Saturday, October 01, 2005

O'Malley Blinks

We now have an answer to whether there is a limit to the arrogance of Archbishop Sean O'Malley. It's pretty specific — when he gets called for treating kids like political shills, he'll back off.

The Pope may take instruction from God, O'Malley from the Pope, local bishops from O'Malley, and (most) parish priests from the bishops. On the other hand, the imps of public opinion can nudge even someone with a miter and scepter.

In case you missed it, look at an earlier post. O'Malley and his cohort group told Roman Catholic schools to give all students petitions for the anti-same-sex-marriage ballot initiative. This was on top of instructing all parish priests to support the petition drive by holding them in the churches, appoint parishioners as signature gatherers, and read a strong request that everybody sign up.

As for making the kids take home petitions, only the eager toadies in Fall River immediately implemented this ploy. The school officials there called it part of a civics project. (I wonder whether they would have tried to justify child prostitution as an economics exercise. Nah, not even if O'Malley ordered that.)

Ever on the lookout for sensationalism and scandal, the Boston Herald ran the initial discovery and today got to crow about the publicity making the diocese and its lobbying arm scramble "to distance themselves from a controversial effort to empoy children in an anti-gay-marriage petiton drive." As O'Malley's spokesman Terrence Donilon put it, students "will not and should not be asked to bring home the marriage petition. We made a decision here that we needed to take the message directly to parishioners, parents and people of voting age, and not include schools."

The tabloid also found a psychotherapist, who is a Catholic and the project coordinator for Roman Catholics for the Freedom to Marry. As you might suppose, his latter group is neither anti-gay in Benedict XVI's mold nor as obeisant as the bishops. That Charles Martel said, "It's one thing for adults to make a decision about this issue, but to involve children as a conduit for this type of information is completely inappropriate and a terrible use of education."

We need to watch for what Catholic Citizenship pulls next. Their executive director, Larry Cirignano, apparently got O'Malley to endorse this disgrace, a blessing that appeared in the archiocese newspaper, The Pilot. Saying that Cirignano practices situation ethics is probably the kindest reference we could make.

O'Malley seems to want vert badkt to deliver the faithful, or least their names on paper. You have to wonder what else he is going to pull and what has already slipped by the the Herald has not uncovered.


DominiSumus said...

Wow, so meanspirited againt our good and holy Archbishop.

I think that you would have something nasty to say about him, no matter what he said or did.

massmarrier said...

As I recall, Domini sumus was Martin Luther's most frequent saying. He liked to play with both meanings of We are lords and We are the Lord's. I assume that you put yourself in the latter camp. It is Archbishop O'Malley whom I doubt.

I wish O'Malley were living up to his advance billing. Many of us had hopes that he would do more than replace Cardinal Law's archbishopric with one of honor, trust and unity for his bishops, priests and parishioners.

We spoke and wrote favorably of him when he acted like a man of the cloth. His actions of late show the calculating mind and mean spirit of a bureaucrat and politician.

From here, we can hope that his advisors, bishops, priests and parish communicants can sway his heart back to love and kindness.

DominiSumus said...

Yes, the meaning of my name is "e are of the Lord"

The Archbishop Sean that I know is kind, gentle, loving and a true man of the cloth.

Of course, I am not on the opposing side of an issue from him. He is quite orthodox in his doctrine.

In the past, I have disagreed with him on issues, and he was always listened to what I had to say. Even followed my advice on a few occasions.

It saddens me deeply to see him attacked. He is a dear friend who has done much good for me, the Church and the world.

massmarrier said...

I can certainly understand the emotional pull of seeing a friend criticized. Your assessment offers some hope that on the other end of the current set of actions he will be positive and good.

Personally, I have no question that he is on the wrong side of this issue and that he is going about getting what he wants in entirely the wrong way.

Perhaps if you have a word with him, you might pass along those sentiments.

Wasn't it Emerson who wrote, "What you do speaks so loudly, I can't hear what you are saying." I am most decidedly a faith in action fellow, but that action must do good to be good.

I shall certainly watch O'Malley for signs of his doing well by doing good.