Fr. Walter Cuenin of Our Lady Help of Christians in Newton, Mass., is at it again. In this week’s bulletin, he openly challenges Archbishop Sean O’Malley and the Church’s teaching on homosexuality and legal unions between same-sex persons.
Framing it as a matter of hospitality, he says that although the Massachusetts Catholic Conference, comprising the bishops of the four dioceses of the state, has asked every parish to request parishioners to sign a petition for a constitutional amendment to define marriage as the union of one man and one woman, he won’t allow the petitions inside his church.
I am placing at the doors of the church the forms the Archdiocese has sent for those who may want to sign and register their opposition to gay marriage. But we will not do any signing of petitions in our church as we follow that rule for all issues.
Apparently his rules remain in place regardless of the request of his archbishop. And in case anyone wasn’t aware of where he actually stands on the issue:
We have made a special effort to welcome gay and lesbian persons and their families. The parish is blessed to have many couples, some now legally married, as members of the community. They come on Sundays and are raising their children in the faith. Their marriage seems to have been a good experience for them. It doesn’t appear that anyone’s marriage has been threatened or compromised by the 1800 gay marriages that have already taken place in the past year.
This is directly contradictory to the Church’s consistent teaching on homosexuality and on so-called gay marriage, but is in line with Cuenin’s consistent dissent from the Church’s teaching, including his testimony before the state Legislature several years ago in which he said that an appeal to human rights and dignity demand special rights for gays and gay marriage.
This is a direct shot at Archbishop O’Malley’s teaching authority and the teaching of the Church. What will the archbishop do about it?