Yesterday, Archbishop O’Malley came right out and addressed the question of whether parishes with “problem” priests were targeted. That doesn’t make sense. Why take down a whole parish if you just want to remove the pastor? No, I stand by my original thought that these priests were identified as problems long ago and were moved to parishes where they could less harm. Of course, that would mean they were marginal parishes in the first place.
Wouldn’t you know it that eight of 46 Boston parishes that have VOTF chapters are closing and they are crying that they’re being targeted too. Do the math. The archdiocese is closing about 18 percent of its parishes (65 out of 357). And 17 percent of parishes with VOTF chapters are closing. That’s not targeting.
Notice that the accusations of targeting certain pastors or doing it for the real estate value are attributed to unnamed “critics.” Just who are these critics, I want to ask Michael Paulsen (the Globe reporter with close ties to these “aggrieved” priests)? Could it be that these just aren’t very good priests and that it shows in their parishes? After all, the pastor of one of these fine parishes said just this past week that he’d quit the priesthood if his parish closed. That’s some dedication there. Rather than pointing the fingers elsewhere, perhaps these people should be looking at themselves.