Saturday, December 10, 2005

Menino: "Jesus didn't make holiness the big thing."

Is there a public official anywhere in the country more intellectually challenged than Mayor Tom Menino of Boston? Or a newspaper more biased and stubbornly ignorant on matters of faith than the Boston Globe?

The Globe's coverage of last night's Catholic Charities dinner honoring pro-abortion, pro-sodomitic-"marriage" Menino, is a sad excuse for impartial reporting. But most alarming are the quotes from Menino, which bare his lack of understanding of his reputed faith.

According to Menino, Jesus "did not tell us to go around talking up God." Jesus "didn't make holiness the big thing." What Bible is he reading?! What church is he attending? (Maybe the one with the rainbow balloons?)

The Globe seems to think dissenters should be defining Catholic values. And Peter Meade, powerful chairman of the charity, has apparently excommunicated the protesting conservative Catholics from the "family" of caring Catholics.

From the Globe ("Menino fires back at critics over issues of faith, politics", Dec, 10):

Mayor Thomas M. Menino, responding to critics who have questioned his Catholicism, last night offered an unusually pointed and personal address, saying that Jesus didn't showcase his piety or ''tell us to go around talking up God."

As a dozen pickets protested against him in front of the Catholic Charities Greater Boston Christmas dinner, Menino distanced himself from Christian politicians who seek to put God ''on courtroom walls." He said that ''a lot of political God talk makes me a little uneasy."

But the mayor, as the dinner's keynote speaker, put forward his own notion of what it means to be a Catholic in public life, saying that he draws on the values of humility and mercy in his daily work as an elected leader. ...

''And what moves me most about being a Christian is what Jesus taught us about being religious," Menino said. ''He did not give priority to piety. He didn't make holiness the big thing. And he did not tell us to go around talking up God, either." ...

The speech was a relatively rare discussion of faith for Menino. It also underscored the intensifying debate nationally and in Boston about the role of faith in politics and recent efforts by more liberal and moderate Catholics to counter conservatives' success in defining Catholic values.

Conservative Catholics locally have been protesting the decision by Catholic Charities to honor Menino at the $500-per-plate event, because of the mayor's support for gay rights and abortion rights. They have also hit Catholic Charities for allowing 13 children to be adopted by gay or lesbian couples in the past two decades. The agency's president, the Rev. J. Bryan Hehir, has said his agency had to comply with state regulations that prohibit discrimination based on sexual orientation.

Just before Thanksgiving, Archbishop Sean P. O'Malley announced that he would not attend, citing a policy adopted by US bishops against Catholic organizations honoring those who do not support church teachings. ...

Nationally, more moderate and liberal Catholics are trying to reassert their values publicly, with some expressing frustration that conservatives have dominated public debate over social issues. ...

After the protest group quietly disbanded at about 7:15 p.m., Catholic Charities chairman Peter Meade said that the people both inside the event and outside had much in common. ''Despite a few folks outside who have some differences, this is a family," Meade said. ''There shouldn't be a belief that the archbishop somehow isn't an ally and an advocate for Catholic Charities."