After the archbishop of Boston announced last month that political signature drives are permissible on church property, some Catholics think that their political aims should follow their faith, while some Catholics think that the church should not intervene, according to the Boston Globe.
Cardinal Sean O’Malley announced on October 26 that he permits the process of signature gathering when it is in accordance with the teachings of the Church and applies only to the churches located in the Archdiocese of Boston.
Sean O’Malley’s announcement violates the policy assigned on June 1, which prohibits gathering signatures at church services. O’Malley was backed the bishops of Worcester, Fall River, and Springfield.
Mary Collins, who has attended Marlborough’s Immaculate Conception Parish for 15 years, said to the Boston Globe, “I don’t want any explicit politics when I go to church on Sunday. That’s not why I go to church.”
Collins was suspicious of whether Cardinal Sean O’Malley’s decision was affected by supporters of the effort to change the Massachusetts Constitution, which allows the use of state dollars for abortions for women who receive Medicaid, according to a 1981 ruling from the state’s highest court.
William Cotter, president of the anti-abortion group Operation Rescue: Boston and spokesman for the Massachusetts Ad Hoc Pro-Life Coalition, admitted that these groups had implored O’Malley to abolish the ban, but whether it had factored into O’Malley’s decision was unclear.
Terrence Donilon, an archdiocese spokesman, said in an e-mail, “The church has long been active in a wide variety of public policy issues involving social justice, health care, as well as war and peace, among others.” He said O’Malley had not capitulated to activists.
However, Mary Collins was so frustrated by the signature drive that she decided to leave the Immaculate Conception Parish. Collins said that she wouldn’t confront with politics.