Can Boston parishes host lectures on the drive to pass a constitutional amendment to protect marriage? While some pastors are saying No, the facts may not bear that out.
The Holy Name Society at Holy Trinity Parish in Boston’s South End (home of the archdiocese’s Tridentine Mass community) had invited C.J. Doyle, of the Massachusetts Catholic League, to give a lecture on the marriage amendment this month. However, according to leaders of the Holy Name Society, the parish administrator, Fr. Thomas Naughton vetoed the event, claiming Cardinal Sean O’Malley had forbidden any marriage amendment meeting or discussion on church property before or after the November elections.
Not so, said Dan Avila, policy director of the Massachusetts Catholic Conference, to organizers. The Cardinal’s letter had simply said that political candidates could not be allowed to give political speeches on church property, but that parishes can discuss issues. Moreover, the marriage amendment is not even on the November ballot and even if it was, it would be appropriate to talk about it.
Even after this information was presented to Fr. Naughton he again turned them down. He wouldn’t even consider allowing the talk in December.
Clarification: Fr. Naughton has not yet been presented with the information from Dan Avila. His second rejection was to a simple request to reconsider. He will be asked to reconsider again once the information from Avila is presented to him.
Why is Fr. Naughton stonewalling what is obviously an issue that the Archdiocese of Boston has been on the forefront of addressing? Is it because Holy Trinity is in the South End—with a high proportion of homosexuals living there—and he doesn’t want to provoke the neighbors? Is he genuinely confused about what’s allowed? Hopefully the Holy Trinity folks will continue to pursue this because such obstructionism has greater ramifications because it is a capitulation to the liberal argument that Catholics are not allowed to discuss or advocate matters where our morality intersects with the right ordering of society and political issues.
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