On Nov. 22, Boston Catholic Charities issued a statement announcing that Archbishop O’Malley would not attend the banquet, “In light of the mayor’s past statements concerning abortion and same-sex marriage policies.”
Father Hehir said Archbishop O’Malley cancelled his attendance because he supports the policy among the bishops of dialogue with those who do not support Church teaching.
“They want to dialogue and engage Catholic politicians who differ with them on issues of significant Catholic teaching. These issues are issues of significant Catholic teaching,” he said.
I'd love to dialogue with Hehir in front of the press about the issues of significant Catholic teaching - wouldn't you?
About a dozen people braved snow and icy winds outside the hotel to protest the mayor’s presence.
C.J. Doyle, executive director of the Catholic Action League, said that he hoped that the protest would “communicate to fellow Catholics what a tragedy it is for an organization that bears the name Catholic to honor someone who believes that it is morally acceptable to kill the unborn.”
Referring to the archbishop’s decision not to attend the event because of its honoree, Doyle said, “We’re sorry that Catholic Charities chose to embarrass the archbishop by persisting in this scandal.”
The controversy erupted in mid-November when the Catholic Action League of Massachusetts and the group Faithful Voice raised objections to Menino being honored at the annual Catholic Charities event.