Early reaction to Bishop O’Malley’s appointment indicates that Boston’s new archbishop-designate will be well received by the Catholic faithful of the archdiocese and the larger Boston community.
--Father Stephen Fernandes, pastor of Our Lady of Fatima Parish in New Bedford and Pro-Life director for the Diocese of Fall River. When he was bishop there, Bishop O’Malley encouraged the expansion of the Pro-Life Office and it was under his leadership that the diocese began attending the March for Life in Washington and established the Project Rachel apostolate.
"The archdiocese could not have received a greater champion for the Gospel of Life than Bishop O'Malley and part of his being a champion involves tremendous personal example. He leads by example and he will provide a dynamic example to the people about the full meaning of the Gospel of Life. He fostered and encouraged the pro-life work of the Church [in Fall River] with remarkable zeal, but at the same time he'll did it with startling, startling gentleness. He always found himself a citizen of the Commonwealth at the Boston Common on Respect Life Sunday in October. He was there every year without fail."
"He is profoundly gentle and compassionate in his dealing with human beings. His respect for that individual human being as created in God's image and as redeemed by Christ guided every word and every gesture that he used to deal with human beings."
--Ray Flynn, former Mayor of Boston and U.S. Ambassador to the Vatican, met Bishop O’Malley when he was a priest working with the homeless in Washington D.C. and worked with him in Fall River to support local charities.
"It is really a gift from God to the City of Boston and a gift of God to our Church having him at this time. I am so tremendously grateful to God for his presence. There are extraordinary challenges that he faces and what he said at the press conference was overwhelming. He is obviously extending a sincere apology to the victims, but he also acknowledged and thanked the wonderful, faithful priests of the diocese who have had to experience so much pain and anguish themselves. Finally, they were recognized. Therefore, that was a wonderful expression of thanks from the archbishop. The Church in Boston's greatest days are before us."
--Bill Hobbib, parishioner of St. Clement Shrine in Boston
"He is obviously a very holy person. He talked about the need to lives according to the Gospels and the sacraments, he talked about a need for healing and listening and I think that all of those are important."
"He has also dealt with situations like the one in Boston before, while in Fall River and Palm Beach. Not only does he bring the experience of those dioceses but he brings a holiness, a lifestyle, a commitment to the poor and those marginalized in society. That combination with be a great benefit here."
--Mary Ann Glendon, a professor at Harvard Law School and member of the Archdiocesan Social Justice Commission, attended the press conference.
“It is such an extraordinarily bold appointment. One sees here today the spirit of St. Francis filling the room. It’s a spirit of healing and peace and a spirit of joyfulness — joyful Franciscan charisma that I hope will be contagious here in the archdiocese. He comes here barefoot hoping to be an instrument of healing and peace and bringing the joy that is so characteristic of the Franciscan expression of Christianity.”
"He brings many qualities to a job that would be daunting to anyone, I don't think that there would be anyone in the Church who would be fully up to the job. He seems to have the personality and the background of very good experiences in Fall River and as short as it was in Florida. Bishop O'Malley has approached this [crisis] as a problem of listening. He will listen and he wants to fulfill moral obligations as well as legal obligations.
"During the press conference he spoke to the immigrant Catholics whose voices have not been heard too much in these past months. He has reached out to the new Boston and I think he will be a great force for bringing a divided Catholic community together. He's a listener and he will listen to everyone who has felt disappointed or disenfranchised."
--Kristen Winter-Green, AIDS Ministry for the Fall River Diocese and first worked with Bishop O’Malley in St. Thomas, Virgin Islands when she was Vice Chancellor of the diocese there. She said that he used to assist her in the homeless shelters on St. Thomas.
"I think that he is a person who is 100 percent committed to the Catholic faith and to the Catholic Church He has had a tremendous amount of experience in terms of working with a people and a faithful that are hurting in various parts of the U.S. He is a very humble man so he is always enthusiastic to take other people's opinions and expertise into consideration. I think that that is a quality that can be very helpful in terms of the situation that we have here in the archdiocese."
"Bishop O'Malley has always had a tremendous interest in the most disenfranchised and that includes persons who are homeless and who are suffering from a variety of denigrating social situations as well as persons living with HIV and AIDS and their families. Bishop O'Malley has been extremely progressive in terms of enabling the funding and support for outreach and ministry for the disenfranchised."