For all the angst and handwringing in this editorial in the Weymouth News, you’d think they’d have bothered to get their basic facts right. They are bemoaning the case of Fr. Bob Bowers and St. Albert’s in Weymouth, Mass. The newspaper has always been on the side of the parishioners against the archdiocese when they began their sit-in protesting the parish’s closure, and so now they come galloping to their side again.
The Rev. Robert Bowers, whom the Boston Archdiocese had [sic] assigned to assist the new pastor of St. Albert’s, has been reassigned.
No, Bowers was never assigned to the parish. As Fr. Jim Clark made clear in the comments on a previous post, Bowers’ role was as a “supply” priest. He shows up on the weekends to say a couple of Masses. That’s it. The sucking up by the newspaper then continues.
The Rev. Bowers came to St. Albert’s in 2004, after the vibrant church had been pegged for closure by the Archdiocese, an action the Archdiocese pursued even though St. Albert’s had a full, active parish and was financially solvent.
So the newspaper’s editors know all. They know all about the situation of the Catholic Church in the Weymouth area. After all, it’s not just about one parish, but about meeting the needs of all the people in the region. And as was made clear from the beginning by Archbishop O’Malley, financial solvency of a single parish wasn’t the only consideration; if it were then all the inner-city parishes serving poor people would close and suburban parishes would stay open. They also use that word again: “vibrant”. It’s become meaningless and overused, like saying someone is “devout” or that “he was an altar boy.”
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