Cardinal Sean O’Malley Expresses Disappointment With Pro-Legal-Abortion Catholic Politicians

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Should Catholic politicians’ policies reflect their Catholic values?

Cardinal Sean O’Malley, the archbishop of Boston, thinks so.

During a speech at the Night 4 Life event at Veteran’s Memorial Stadium in Quincy on Thursday night, O’Malley expressed his disappointment with politicians who don’t.

O’Malley did so while praising Quincy Mayor Thomas Koch, a longtime Democrat who became an independent in 2017 as a result of then-Democratic National Committee chairman Tom Perez’s comments that every Democrat needs to support legal abortion.

O’Malley called the right to life for the unborn a human rights issue.

“I also want to express my profound gratitude and admiration for Mayor Koch for his courage, his witness, and being a man of principle and integrity who has the courage to stand up for his principles,” O’Malley said. “The Holy Father asks us to dialogue with Catholic politicians who sometimes don’t have the courage of their convictions. And so many of them say, ‘Oh Cardinal, I can’t impose my Catholic faith on someone else.’ But life is a precious gift. Life is not just us imposing our Catholic faith on someone, but defending an innocent human being whose life is being threatened. It’s a matter of human rights and we all need to have the courage to defend human rights — especially when humanity is most vulnerable.”

This is the exact comment from Perez in April of 2017 that resulted in Koch becoming an independent:


Every Democrat, like every American, should support a woman’s right to make her own choices about her body and her health. That is not negotiable and should not change city by city or state by state.

At a time when women’s rights are under assault from the White House, the Republican Congress, and in states across the country. We must speak up for this principle as loudly as ever and with one voice.


Koch told The Patriot Ledger of the Democratic Party in February 2018, “The party platform is so far left on abortion it’s sickening.”

A couple of hours after O’Malley spoke, Koch also gave a speech. He recalled that his father, Richard, supported the Kennedy family for a time, working on the campaigns of former president John F. Kennedy when he first ran for U.S. Senate and longtime Senator Ted Kennedy after that.  However, that changed when the U.S. Supreme Court issued its Roe v. Wade decision legalizing abortion nationwide, and Ted Kennedy flipped from being pro-life to supporting legal and publicly funded abortion.

Koch also look a subtle shot at Joe Biden, who is the second Catholic President of the United States.

“Senator Kennedy wouldn’t go south of Boston without my father at his side,” Koch said. “And I witnessed in the mid-70s my father departed from him because he became pro-choice. I saw at a young age what it means to be principled. John Kennedy when he ran became the first Catholic president — and I’d say he’s the only Catholic president we’ve had to date, quite frankly — he said in his speech to the ministers of the south because he was getting beat up because he was Catholic and they thought he’d do what the pope told him to do. Toward the end of that speech, he said, ‘If at any time, my conscience comes into conflict with my office, I will resign my office’.”

Later in his speech, Koch added, “I’d rather lose the office than be pro-choice, that’s for sure.”

Koch got the idea to help put together a pro-life event in Quincy after visiting Medjugorje in Bosnia and Herzegovina, according to a 2019 interview with The Pilot, the newspaper of the Archdiocese of Boston. Koch is a member of the Men’s Prayer Group at Sacred Heart Parish in North Quincy. He told the Pilot that he felt like he had to do something more for the pro-life cause in his city.

The keynote speakers at the event Thursday, June 17 were former New England Patriots tight end Benjamin Watson, and former Planned Parenthood employee turned pro-life activist Abby Johnson.


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