Just weeks after reaching an $85-million settlement with the alleged victims of Boston’s clergy sex-abuse scandal, Archbishop Sean P. O’Malley, OFM Cap., has begun speaking out on social issues and joining the debates on same-sex marriage and abortion.
According to a report by the Associated Press, the Boston archbishop defended the traditional definition of marriage as the union of a man and a woman at a recent conference of religious leaders, called "The Summit of October to Save Marriage," and said that "any redefinition of marriage must be seen as an attack on the common good."
The conference was held on the heels of a recent lawsuit, being heard in the Massachusetts Supreme Judicial Court, which is seeking legal status for same-sex marriage. The case is still pending a decision.
Last weekend, the archbishop addressed a crowd of 1,000 at a pro-life rally, calling abortion violence and urging participants to build a “civilization of love”, which rejects abortion and euthanasia.
The AP reported that some Church observers said it was inevitable that Archbishop O’Malley, who succeeded Bernard Cardinal Law in July, would begin speaking out on social issues once the sex-abuse cases were settled.
"It seems to me he’s got lots of moral authority right now because he’s done the right thing in dealing with the sex-abuse cases,” Fr. Thomas Reese, Jesuit priest and editor of America, told AP. “I think people are, for the most part, satisfied with what he’s doing and think it should have been done a long time ago.”