Nov. 22 (CWNews.com) – Lay Catholic activists in Massachusetts have sharply criticized the Boston office of Catholic Charities for advertising in a local gay newspaper.
The Catholic Action League of Massachusetts said that a quarter-page ad in Bay Windows represented “either an appalling example of bad judgment or a disturbing sign of indifference to Church teaching, or both.”
The Catholic Charities ad — promoting a pre-Christmas open house at a Boston community center — appeared in Bay Windows at a time when Massachusetts politicians were debating a proposed constitutional amendment to prohibit same-sex marriage. The gay-oriented newspaper was leading the charge against that amendment.
“At a time when faithful Catholics are waging a difficult struggle against unfavorable odds to restore traditional marriage in Massachusetts, they should be able to expect clear and unambiguous support from our Catholic institutions,” said C. J. Doyle, the executive director of the Catholic Action League. He charged that Catholic Charities was “sending mixed messages” on the issue.
The Boston office of Catholic Charities was caught up in controversy last year, when it emerged that the office was arranging adoptions by homosexual couples. After a message from the Vatican barring that practice, Boston Catholic Charities dropped all of its adoption services. Later in 2005, however, the office was a target of protests once again, when a Catholic Charities fundraising dinner honored Boston’s Mayor Thomas Menino, a supporter of legalized abortion and same-sex marriage.
Charging that the advertisement in Bay Windows confirmed a pattern of “tone-deaf leadership” at Catholic Charities, Doyle pointed out that the newspaper carries cartoons, photos, and classified ads “that would fail to meet even elementary standards of Catholic modesty and decency.”
“If Catholic moral teaching is to be taken seriously, and if the Archdiocese of Boston is earnest in its opposition to same-gender marriage,” Doyle concluded, Boston’s Cardinal Sean O’Malley must take action to ensure that Catholic Charities keeps in step with Church teaching.
Ironically, just a week after the Catholic Charities ad appeared in Bay Windows, the Pilot, the official newspaper of the Boston archdiocese carried an editorial rapping the “gay-lifestyle newspaper” for its opposition to a proposed constitutional amendment defending marriage.