A shot across the bow

A shot across the bow

On New Year’s Eve, Archbishop Sean O’Malley will preside at a midnight Mass for the feast of Mary the Mother of God at Our Lady Help of Christians Parish in Newton, the parish of the notorious Fr. Walter Cuenin. Fr. Cuenin is outspoken in his rejection of certain of the Church’s teachings, especially on marriage, family, and homosexuality, and was a key organizer of both Voice of the Faithful and the Boston Priests Forum. He was also a prime mover behind the letter of 58 Boston priests that may have been the final straw to force out Cardinal Bernard Law.

This week, Fr. Cuenin fired a shot across Archbishop O’Malley’s bow. We all know that the Church—from the Vatican on down to individual dioceses—has made it a priority to safeguard the sacred definition of family against attempts to open it to all kinds of “innovations,” not the least of which is so-called gay marriage. In his bulletin message this week (go to the parish home page and select “bulletin” from the menu), Fr. Cuenin undermines that.

Today we also see new types of families that were unimaginable years ago. For example, there are households where one parent raises children or where two single parents share together in the raising of two sets of children. There are households with a mother and father together ive as a couple and raise children. On and on goes the list. We should never think that there is a single Biblical model of family life. [Emphasis added.]

If that isn’t a clear contradiction of the Church’s teaching, I don’t know what is. So what should Archbishop O’Malley do with regard to this clear slap in the face? What will he do? Perhaps he will bide his time, waiting for the proper moment to reign in Cuenin. Perhaps he will take direct action. In any case, he must do something eventually about priests who undermine the Church’s teachings, who teach falsehood as truth and lead their people astray.