A prominent pro-lifer is outlining the capitulation between pro-abortion politicians and the Catholic Church that's keeping abortion unchecked and free in the state of Massachusetts.
Church Militant spoke with C.J. Doyle, executive director of Catholic Action League of Massachusetts, about the petition calling out Cdl. Sean O'Malley and the increasing numbers of scandals. Below follows the full interview.
CM: How long has the leadership of the Catholic Church been on the side of pro-abortion politicians in Boston?
CJD: Catholic colleges, universities and elite secondary schools in the archdiocese of Boston have been inviting, honoring, awarding, employing and providing platforms to pro-abortion politicians since the 1970s. The library at Boston College is actually named after Tip O'Neill.
Under the leadership of Cdl. Bernard Law, however, the archdiocese itself was careful to avoid such scandals, so much so that when Cdl. Law once met with Ted Kennedy, a Boston Globe photographer had to use a telephoto lens to capture the event on film.
This completely changed in 2003 when Sean O'Malley became archbishop and brought in as his closest adviser Fr. Bryan Hehir who wrote that the Church must rebuild trust with civil society meaning the political class. As early as December 2005, under Hehir's leadership, the Catholic Charitable Bureau of the archdiocese honored as its man of the year Boston's pro-abortion and fanatically pro-homosexual Mayor Thomas Menino.
CJD: While it may be difficult to quantify the exact impact of the CitizenGo petition to Cdl. O'Malley which was sponsored by the Massachusetts Ad Hoc Pro-Life Coalition, I believe it did have an effect and was a leading indicator of the unprecedented breadth, depth and intensity of anger and outrage expressed in the pro-life community in Massachusetts towards the Catholic hierarchy, something we have never seen before since the beginnings of the pro-life movement here in the 1960s.
CM: The cardinal's and bishop's revision of the signature ban appeared as if they were unaware of the pro-life initiative to remove state funding for abortion. Is this the case?
CJD: The lobbying arm of the Catholic bishops in the Commonwealth, the Massachusetts Catholic Conference, was most certainly aware of the initiative petition drive to stop the public funding of abortion, as they did everything in their power to discourage it in 2015 and sabotage it in 2017. The party line propagated by the conference and the Boston chancery was that the petition drive would distract from the efforts to oppose physician-assisted suicide.
The reality, however, is more complex. The major fundraiser for the archdiocese of Boston and the chief backer of the Catholic Schools Foundation was Jack Connors, a former bundler for the Obama/Biden campaigns. The archdiocesan communications director is Connor's friend, Terence Donilan, who worked for the pro-abortion former governor of Rhode Island, Bruce Sundlun. Donilon's brother, Thomas Donilon, was Obama's National Security Adviser. His other brother, Mike Donilon, was counsel to Joe Biden. His sister-in-law was chief-of-staff to Second Lady Jill Biden.
The last chairman of the former Catholic hospital network, Caritas Christi, was James Karam, campaign fundraiser for Congressman Barney Frank. The archdiocesan public relations firm is Rasky Baerlein, founded by Joe Biden's campaign manager, Larry Rasky. The political figure closest to the archdiocese is Boston Mayor Marty Walsh who said he would turn Boston into a sanctuary city for abortions should Roe v. Wade be overturned.
The media figure closest to the archdiocese is John Allen, Jr. of Crux, who spent much of his career at the radically pro-abortion National Catholic Reporter. The cardinal's closest adviser is Fr. Bryan Hehir, the reputed author of the "seamless garment" concept.
The point of this lengthy response is that pro-life activity, such as the initiative petition against the public funding of abortion, disturbs the comfortable accommodation which the archdiocese has achieved with the state's pro-abortion financial, political and media elites.
CM: How do clergy damage the Church when they make public appearances with pro-abortion or scandalous politicians?
CJD: As for the damage to the Church done by episcopal public appearances with pro-abortion politicians, the Massachusetts Pro-Life Coalition published this in its statement of September 13th:
On repeated occasions, Cdl. O'Malley has been not merely amicable but laudatory to those who promote abortion. This is corrosive to pro-life work and disheartening to those involved.
If it is a strategy aimed at conversion, it is a failed strategy. All of the movement among politicians in Massachusetts on the abortion issue has been in one direction — from pro-life to pro-abortion. No one can identify a member of the congressional delegation, the legislature, the Boston City Council or a constitutional officer who has changed from pro-abortion to pro-life.
On the contrary, some have been emboldened to embrace even more extreme positions in favor of abortion. For example, when Mayor Walsh names a square after abortionist Kenneth Edelin or says he wants to make Boston a sanctuary city for abortion, he knows, absolutely, that there will be no push-back from the archdiocese of Boston.
Furthermore, the cardinal's overtures to abortion advocates:
- Are uncharitable to the advocates themselves. The Spiritual Works of Mercy include instructing the ignorant, counseling the doubtful and admonishing the sinner. Saint Paul says the clergy should "convince, rebuke and exhort" (2 Tim. 4:2).
- Send a scandalous message of discouragement and confusion. Among the Catholic clergy this can only tend to blunt opposition to the Culture of Death; likewise among the laity who may be led to think that abortion is not intrinsically evil and/or that Church teaching is not important.
- Marginalize many pro-lifers. It conveys to politicians, police and the media that pro-lifers, especially the ones who minister outside of abortion facilities, are on their own and have no institutional backing. This impression is reinforced by the refusal of the archdiocese of Boston to support 40 Days for Life, an international, twice-per-year 40-day peaceful campaign of prayer at abortion facilities, fasting and community outreach. It should come as no surprise, therefore, that Catholic legislators vote for buffer zones, that Catholic public officials lie about pro-lifers at public hearings, nor that a newspaper columnist falsely accuses pro-lifers of screaming obscenities.
CM: What do they have to gain by siding with pro-abortion politicians?
CJD: What is gained is human respect, the avoidance of controversy, an end to unfavorable media coverage, financial contributions from secular elites, peaceful co-existence with dissident Catholics, legislators willing to vote money for Catholic Charities, and shout-outs, pats on the back and smiling photo-ops with disreputable, anti-Catholic politicians.
CM: What else should the bishops do to support pro-life work in the state?
CJD: The bishops can support the pro-life movement by complying with their own stated policies in enforcing the provisions of "Catholics in Political Life" and stop giving awards, honors and platforms to pro-abortion public figures.
CM: With such entrenched opposition to true Catholicism, what can the laity do?
CJD: The Catholic laity must make known in forceful and unambiguous terms to their pastors and to their prelates that this collaborationist, Vichy Catholicism is unacceptable.
The Massachusetts Ad Hoc Pro-Life Coalition has now achieved one of its three objectives. Accomplishing the other two, persuading our prelates to stop betraying the pro-life movement by giving awards, honors and platforms to pro-abortion public figures and to fully enforce the provisions of "Catholics in Political Life" — the bishops' conference document which forbids such honors — is likely to take longer and prove more difficult. What we have learned from this episode, however, is that our spiritual leaders will occasionally respond to the outrage of the faithful.
Church Militant reached out to Cdl. O'Malley's office and the archdiocese of Boston, but they have not replied as of press time.