The Boston Archdiocese has donated $850,000 in an effort to defeat Question 4, a statewide ballot measure that will be decided on by voters on November 8th and that would legalize marijuana possession, sales and cultivation for those 21 years of age and older.
“It reflects the fact that the archdiocese holds the matter among its highest priorities,” archdiocese spokesman Terrence Donilon said of the donation. “It’s a recognition that, if passed, the law would have significantly detrimental impacts on our parishes, our ministries.”
What this assertion is based on is unknown. I have yet to see a single report of churches being harmed by legal marijuana in states like Colorado, Oregon and Washington. In fact, I can’t think of an actual reason why they would be. But it seems the Boston Archdiocese can spend hundreds of thousands of tax-free dollars to convince people otherwise.
Cardinal Sean P. O’Malley, head of the Archdiocese, had earlier indicated that the church would only spend a small amount fighting legalization. “The more he thought about this and prayed about this, he thought this was the right thing to do because it directly impacts the people we’re trying to help,” Donilon said.
So the Cardinal prayed on it and decided that $850,000 was needed to fight legal marijuana in Massachusetts? Because legalization would somehow be a detriment to the church?
It’s worth noting that many people will recognize the Boston Archdiocese from the massive child abuse scandal that emanated from there in 2002; a scandal that set off a chain reaction and led to the discovery of rampant abuse and cover-ups within the Catholic Church nationwide. In fact, Cardinal O’Malley was brought in to oversee the clean-up from the fallout from the scandal; he was the Cardinal in charge when the Boston Archdiocese paid out some $85 million to victims in 2003.
“The archdiocese has come up with a position that, frankly, we think is based on unfounded assumptions and junk science,” said Jim Borghesani, a spokesman for the group “YES on 4”. “But they can spend their money any way they wish.”
And what a great way to spend it! Instead of using that money for programs that can directly help their parishioners and the children they claim they care so much about now, the Archdiocese is instead blowing 850k trying to stop people from legally possessing and growing marijuana in their own home or going to a store to buy it.
Those who support the Boston Archdiocese financially need to take a good hard look at what their money is being wasted on.