The archbishop learns some things

The archbishop learns some things

A few weeks ago I mentioned that a friend told me that Archbishop Sean O’Malley was meeting with the young priests of Boston (those ordained less than 5 years) to support and encourage them. Apparently, he’s also meeting with them to receive the straight scoop on what’s going on in the archdiocese.

Another friend tells me that at one of those meetings recently the priests asked the archbishop what he would do if a priest of the archdiocese testified before the Legislature on behalf of gay marriage. The archbishop reportedly replied that he would call in the priest and ask him to publicly recant, and if the priest refused to do so, he would remove him from ministry.

That’s when the young priests filled in Archbishop O’Malley on the Boston Priests Forum and Fr. Walter Cuenin, who is that hypothetical priest. The archbishop said he didn’t know about any of this.

I’ll give him the benefit of the doubt since he was in Florida most of last year and this year, but as my friend says, it doesn’t say much about the archbishop’s inner circle of advisers if he’s only learning about all this now. I hope this means that we’re going to be seeing some changes real soon.

  • Colleen-
    you are dead on. (nice hypethetical!)
    When our new Bishop came he met with all of us who are ministers and asked us what we were looking for.  Many of us wrote and begged him to remain faithful to the Magisterium and lead us in such a manner.

    Then, at our staff meeting, my boss, the pastor said that when the Bishop comes, we will “do what we are supposed to do” according to the GIRM, but without making any serious move to change.

    Which then poses the question to me as a member of the parish staff: Do I go over the pastors’ head and “report” him?

    Many of the Bishops do not know what’s going on because there are ways to keep them in the dark.  My best answer is much like yours and I tell it to anyone in our parish-and our parish staff-who will listen: Praypraypraypraypray!Pray again!!! Pray more!

    And Dom, keep us informed!
    Have fun at LOTR!! I’m going on Friday-can’t wait!!!

  • “The archbishop said he didn’t know about any of this.”

    Okay. [?]

    Colleen may be referring to the September 2, 2002 issue of The New Yorker. “The Reformer: a priest takes on the Archdiocese of Boston.”

    Among other things that make my stomach churn, the article speaks about “Father Cuenin’s statement against a Massachusetts bill that would have narrowly defined marriage as a union between man and woman, thereby disallowing same-sex couples to qualify for benefits.”

    The New Yorker, I believe, is available in Florida.

    Archbishop O’Malley lifted the ban on Father call-me-Walter’s church but didn’t bother to find out why it had been placed in the first place?

    Archbishop O’Malley didn’t read the Globe the day after his statement on same-sex marriage was supposed to be read from every pulpit in the archdiocese only Father CMW didn’t, pleading some sort of conflict with his “gay and lesbian support group?”


  • “The archbishop reportedly replied that he would call in the priest and ask him to publicly recant, and if the priest refused to do so, he would remove him from ministry. “


    The thing is, I’m wondering if this is “hearsay.” Either +O’Malley said he would call in the priest and ask him to publicly recant, and if the priest refused to do so, he would remove him from ministry, or he didn’t say that. Or we don’t know if he said that.

    You’re right when you say there is more about Father Cuenin. Many of us already know that stuff.

    But what we need to know is if the Archbishop actually said he would do this.

    If yes, then this is a no-brainer. It’s a simple matter to prove that Father Cuenin testified against a bill that would define marriage as something between a man and a woman. And it’s just as a simple to show this proof to the Archbishop.

    But if he didn’t actually say that he would do this—if it were hearsay—then that would be a different matter altogether.

    The reasons why I’m wondering follows:

    From The Pilot:

    “Post was accompanied at the meeting by VOTF executive director Steve Krueger, and two VOTF members, Elia Marnik of St. Agnes Parish, Reading, and Margaret Roylance of Our Lady Help of Christians Parish, Newton.”

    Full story

    From VOTF:

    VOTF Executive Director Steve Krueger reported that at the meeting, “Previously closed doors were opened, with dialogue towards mutual collaboration on several fronts.” Archbishop Sean expressed willingness for the Archdiocese of Boston (RCAB) to work with VOTF in efforts to:

    * Renew and strengthen Parish Pastoral Councils
    * Renew and strengthen Parish Finance Committees
    * Implement Child Safety Programs (VOTF will work with Deacon Anthony Rizzuto)

    Full story

    For more b.s., read (you’ll need acrobat reader)

    So you see…Father Cuenin is “proud of the way so many in [his] parish spoke out and worked hard for reform in the church.” Read on and find out how proud he is that his parish participated in Boston’s “Gay Pride March.”

    Here’s another wacky thing. How come nobody at Father Cuenin’s parish seems to even know, much less acknowledge,  Archbishop O’Malley’s December 31/January 1 liturgies at the Newton church, dedicated to for respect for life? It’s a little weird that pro-life coordinators thoughout the A o’ D are being asked to spread the word for everybody to get to Newton on December 31—only Father Cuenin doesn’t seem to think it important to tell even his own parishioners.

  • Colleen,

    Naturally, given the A o’ D’s slowness in uploading anything, you won’t find the Pro-Life Vigil/Solemnity Mass on its site, nor even in the pro-life section.

    Since I’m the pro-life coordinator for my parish, I got the information by postal mail. A flyer I’m supposed to copy and pass around.

    Archbishop Sean P. O’Malley, O.F.M. Cap. Presider

    Wednesday, December 31, 9:30 PM
    Eucharistic Adoration, Rosary, and Quiet Prayer

    11:00 PM
    Mass for the Feast of Mary, Mother of God

    Reflection by Laura Garcia, Adjunct Assistant Professor, Philosphy, Boston College.

    Our Lady Help of Christians Church
    573 Washington Street, Newton (1/4 mile west of Mass Turnpike Exit 17)
    For other directions: [url=][/url]

    I mean it sounds like a wonderful evening. I just got off the phone with the Pro-Life office—the head lady, Mary Ann Luthin, was out; I spoke to the secretary who knew nothing about Father Cuenin.

    The point, I guess, is that +O’Malley lifted the ban back in September. Maybe this is what Father Coyne meant by “moving on.”

    But as for the Archbishop not knowing about the pastor’s statements and anti-marriage testimony? I’m pretty skeptical about that. He wouldn’t need much of an “inner circle of advisors” to know about it…just how to read the papers.

  • Absolutely, PMC. And what I’m hoping—praying for, actually—is that Father Cuenin’s parishioners turn out in full force. Especially for Exposition and Adoration of the Blessed Sacrament.

    Rather than seeing Father Cuenin removed from ministry, wouldn’t it be terrific to instead have him publicly recant his testimony, recant his dissident statements and actions, and, just as publicly and sincerely, passionately and unabashedly embrace the teachings of the Church?

    A miracle, maybe, but it could happen. If God can be found in what looks like a tiny piece of bread, it can happen. If God became a helpless, unborn child it can happen.



  • “I think this means we oughta be praying for the Abp. AND Fr. Cuenin.”

    Yes, and also those people who have been, perhaps, sadly mislead by both.  I’m thinking of that young priest Dom spoke about in the initial post, as well as Fr. Cuenin’s parishioners.

    “And what was “the ban,” anyway? It didn’t ban Fr. C-M-W, did it?”

    For all intents and purposes, I think it was supposed to. Too bad it backfired. Everybody loves the good Padre, or most people in the beautiful people area do. Why? Because he tells them what they want to hear.

    Like you say, prayer is the key. For “call me Sean, ” “call me Walter,” and everyone each man has or will influence.