The Weymouth divorce

The Weymouth divorce

The story of the former St. Albert’s parish in Weymouth, Mass., has now gone national with a story in the New York Times. The only new information in the article is that Fr. Christopher Coyne, the archdiocesan spokesman, said that he would be sitting down with the protesters this week and that it is definite that the archdiocese will not back down because it would send the wrong message that the way to get what you want is to sue the archdiocese and occupy a church.

Meanwhile, the protesters are apparently getting their legal tactics from divorce lawyers.

But the sit-in may also be part of a legal strategy in a pending civil lawsuit filed by parishioners, similar to tactics used by divorce attorneys.

... Divorce lawyers say they sometimes advise a spouse to remain in the family home because it can make the other spouse uncomfortable and therefore more eager to reach a settlement. Staying in the home can also improve a spouse’s negotiating position, just as parishioners staying in the church building could help them argue that they own the church, said Pasquale DeSantis, a Boston divorce attorney.

So it’s like they’re “divorcing” from the Church. In Catholic circles, we call that schism. The reality is that they don’t have a legal leg to stand on. Hopefully, this will be resolved in the hearing scheduled for tomorrow when the judge throws out the lawsuit. I have a fear though that some Dukakis appointee will take perverse glee in sticking it to the Church for a while and letting this farce proceed.

  • The strategies they are using in court shows what these people are like when they practice their faith.  They pick and choose what they want to believe.  Divorcing my spouse is ok, so divorcing my parish from the Archbishop must be ok.  Don’t they realize they are fighting a saint.

  • Interesting, Father Ethan…I notice on your blog that you too were struck by today’s 1st reading, albeit from a different angle: that reading the aloud Apostle might well be considered “hate speech.”

    I was more attuned to Paul’s blasting the Corinthians regarding their insistence on “lawsuits before unjust judges” (an earlier translation reads “pagan” judges.)

    1 Cor 6: 1-11, in part:

    “How can any one of you with a case against another dare to bring it to the unjust for judgment instead of to the holy ones?
    Do you not know that the holy ones will judge the world? If the world is to be judged by you, are you unqualified for the lowest law courts?”


    “Now indeed then it is, in any case, a failure on your part that you have lawsuits against one another.”

    [Emphasis mine, natch.]

    Do check out Father Ethan’s blog for his take on today’s readings, which can be found here: