April 21, 2006

O'Malley sees a test of values

Boston Globe

By Michael Paulson, Globe Staff | April 21, 2006

Cardinal Sean P. O'Malley, reflecting on his contentious tenure as archbishop of Boston, said yesterday that Greater Boston is an unusually difficult place to be a Catholic bishop, but that the area is also a rich testing ground for the church as it attempts to convince a secular culture of its religious values.

Alluding to the collision between the liberal values of Massachusetts and the church's conservative positions on sexuality, O'Malley said wistfully that ''in a little town in the Midwest, where none of these things are even an issue, it's much easier to be a country pastor." But, in a wide-ranging conversation with Globe journalists, he also said: ''Where our people are bumping up against these kinds of questions and are looking for answers and strengthening their faith and their commitment, I think that's an exciting aspect of being in the church in Massachusetts."

O'Malley's tenure here has been dominated by the clergy abuse crisis, parish closings, the legalization of same-sex marriage, and a bruising debate over an ultimately unsuccessful legislative proposal that religious organizations disclose their finances to the state.

Posted by kshaw at April 21, 2006 08:20 AM