Archdiocese of Boston Imploding

News: US News
by Bradley Eli, M.Div., Ma.Th.  •  •  May 14, 2020   

Empty pews and closed wallets

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BOSTON ( - The archdiocese where clerical sex abuse first exploded in 2002 is now struggling to keep two-thirds of its parishes financially sound.

The archdiocese of Boston headed by Cdl. Sean O'Malley is now declaring that roughly 190 of its 280 parishes are in financial difficulty. The blame is being placed on the lack of weekly collections owing to the stay-at-home advisory issued two months ago by Gov. Charlie Baker.

"The financial consequences of the suspension of Masses have been dramatic and onerous," said archdiocesan spokesman Terry Donilon in a statement on Wednesday.

He added, "The Archdiocese is working with parishes to prevent a situation where they are forced to close their worship sites because they can't pay a utility bill or are confronted with a major repair essential to safe operations, such as a blown boiler that they cannot fund."

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Donilon's statement follows O'Malley's suggestion last week about a growing need to merge parishes. During an online web conference, O'Malley urged pastors to consider merging with other parishes in order to make up for financial shortfalls that were made more acute by the pandemic.

Cdl. Raymond Burke

Detroit Also Hemorrhaging

The scenario in Boston closely resembles what is now playing out in the archdiocese of Detroit. Last week, Detroit's Abp. Allen Vigneron held an online meeting with some 200 of his priests and deacons to discuss serious financial woes. During the call, Vigneron's chief financial officer Jeff Wagner made it clear that the archdiocese would be unable to pay its bills by August.

Just like Detroit, Boston is blaming what's really been a long-term financial slide on its short-term financial gap that it experienced during the shutdown. The current lack of weekly collections in Boston as in Detroit, however, is only accelerating the financial declines already experienced for years in both archdioceses.

Crisis of Catechesis, Faith

Financial woes have been building for years as fewer and fewer Catholics attend Mass owing to a crisis of faith. Financial woes have increased dramatically in the past two years as fewer Catholics, who still do attend Mass, are closing their wallets owing to the homosexual clerical crisis that resurfaced in 2018.

The crisis of faith, according to Cdl. Raymond Burke, is in turn related to a lack of catechesis. During a talk in 2016, the former prefect of the Apostolic Signature gave the following dire warning: "Catholicism is in the throes of the worst crisis in its entire history."

Explaining the faith deficit, the cardinal explained:

The necessary strong Catholic witness depends essentially upon the right understanding of the Faith and its demands provided by sound catechesis. ... [D]ecades of a thin and even false catechesis had created a situation in which many Catholics ... were left in confusion and error regarding the most fundamental tenets of the Catholic faith and of the moral law.

Effeminate clergy have been formed by gay and gay-friendly men in the seminaries to remain silent on any topics deemed controversial such as contraception, abortion and same-sex "marriage." They, likewise, have received far more sociology and psychology by their formators than faith and morals. The old adage "you can't give what you don't have" is being marshaled by those noticing the lack of teaching in typical Sunday homilies.

Catholicism is in the throes of the worst crisis in its entire history.

In 2014, Burke spoke of this lack of teaching as one of the greatest struggles facing Catholic families today:

One of the biggest challenges is the defective catechesis in the Roman Catholic Church. I can speak from my experience in the United States for the past 40 to 50 years. Children and young people are not well catechized with regard to marriage. ... It is only in the family that the true sense of who we are as man and woman is taught effectively both by the example of the father and mother but also in catechesis to amplify that and assist the parents in the fuller teaching of the faith.

Catholics that did make it through the doctrinal confusion of the past three generations and still go to Mass have been hit with the #CatholicMeToo movement. The homosexual abuse crisis beginning in 2018 with disgraced Theodore McCarrick took its toll on many Catholics, who pledged to stop giving until prelates start cleaning out all the homosexual predators infesting the Church.

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