December 14, 2005


Menino's Catholic fallacies (George Weigel, December 14, 2005, Boston Globe)

In the course of his recent remarks to the Catholic Charities Greater Boston Christmas dinner, [Boston Mayor Thomas M. Menino] confessed that ''what moves me about being a Christian is what Jesus taught us about being religious. He did not give priority to piety. He didn't make holiness the big thing. And he did not tell us to go around talking up God, either."

Really? One wonders what Menino makes of the last two verses of the Gospel of St. Matthew: ''Go, therefore, and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Spirit, and teaching them to observe all that I have commanded you." It is not, shall we say, self-evidently clear how that ''Great Commission" can be fulfilled without ''talking up God."

As for Jesus being anti-pietistic and unconcerned about holiness, it is true that Jesus criticized the formulaic piety that some people of his time mistook for genuine religious conversion. But did the Master who gave his disciples what we know as the Lord's Prayer really not care about prayer? Did the Christ who called on all to ''change your ways" for ''the kingdom of heaven is at hand" not care about holiness? Don't organizations such as Catholic Charities help fulfill Christ's command to ''let your light shine before men, so that they may see the good you do and give glory to your Father in heaven"?

Menino further muddied the waters by commenting that: ''When the pope speaks on doctrine, that's absolute. I don't think choice and gay marriage are doctrine." Wrong again.

Posted by Orrin Judd at December 14, 2005 11:42 AM

Surprising that the Globe published this piece.

Posted by: Jim in Chicago at December 14, 2005 11:56 AM

By pretending to be a Catholic and saying those absolutely backwards things about Our Lord's teaching, this clown is lending credence to the oft-repeated lie that Catholics do not study or follow Sacred Scripture.

Posted by: Lou Gots at December 14, 2005 11:57 AM

Catholic (many would think sneer quotes would be appropriate here) politicians are allowed to make completely false statements about Church positions with apparent impunity, but if the Church now corrects him they'll be accused of meddling in politics. Truly bizarre.

Posted by: b at December 14, 2005 12:24 PM

Wonder if the local bishop lets him receive Communion.

Posted by: jdkelly at December 14, 2005 12:34 PM

It's one thing to dissemble about party politics; it's quite another to dissemble about church doctrine. Hint - he can't. It may not hurt him at the polls, but he is a real jerk if he thinks he is fooling anyone.

Posted by: jim hamlen at December 14, 2005 2:08 PM

"Mumbles" Menino, as the Boston talk people call him, is the Lou Costello, or if you prefer, the Miss Malaprop of American mayoral politics. I can think of no better example of the Democratic Party's stranglehold on MA politics than his presence.

Posted by: Ed Bush at December 14, 2005 7:49 PM