An Open Letter to the Archbishop of Boston

NOTE: As with any good novel of detection, the reader is advised to take care in deciding the guilt or innocence of the suspects until the end has been reached. The Butler MAY not have done it. Then again, the Butler might just be guilty as sin.

Dear Cardinal O’Malley,

I am not a Roman Catholic.

However, I had formerly held Your Eminence in reasonably high regard—that is, until last week, when you unleashed a torrent of vitriol against, first, my friends and fellow bloggers over at Preemptive Karma and The Democratic Daily, and thence across North America and even to Europe and the furthest corners of the Earth (e.g. Arkansas).

I am disturbed by this, of course, Your Grace, since I’d like to see you as the fine, charitable Christian gentleman, Prince of the Church, and all-round nice guy I had formerly believed you to be. But your words on the internet disturb me gravely, Your Reverence.

Please understand that I hold Catholics and Catholicism in high regard, and I would go so far as to venture that some of my best friends are Catholics. So, I do not understand your sudden antipathy to myself and to others on the internet.

Following the United States Supreme Court abortion decision last week, I am at an utter loss to explain the vitriol of your statement:

April 18, 2007 at 07:37 PM

As a Catholic, I like to think it is the fact this 5 member majority is all Catholic that made it possible for them to prophetically see past the lies, distortions, and phony comnstitutionalism (sic) of the pro-baby killing position.
The fact they can see in the constitution what Pelosi, Kennedy, Kerry, etc. can’t see makes one wonder what evil is at work in them, blinding them to what is true. Could it be the selling of their souls for fame and power???

I must admit that I was utterly shocked to read this, having written an article also asking if there was a connection between the ‘coincidence’ that last week’s decision in Carhart was obtained with a 5-member Catholic majority. It shocked me nearly as much as your opinion of John Kerry, who is, I believe, one of your parishioners.

Frankly, the vitriol unleashed against myself—and other bloggers who had pointed out the connection—seems astonishing in light of this bald-faced assertion of political fact. I am surprised at you, Cardinal. Even did I believe that you held such views, I can hardly believe that you would be so impolitic as to make such accusations of Senators Kerry and Kennedy.

Surely you could have taken them aside, privately, and explained the present mercantile status of their eternal souls?

And “the pro-baby killing position” seems, again, a counterproductive term, whether you believe said position to be such privately or not. Still, it IS your Archdiocese, Your Worshipfulness, and it is not my place to tell you how to run it.

Your comments on that case on the internet in the past week have seemed very disturbing, not the least of which because they are so contradictory.

At first this was very puzzling to me, given your statements like this that appeared, a mere two days later, when Becky at Preemptive Karma pointed out the selfsame connection, mostly by quoting a Monty Python skit from the movie “The Meaning of Life.”:

04.20.07 – 3:44 pm
Hey! Take your bigotry and go join Stalin, Pol Pot, and The French Revolutionary Terror promoters.

These 5 Catholics worked their way up by embracing and espousing a certain judicial philosophy. They were supported by and put on the court by non-Catholics because they had that philosophy. That all you can see is their religion just shows what kind of a bigoted, ignorant hater you are.

Are you SURE, Your Worshipfulness, that invoking “Stalin, Pol Pot, and The French Revolutionary Terror promoters” was the best way of making your point? I would not presume to offer advice, but I might merely point out the decidedly “unChristian” tenor of the remarks, should you wish to revise them. Now, two minutes later, you stated further:

04.20.07 – 3:46 pm

And by the way only 25% of this country is Catholic, but almost 70% oppose partial-birth abortion which I am sure is why the pro-abortion people want to stir up bigotry–to try to win the debate by going throough (sic) a corrupt back door.

Your position seems, at best, contradictory, Cardinal O’Malley, Your Eminent Grace. Especially when you decided that wasn’t enough, and posted this, as well:

04.20.07 – 5:29 pm

I don’t care what you believe about abortion. The issue is dragging in the religion of the 5 whose judicial philosophy got them onto the Supreme Court–put there by people who mostly were non-Catholic but who were pro -life as well as literal constructionists on the Constitution. Couldn’t Justice Ginsburg’s liberal attitude been shaped by a liberal Jewish background—SO WHAT? (dash is sic) If her side had won and people started writing about her Jewish roots there would be screaming and yelling (rightfully) about anti-Semitism.

But, of course, if Catholics are in the majority and you don’t like the decision, then let’s bring in some good-old fashioned anti-Catholic bigotry to save the day.
In the most recent poll almost 70% of Americans oppose partial-birth abortion–Catholics are only 25% of the population. Are we to live in a dictatorship that says democracy is for everyone but those whose morals are the same as Rome’s and they can’t try to influence a majority that will affect the philosophy by which Court Justices are chosen.

Now, again, as a matter of practical politics, defending the Catholic Church by comparing it to anti-semitism seems a tad bit hypocritical, given the Church’s long history in Europe. But this comment seems completely over the top, Your Exalted Cardinalship, Sir.

And this strategy of conflating anti-semitism with noting that the majority opinion of the Supreme Court was fashioned by and only from the five Catholic jurists on the court seems to be intentional on your part, since you posted further that:

04.20.07 – 8:36 pm

Kevin–if all 9 justices were Jewish and agreed on a decision based on a shared authentically American school of constitutional law, then it would be clear anti-Semitism to prattle about their religion–and I think most Americans would agree it would be anti-Semitism

But 5 Catholics make a decision based on a genuine American school of constitutional law–and we’re supposed to believe that the opponents of the decision are bringing up the justices’ religion out of the purest motives. Please! We Catholics-and all other fair Americans– aren’t that stupid.

And that’s not the worst of it. At the same time, you posted this on the Democratic Daily (typos are all sic):

April 20th, 2007 at 5:45 pm

What you should do is apologize for using such a bigoted phrase for only bigots believe that faithful Catholics are merely following “MARCHING ORDERS FROM ROME” when they make a decision based on certain American constitutional principles you apparently oppose. You use hateful, bigoted, nasty, insulting, derogatory comments like “MARCHING ORDERS FROM ROME” and then accuse pro-lifers as being the originators or causes of hatred.It is phrases like this that to believing Catholics are the equivalent of using phrases like “The Protocols of the Elders of Zion” are to Jewish people. . And noone is stating that someone can’t disagree-that is your spin.

You know clearly what I am strongly objecting to-the imagery and words denoting that Catholics are nothing but Vatican robots following “MARCHING ORDERS FROM ROME.”

Really, Cardinal: Don’t you think you’ve pushed the “anti-Semitism” parallel a bit too far? Especially when the late Pope, John Paul II apologized in 1998 for the Church’s failure to do or say anything about the Holocaust? (Oh, and “noone” is from e. e. cummings’ poem “anyone lived in a pretty how town” but isn’t an actual WORD in English, Your Eminent Worshipful Gracefulness.)

And, again, using phrases like: “phrases like ‘The Protocols of the Elders of Zion’” seems—to a layman like myself—politically inauspicious rhetoric, at best. But you know your trade better than I, I’ll admit.

As I said, I was very puzzled by all of this. How could you maintain that it was the Catholicism of the five jurists that had produced the Carhart decision, but then maintain that any non-Catholic pointing out the same connection was making “hateful, bigoted, nasty, insulting, derogatory comments”? Since this confused me, I thought I’d need to dig a little further before I could make any intelligent commentary. I began looking for other comments you’d made recently, to see if they would illuminate your position.

What did you mean by this from the Catholic News Agency’s site?

30/03/2007 11:54 AM EST

Sadly, the intolerance on behalf of homosexuals which is sweeping across Europe and America is clearly part of the death and decay of Western Civilization which will inevitably turn these areas into Moslem lands.

Are you saying that Moslems come from homosexual marriages? I really don’t quite understand, your Eminent Graceful Worshipfulness.

And how do you explain this, posted earlier this month:

Posted April 11, 2007 3:55 PM

After reading this bigoted anti-Catholic rant, it reminds me of the fact that the most hate-filled and vicious people are the ones who deny and deny it as this writer did in various ways. As for discrimination, polls repeatedly show that there are very, very few orthodox Catholics or orethodox (sic) Christians employed in the MSM. Only a moron or fool would believe that this is by accident.

I find that chillingly disturbing, Your Graceful Eminent Worshipfulness. But it’s not sui generis, by any stretch. This from just last summer:

20 Jun 2006 01:01:16

What difference does all this make? According to American statistics the churches which have adopted all the poltically correct morality (pro-abortion, pro-homosexual, etc.) are committing self-genocide. In only one or two generations the mostly geriatric Episcopal Church will cease to exist except as an historic tribal memory.

Really, Your Most Exalted Worshipful Graceful Eminence: Was that what you meant to say about the Episcopalians? And what about this, which you wrote to an English newspaper on February 19th:

If Catholics become the permanent majority of practicing Christians in England it will be interesting to see if Catholics ask for the return of those grand and beautiful cathedrals and churches built by their Catholic ancestors before the Protestant Reformation (like Canterbury or Westminster Abbey)-a movement that in many places tried to destroy those grand Catholic edifices raised to the glory of God.

Was that really politic to post, Cardinal? No criticism implied, but I merely bring it to your august attention. Still, it seems to get worse: Not content with attacking non-Catholics, you seem deeply aggrieved at persons WITHIN the Church with whom you disagree:

Nov 28, 2005 9:05:19 PM

The secular (mostly anti-Catholic) media loves stereotyping people they are out to damn. Dorothy Day on doctrine was hard core “right.” She also was humble and frequently said if Church authorities told her to close up the Catholic Worker, she would. Today’s so-called “liberals” in the Church are frequently narcissistic exhibitionists who get a cheap buzz out of their public antics. They pride themselves on so-called “independent” thinking, but are too intellectually challenged to realize they are just stooges for some of the worst pathologies in American society.

You seem to be drawing a narrower and narrower circle, Your Exalted Graceful Eminance. And when I read something like this, I am deeply agitated by what seems an increasing (seeming) bellicosity on your part:

March 3, 2007 – 4:33 PM

I find your oohing and aahing over [Democratic presidential candidate John] Edwards sickening. As a Catholic I was willing to overlook his hiring a viciously anti-Catholic blogger at first. But then when he refused to show them the door when it was publicly called to his attention (if he did not already know) it was telling Catholics that callous nastiness toward Catholics on the internet is just fine with him. There are thousands of Catholics like myself who will not forget this gratuitous insult –even if it is not something on your radar worth bothering with.

But, finally, what is most disturbing to me, Your Most Puissant Graceful Reverence, is that you’ve begun to refer to yourself in the Third Person. While this should in no wise be taken as a criticism, mayhap, this affectation MIGHT indicate something more than mere doctrinal differences or generalized peevishness, to wit:

July 29, 2006 09:01 PM

Apparently the Catholic Church in Boston is riddled with liberal Protestant moles for news stories here make it seem her unCatholic and heretical activities were blatant and well known yet she kept moving up Church ladders. Whoever was behind her doing the pushing should also be fired. Even under Cardinal O’Malley–who seems basically decent and orthodox–this archdiocese continues to be ravaged by apostasy, heresy, and moral decadence. Maybe Jesuit B.C. and Weston School of anti-Catholic theology is behind a lot of this because they have long since become trashers of anything traditionally orthodox Catholic and yet seem to have a corrupt undue influence here with ex-priests (like Thomas Groome a bigshot there) at BC leading the rebellious parade.

“Apostasy, heresy and moral decadence”? These truly seem an immoderate choice of words, Your Wizardry, Sir.

Now, I realize that you could not say such things personally, so as not to disgrace the high office which you hold and the necessary constraints under which you must, needs, operate, Your Most Eminent Puissant Holiness, but your official spokesman on the internet has been spreading this message—that I can only presume comes with your blessing, or at least tacit approval—and, as it turns out, your spokesman has been screeching at people far and wide in Defense of the Faith.

I realize that it might be confusing, with such a large organization to pinpoint said spokesman, so I’ve taken the liberty of narrowing out his platoon for you, so that you can directly address my questions without any broken links in the Chain of Command.

I am speaking, of course, of Deacon John M. Bresnahan of the Holy Family Parish, of Lynn, Massachusetts. (That would be North Boston, I believe). He has been a deacon there, by his testimony, for 27 years, so I cannot doubt that he speaks for you.

But, in case you don’t have his address handy, I have taken the liberty of providing it here:

Deacon John M. Bresnahan would be, in your Excellent Graceful Eminence’s organizational chart (or, order of battle, if you prefer) located in the North Region (Most Rev. Francis X. Irwin, DD, ACSW, Auxiliary Bishop of Boston), Vicariate II, Lynn, Massachusetts: the Holy Family Parish, Rev. Gregory J. Mercurio — (617) 599-7200.

I am sending a copy of this through your spokesman’s email address, so that I can be sure that it gets to you immediately:

Deacon John M. Bresnahan

Please let me know when you receive it. Aside from the obvious question of WHY you’re attacking authors in Oregon, Washington, Georgia, England, Arkansas and elsewhere, I must wonder why you are so upset that a few of us mentioned the five Catholic jurists who fashioned the Carhart decision. It doesn’t seem fair that you can and we can’t.

I would humbly and sincerely request an explanation of what, exactly, you meant when you wrote on the Democratic Daily:

Deacon John M. Bresnahan Says:
April 20th, 2007 at 7:27 pm

Pardon me–the phrase your writer used was “MARCHING ORDERS TO ITS MEMBERS” (SAME BILGEWATER) and it was authored by your partner in “trashing the Catholics to discredit a judicial philosophy” and presumably approved by you, the editor, and now defended by you.

Yet every American history book I have read –and that is many as I am a retired U.S. History teacher with a ton of courses in this area–when they get into immigrant and Catholics in America History give this “robotic,” “marching orders” imagery as the classic hate-filled battle-cry of bottom-dwelling bigots. AND YOU APPROVED ITS USE AND NOW DEFEND IT” by not apologizing. Do you really believe Alto, Thomas, etc. were merely following MARCHING ORDERS??

And they don’t really believe the authentically American judicial philosophy they espouse???? And if you believe they really believe this philosophy–then why bring up their religion at all–except to get points from bigots.

I’m pretty sure I’m not a bigot, but I could be wrong. The same holds true for the bloggers at Preemptive Karma and The Democratic Daily. These seem especially damning charges against us for stating what you yourself had stated on the same day as the Carhart decision, elsewhere.

And “BILGEWATER” ??!??! (Perhaps Your Eminence might want to upgrade his thesaurus with a more modern edition.)

Finally, this:

Deacon John M. Bresnahan Says:
April 20th, 2007 at 8:44 pm

As usual, when liberals throw hatred around and are called on it, they just attack the one upset at the hatred and call it “disrespectful” or something similar– never opening up their minds to the hate they are (maybe unconsciously) stirring up by the language or imagery they are using.And of course –unlike Bill O’Reilly (who I rarely watch and don’t like much)–liberals usually make sure they get the last dig (frequently unfair) in. My last word: Why should imagery and words that are so bigoted even the Klan used them get any respect, whether anti-Semitic, rascist, (sic)or anti-Catholic- imagery or words.

Could you please clarify the language here?

Anxiously awaiting your Most Holy Illustrious Worshipful Eminent Reverence’s reply, Your Excellency, I am,

Sincerely Yours,

Hart Williams,


Edited and Cross posted from Zug, ‘The Little Blog That Could’

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About Hart Williams

Mr. Williams grew up in Wyoming, Nebraska, Kansas and New Mexico. He lived in Hollywood, California for many years. He has been published in The Washington Post, The Kansas City Star, The Santa Fe Sun, The Los Angeles Free Press, Oui Magazine, New West, and many, many more. A published novelist and a filmed screenwriter, Mr. Williams eschews the decadence of Hollywood for the simple, wholesome goodness of the plain, honest people of the land. He enjoys Luis Buñuel documentaries immensely.
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3 Responses to An Open Letter to the Archbishop of Boston

  1. Hart

    Great to see the “Deacon” exposed. Thanks for this and welcome to the Dem Daily.

    Yes, Lynn, MA is north of Boston. About 25 minutes south of my hometown on the MA coast. I wondered why the Deacon’s name sounded familiar.

  2. Hart, welcome to the Dem Daily! Thanks for this post. WOW! The Deacon was sure out the box to say the least, while he was here. I imagine he doesn’t like me, but I can’t figure out why. 😆 The man was everything he’s not supposed to be. SICK!

  3. Darrell Prows says:

    Between this and Olberman, it’s refreshing to be reminded of what hard core truth looks like.