Roasting the pastor

Roasting the pastor

As I read this, I kept asking myself, “Is this ... appropriate?” Okay, a roast for your pastor sounds like fun, but there’s a fin line to be trod, especially when a reporter for one of the two major newspapers in your nearest metropolis is present.

The diner was to honor Fr. Stephen Josoma, dear friend of the apostate Fr. Ron Coyne (Okay, I don’t know if he’s an apostate, but he’s certainly a denier of the oldest and fundamental Christian teachings) and pastor of St. Susannah’s parish in Dedham, due to be closed. Anyway, he was named man of the year by the local newspaper for defying the Church and generally making asinine comments about parish closings, the Scandals, and his superiors.

Let’s get a taste of the “humor” in this roasting.

The mood was set when the audience roared for the third option, and for the next two hours the roasters kept it up with jokes about Law, his successor, Archbishop Sean P. O’Malley, and, of course, the man of the year himself.

Ah yes, how amusing. How droll. It’s one thing to have valid criticism, but this seems to ride very close to the line of inappropriate public disobedience by a priest of the archdiocese. Remember the vow they take about obedience?

  • Fathers Bowers, Josoma, Coyne, and Cuenin aren’t worthy enough to fasten Archbishop Sean’s sandals.  Those guys have a lot of balls.  I have known Archbishop Sean for years and he is as holy as they come.

    I don’t know what to do about those guys.  I have met Coyne and he is an angry ass.  Somebody ought to smack that guy on the back of his head.  Of course, Archbishop Sean would be horrified with me if I were to ever do that.  Believe me, those guys don’t hold a candle to old Friar.

  • It’s a round-trip ticket, so unfortunately it’s not really a “parting”.  Couldn’t they exchange it and get a one-way ticket for four? 

  • OK, Dom, You have just raised some serious warning signs about those clowns. What is a lay person to do? You do realize Shanley would have said the same things those guys do.

    You do realize that your report has many warning signs about these priests and laity.  What would the saints do? When a reporter (i.e. Globe, Patriot Ledger, NPR) only quotes Coyne, Josoma, and Bowers does that not mean that the reporter buys into this same agenda of those three and is not objective.

    Father Ethan, Archbishop Sean would be horrified if you smacked that guy on the back of his head? Does that not mean that he is tolerating what he has no business tolerating for the sake of the flock.

    Whom has he disciplined and whom has he tolerated? I hope he has disciplined those clowns. Because he has disciplined others who were more faithful to his church.

    Holiness and tolerance do not go together. Holiness and leadership do.
    Jesus threw the money changers out of the temple in his passion for the gospel. What do you think he would have done with these clowns?

    My suggestion? print out Dom’s post and send it to Bishop Lennon, asking why this is tolerated. The more than merrier.

    Bishop Richard Lennon,
    2121 Commonwealth Ave.
    Brighton, MA 02135

  • As a journalist, I objected to this story on two grounds.  The first is that I don’t recall that Globe has made it a habit of late—especially since 2002—to cover similar events regarding priests whose parishes are not scheduled to be suppressed or who are not outspoken critics of the bishops.  This inherently raises the question of whether notice is being given to Father Josoma because he is popular with his parishioners and the editor of the local paper or because he has been critical of his superiors in the Archdiocese.
    I am also bothered by the way the roast was covered.  It’s one thing to report the digs and jabs made at public figures at events, such as the St. Pat’s Breakfast in Southie, to which all likely subjects of such “humor” are generally invited and offered the chance to respond to the occasion, if not the insults directed at them.  But was the Archbishop even invited to this affair or allowed to send a representative?  This is a question that the reporter had an obligation to address in the article.  Not doing so leaves the implication that the clerics in attendance are the kind of cool, regular guys willing to have a bit of good fun, while their absent superiors and colleagues are so many uptight, “stuffed collars,” if you will. I’ve never met the Archbishop but from what I’ve seen from his interviews on Catholic TV and read about him, he has a ready wit and merry sense of humor. Whether he would have deigned to display either in response to the remarks at this roast is open to question, but he or one of his representatives should certainly have been asked for comment.

  • You said it much better than I could have, Tony. You hit the nail right on the head and this is exactly why so many people mistrust the mainstream media. Not always, but often enough, the lack of good judgment and bias shines through like a lighthouse in the fog. Other times, for reporters like this, bias is the background buzz in the story. Either way, it’s not good journalism.

  • I would draw an invidious comparison between this article and Peter Gelzinis’s column in Friday’s Herald noting that Father Stephen Zukas of St. Peter Lithuanian Church in Southie has been chosen to be chief marshal of the St. Patrick Day’s parade.  Reading it, one can’t help but sense that Gelzinis supports the parishioners of St. Peter in their effort to keep their church, but he quotes Father Zukas saying that he has repeatedly told his flock “that they must be prepared to accept the will of God…whatever it may be.” Clearly, Father Zukas believes that the closure of his parish would be a great and unfair loss, but he alsao sees it as part of his pastoral responsibilites to remind his folk of their obligation to accept, with grace, the decision of the Holy Father.  I think this approach is superior journalism on Gelzinis’s part; whether it also constitutes superior ministry by Father Zukas is something I would have to leave to others more qualified than myself to judge.

  • … just heard bishop o will be washing female feet on holy thursday… that’ll put him back in the good graces of the malcontents.

  • Really, washing the feet of women (do the words modesty and propriety mean anything anymore?) and closing Holy Trinity, the only site of the approved Traditional Mass in Boston, Archbishop O’Malley was clearly too busy to attend such a frivolous event.

  • I just thought of another irony. Bishop O’Malley tolerates the likes of these “priests” and silences Fr. David Mullen of St. Brendan’s Parish – a prolife hero to anyone who knows anything of the prolife movement in Boston and one of only 2 priests who spoke against the sex education program “Talking about Touching” that is now in the Catholic schools and CCD programs in the Boston Archdiocese.

  • Hi Mary, The other of the two priests, Father Carr, has received (to date) two letters of reprimand, one for specifically speaking out against Suzin Bartley and TAT in a homily. One letter was signed by Sr. Clare Bertero of the Office Religious Education and the other (the TAT letter) by Bishop Lennon, the Vicar General. By the way, he mentioned four names in the homily and was reprimanded for saying one: Suzin Bartley.

  • Hello Mary,
    I think I wrote in error. My point was not what Fr. Carr had encountered, but clearly that is what came out. I apologize. My point actually was based on what you wrote earlier only 2 priests spoke out.

    It is obvious that what is needed is a laity that understands the teachings of the Church, is humble to the leadership of Christ and is not afraid to live the gospel by calling their leaders to repentance. The few priests cannot do it alone. Further they are vulnerable where the laity are not.

    Some Roman priests will tell you that one person they did not want to see in their congregation was Mother Teresa. If they were not faithful and powerful in their homilies she would make her dissatification very clear to them in no uncertain terms, such was her passion for the gospel.

    Yet, only those in humble submission to the gospel can do it. The prideful will just be noisy gongs and clanging cymbals.

    It is time the laity becomes truly on fire for Christ. Stay close to the sacraments, be and stay humble and set the world on fire (evangelically speaking) with your passion for the Gospel.