It’s frustrating as a Catholic to see our internal problems air in the media sometimes and realize how nobody is quite wrong, but neither are they quite right, and yet so much damage is done by not being forthright and open.
Take the case of St. Mary’s Parish in Winchester, here in the Archdiocese of Boston. Boston magazine lays out the story from the point of view of the former pastoral associate: He worked at the parish for decades, alongside the longtime pastor1, who had gained a major following in the parish, which had become prosperous and very active. Then as pastoral leadership was changing, a standard archdiocesan audit uncovered potential evidence of financial impropriety that eventually involved the FBI. But after the initial flurry of news and worry, nothing more was ever said and despite this employee’s repeated inquiries, no one would say what happened. That resulted in him clashing with the new pastor, with archdiocesan employees, and an auxiliary bishop and eventually his dismissal. This has all led to a once-thriving parish shedding members who have gone to other parishes or–worse–stopped practicing their faith, and of course massive financial shortfalls.
It’s like a bad two-act play that the Church keeps acting out over and over and over.
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