Boston Cardinal Accused of Partisan Politics for Blasting Democrats over Abortion

By Matthew Cullinan Hoffman

BOSTON, November 21, 2007 ( - Most elected officials in the Massachusetts Democratic Party are ignoring Cardinal Sean O’Malley’s recent denunciation of their pro-abortion position.

O’Malley, who is the Catholic Archbishop of Boston, said in an interview with the Boston Globe on November 15th that "the Democratic Party, which has been in many parts of the country traditionally the party which Catholics have supported, has been extremely insensitive to the church’s position, on the gospel of life in particular, and on other moral issues."

"I think that, at times, it borders on scandal as far as I’m concerned," he said, when asked about Catholics who vote for pro-abortion politicians.

"However, when I challenge people about this, they say, ‘Well, bishop, we’re not supporting [abortion rights],’ " he said. "I think there’s a need for people to very actively dissociate themselves from those unacceptable positions, and I think if they did that, then the party would have to change."

O’Malley’s comments followed the release of a new document by the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops (USCCB), which gives priority to abortion and other human life issues in politics, warning Catholics who ignore such issues that their souls may be in danger (see previous LifeSiteNews coverage at:

However, prominent Democrats who support abortion and other anti-life policies in Massachusetts refused to comment on O’Malley’s statement when asked by the Boston Globe.  These included Senators John Kerry and Edward Kennedy, both nationally-known Catholic politicians who have uncompromisingly supported legal abortion for years. John Walsh, chairman of the Massachusetts Democratic Party also refused to respond.

Tommi Avicolli Mecca, who calls himself a "radical Italian queer performer," dismissed the Cardinal’s words in an editorial on San Francisco’s "alternative" news site,, noting that "apparently, the Democratic Party isn’t worried about Catholic voters turning against its candidates over their liberal stance on abortion. The influence of the church has waned a lot since the days when Cardinals and Archbishops could change legislators’ votes simply by speaking out against a piece of legislation."

"I remember those times, and not very fondly. The Archdiocese of Philadelphia was probably the number-one reason for the defeat of the City of Brotherly and Sisterly Love’s first gay rights bill in 1974. A church spokesman’s testimony against the bill ensured that it would never make it out of the Rules Committee and onto the floor of City Council for a vote."

"Fortunately, the church doesn’t have as much influence with legislators as it did back then, at least not in the area of abortion and gay rights. O’Malley’s comments no doubt arise out of a sense of frustration with the diminishing political influence of his church," writes Mecca.

The Globe agrees. "As they have for years, most Catholic Democrats in Massachusetts are likely to continue to disagree with the church on abortion without worrying much about the consequences for them or their party," the newspaper’s staff wrote on November 18th. "If Catholic voters punished their politicians for opposing church views on abortion - or gay marriage, or any other subject - the response might be quite different, political experts said last week. But they haven’t."

Related Links:

Cardinal’s criticism is met with silence by Democrats”>

Praise and Criticism for Lengthy US Bishops Statement on Catholics and Political Responsibility

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