Other Group

Priests of the Sacred Heart

Location:

Rome, Italy

Formation:

1878

Superior General:

Fr. Carlos Luis Suarez Codorniu, SCJ

The Priests of the Sacred Heart is a Roman Catholic clerical religious congregation, comprised of both priests and male religious. The order has 457 houses in 40 countries with over 2,000 members, about 1,590 of whom are priests. [1]

It was founded by Father Leo John Dehon in 1878 and was mandated by the local bishop to operate as a mission. Since then, it has focused on environmentalist advocacy and implementing environmental, social, and governance (ESG) practices in businesses.

History

The American congregation is headquartered in Hales Corners, Wisconsin, and was formed in the 1920s as the Sacred Heart Monastery. [2] In 1927, it built St. Joseph’s Indian School in Chamberlain, South Dakota. In 1955, it formed The Sacred Heart League (formerly Sacred Heart Auto League) and established The Sacred Heart Southern Mission in 1992. In 1995, it created the Sacred heart Southern Missions Housing Corporation, and The Sacred Heart School in 1997. The American Province runs the largest seminary in North America.

The Southern Missions Housing Corporation was formed to destroy seven homes condemned by the Health Department and used funds to rebuild temporary mobile homes in their place, a $3 million project. Of its annual $5 million grant for community projects, $129,000 was used, while a large share for its eventual permanent renovation came from the Phil Hardin Foundation. [3]

Issues

Environmentalism

On December 1, 2003, Raymond Kozuch signed a letter to then-President George W. Bush condemning the White House for not authorizing $3 billion appropriated for international HIV/AIDS relief. The letter simultaneously called for a $5.4 billion allocation increase and total debt cancellation for “impoverished nations.” [4]

It sponsored a 2015 report published by left-wing corporate advocacy group As You Sow on how to implement various left-wing issues under the auspices of corporate social responsibility programs. [5]

Priests of the Sacred Heart was named in a 2015 report sponsored by Bloomberg Philanthropies and the MacArthur Foundation on ESG practices, and was recognized as a proponent based on the criteria in the report, which includes extensive left-wing environmentalist policies. [6] Priests of the Sacred Heart also sponsored similar reports by Social Investment Forum in 2001 and 2003 which advocated for methods to facilitate ESG practices in corporate governance. [7] [8]

The U.S. Province signed an Interfaith Council on Corporate Responsibility (ICCR) letter submitted to the Environmental Protection Agency as a regulation comment requesting to implement stricter regulations on oil and natural gas production earlier than intended. The letter contends that immediate restrictions would prevent “enormous” financial loss for consumers and producers. [9]

The U.S. Province signed a letter indicating support of the Paris Climate Agreement and asking for all governments in the world to implement its policies and incorporating “climate-related financial reporting.” It sent another iteration of this letter to the G20 nations on July 3, 2017. [10] [11] In January 2017, it signed a similar letter directed to President Donald Trump just before his inauguration. [12] [13]

In 2017, Priests of the Sacred Heart signed onto the Carbon Disclosure Project forest program to draft a federal law to completely stop deforestation in all U.S. industry. [14] It also signed a similar letter declaring support of such practices as outlined in the Cerrado Manifesto, which calls for various legislation centered around environmentalism. [15] [16]

The U.S. Province signed a letter to Senate leadership on May 31, 2017 to oppose Medicaid legislation. [17] On November 16, 2017, the U.S. Province signed an ICCR letter to support legislation to grant residency to children of illegal immigrants. [18]

Priests of the Sacred Heart signed a statement by American Outdoor Brands Corporation on February 8, 2019 which called for gun manufacturers and distributors to stop the sale of so-called “assault weapons.” [19]

On May 22, 2019, the U.S. Province signed a letter supporting legislation to reinstate the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau. The letter also supports a rule instated by said organization to end mandatory arbitration, a priority associated with labor-aligned left-of-center organizations. [20]

The U.S. Province signed a letter to the U.S. House of Representatives supporting legislation to keep the United States bound to the Paris Climate Agreement. [21]

Priests of the Sacred Heart has cited the papal encyclical Laudato Si to push for environmentalism based on projections of catastrophic, anthropogenic climate change. [22] [23]

Priests of the Sacred Heart is listed as a member of 8th Day Center for Justice in its report “The Threat of Nationalism to the Common Good.” [24]

ESG Advocacy

On October 17, 2017, Priests of the Sacred Heart signed a letter written by Sisters of St. Joseph to JP Morgan Chase condemning the financial company’s involvement with prison and detention facilities that hold illegal immigrants. The letter also condemns JP Morgan Chase for contradicting its own ESG policies praised by ICCR. [25]

Priests of the Sacred Heart is a member of Seventh Generation Interfaith Coalition for Responsible Investment (SGI), a local affiliate of Interfaith Center on Corporate Responsibility (ICCR), a left-wing ESG advocacy group for religious organizations. [26] On December 3, 2018, Priests of the Sacred Heart wrote a letter to then-Securities and Exchange Commission Chairman Jay Clayton indicating its support for an earlier letter sent by ICCR against a proposed rule change. Most prominently, its letter indicates support for maintaining the use of proxy advisory firms. Such firms have been criticized for having excessive influence over decisions made for ESG organizations like Priests of the Sacred Heart. [27]

On July 18, 2018, Priests of the Sacred Heart signed a letter to Pfizer demanding shareholder involvement to push for corporate ESG policies. [28]

The U.S. Province filed resolutions with Macy’s Inc. and TJX demanding ESG policies be enacted while calling for the elimination of soy and beef-based products related to deforestation. [29]

Funding

Priests of the Sacred Heart runs a grantmaking arm called the Justice, Peace, and Reconciliation Commission. Between 2016 and 2017, the commission made almost $82,000 in grants to various left-wing organizations including the 8th Day Center for Justice,[30] a self-described “progressive Catholic social justice organization”[31] that lists as “partners and coalitions” the Gay Liberation Network, the Quaker religious movement-affiliated American Friends Service Committee, and the anti-Israel ostensibly Jewish group Jewish Voice for Peace. [32]

In 1994, Priests of the Sacred Heart founded Gregory Productions and hired Roger Courts as executive director to produce the movie The Spitfire Grill. It sold the movie rights to Castlerock Entertainment for $10 million. [33]

Priests of the Sacred Heart donated to National Religious Vocation Conference. [34]

People

Leon Dehon

In 1952, the cause of beatification was opened for the order’s founder, Fr. Leon Dehon.

The Congregation for the Causes of Saints approved his cause to move for approval by Pope John Paul II on February 3, 1997. Dehon was granted the title of “The Venerable” by the Pope, indicating he lived a life of heroic virtue, and granting the next stage in the process of canonization for sainthood. [35]

By April 19, 2004, The Congregation for the Causes of Saints and Pope John Paul II approved a miracle attributed to the invocation of Fr. Dehon, moving him to the process of beatification, which was set for April 24, 2005. Fr. Dehon’s cause was placed on hold after concerns were brought up about his controversial publications. Fr. Dehon was accused of holding anti-Semitic views, such as saying Jews’ “lust for money is a racial instinct in them.” [36] Pope Francis wrote to Priests of the Sacred Heart on June 5, 2015 indicating that he is sympathetic to Dehon’s beatification. [37]

Controversies

St. Joseph’s Indian Mission School Abuse Allegations

In 2012, The South Dakota Supreme Court allowed a child sex assault lawsuit to proceed which charged several of the order’s priests. Eight victims sued alleging sexual assault at the St. Joseph’s Indian Mission School. [38]

In 2019, the Catholic Diocese of Sioux Falls released the names of diocesan priests accused of sexual abuse. [39] The diocese did not name priests from religious orders, such as Priests of the Sacred Heart accused of abuse; the Sioux Falls Argus Leader reported, “The release from the diocese also left out any names of religious order clergy, even though the diocese has admitted to having records of abuse allegations against those priests.” [40]

The Argus Leader reported that lawsuits had named at least four people involved with the Priests of the Sacred Heart-affiliated school as involved in abuse. A spokesperson for the order replied to the Argus Leader with a statement: “The religious order takes all allegations of abuse very seriously and fully cooperates with authorities in regard to such allegations [. . .] We support the efforts of St. Joseph’s Indian School in ensuring a safe environment for its children.” [41]

Embezzlement Lawsuit

The former executive director of development, Patrick Thompson, was investigated for embezzlement and sued in Milwaukee County Circuit Court in 2010. Priests of the Sacred Heart sued Thompson to recover alleged losses. Thompson countersued for $4 million for wrongful termination. Thompson’s claims are made in part based on letters written to him by Fr. Brian McCollough, who was dispensed from vows in 2007 and no longer lives as a priest in active ministry. [42] [43]

References

  1. “Congregation of the Priests of the Sacred Heart.” GCatholic. November 25, 2019. Accessed December 31, 2019. http://www.gcatholic.org/orders/015.htm ^
  2. “Sacred Heart Monastery, Franklin, Milwaukee County, Wisconsin.” Wisconsin Department of Financial Institutions. December 30, 2019. Accessed December 31, 2019. https://www.wdfi.org/apps/CorpSearch/Details.aspx?entityID=6S04809&hash=709951870&searchFunctionID=f713c087-f917-40da-997f-72fd5f407f8c&type=Simple&q=sacred+heart+monastery ^
  3. Rutherford, Karen. “The Charity.” April 2003. Accessed December 31, 2019. https://static1.squarespace.com/static/56bf864c60b5e979f7553be3/t/575b5f5dc2ea51b70d3ed64e/1465605989671/The_Charity.pdf ^
  4. “Letter to President Bush from Religious Leaders on World AIDS Day” The Domestic and Foreign Policy Missionary Society. December 1, 2003. Accessed December 31, 2019. https://episcopalchurch.org/library/article/letter-president-bush-religious-leaders-world-aids-day ^
  5. Welsh, Heidi and Passoff, Michael. “Proxy Preview 2015.” As You Sow. 2015. Accessed December 31, 2019. https://www.slideshare.net/AsYouSow/proxy-preview-2015 ^
  6. “Report on US Sustainable, Responsible, and Impact Investing Trends.” The Forum for Sustainable and Responsible Investment. 2016. Accessed December 31, 2019. http://gunviolexnce.issuelab.org/resources/26132/26132.pdf ^
  7. “2003 Report on Socially Responsible Investing Trends in the United States.” Social Investment Forum. December 2003. Accessed December 31, 2019. https://www.griequity.com/resources/InvestmentIndustry/Trends/siftrensreport2003.pdf ^
  8. “2001 Report on Socially Responsible Investing Trends in the United States.” Social Investment Forum. November 28, 2001. Accessed December 31, 2019. https://www.yumpu.com/en/document/read/31077349/2001-report-on-socially-responsible-investing-trends-in-the-united- ^
  9. Adrian Dominican Sisters. “Comments on proposed Rule: Oil and Natura Gas Sector: Emission for New, Reconstructed, and Modified Sources: Stay of Certain Requirements.” Interfaith Center on Corporate Responsibility. August 8, 2017. Accessed December 31, 2019. https://www.eenews.net/assets/2017/08/09/document_cw_01.pdf ^
  10. 27four et al. “Global investor Statement to Governments on Climate Change.” Asia Investor Group on Climate Change et al. November 29, 2019. Accessed December 31, 2019. https://theinvestoragenda.org/focus-areas/policy-advocacy/ ^
  11. “ABP et al. “Letter from Global Investors to Governments of G20 Nations.” Asia Investor Group on Climate Change et al. July 3, 2017. Accessed December 31, 2019. https://docplayer.net/48724139-Letter-from-global-investors-to-governments-of-the-g20-nations.html ^
  12. 18 Rabbits Inc. et al. “Business Backs Low Carbon USA.” World Wide Fund for Nature. November 2016. Accessed December 31, 2019. http://wwf.worldwildlife.org/site/PageServer?pagename=lowcarbonusa ^
  13. “Dear Mr Trump: We need a low-carbon USA, say 600 firms.” edie. December 31, 2018. Accessed December 31, 2019. https://www.edie.net/news/11/Businesses-call-for-President-Donald-Trump-to-continue-low-carbon-policies-and-Paris-Agreement/ ^
  14. “From risk to revenue: The investment opportunity in addressing corporate deforestation.” CDP et al. November 2017. Accessed December 31, 2019. https://ecosphere.plus/wp-content/uploads/2018/06/cdp-2017-forests-report.pdf ^
  15. “Statement of support for the objectives of the Cerrado Manifesto.” The Consumer Goods Forum. May 16, 2019. Accessed December 31, 2019. https://www.theconsumergoodsforum.com/wp-content/uploads/2019/06/Statement-of-Support-for-the-Cerrado-Manifesto.pdf ^
  16. “The Future of the Cerrado in the Hands of the Market: Deforestation and Native Vegetation Conversion Must Be Stopped.” WWF – Brazil et al. September 11, 2017. Accessed December 31, 2019. https://d3nehc6yl9qzo4.cloudfront.net/downloads/cerradomanifesto_september2017_atualizadooutubro_1.pdf ^
  17. Families USA et al. “Medicaid stakeholders letter opposing AHCA 5-31-17.” Families USA. May 31, 2017. Accessed December 31, 2019. https://familiesusa.org/wp-content/uploads/2019/08/Medicaid_stakeholders_letter_opposing_AHCA_5-31-17.pdf ^
  18. Interfaith Center on Corporate Responsibility. “ICCR letter to U.S. Congress urging support of Dream Act 2017.” School Sisters of Notre Dame: Atlantic Midwest Province. November 16, 2017. Accessed December 31, 2019. https://atlanticmidwest.org/posts/iccr-letter-uscongress-urging-support-dream-act-2017 ^
  19. Henry-Crowe, Rev. Dr. Susan. “Miner’s Protection Act 2017.” Creation Justice Ministries. April 27, 2017. Accessed December 31, 2019. http://www.creationjustice.org/uploads/2/5/4/6/25465131/miners_protection_act_2017_letter.pdf ^
  20. “Please vote YES to Green Amendment 29 to the Consumers First Act, HR 1500. Fair Arbitration Now. May 22, 2019. Accessed December 31, 2019. https://ourfinancialsecurity.org/wp-content/uploads/2019/05/2019.5.22-Consumers-First-Act-Green-Amendment-29-support-letter.pdf ^
  21. “FCNL Joins 30 National Religious Organizations Calling on Congress to Support H.R. 9.” Friends Committee on National Legislation. April 29, 2019. Accessed December 31, 2019. https://www.fcnl.org/updates/fcnl-joins-30-national-religious-organizations-calling-on-congress-to-support-h-r-9-2063 ^
  22. “Ecological reflections.” dehoncanada. August 16, 2019. Accessed December 31, 2019. https://dehoncanada.org/2019/08/16/ecological-reflections/ ^
  23. Francis. “Laudato Si.” The Holy See. May 24, 2015. Accessed December 31, 2019. https://w2.vatican.va/content/dam/francesco/pdf/encyclicals/documents/papa-francesco_20150524_enciclica-laudato-si_en.pdf ^
  24. Madden, Mary Ellen. “The Threat of Nationalism to the Common Good.” 8th Day Center for Justice. Spring 2017. Accessed December 31, 2019. http://8thdaycenter.org/wp-content/uploads/2015/01/Nationalism-FINAL.pdf ^
  25. Mahoney, Sr. Pat. “Letter to JP Morgan Chase.” Sisters of St. Joseph. October 17, 2017. Accessed December 31, 2019. https://seventhgenerationinterfaith.files.wordpress.com/2017/11/october-17-final.pdf ^
  26. “Membership.” Seventh Generation Interfaith Coalition for Responsible Investment. Accessed May 24, 2021. Available at: https://seventhgenerationinterfaith.org/membership/ ^
  27. Peters, Mark. “Letter to SEC Chairman Jay Clayton Re: File 4-725-Staff Roundtable on the Proxy Process.” Priests of the Sacred Heart. December 3, 2018. Available at: https://www.sec.gov/comments/4-725/4725-4777780-176820.pdf ^
  28. Gordon, Elizabeth. “Letter to Pfizer Inc.” CALSTRS et al. July 18, 2018. Accessed December 31, 2019. https://illinoistreasurergovprod.blob.core.usgovcloudapi.net/twocms/media/doc/pfizer_nam%20executive%20ctte%20letter.pdf ^
  29. Sadowski, Dennis. “How religious orders and unions team up to put pressure on corporations. America Magazine. February 28, 2019. Accessed December 31, 2019. https://www.americamagazine.org/politics-society/2019/02/28/how-religious-orders-and-unions-team-put-social-pressure-corporations ^
  30. “13 Social Service Organizations Receive Nearly $82,000 in POSH-USA Grants for 2016-2017.” Priests of the Sacred Heart. 2017. Accessed December 31, 2019. https://poshusa.org/what-we-do/devotion-in-action/2594-scjs-select-grant-recipients ^
  31. “8th Day Center for Justice.” 8th Day Center for Justice. Accessed January 13, 2020. https://8thdaycenter.org/index.html. ^
  32. “Partners and Coalitions.” 8th Day Center for Justice. Accessed January 13, 2020. https://8thdaycenter.org/partners-and-coalitions/index.html. ^
  33. James, Caryn. “Film Financed by a Religious Group.” The New York Times. February 3, 1996. Accessed December 31, 2019. https://www.nytimes.com/1996/02/03/arts/film-financed-by-a-religious-group.html ^
  34. “Cultivating a Global Perspective: National Religious Vocation Conference 2007 Annual Report.” National Religious Vocation Conference. 2007. Accessed December 31, 2019. https://careersdocbox.com/67548527-College/We-are-part-of-a-global-community-as-much-as-we-are-a-part-of-a-global-church.html ^
  35. AFP. “Pope backs sainthood candidacy of allegedly anti-Semitic priest” The Times of Israel. June 6, 2015. Accessed December 31, 2019. https://www.timesofisrael.com/pope-backs-sainthood-candidacy-of-allegedly-anti-semitic-priest/ ^
  36. Staff. “Pope Francis said to back sainthood for anti-Semitic priest.” The Jerusalem Post. June 5, 2015. Accessed December 31, 2019. https://www.jpost.com/Christian-News/Pope-Francis-said-to-back-sainthood-for-anti-Semitic-priest-405170 ^
  37. AFP. “Pope backs sainthood candidacy of allegedly anti-Semitic priest” The Times of Israel. June 6, 2015. Accessed December 31, 2019. https://www.timesofisrael.com/pope-backs-sainthood-candidacy-of-allegedly-anti-semitic-priest/ ^
  38. Vielmetti, Bruce. “Sex-abuse suit against order can proceed” The Milwaukee Journal Sentinel. January 11, 2012. Accessed December 31, 2019. http://archive.jsonline.com/news/milwaukee/137073748.html/ ^
  39. Anderson, Patrick. “Native American Victims of Sex Abuse at Catholic Boarding Schools Fight for Justice.” Argus Leader. Sioux Falls Argus Leader, May 17, 2019. https://www.argusleader.com/story/news/2019/05/16/native-american-sex-abuse-victims-catholic-boarding-schools-south-dakota/1158590001/. ^
  40. Anderson, Patrick. “Native American Victims of Sex Abuse at Catholic Boarding Schools Fight for Justice.” Argus Leader. Sioux Falls Argus Leader, May 17, 2019. https://www.argusleader.com/story/news/2019/05/16/native-american-sex-abuse-victims-catholic-boarding-schools-south-dakota/1158590001/. ^
  41. Anderson, Patrick. “Native American Victims of Sex Abuse at Catholic Boarding Schools Fight for Justice.” Argus Leader. Sioux Falls Argus Leader, May 17, 2019. https://www.argusleader.com/story/news/2019/05/16/native-american-sex-abuse-victims-catholic-boarding-schools-south-dakota/1158590001/. ^
  42. Vielmetti, Bruce. “Sacred Heart congregation, fired executive trade claims in lawsuits” The Milwaukee Journal Sentinel. May 22, 2010. Accessed December 31, 2019. http://archive.jsonline.com/news/milwaukee/94639624.html/ ^
  43. “Minutes of the 766th Provincial Council Meeting” Cor Unum. March 2007. Accessed December 31, 2019. http://dehoniansusa.org/wp-content/uploads/2010/01/3_07cor_num.pdf ^
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Priests of the Sacred Heart


Rome,
Italy