Had enough? Citizens, take back your government!

With "staffers" like this, is it any wonder the Boston Herald publishes such horribly slanted news stories?

It's hard to imagine that ANY newspaper would publish the hideously anti-Catholic, pro-homosexual article below. But the fact that this person is on the staff of the Boston Herald -- a major daily newspaper -- is a real eye-opener. The article below, published as an opinon piece on April 8, during Holy Week, only adds to the outrage.

The author is basically enraged at the Church over its (perfectly normal) position on homosexual marriage.Not only is this written in anger, and in sloppiness, but it is full of misleading religious analogies and outright lies.

Most egregeous is the statement that the "One Man One Woman" demonstrators were "spewing hatred to all who would listen." We were there. In fact, it was exactly the opposite. The pro-family demonstrators were unusually quiet and reserved, merely holding signs. It was the angry, enraged homosexual activists who were "spewing hatred" in the most offensive manner they could think of. A lot like this writer.

(You can call the Boston Herald at 617-426-3000. Or write a letter at: letterstoeditor@bostonherald.com )

Sandals do not a shepherd make

by Denis M. Hurley, Boston Herald staff
Published in Boston Herald, April 8, 2006

This Holy Week may be a good time for Cardinal Sean O'Malley to finally learn that humility is defined less by what you wear on your feet than by those feet you're willing to wash.

Not that the symbolic value of a prince of the church wearing sandals and a mendicant's robe should go unrecognized. However, his having to pretty much be dragged kicking and screaming to the altar to wash the feet of women last Holy Thursday, may tell a truer story.

As the Capuchin cardinal's spiritual ancestor, Francis of Assisi, undoubtedly knew, symbols have little value if they don't represent things of greater substance.

Francis understood that humility, in the Christian sense, means understanding that everyone is made in the image of God and is, therefore, deserving of respect.

There was another bishop in town Tuesday night, one whose life of service and social concern proclaims that he understands that concept.

Bishop Thomas Gumbleton came to the Paulist Center on Park Street to talk about the church and homosexuality.

And, of all things he said in a 90-minute discussion with the packed-to-the-top-of-the-balcony crowd, the most important as that bishops need to learn to "listen before they speak."

Gumbleton is a humble man who has, indeed, during a life of caring, learned to listen. He came to the Paulist Center to talk to and about people who had been wounded by their church.

The question that leaps to the fore, of course, is, why, if Boston has its own archbishop, did a priest have to come from Detroit so that these troubled people would have someone willing to hear them?

Where was Cardinal Sean? Why wasn't he the one to bring comfort?

Hasn't he heard that when Christians speak of God's love, the modifier is invariably "unconditional?"

I was at the Paulist Center a year or so ago when the "One Man, One Woman" protesters were surrounding the State House, spewing hatred to all who would listen.

The archbishop may not have openly encountered the hatred, but he certainly fertilized the field in which it was sown.

Suddenly, at the end of the chapel a half-block from the demonstration, there was the sound of a door being flung open and an angry voice shouting, "This is all your fault. I hold you responsible for this."

I looked back at the entrance of the chapel to see a well-dressed man -- certainly not, I thought, the sort of person you'd expect would make a habit of interrupting public gatherings.

I wondered what kind of hurt might have provoked him?

Moments later a dozen or so button-wearing protesters who hade come to Mass from their demonstration went u to Communion. I wondered if they had even a clue of yow incongruous that seemed.

Probably not.

Their archbishop had encouraged the belief that gay people were threats to their beliefs.

That archbishop, now a cardinal, is about to lead his people into Holy Week.

And, once again, with the un-Christ like reluctance, he will probably be forced to humble himself by washing the feet of women on Holy Thursday.

And, meanwhile, an elderly man called "Gumby" -- who, by the way, will never, ever be a cardinal -- quietly and humbly made himself available to Cardinal Sean's flock and introduced them to a real shepherd.

Denis M. Hurley is a member of the Herald staff.

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