Thursday, August 11, 2005

Boston's Self-Defeating Arrogance

Whisper in the Loggia reports that officials of Boston's Archdiocese couldn't be bothered to show up for a hearing on the bill that would require Massachusetts churches to report financial assets.

As the Boston Globe states, officials didn't think they had to be bothered:

Edward F. Saunders Jr., executive director of the Massachusetts Catholic Conference, the policy arm of the archdiocese, said in an interview that church leaders oppose the bill and made that known privately to lawmakers. ''We presented written testimony, and we felt that was sufficient," he said.

Considering this bill is one of several state and local anti-Church intitatives, you'd think somebody in the Archdiocese would catch on that the Church isn't so popular these days and act accordingly.

The impetus for the bill is summed up in what Marian Walsh, one of its sponsors, told the Boston Globe: ''Financial transparency can better ensure moral transparency."

It's clear that the lay Catholics who are initiating these measures are acting out of pain from the sexual abuse scandal as well as the closing of about 1/4 (!) of the parishes in the Archdiocese.

While Walsh doesn't give the impression that she's a brillliant statesman, her words do point to the suffering of the Church's faithful in Boston and elsewhere.

But, these measures would not alleviate that suffering. The anti-Church legislation would not prevent further parish closings, and would do absolutely nothing to prevent future sexual abuse of children. Absolutely nothing.

However, these bills would take away our freedom; the freedom protected in the First Amendment, and enjoyed by lay Catholics, lawmakers, and even the church officials who can not be bothered to defend them.