Sean P. O'Malley sat for an interview yesterday with the Boston Globe.
A great number of issues were tackled by the recently named Cardinal,
such as the identity of Catholic institutions and the need for greater
consistency of Catholic institutions with Church teachings.
First mentioning his recent nomination as Cardinal, he described the Consistory last month as a “very significant moment for Catholics, and important moment for the Catholic Church in Boston, the recognition of the importance of this Catholic community.”
Referring to yesterday’s presentation of the financial situation of the diocese, he said
“We had a very important event. We had promised transparency, and everyone was anxious to find out exactly what the situation in the church is, and where the pot of gold is buried.”
He then strongly renewed his call for Catholic institutions “to reflect what the values and the teachings of the church are.” “And certainly,” he said, “the institution of marriage is very central in what the church's message is. So, obviously the church imposes a definition of the institution of marriage, and we see that the very best way for children to be raised is in a loving relationship of a married man and woman.”
Cardinal O’Malley stressed the need for consistency in the Church, saying, “Our teachings, when they're seen in isolation, are I think difficult for people, but they're part of a whole.”
“They're part of a Catholic ethos,” he continued, “and our desire to be faithful to Christ and to the commandments, to certain core values…I would hope that those who disagree would try to understand more where the church's teachings are coming from,” he added.
On the issue of Catholics who have stopped practicing their faith, Cardinal O’Malley stressed the need to evangelize “We hope that, as we approach our 200th anniversary in 2008, when we would like to launch programs of evangelizations, spirituality that would invite people to reconnect with the church, those who have stepped away, particularly those who have stepped away over these very painful issues of the past couple of years.”
On whether the Church should be open to certain reforms, such as the ordination of women, he said “I don't want people to think that the church is being unjust. I want them to see that we are being faithful even when it is difficult, even when it is challenging.”
The Boston Cardinal also renewed his concern for the identity of Catholic education institutions, saying, “Certainly my meetings with the college presidents have been very encouraging. I think Father Leahy is sensitive to the needs for Boston College to deepen its Catholic identity and part of that means to be concerned about teaching.”
“We have a very ongoing dialogue with all our Catholic colleges around issues of Catholic education,” he added.
The interview concluded with questions about his appointment to the Boston Archdiocese in the midst of massive sexual abuse scandals.
He said, “I think in general for many Catholics, the crisis has caused us to focus more on what is the very center of the church, why we are Catholics, who our God is and the mission that's given to us. It's not about me. It's about Christ, his church, his mission. I'm just a small part of it. I do my best,” he concluded.