March 15, 2005

Catholic group acknowledges odds in changing church

MetroWest Daily News

By Mary Kate Dubuss / Daily News Staff
Tuesday, March 15, 2005

NATICK -- Natick Parish Voice knows it is going to take a lot to make meaningful changes in the Catholic Church, and, its members say, hope is just as important as more practical methods.

Even last night, when the group was confronted with frank talk about the Boston Archdiocese's impenetrable hierarchy, its members said they have not given up the idea that the ordinary Catholic can become a bigger part of the religion's leadership.

During the panel discussion commemorating Natick Parish Voice's third anniversary, about 60 Catholics from local parishes met at Morse Institute Library to keep their reform-oriented goals in mind.

Natick Parish Voice wants the Catholic clergy to be accountable and able to communicate with the laity, but the priests on hand at the forum said such a reality is a long way off.

"I don't think the Bishop (Sean O'Malley) plans to make any changes," said the Rev. Walter Cuenin. "With reconfiguartion, (the archdiocese had) no willingness to look at different models. It says to me, we're not planning changes."

Cuenin, the pastor of Our Lady Help of Christians in Newton, relayed news from the frontlines. Saying the priesthood has been "demoralized," he offered a dose of reality.

"The priesthood is pretty broken. ... It takes two to tango, but you can't get contact" with the archdiocese, he said.

Posted by kshaw at March 15, 2005 07:21 AM