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Tainted money

By Phil Lawler (bio - articles ) | Apr 01, 2003

The Boston archdiocese has refused to accept a donation from Voice of the Faithful because-- if the Boston Globe story is accurate-- the group is interfering with archdiocesan fundraising.

OK, I admit I'm confused. If I offer to give you money, how does that interfere with your ability to raise money?

Or maybe it's the criticism from VOTF that's hurting the archdiocesan fund drive. That would make more sense, wouldn't it?

But wait: Father Walter Cuenin, the Boston priest most prominently identified with VOTF, has been as critical as anyone else associated with the group. Yet Father Cuenin remains pastor of one of the most prominent (and affluent) parishes in the archdiocese. How much good can he be doing for the fundraising campaign?

It's no secret that Church officials are worried by the liberal theological views espoused of many VOTF leaders. Well, I say it's "no secret," but I haven't heard chancery officials say as much openly. They prefer to talk about fundraising. Which may be a prudent choice, because there's no liberal cause supported by VOTF that isn't also aggressively advanced by (see above) the pastor of one of Boston's most prominent parishes. I guess the group's liberal tendencies aren't the problem, either.

So what is the problem? Unlike theological opinions, dollar bills come in only one shade; a dollar contributed by a saint buys exactly the same amount as a dollar from a sinner.

I say take the money. If you disagree, feel free to write me. And if you enclose a check, rest assured I'll cash it.

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