Just a few days after being given a new assignment by the Archdiocese of Boston and a day after giving a softball interview to a local newspaper, Fr. Walter Cuenin is announced as the preacher and honoree at a gay pride event. (Note that contrary to his disdain for his collar in the interview yesterday, Cuenin wears one for his photo in the gay newspaper Bay Windows; apparently it comes in useful sometimes.) Here’s how the newspaper describes the reasons for his being honored:
As pastor of Our Lady’s for 12 years until his forced resignation by Archbishop Seán O’Malley last September, Cuenin went out of his way to make the thriving parish a safe spiritual home for LGBT Catholics. The parish established an LGBT support group, its Justice and Peace Committee marched in Boston Pride and Cuenin regularly preached a message of inclusion for all marginalized Catholics. He also made waves when he offered legislative testimony in 2002 against a proposed constitutional amendment to ban same-sex marriage, which had strong backing from the Catholic hierarchy.
And lest you miss the point, Cuenin is not a supporter of the Church’s teachings on homosexuality. He claimed in the interview that he isn’t a dissenter, but this tells a different story.
But the church also holds the positions that homosexuality is “objectively disordered” and the legalization of same-sex relationships is not to be tolerated. Cuenin seems to understand the fine line he’ll walk at the Interfaith Service. “I hope it’s not my last preaching,” he laughs. “It’s going to take a certain tact not to say something that would be totally contrary to the Catholic teachings, but challenging still.”
Catch that? He wants to publicly disagree with Church teaching, but needs to walk a fine line so that he doesn’t say something explicitly contrary.
Once again I have to ask Archbishop O’Malley, why is this guy still being placed in a position to form young minds and souls? In the Scandal, bishops shuffled about sex abusers from parish to parish where they continued to prey on the bodies and souls of young people. Cuenin’s not a sex-abuser, but his heterodoxy poisons the souls of those duped by his word. So why are they shuffling him to a new assignment? Do they never learn?
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