March 19, 2006

O'Malley: 'Many signs of hope'

Boston Globe

By Michael Paulson, Globe Staff | March 19, 2006

Archbishop Sean P. O'Malley, preparing to accept the red hat that completes his transformation from humble friar to prince of the church, says the Archdiocese of Boston is at an important ''moment of transition," facing extraordinary challenges posed to its most basic missions by a searing crisis and a secular culture.

In a rare, wide-ranging interview, O'Malley said the Catholic Church can no longer rely on its position of authority to transmit its teachings on moral values, but instead must turn increasingly to persuasion in an effort to convince a skeptical society of the merits of Christian faith.

''One of the greatest tragedies of the sexual abuse crisis is that it undermines our capacity to teach the hard points of the Gospel," he said.

O'Malley, who on Friday in Rome will be elevated to cardinal by Pope Benedict XVI, insisted that he sees ''signs of hope" amid all the bad news -- young men considering entering the priesthood, thousands of adults attending conferences on faith, civic power brokers stepping up to help. And he pledged to implement a series of changes in coming weeks, including the replacement of some of the key officials who oversee the archdiocese; full disclosure of the archdiocese's financial situation; a reorganization of the parochial school system; and improved assistance to parishes.

Posted by kshaw at March 19, 2006 07:28 AM