O’Malley’s new Jewish focus… and the heterodox priest on point

O’Malley’s new Jewish focus… and the heterodox priest on point

Perhaps hoping to begin to move on from scandals and crises, Cardinal Sean O’Malley of Boston gave a major speech last night on Catholic-Jewish relations sponsored by the Anti-Defamation League at a local Jewish community center. Certainly there’s nothing wrong with this emphasis—his predecessor was also frequently recognized for his work with leaders of other faiths in Boston to confront social ills in a unified front—but I’m left noting that if this is a major new intiative, a certain notoriously heterodox priest has been put on the front lines (which the Boston Globe has also noticed.)

Instead of a parish of 2,700 households, [Fr. Walter Cuenin] now guides a group of fewer than 500 Catholics—about 15 percent of the students at this predominantly Jewish university. Instead of a grand church with vaulted ceilings, stained-glass windows, and wooden pews, his new home is a modest chapel with whitewashed stucco walls, Spartan decorations, and metal folding chairs.

... Cuenin said he approached the archdiocese about the Brandeis position after learning of the opening last December. He visited with students and staff, and a short time later the archdiocese accepted his proposal.

Meanwhile, we can expect Cuenin to continue to spread the errors of his ways to the impressionable young students of Brandeis, watering down and outright trampling on the Church’s teachings.

He said the brochure and his campus lectures have prompted people to approach him privately, including students and staff encouraged by his support of gay rights. Sham predicted that Cuenin will “draw in more people that felt marginalized by the church,” including members of the gay and lesbian community.

Doesn’t Cardinal O’Malley care that Cuenin is leading his flock astray? Why does he keep a priest in ministry who so undermines the truth? After all, we’ve had evidence that Cuenin is looking into splitting off and setting up his own church.

In June, Cuenin is due to receive an award from a Boston radical gay activist group. Can O’Malley continue to ignore this?

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  • Cdl O’Malley is just creating more scandal with his words:

    ‘‘the church is the daughter of the synagogue,” he said. ‘‘The Mass, which is the center of our spiritual life, is basically a synagogue service and a Seder meal brought together. . . .

    Mike said:

    The #1 solution to the current vocations crisis is to install devout, orthodox, and dynamic priests into all the colleges and high schools.

      Apparently not at Jewish ones.

  • Certainly the Gay,Lesbian,Bisexual and Transgendered(GLBT) supporters for gay marriage will throw the fact of Fr. Walter Cuenin’s strong support for their cause in the face of Cardinal O’Malley and all of the Catholics who are involved with getting the right to vote on the meaning of marriage as the union of one man and one woman at the Constitutional Convention at the State house on July 12. Bay Windows, the largest GLBT newspaper, is already featuring Fr. Walter Cuenin’s work to promote the GLBT agenda, as can be noted in the Feb.2nd,2006 issue of Bay Windows:“Catholic priest to preach at Boston Pride Interfaith Service”by Laura Kiritsy.Kiritsy reports that on the morning of June 10 at the start of the Boston Pride parade at the service at the Old South Church, Fr. Cuenin will be honored for “having contributed in a very positive way to the advancement of GLBT issues”. The article futher states,“he offered legislative testimony in 2002 against the proposed constitutional amendment to ban same-sex marriage.”
    If Fr. Cuenin is allowed to participate in this June 10th Boston Pride Interfaith Service where he is also scheduled to preach at the service in the same manner that Bishop Gene Robinson, the openly gay Episcopalian bishop preached when he was so honored, then there will massive, irreparable damage done to all of the work of Catholics that was done to get the signatures and the support for the Marriage Amendment in all of the Catholic parishes throughout the Archdiocese. Will Fr. Cuenin be given permission to go ahead with his plans or will he be told, as a matter of obedience, that he cannot participate in this open scandal? The Bay Windows article states:“Cuenin seems to understand the fine line he’ll walk at the Interfaith Service.” Would he disobey an order from Cardinal O’Malley to say that he will not attend? Will Cardinal O’Malley give him that order? Will Fr. Cuenin’s actions destroy the right of Catholics to vote on the meaning of marriage? He is doing everything he can to stop us. He did it in 2002 and he’ll do it in 2006 if he is allowed to go through with his plans. His contempt and hatred for practicing Catholic parishioners in the Boston Archdiocese is glaring.

  • Fr. Altier (Minneapolis) ORTHODOX – is shuffled off to obscure chaplain position in medical facility

    Fr. Cuenin- DISSIDENT, HETERODOX – scope of influence changed, but still able to affect impressionable college students

    Gee, I think there’s a message here if we really look for it!

  • First of all, there is absolutely nothing scandalous in Cardinal O’Malley’s words about the the Church being the daughter of the Synagogue, because it is true.

    Secondly, hasn’t the Cardinal just announced that he will be visiting a whole bunch of churches in the diocese to address the scandal of the last few years? I think that is a much more “major” development.

    Third of all, I think it is a huge mistake to put Cuenin at Brandeis, and a huge mistake to not to silence him. Period.

  • The Council of Trent:  “The Mass a true and proper sacrifice which is
    offered to God; not merely an offering of praise and thanksgiving, or
    simply a memorial of the sacrifice on the Cross; but a propitiatory
    sacrifice which is offered for the living and dead, for the remission
    of sins and punishment due to sin, as satisfaction for sin and for
    other necessities.”

    Cardinal Sean:  “The Mass is basically a synagogue service and a Seder
    meal brought together.”


    Thanks for clearing that up, Your Eminence.

  • Oh, honestly, do you really think, by quoting one comment, out of context, that the Cardinal was denying the Council of Trent?

    It6 doesn’t take much to set some people off on a toot,does it?

  • Are we to believe that the Mass which Christ gave us is the same as a service performed by those who reject Christ?

    The Cardinal’s statement so contradicts Sacrosancum Concilium (the Vatican II document on the Liturgy), the current Catechism, all old Catechisms, the DOGMATIC Council of Trent, the teaching of all Doctors of the Church and all Saints who uttered a word about the Mass … providing links and references is a waste of time.

    The Cardinal’s words reject the crucifed Chirst and the unbloody sacrifice of the Mass. To him, it is just handing out bread just like those who reject Christ.

  • He did not meant that AT ALL, and you should be ashamed of yourself for insulting his faith like that.

    The Sacrifice of the Mass clearly says “Christ our Passover is sacrificed for us”. Do you think the early Christians were ignorant of the Seder?
    What on earth do you even know about the order of worship in the classic synagogue service.here do you think the early Christians got the order of scripture readings from?

    You are a pompous pain in the duff and you owe the Cardinal (and me) an apology.

  • Are we to believe that the Mass which Christ gave us is the same as a service performed by those who reject Christ?


    Yes, we are. Christ celebrated the Passover with his disciples and it became the Sacrifice of the Mass. If you knew anything about the Passover you’d see that it is described in detail in the Gospel accounts. I suggest you read Scott Hahn’s explanation of this called “The Fourth Cup.”

    What the cardinal said was not out of line in and of itself. You are reading into his statement your own animus toward him.

  • Isn’t there enough confusion, ambiguity and lack of sound catechesis out there? Consider both the Cardinal’s audience and the members of his flock that accept every misstatement uncritically without the benefit of orthodox formation. With only 17% of Boston Catholic attending Mass on a weekly basis, can we not assume this could be a problem.

    This statement only tells part of the story and omits the most critical part. Honestly, I was not present at this talk, so it may very well be out of context; however, given what I’ve been observing for the last 36 months, I seriously doubt it was steeped in Catholic theology, let alone apologetics. Admittedly, it’s easy to be a Pharisee, take pot shots and go off on some abuse.

    We have and are facing a crisis in the Church. How should we present our Faith to the rest of a highly secular society, let alone other religious peoples. Continually dumbing down the Faith with naturalistic interpretation does not stem our crisis nor does it help the primary Mission of the Church. There must be greater emphasis on the spiritual over corporal. We are starved for greater clarity and a consistantly orthodox presentation of the Faith throughout this Archdiocese. Is this too much to ask?

  • I’ll take a pass on explanations of anything by Scott “The Holy Spirit is like God’s wife” Hahn.

    Are we to believe that the Mass which Christ gave us is the same as a service performed by those who reject Christ?

    Tom, Yes, we are. Christ celebrated the Passover with his disciples and it became the Sacrifice of the Mass.

    Isn’t that special? I guess it is no matter that the disciples were Christians and the Cardinal is discussing the present day religious practices of people who reject Chrsit TODAY.

    Before the charges of anti-semitism come rolling in … I ask what charity the Cardinal is showing to our Jewish cousins by #1) foisting Fr. Cuenin on them at Brandeis #2) distorting the fundamental nature of the Mass and passing it off as a seder meal. Shouldn’t Jewish students at Brandeis know exactly what is going on at these services?

    If I were a Jew, I’d be furious.

    Then again, I take everything back. The Cardinal is free to comment on the defectiveness of the Masses he and Fr. Cuenin preside over … fine, it is a Jewish ceder meal …. they can have it, I’ll take Calvary.

  • Dom

    You are reading into his statement your own animus toward him.

    You should follow you own guidelines and assess ideas as independent items while avoiding speculation about the personal motivations of posters. I’ve seen you posit this very clearly for three years now. Please distance yourself from Janjan.

    I’d like demonstrations about how the Cardinal’s statements are not out of line (with Roman Catholicism). Ad hominems are soooo boring.

    On the flip side, the Cardinal’s comments are perfectly in line with Cardinal Kaspar who has built a fine ecclesial career on this kind of drivel (i.e. ecumenism as false irenicism).

  • Janjan provided you with one shining example of how it is not out line. The Mass tells you that its roots are in the Passover meal. So does the New Testament. Ditto with the Catechism.

    At the time of the Last Supper the disciples were Jews and Christians. The clear separation did not occur until much later.

    The cardinal is clearly not saying that the Mass is only a seder meal. He is clearly saying that there is a clear line of development from the seder meal and the Old Testament synagogue worship of the Jews into the Mass.

    Heck, if you don’t want to read Scott Hahn (because apparently you only believe what those with an animus toward him say he says), then listen to how Pope Benedict has described it in several of his books.

    This is an argument I don’t care to get into because it is so obvious, so I’ll leave it up to you to look up the references.

    You should follow you own guidelines and assess ideas as independent items while avoiding speculation about the personal motivations of posters.

    You’re absolutely right. But, from my point of view, every single one of your posts fairly drips with anger and outrage, so I can’t help but read a motivation into what you write.

  • It’s good to see from that Globe article that some students didn’t like the idea of getting a dissident liberal priest assigned to them, and that Fr. Cuenin, being a able politician, has not played up his dissents.

    And if I’m reading this right, Fr. Cuenin may have decided not to defect from the Church, and that’s a good thing for him, I think.

  • Actually the church is the daughter of the temple. Many of the things we do in Mass have their origins from the services at the temple. The synogouge did not become as important as it is now until after the Titus and Vespasian destroyed the temple and flattened Jerusalem along with it. The synogouge (I know I’m spelling it wrong) is, if anything a sort of an older sister to the church. I feel sorry for Cardinal O’Malley nothing the poor man does seems to please anybody.

  • The synogouge (I know I’m spelling it wrong)

    Um…Dymph? So..why not spell it correctly?