Just a bunch of right-wing, antiabortion zealots

Just a bunch of right-wing, antiabortion zealots

Eileen McNamara, one of the Boston Globe’s triumvirate of anti-Catholic, Catholic, liberal, op-ed feminists, vents her spleen today against those “zealots” protesting Boston Mayor Tom Menino’s honoring by Catholic Charities. I wondered, as I opened the page, if I would receive the honor of being on the receiving end of her ire. Alas, I guess I’m not enough of a zealot.

She does seem a mite confused. First she says that these people are not leaders of a “right-wing ascendancy among the laity” but just plain old antiabortion zealots. If being opposed to the slaughter of children is zealotry then count me a zealot. If you can’t be zealous about protecting the lives of children, what should you be zealous about?

But then this is where McNamara gets confused. She says that we’re just dupes of the hierarchy, being exploited to promote “a backlash against reformers outraged by the criminal conduct of predatory priests and the bishops who protected them.” Eileen, get your facts straight. These people have not exactly been applauding the Scandal and the coverup. These are the same people who have been demanding reform. But what McNamara really means by reformers is Voice of the Faithful, whose idea of reform is using the Scandal as a cover for changing all those inconvenient teachings of the Church they don’t like.

Tools of the hierarchy?

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Written by
Domenico Bettinelli
  • Dom, you might wanto check out Peter Gelzinis’s collumn in The Boston Sunday Herald– he, too, uses the “zealot” slur against those who opposed the Mayor showing up at the Catholic Charities dinner.

    The scuttlebutt around my department is the all off Peter’s articles get vetted by the Mayor’s staff before going to print- hence the recent articles favoring the absorption of the Municipal Police Department into the Boston PD (Menino has had it in for the Munis for some time; he’d like nothing better for the merger to go through and eliminate another political obstacle).  It would appear that both Gelzinis and McNamara are now getting their talking points from City Hall. blank stare

    By the by, Gelzinis claims that the Mayor attends church every Sunday, without fail.  I’m curious as to what parish he attends.

  • In light of what we know about the sexual abuse scandal in our Church, the failure of too many leaders is disgusting.

    I, however, cannot help but to think if the Church had a position on abortion that was in-line with the media elite, the coverage would have been much different. In an article about the scandal, I recall a major weekly news magazine stating that “many Catholics disagree with the Church’s teachings on abortion, birth control blah blah.”  Why is this “important” observation important to insert into an article on sexual abuse scandal?

    While overseas in 2002, a widely available English language newspaper (backed by one of the major dailys in the US)published a letter to the editor that stated the letter writer now realized why the Catholic Church was against abortion: so there would be more children to molest.

  • “Then, sensing fertile ground for exploitation, McNamara quotes Carol McKinley as evidence that we’re just a bunch of right-wing wackos. Unfortunately, Carol has given her ammunition in the form of, what I will charitably call, imprudent statements.”

    Eileen also did a very nice job of smearing Bill Cotter and CJ Doyle, even without quoting them.

    Those on the front line will be the first to get shot…

  • Eamonn,

    Bad things like children being killed in the womb? If you can’t first say that the murder of innocents in the womb is bad, then how can I take you seriously on any other issue?

  • Whatever.  McNamara, a liar and slanderer whose every third column attacks the Church, has been justly called an anti-Catholic bigot by many people, C.J. Doyle probably included.  She is what the French would call a priest-eater.

  • Sitting in a pew on Sunday no more makes you a Catholic than sitting in a garage would make you a car.

    My sentiments exactly, Dom.  I just wondered if the accusation that Menino “hadn’t darkened a church door in years” was true or not.

    Seems like the dinner was a sellout and the money needed was raised. What a waste of time to boycott with all the bad things happening in this country. Tax cuts for the rich, taking from the poor, an unjust war. Then Zealots picketing an organization that does so much good. Shame on them all. It is like a bad Christmas story from the right. Disgusting. Good thing it backfired.

    And I suppose that, had say 5,000 Catholics shown up to protest and had prevented the dinner from happening at all, you’d be screetching about how “intollerant” and “narrow-minded” we are, eh?

    Sorry, Toby, but your leftist cant has no coin in these parts.  Peddle you tattered wares eleswhere.

  • Stipulation 1: I think this may have been the worst column Eileen McNamara or any other Globe columnist has written about the Church that I can recall with its insinsuation that Archbishop Sean and Bishop Lennon, both of whom, one would suspect, signed off on the honoring of Mayor Menino, somehow also orchestrated the opposition to that decision,embarrassing themselves and Catholic Charities in the process.

    Stipulation 2:I would feel much more reassured about either the Mayor’s or the Archbishop’s stance on Catholic charity if it included support for Holy Trinity’s efforts to continue to host the Medeiros Center and Bridge Over Troubled Waters (as well as, of course the German national parish and the Latin Mass community).

    Nonetheless, at the risk of inviting being slapped down for my ignorance, I feel compelled to ask how Menino’s statement, however enormously less articulate, diverges from the central point JFK made in his famous address to the Greater Houston Ministerial Association at the Rice Hotel in September, 1960, in which he declared, “I do not speak for my church on public matters, and the church does not speak for me.  Whatever issue may come before me as President, if I should be elected, on birth control, divorce, censorship, gambling or any other subject, I will make my decision in accordance with these views—in accordance with what my conscience tells me to be in the national interest, and without regard to outside religious pressure or dictates.  And no power or threat of punishment could cause me to decide otherwise.”

    i don’t recall that this statement led anyone from Lake Street to the Vatican to declare that Kennedy was anything other than a Catholic. Mutatis mutandis, is Menino not making the same claim that served in the election of the first and, to this day, only Catholic to the Presidency of the Republic?

    Given that ours is not a Catholic nor even, officially, a Christian country, how is it justifiable to ask a Catholic elected official to do more than apply the dictates of his conscience to the panoply of public policy issues as he or she best sees fit, whether or not that judgment on any particular issue is that which his priest, his bishop or the pope might have made had any of them been elected to the particular office?

  • A conscience is not formed in a vacuum. The right-formed conscience is formed according to Truth, and as Catholics where do we find that Truth? The teachings of the Church are not some arbitrary man-made rules. They are the Will and Word of God, the laws by which the universe is formed and operate.

    The Catechism of the Catholic Church says: In the formation of conscience the Word of God is the light for our path, 54 we must assimilate it in faith and prayer and put it into practice. We must also examine our conscience before the Lord’s Cross. We are assisted by the gifts of the Holy Spirit, aided by the witness or advice of others and guided by the authoritative teaching of the Church.

    The conscience will be formed one way or another. but what will you use to form it? The fashion of the day? Secular humanism? Or what you profess to be your faith?

  • i don’t recall that this statement led anyone from Lake Street to the Vatican to declare that Kennedy was anything other than a Catholic.

    I don’t recall anyone here calling Menino anything other than a Catholic, either, Tony; but given the consequences brought about by the failure by those “on Lake Street” to act over a forty-year period on other matters, do you really believe that the Cardinals’ failure to take JFK to task for his comments releases the Archbishop or Menino from their responsibilities?

  • I suppose, Dom, that one’s conscience, if it can truly to be considered one’s own, will be shaped by one’s study of the teachings of the Church, one’s reflections on the circumstances life presents as, in the case of a politican, one carries out his or her responsibilities, and the guidance one gets through prayer and the exercise of the sacraments.  I’m not certain that I understand your point, Dennis.  It seems to be that the Cardinals should have condemned JFK 45 years ago.  That they didn’t then and haven’t since might well seem to allow those who essentially adopted the same position to believe that they were remaining faithful to the established teachings of the Church on the matter of personal conscience, even if, by some lights, they are not conforming to Catholic positions on the “other matters” to which you allude.  Don’t get me wrong. I am in no position to do anything more than I point a contradiction I perceive.

  • Tony,

    For what it’s worth, I think most of the posters here are aware of the contradiction you point out and were as frustrated at the inaction of the bishops 45 years ago regarding Kennedy’s failures as they are about the current inaction regarding Menino.

    Sadly, the Church in the US seems to have leaders who refuse to do their job and actually lead, teachers who refuse to teach. But our failure to live up to our doctrines does not prove the doctrines wrong or lacking, it just proves that we are fallible human beings.

  • Thanks, Melanie.  I wrote my posts on this thread before reading the editorial in the current issue of The Pilot, entitled “Ignorance or Contempt” which argues that in post-Roe America Kennedy’s position has been ruled out of bounds both by Archbishop O’Connor and a 2002 document from the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith affirming the obligation of Catholics in public life to oppose any measure “that attacks human life.”  Clearly, on that score at least, the ground rules have changed since 1960.  As to your broader point, we are completely in accord.