Bad men

Catching up on some older stuff. Last week, the Boston Globe‘s answer to Maureen Dowd, Eileen McNamara, wrote a column complaining about the upcoming Boston Catholic Men’s Conference. Her basic complaint is that Catholic men are getting together to talk about what it means to be a Catholic man.

She makes it ideological by calling it a “Conference for Very, Very Conservative Catholic Men.” There’s nothing in the marketing materials or the conference schedule that indicates that, unless of course you think that being a Catholic man who believes in the teachings of the Catholic Church is “very, very conservative.” What she’s trying to do is portray such men as extremists, out of the mainstream.

She also complains that the archdiocese doesn’t offer similar events for women. Perhaps if she poked her head out of her cubicle at the Globe,she’d realize that the Church has thousands of meetings and conferences for women. But give men just one and its the ugly patriarchy rearing its head and keeping women down.

She makes the mistake, too, of intimating that that it’s organized by a national Catholic men’s group (not that there’s anything wrong with that.) In fact, it is organized by seven local Catholic laymen, six of whom belong to a men’s fellowship group at a parish in Cambridge. And while she notes it’s not an official event of the Archdiocese, she complains that Archbishop O’Malley gives his blessing to it, while he didn’t give his blessing to a conference last year at Boston College about the role of women in the Church. Gee, I wonder why? Could it be that one promises to be a positive, uplifting experience and exposition of the Gospel, and the other was a heterodox-dominated, complaint session demanding changes that can never happen?

By the way, the organizers of the conference have responded to McNamara (PDF download) at their web site. It also includes the text of her email interview with one of the organizers.

What a world when a group of men wanting to get toegther to become better fathers, husbands, brothers, boyfriends, and Catholics, in general, is a bad thing.