Friday, November 25, 2005

Catholic Charties makes the simple complex

You probably already know that, not surprisingly, Archbishop Sean Patrick O'Malley of Boston has declined to attend the December 9 Christmas fundraiser, to be held at the ritzy Boston Harbor Hotel, honoring pro-gay marriage, pro-abortion Mayor Thomas Menino.

Points to ponder:

From a Catholic Charities spokesman:

"But with respect to same-sex marriage and abortion rights, Catholic Charities added, ''We differ with the Mayor on both of these issues, even as we recognize his contributions to those we seek to serve each day in our city."

That's rather silly, and awkwardly put, at best. The above sounds like an difference in "opinion" when it's most emphatically not about "opinion" at all but Church teaching and the definition of "sin."

Given these "differences of opinion," Catholic Charities erred seriously in choosing to publicly honor the Mayor. Period. They can still fix the problem by either "uninviting" him or — a much better idea, in my view — calling the whole thing off and just asking the invitees for the dough.

Think about it. The peon seat at the black tie affair costs $500 per...and out of that, only $325 is tax deductible. The higher up one goes in the Catholic Charities dinner pecking order, the more dough needs to be shelled out. If you pay enough, you get the glory of your name in the program.

Why not just skip the "honors" (along with the expense of throwing a wing-ding like this) and...just ask people for the money?

Just a thought.

Another thought.

In stories about the Catholic Church, it seems to be part of the Boston Globe's style sheet to ask somebody to say something stupid...and in this instance, Boston College prof Thomas O'Connor manfully steps up to the plate to accommodate:

''It seems to be a bit of a contradiction," said Thomas O'Connor, a Boston College history professor who has written extensively on the relationship between the Catholic Church and City Hall in Boston. ''People who are pledged to the right to life are adopting a policy that will, in effect, be denying the raising of money for Catholic Charities, whose function is to prolong life."

"Adopting a policy?" O'Malley didn't "adopt a policy" against abortion, for heaven's sake! Again, if people want to buy into to Catholic Charities mission to "prolong life," they can write a check.

And the implication, repeated time and again by Catholic Charities apologists — that the "mission of the Church" is to help the poor — is really wearing thin.

The mission of the Church is to get you and me and Mayor Menino and Thomas O'Connor to Heaven.

You don't do that by putting on a strapless dress, or donning a tux, and toasting a guy who doesn't object to people killing babies and homosexuals playing house.

Source: The Boston Globe