Priest resigns from Cuenin’s former parish

Priest resigns from Cuenin’s former parish

Two new stories today in the ongoing saga of Fr. Walter Cuenin in the Archdiocese of Boston. First, Fr. Chris Coyne, the new pastor of Cuenin’s former parish of Our Lady Help of Christians in Newton, has announced he’s stepping down. Coyne has been under attack from the moment he got there. People at the parish saw him as one of Cardinal Law’s old cronies (he was a spokesman for Law) and heard that he’d been asked if he wanted the parish months before Cuenin actually resigned.

It is obviously not a coincidence that Coyne’s resignation immediately follows Cuenin’s appointment as a campus minister at Brandeis University. Now the people at OLHC can’t agitate for Cuenin’s reappointment as pastor (well, they can and probably will, but it is a clear sign they won’t get it).

The Globe’s smarmy coverage

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  • Perhaps Archbishop O’Malley, himself, could move into the rectory at Our Lady Help of Christians Church. Sacred Heart Parish in Newton Center was where Cardinal Cushing resided for a number of years.(He was the pastor at Sacred Heart during the time I attended Sacred Heart High School, then Bishop McKenzie took his place.)  Like Sacred heart in newton center, Our Lady’s in West Newton is a lot closer to the Chancery than is the Cathedral in Boston. Also, requiring that members of the Parish Council be honestly practicing Catholics would be a huge step forward for the Boston Archdiocese. That would mean that Rose Buffone(sp.?) and Larry Kessler could not be members of the Parish Council at Our Lady’s because they openly dissent against the teachings of the Catholic Church on marriage being the union of one man and one woman,only. Would Archbishop O’Malley write and enforce rules as to who can be elected to the Parish Councils in the Boston Archdiocese? There are so many people who get elected to parish councils then use that as a
    stepping stone to get elected to a town/city, then state position,for example, Brian Joyce of Milton. Marian Walsh of West Roxbury, and John Stasik of Framingham. I’m sure that there are many others whom you could name,too!! Using the Parish Council position in this way,then getting elected to a state position, then chucking all of their Catholic beliefs to please the voters is the way it is in Massachusetts,it seems! Archbishop O’Malley could prevent this from happening in the future and inspire the practicing Catholics in West Newton, who left because of the dissident atmosphere that Fr. Cuenin was orchestrating, to come back to their parish again.

  • Alice, write to the archbishop and suggest he take residence there.  He does read his letters and would probably love to hear the suggestion.

  • When I have written to him in the past, I get a form-style letter from his sec., Fr. Kickham.  I wonder if he really reads mail addressed to him. One that I wrote to him about Fr. Cuenin’s announced plans to attend the Gay Pride event honoring Bishop Gene Robinson before the Gay Pride March. My information was passed on to Bishop Lennon. I followed up on it to make sure Bishop Lennon’s office got it. His sec. said “yes” but nothing was done to stop Fr. Cuenin from attending the ceremony for honoring Bishop Robinson for his efforts to get gay marriage accepted in Mass.! So I doubt a letter from me would go anywhere but into the circular waste basket!

  • Alice,
        I think your political analysis is fascinating as is your suggestion with respect to the Archbishop. I feel rather sorry for Fr. Coyne who I fear was thrown into a situation that would have been terribly diificult for anyone, let alone the poor fellow who had the media’s piniata in the closing months of Cardinal Law’s tenure.  One can only hope that he receives a better opportunity to be of service in the future.

  • Alice,
    Fantastic suggestion!  Someone should send that one in.  I believe letters marked “Personal and Confidential” are read only by the Archbishop, but don’t hold your breath waiting for a response.

    I feel terribly for Fr. Coyne and for the Archdiocese.  A tiny group of dissidents who have been badly misled by Walter is happily tearing the parish apart.  And, when the kitchen got hot over in Newton after Walter left, it seems that Bishop Lennon and Archbishop O’Malley pretty much hid under rocks.  (Same rock the Archbishop hid under during the Catholic Charities/Menino fiasco).  Is no one in an episcopal office willing to teach or govern around this place?  Walter’s comments in the Newton paper suggest this whole thing was bungled by the Archdiocese from the get-go, setting Fr. Coyne up for failure before he even arrived.  God help him and whomever they can persuade to go in next.  I think he’ll need to come with clerics and a blowtorch.

  • His Excellency responded has responded personally to me before.  His secretary other times.  BTW, I do know that people in the chancery do read this blog.

  • If ‘infanted’ is correct about “people in the chancery read this blog”, hopefully they will read the following:  In the most recent Bay Windows issue( Laura Kiritsy has an article:“Catholic priest to preach at Boston Pride Interfaith Service”. She reports that Fr. Walter Cuenin will be “honored for his work by the Pride Interfaith Coalition at its 28th annual Pride Interfaith Service on June 10(2006).”
    She notes that this is the same service where “openly gay Episcopal Bishop Gene V. Robinson…and Beth Stoud,a Methodist minister who was defrocked after revealing that she is in a committed lesbian relationship.” were honored and gave a talk.  All I can say is that Archbishop O’Malley is going to have to confront this fact that Fr. Cuenin is imposing on him before the heat of the summer! Our prayers are with the Archbishop as Shepherd of Catholics in the Boston Archdiocese!

  • “The direction the parish has been heading in for the past 10 to 12 years …”

    May we presume this direction is downward and very, very hot ???

    I like the idea of the Archbishop taking up residence at Our Lady’s and “cleaning house”.

    I will pray for Father Coyne and whover is next in line for the hot seat over in Newton.