May 27, 2005

A lifeline for the church

Boston Globe

By Steven Krueger | May 27, 2005

IT WAS a year ago this week that a fleet of FedEx trucks delivered the devastating news to thousands of faithful Catholics in the Archdiocese of Boston -- their churches were slated to be closed. Over the past year the destructive track of downsizing has created immeasurable pain in the lives of countless Catholics and their communities. Few have gone unscathed, including Archbishop Sean O'Malley himself. We have every reason to believe this history will repeat itself if the archdiocese does not change its course.

The former flagship of the Catholic Church in America, the Boston Archdiocese, continues to sink. Already facing a slow but gradual long-term decline, the archdiocese needed to embark on a course of hope and healing after being stricken with the clergy sexual abuse crisis. The settlements in December 2003 provided that opportunity. Regrettably, a flawed top-down reconfiguration process has put us into a steeper downward spiral and refractured an already broken trust.

There is cause for alarm that goes beyond declining Mass attendance, a priest shortage, budget and program cuts, and other objective measures. At a time when creative and vibrant solutions are needed, the archdiocese is stuck in the same old ways -- diminishing hope and alienating those it needs most for its survival and growth, the faithful parishioners. The mission of the church is the ultimate casualty.

Posted by kshaw at May 27, 2005 06:15 AM