BCI has quite a backlog to catch-up on. We are going to go in reverse order on some of the more recent news.
The local media reported last week, “Cardinal O’Malley moves to raise Beacon Hill profile.”
BOSTON (AP) – Boston Cardinal Sean O’Malley is moving to raise his profile on Beacon Hill by inviting more than 100 state lawmakers to breakfast.
The Boston Globe reports that the invitation said legislators would be given an overview of the church’s political, educational and social programs. The invitation to the continental breakfast at the Union Club on Park Street in Boston was sent to lawmakers who represent the 144 cities and towns in the archdiocese.
“We want them to get to know us better so they understand the broader value of the church in the community,” said Terry Donilon, spokesman for the archdiocese. “If the Catholic Church went away tomorrow, there would be millions upon millions of dollars put on the backs of cities and towns in Massachusetts.”
Cardinal Sean P. O’Malley hosted some 60 state lawmakers at a breakfast meeting this morning that was meant to help rebuild his church’s rapport with the Legislature.
The meeting…was the first in which the cardinal has met with a large group of legislators since he became the Roman Catholic archbishop of Boston in 2003.
O’Malley and his staff offered a broad overview of the archdiocese and its work, according to those who attended, highlighting the church’s youth programs, assistance to immigrants, parochial schools, and care for the poor in 144 cities and towns in Eastern Massachusetts.
Rushing said O’Malley devoted a great deal of time to speaking about immigration, and discussed his decade of work with Hispanic immigrants in Washington, D.C., before he became a bishop. The US Catholic church advocates reforming US immigration policy and offering a path to citizenship for illegal immigrants.
“It means they want to talk about everything,” Rushing said.
The cardinal, in a statement, called the meeting a good first step toward improving communication with lawmakers on Beacon Hill.
“It is my hope that today’s dialogue will strengthen the Church’s collaborative relationship with the citizens of the Commonwealth,” he said.
Among those who spoke was James F. Driscoll, executive director of the Massachusetts Catholic Conference, the lobbyist for the bishops of the four Roman Catholic dioceses in Massachusetts — Boston, Fall River, Springfield, and Worcester. But Driscoll talked only briefly, and he was followed by other church leaders.
“We share many common concerns about the poor, about education,’’ Donilon said. “We thought it was a good chance to open some dialogue so we can get to know each other better.’’
Donilon said O’Malley wanted to hold such a meeting earlier, but has been focusing on rebuilding and reshaping the archdiocese in the wake of the priest sex abuse scandal.
“We see the immense dysfunction going on in Washington,” he said. “It was to show what we do in those 144 cities and towns.’’