wasn’t a matter of an architect coming up with a strange design that those in charge came to conclude they liked afterall.  The first architect chosen for the project was Santiago Calatrava, a member of Lindisfarne Associates.  This is deliberate, and I believe that it intends to usher in another faith.