My hope that things in the Boston archdioceses would be different under Archbishop Sean O’Malley took a blow yesterday. The archdiocese announced that it was lifting a year-old ban on archdiocesan meetings at Our Lady Help of Christians Parish in Newton. That is the parish whose pastor, Fr. Walter Cuenin, publicly questioned the Church’s teachings on women priests and homosexuality and who led the dissent among archdiocesan priests against Cardinal Law. He is a driving force behind Voice of the Faithful and the Boston Priests Forum. And there are numerous liturgical irregularities at the parish of the type and scope that could be invalidating the sacrament.
The parish, which I will admit is thriving with all kinds of ministries, its own high school, and donations, has often been called the second cathedral. Because of its large size and central location right on a major highway, the archdiocese often scheduled meetings there. Last year, however, Cardinal Law, in one of his final acts, imposed the ban without any public fanfare. But now it’s gone.
“Archbishop Sean (P. O’Malley) said it was time to move forward and lifted the ban,” the Rev. Christopher J. Coyne, a spokesman for the archdiocese, said yesterday.
How is this moving forward? Fr. Cuenin has not recanted his heretical positions, the sacraments are not being celebrated correctly. Nothing has changed at the parish or with Fr. Cuenin to warrant a change in the policy.
This is typical of modern-day bishops. Rather than take action and remain firm against those who undermine Truth they capitulate assoon as they think no one’s watching because they agonize over the appearance of strife in the Church. It’s like a dysfunctional family. As long as everything looks like everyone’s happy and on the same page, it doesn’t matter whether everyone really is.
It’s not like either Cardinal Law or Archbishop O’Malley even took the strongest action possible. Neither one attempted to remove Cuenin from his parish. It makes you wonder what he might know that would make them think it’s better to appease him than to anger him.