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Keller @ Large: One-On-One With Cardinal Sean O’Malley

By Jon Keller, WBZ-TV
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WBZ-TV's Jon Keller Jon Keller
Jon Keller is WBZ-TV News' Political Analyst, and his "Keller A...
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BOSTON (CBS) – What will the Archbishop of Boston, Cardinal Sean O’Malley, be thankful for this Thanksgiving Day?

“I’m thankful first of all for my faith, for my family, for this country, for my vocation,” he told WBZ in an exclusive one-on-one interview, his first on broadcast TV in years. “And I’m thankful that we were able to stop Question Two.”

That come-from-behind Election Day victory over the ballot question legalizing assisted suicide featured a strong push by the Church, and when we sat down to talk about the results at the Archdiocese headquarters in Braintree, Cardinal Sean made it clear he hopes this was the start of greater public receptivity to the Church’s pro-life principles.

“Younger Americans are more pro-life than my generation, and I think there’s a lot more consensus out there than people realize,” he said. “Maybe the fact that they were born at a time when their mothers could have decided that this was not a convenient time to have a child and gone to the clinic and had an abortion, I don’t know…. It’s not necessarily coming out of their religious commitment, because a lot of our young people have not been well-formed in the faith of their churches. It’s a sort of spontaneous reaction, I think, on their part .”

Part 2 Of The Interview With Cardinal O’Malley

Cardinal Sean recently took over as chair of the US Conference of Catholic Bishops’ Pro-Life Committee, and we asked him if he sees the need for changes of tone or style in the way the Church presses the pro-life position.

“The Church does not see this as our trying to impose Catholicism on the general population. We see this as a human rights issue,” he said. “[America’s] foundational documents say the basic rights are life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness, and it’s an inalienable right, which means you can’t take it away, you can’t give it away…. John Kennedy put it so well in his inaugural address, that these rights come to us from the hand of God…. I think most Americans do not endorse the present abortion on demand and unrestricted and unfettered kind of abortions.”

The Cardinal said, “There’s a lot of room for dialogue and conversations and a greater understanding.” But he added: “The Church I think is doing all of society a great service by saying life is precious and we have to take care of it, and every time the government is moving the goalpost, we’re pushing it back.”

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