Cardinal Archbishop Sean O’Malley was rebuked by the Catholic Action League of Massachusetts for attending a Boston awards gala honoring former President Barack Obama. Catholic leaders believe that Obama critically injured the pro-life movement.
O’Malley attended the 2017 Profile In Courage awards ceremony Sunday evening where Obama received top honors. The prestigious award was created in 1989 by the Kennedy family and is designed to recognize politicians who demonstrate unusual courage and a high degree of competence.
During his acceptance speech, Obama personally acknowledged O’Malley’s presence before launching into a lecture on the “benefits” of the Affordable Care Act. Catholics in the area were appalled. The Catholic Action League released a statement saying that Cardinal O’Malley’s decision to attend the event was a “betrayal of the pro-life movement, of the innocent unborn, and of those Catholics and other Christians struggling to defend First Amendment guarantees of religious liberty.”
Church leaders are expected to live up to a high standard. A man who assumes a powerful position in his church should be supportive of the congregation’s views. Catholics feel strongly about abortion. O’Malley showing up personally to support Obama might be seen as the church tacitly approving the latter’s views.
“Barack Obama was, by any objective indicator, the most pro-abortion president in the history of this country, at least since abortion became a public issue in the 1960’s. He was also, arguably, the president most hostile to the protections found in the Constitution and the Bill of Rights guaranteeing religious freedom,” said C.J. Doyle, executive director of the Catholic Action League.
“Catholic prelates ought to avoid giving scandal, and, at all times, ought to bear witness to the truth. Sean O’Malley did neither last night.”
Obama’s two presidential campaigns were supported by Planned Parenthood and NARAL Pro-Choice America. The former president was seen as a hero among pro-choice activists. His administration clearly supported making abortion a widely-available practice. He even opposed legislation that would have required doctors to give medical care to babies who survived the abortion procedure.
“The message O’Malley sends by his attendance at this celebration of Barack Obama is that support for the mass killing of pre-born children, and attacks on the conscience rights of Christians, are morally respectable, are no obstacle to public honors, and, implicitly, are no barrier to the votes and campaign contributions of Catholics,” said Doyle.
Values matter. O’Malley misrepresented Catholic values by giving his support to Obama. Obama’s policies directly conflict with core Christian beliefs. By virtue of his position, O’Malley represents more than himself. He’s an official representative of the church.
“No rational person can reasonably be expected to take seriously Catholic opposition to abortion when the former chairman of the Pro-Life Activities Committee of the U. S. Conference of Catholic Bishops is photographed smiling at an event hailing Planned Parenthood’s favorite president,” Doyle continued.
“Once again, Catholic principles are cast aside, and the whole world can see the fawning servility of the American Catholic hierarchy to wealth, celebrity, and political power.”
O’Malley may have been lured by Obama’s celebrity. Doyle’s rebuke springs from the fear that O’Malley may have lost sight of his Christian duties. Catholicism supports the right to life. Abortion is never countenanced. O’Malley knows this, yet he’s still willing to align himself with pro-choice Obama.
“Every action which, whether in anticipation of the conjugal act, or in its accomplishment, or in the development of its natural consequences, proposes, whether as an end or as a means, to render procreation impossible” is regarded as an evil according to the Catholic Catechism. Elective sterilization and contraception are typically seen as morally unacceptable.
Doyle spoke out because he’s willing to stand up for his church. O’Malley wasn’t thinking of his congregants when he decided to appear at an awards show in support of Obama.