The latest news in the Newton saga

The latest news in the Newton saga

Boston Globe reporter Michael Paulson, who’s blogging from Rome, has some news from back home about Our Lady Help of Christians parish in Newton, Mass., where Fr. Walter Cuenin used to be pastor. As many of you know, Cuenin resigned last fall after he admitted taking compensation from the parish that he wasn’t entitled to. Fr. Chris Coyne was appointed as pastor, but an unholy riot ensued by Cuenin partisans who saw Coyne as a Cardinal Law insider. Coyne eventually submitted his resignation and the archdiocese was to appoint a new pastor.

Actually, in this case it’s two new pastors. Paulson reports that one of the two men is Fr. John Sassani, director of the office of spiritual development. He had lived at OLHC a few years ago so he won’t be unfamiliar to the parish. The other pastor is still unknown, but I hear rumblings that the choice is not going to be anywhere near the “viewpoint” of Cuenin and his disciples.

Meanwhile, Fr. Paul Kilroy, the former pastor of St. Bernard’s in Newton who left there after it was going to be closed and has been living at OLHC, is leaving there to go to St. Joseph’s in Medford. Kilroy was a close friend of Cuenin and so his diciples looked to Kilroy as their friend in the rectory.

With the departure of Kilroy as well as three out of four members of the pastoral staff who were longtime followers of Cuenin, it looks like OLHC is nearly cleaned out and ready to make a fresh start. Here’s hoping the people who actually live in the parish—as opposed to the carpetbaggers who followed Cuenin there—can now move on with their parish life.

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  • If larry Kessler and Rosa Buffone remain on the Parish Council then there will still be major problems for OLHC parish. Fr. Sassani isn’t going to be much help either since he didn’t have his parishioners gather at signatures for the Marriage Amendment when Archbishop O’Malley asked all of the parishes to respond positively to that request. Fr. Sassani’s parish in Sherborn responded negatively from what I’ve heard.  Also the Justice and Peace organization at OLHC openly states in the parish bulletin their support for the “rights of gays” which includes promotion of protection of the right to engage in same-sex sex acts. Bay Windows issue of 2/02/06 has an article by Laura Kiritsy:“Catholic priest to preach at Boston Pride Interfaith Service” which is all about the plans of the Pride interfaith Coalition to honor Fr. Walter Cuenin for his “ministry to GLBT Catholics (which) was a hallmark of his tenure at Our Lady Help of Christians Church in Newton” on June 10 at the Old South Church on the morning of the Boston Pride Parade. “Past honorees of the Pride Interfaith Coalition include openly gay Episcopal Bishop Gene Robinson”. Kiritsy reports:“Cuenin seems to understand the fine line he’ll walk at the Interfaith Service. “I hope it’s not my last preaching,” he laughs.“It’s going to take a certain tact not to say something that would be totally contrary to the Catholic teachings, but challenging still.”;
    You can be certain that Larry Kessler and Rosa Buffone will be leading parishioners on June 10 in to honor Fr. Cuenin for his work in advancing the GLBT agenda. What position will Fr. Sassani take on that? Will Cardinal O’Malley put a stop to this farce?

  • What gets funded by the Cuenin “memorial” bursary: a leased car for the pastor? 

    Is Kyle referring to Fr. Brian Kiely of St Patrick’s, Natick: the large, active, and orthodox parish noted for its perpetual adoration chapel?  It sounds like he knows the new Cardinal well.

  • Actually, members of the OLHC parish moved on some time ago.  I keep reading in the paper about how Cuenin’s departure has “devastated” the parish etc etc.  And yet, on Sunday morning it’s as hard as ever to find a parking space.

  • Hey ged, do you have problems with the Gospel passages where Jesus refers to the Pharisees as “vipers” and “whitewashed sepulchers”?

    Are we supposed to embrace those who openly flout Church teaching and preach a false gospel?

    I’m afraid there’s a higher charity at work here than the insipid “let’s all be nice to each other” pablum we’ve been served these past decades. It’s the salvation of souls.

    Those who mislead and misrepresent Catholic doctrine have done and are doing enornmous damage.    Catholicism is not about making people feel good about themselves or telling people what they want to hear. It’s about showing people the way to eternal salvation.

  • I wonder if GED would have an open mind to OLHC parish openly supporting the Courage/EnCourage organization which is the Catholic Church’s way of helping those who had fallen into the sin of lustful same-sex sex acts who are now trying to get out from under that addiction and live according to the teachings of the Church as explained in the Catechism of the Catholic Church in the section on the requirements of the 6th Commandment#2349-#2359?  After so many years of supporting the way of PFLAG,including Fr. Cuenin’s efforts to establish the Companions program which was a way to get catholic parents to join PFLAG, isn’t it time that the decision-makers at OLHC put their efforts into openly supporting Courage/EnCourage? Or is that asking for too much courage and true charity?

  • GED, the reason you haven’t heard about Courage/EnCourage is because Fr. Cuenin and his cohorts who tried to establish , in 1999,the initial outreach to those who were practicing and promoting same-sex sex acts, and their families, namely the Companions program, and worked with the help of Catholic Charities(CC), rejected the way of Courage/EnCourage. Dr. Doolin, the director of CC, invited his good friend,Charles Connors, the president of Boston PFLAG, to develop the Companions program. Fr. Phillip Earley(CC) and his pastoral Assoc., Paul Merullo, Vivian Soper(CC), Pat Dunn(CC), Jean Proia,of New Ways Ministry, Fr. John J. White,co-owner of the gay bed and breakfast in CA with Fr. Paul Shanley up until 1997 and co-worker with Jean Proia in New Ways Ministry advocacy, Fr. Richard Lewandowski,director of GLO(Gay,Lesbian Outreach),Fr. Robert Congdon worked with Fr. Cuenin to develop the Companions program. This program was the precursor of the advocacy for the choice of way of PFLAG,Gay Pride, etc. and the rejection of Courage/EnCourage. Ask Fr. Cuenin about it. Hopefully he will tell you the truth. But there are records in the Chancery left by Bp. Wm. Murphy to prove the truth of this matter.
    This choice of the way of PFLAG,Gay Pride, through the efforts of Fr. Cuenin, is reflected today in the advocacy of VOTF leaders,
    James Post, pres., Bill Dittrich, former AIM director and head of VOTF Structural Change,Fr. Michael Parise at Arch St. Shrine, Fr. Thomas Carroll at Jesuit Urban Center, many leaders at the Paulist Center, Fr. James Keenan at B.C., to name a few.  Because of their influence, there is pressure in the Archdiocese against the recent request by those priests who have asked that Fr. John Harvey, founder of Courage/EnCourage, be invited to talk to the priests in the Boston Archdiocese. Hopefully Fr. John Harvey will be allowed to speak. The Courage website is:

  • ged:

    We live in a ROMAN CATHOLIC Church, thank God, that accepts and welcomes all…

    On one condition. That you accept Church teaching and are sincerely committed to walking the way to eternal salvation which the Church has illumined. That means renouncing Satan and sin (as we do in our Baptismal vows) and with the help of God’s grace, attempting to overcome our faults.

    The Roman Catholic Church is not in the business of confirming people in their sins. After Jesus had rescued the woman caught in adultery from a death by stoning, his final words to her were “go and sin no more”.

    Yes, we are all sinners. But some of us want to change ourselves to make ourselves more like the Bride of Christ. Others, on the other hand, want to change the Bride of Christ to bring it into line with their own tastes and whims.

    That is where the problem arises.

  • I am proud to be Roman Catholic (albeit not in a chauvenistic way) and find it upsetting that you should choose to doubt mine, or anyone’s committment to their Baptismal vows-vows we shall all soon renew at the Vigil.

    You find it upsetting? Oh, well that makes two of us. I’m upset, too. Boo-hoo!!

    Do you want to know what I find upsetting? Catholic clergy who simply refuse to teach or openly dissent from Catholic doctrine in the area of sexual morality. Of course, being a loyal-to-the-Pope Catholic, when I get upset, it’s called a “lack of charity” by those who want to play fast and loose with Catholic teaching. Apparently I’m supposed to embrace every half-baked fad and New Age gimmick and its purveyors, even when they’re selling the unsuspecting a bill of damaged goods.

    As I mentioned above, religion is all about changing us, not the Church. We are called to repentance. Not the Bride of Christ. I’m all for welcoming the tax-collectors and prostitutes.

    It’s when I’m told that prostitution is OK, that I get “upset”.

  • Ged:

    You want compassion for whom?? Priests who sodomize our children? The Church’s enemies?

    Or do you deny that it has any?

    There are people who genuinely want to overcome their sinfulness and draw closer to God. Yet they fall repeatedly and get up and try again. But they do acknowledge that what they’re doing is sinful.

    Then there people who hold the Church’s teaching in contempt and want it to do nothing more than affirm their lifestyle. If it doesn’t, they resolve to attack it.

    I want compassion for the former. Not the latter.

    The former are “types” of the repentant sinners who came to Jesus in the Gospels looking for healing and mercy. The latter are “types” of the Pharisees. These two “types” still exist today.