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Boston archbishop pulls out of Catholic Charities fundraiser November 23, 2005

Boston's Archbishop Sean O'Malley will not attend a December dinner honoring the city's Mayor Thomas Menino. The dinner is a fundraising event for the local office of Catholic Charities.

The archbishop's withdrawal from the December 9 event follows a series of protests from lay Catholic leaders, who have pointed to Mayor Menino's record on key moral issues. C.J. Doyle, executive director of the Catholic Action League of Massachusetts, cited the mayor's "relentless opposition to the moral teachings of the Roman Catholic Church" in a November 17 statement urging the archbishop not to attend the dinner. Doyle pointed out that although Menino is a Catholic, he has consistently supported legalized abortion on demand and has been a stalwart proponent of homosexuals, even sponsoring a "gay prom" for local high-school students at City Hall. When a Massachusetts court cleared the way for legal recognition of same-sex marriages, Mayor Menino personally welcomed the first homosexual applicants arriving at City Hall for marriage licenses.

Mayor Menino was chosen as the honoree for the December fundraiser because of his support for Catholic Charities.

The Boston arm of Catholic Charities came under fire in October when it was revealed that the office was actively helping homosexual couples to adopt children, despite Church teaching that such adoptions are "gravely immoral." Father J. Bryan Hehir, the head of Catholic Charities in Boston, explained that the Church agency assisted in homosexual adoptions in order to qualify for state funding that underwrites other adoption services. "If we could design the system ourselves, we would not participate in adoptions to gay couples, but we can't," he said; "We have to balance various goods."

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