Teresa Heinz Kerry contributes to the Menino debate

Teresa Heinz Kerry contributes to the Menino debate

Just when you thought the Boston Catholic Charities-Mayor Menino imbroglio couldn’t get any weirder, it does. On Sunday, Ter-AY-za Heinz Kerry weighed in with her point of view, tut-tutting the hoi pollo who dare to question their betters.

She’s no paragon of virtue when it comes to Catholics in politics who claim their Catholicism impels them to do something they shouldn’t or who claim to be Catholic, but say that it has no bearing on the way they live their lives.

I am proud to live in a country where religious freedom is a fundamental belief, and where our elected officials are judged by their performance in office, without religious tests. Though the beliefs they hold in their hearts surely inform every decision they make, elected officials are properly judged by the policies they pursue, not by the religion they practice or by their adherence to the tenets of our own religious beliefs. So, I was troubled to read that picketers protested Mayor Thomas M. Menino’s address to the Catholic Charities of Greater Boston Christmas dinner earlier this month, criticizing the charity for honoring him, and mistakenly accusing the mayor of having “spent his whole career working against Catholic principles.”

Perhas she misses the point. The protesters were not picketing Menino’s policies, per se, but that he was being lauded as a great Catholic politician. It is Catholic Charities—and Menino by accepting their invitation—who precipitated this problem by making it seem that one can be a Catholic who advances abortion and gay marriage in the public sphere and still be eligible to praised for your Catholicism.

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