As you are no doubt aware, the Church is currently in the midst of a grave crisis of faith, particularly with regard to the Christian family. As we approach the upcoming Synod on the Family, taking place next month, the faithful have been subjected to scandalous confusion at the hands of German bishops. Cardinal Marx, who is threatening schism if the Church does not approve the distribution of Holy Communion for divorced and remarried Catholics, and Bishop Bode, a German bishop openly suggesting that the Church "bless" same-sex civil unions, are just two examples of the scandals assaulting the faithful. While we certainly understand that you have no control over what the Catholic bishops of Germany do or profess, we ask you to correct the heresy preached by one of your own priests.
On Friday, September 11, Msgr. Paul V. Garrity published an editorial in the Boston Pilot, the official newspaper of the Archdiocese of Boston, with the headline, "Synod Needs Your Prayers." In his article, Msgr. Garrity directly assaults the indissolubility of marriage. He said:
It is ludicrous to assert that divorced couples who have found love and fidelity with new spouses are still recognized by the Church as being married to their former spouses after the passage of many years. It is equally untenable (and disrespectful) to try to convince these happily married couples that, in fact, their relationships are sinful. Moreover, the Church’s current prohibition regarding the reception of Holy Communion by divorced and remarried couples would seem to be at odds with the consistent teaching of the Gospel about love, forgiveness and mercy.
In this one paragraph, Msgr. Garrity heretically denies three teachings of the Catholic Church and then heretically asserts that there is a division between Holy Mother Church's loving guidance of sinners and the Gospels.
As you know, the Catechism of the Catholic Church, paragraph 2089, defines heresy as "the obstinate post-baptismal denial of some truth which must be believed with divine and catholic faith, or it is likewise an obstinate doubt concerning the same." Given this definition, it is clear that Msgr. Garrity is proclaiming heresy in the following circumstances:
Your Eminence, this is not the first time Msgr. Garrity has openly preached views in direct opposition to Catholic Teaching. In 2013, Msgr. blasphemously compared homosexual "families" with the Holy Family in his parish bulletin. He wrote:
It is very easy to forget that Mary would have been an unwed mother were it not for Joseph. It is also easy to forget that Joseph was not the natural father of Jesus but became his foster father and protector, along with his new bride Mary. And the circumstances surrounding the birth of Jesus should fill us all with a deep respect and empathy for the poor and unwed mothers of our day. Taken all together, the first family of Christianity reminds us that there is no such thing as normal. Every family is different and this means that we need to broaden our understanding of family life beyond TV sitcoms and applaud the virtues of family living wherever we find them: two-parent families, single-parent families, blended families, families with two mommies or two daddies and adoptive families. What is most important is that we continually hold up the family as the instrument that God has chosen to communicate God’s unconditional love to the youngest and most vulnerable members of our society.
Your Eminence, countless souls are gravely imperiled by the outright heresy being preached by Msgr. Garrity. At this current time, where there is so much confusion and anxiety over the Church's authentic and immutable teachings regarding the family, we beg you, for the sake of Msgr. Garritys soul and the souls of those led astray by him, to remove this article from your publication and publicly correct the error proclaimed by your priest.
Please know that we are praying for you and for Msgr. Garrity.
Sincerely yours in Christ,
President, Lepanto Institute
Contact for Seán Cardinal O’Malley