Archdiocese caves to protesting parishioners

Archdiocese caves to protesting parishioners

I guess defiance can be rewarded after all. And all our talk about Archbishop O’Malley going in to remove the Eucharist from those who abuse was off base, too. The Archdiocese of Boston has offered to allow the former parish of St. Albert in Weymouth to once again have Mass celebrated there. It’s only on Sundays and only until all appeals are final.

How does this benefit anyone? All it does it raise the expectations among those people that they are going to win. And it rewards them for their schismatic efforts and abuse of the Eucharist. Check this tidbit out:

Lay-led services are held three times daily and once on weekends, more than $100,000 has been raised in legal funds and the brick building bustles with activity. Flowers even sit on the altar.

What exactly is happening three times daily and once on Sundays? Some abomination that’s supposed to look like the Mass? This is not going to end well.

  • I think the big question is WHO will celebrate the Mass?  If it’s Fr. Ron Coyne, then the Archbishop is spiritually abusing those parishioners.  If it’s another priest (and I DON’T mean Josoma!), this might be a good litmus test to see if the parishioners are Catholics or Coynians.

    Yes, the media will spin this as a victory for the protestors.  But I think it could be a victory for Christ, too, if these gravely misled sheep can be brought back to the flock.

  • Yes Dom, my first reaction to this was that it was a bad move and will only encourage other parishes to mount similar campaigns (which some are already doing).

    Then I thought maybe it is not such a bad move. The Archbishop is really trying to reach out to those people (some would say bending over backwards). He is showing that he understands how they feel and is trying to bridge the gap. A goodwill gesture.

    I donil>
    2004-10-01 21:43:38
    2004-10-02 01:43:38
    Quite a strange turn, but seamole’s nailed the real question.  Reaching out with generosity to the straying sheep is one thing; letting Fr. Coyne back in there is something else.  If the Abp. lets that happen, then I’m afraid things are even worse and more entrenched in the Chancery than some of us had dared to imagine. 

  • “Lay-led services are held three times daily and once on weekends…”
    Is it not true that Cardinal Ratizinger has given permission for “Communion services” to be celebrated by lay people, either male or female, in place of a Mass?
    At the local Church here, there was scheduled a morning Mass. However, when I got there, there was a lady at the altar and she said all the prayers for the service and distributed the Holy Communion.  I was told that this type of service was permitted by the Vatican.

  • Communion services are only permitted with the prior permission of the bishop and only when Mass is not available. There are four Catholic parishes in Weymouth besides St. Albert (which is one of the reasons it was closed) so there is ample opportunity for Mass and no valid need for a Communion service.

  • There’s no question that the Mass is available to the people of this parish.

    By offering “Lay-led services” to these opponents of the Archbishop, what does that say to people making a good faith effort to follow the Archbishop’s direction?

    Why shouldn’t this option be granted to any group of “lay leaders”?

    Flowers should not be decorating the altar.  Is Martha Stewart the litugical advisor?

  • Context here: this is Massachusetts. Most towns have multiple Catholic parishes.  There is no need for lay led services anywhere within 200 miles of Boston.

    Defiance has been winning for 40 years.

  • Any Catholic would know that Matins and Lauds do not stand as substitutes or comparisons to Mass.  If this article lists “lay-led services” in the same strand as Mass, then they probably refer to “Communion services.”

    I have a problem with “Communion services” unless they occur at the North Pole, in a foxhole,  or on the moon etc.  If a person can get to Mass, there is absolutely NO NEED for a lay-led Communion service.

    Occasionally, at retreats and such things, they have Saturday night “Communion services.”  Time to head down the road for the REAL THING.  Usually, there’s a real Catholic Church within a couple of miles. 

  • I agree, Michigan.  If there is no Mass at my church for whatever reason, I am obliged to find a church where there is a Mass.  Period.  Finding God in my pew partner is no substitute for finding God in Mass.

    Communion services may work very well in a South American country where the priest must travel from parish to parish and only get to any one parish once a month.  In the USA, they are a travesty.  Yet having said that, I must also reflect on the claim of one of the EMs at my own church who sees no problem with a parish continuing without a priest, simply using lay-led communion services in place of Mass.  I wonder if this is coming out of the Charismatic Movement, though I really don’t know for sure that it is.  There is an antinomian tendency in Pentecostalism that will easily lend itself to lay-led services.

  • Yes, Carrie.  And the number of Catholics who don’t understand Catholicism, or Christianity for that matter, is astonishing.  I’m a convert and it’s the #1,2 and 3 surprise of becoming Catholic.

  • Where are these people getting communion from anyway.  Was there really enough reposed in the Tabernacle on Sept 1 to last a month? 

    I think that the ABofBoston is absolutely right offering these people the Holy Mass, as the scriptures say—I have been all things to all people, so that at least some might be saved.  I am not sure the majority of the parishoners realize it but they are at the threshold of schism, and it sounds as if several heresies co-exist at this parish, including the protestant heresy.  AB Sean is trying to call these wayward sheep back into the fold with the healing and strenghtening sacraments.  Holy Communion is both the “literal” body of Christ and the flesh of the mystical body of Christ, that holds the parts of the body together.  If these people are offered confession, the true faith, and the Communion the AB may still save a few of them, and this is his primary duty.

    As I read the news stories I find it remarkable that sports teams, a color corps, and trips to Atlantic City and the Theater are considered to be the marks of a thriving parish.  Sure they have a decent sacramental index, but one also must question what do the people recieving these sacraments believe about what they are recieving. No wonder they are getting support from VOTunFaithul and protestant churches.

    I think the point that hasn’t been made about this former parishes closing is that while they may be rich materially they seem as if they are deeply in the red when it comes to spiritual wealth.