October 30, 2005

Dissenter won't quit

Boston Globe

By Eileen McNmara, Globe Columnist | October 30, 2005

CAMBRIDGE -- His name jumps out among the signatures on the declaration of religious support for same-sex marriages in Massachusetts.

Of the hundreds of clergy from more than a score of religious denominations in the Commonwealth to endorse the fundamental human right of gay people to marry, only the Rev. Robert E. Nee is a Roman Catholic priest.

He is neither brave nor crazy, he says; neither is he unmindful of the retribution being meted out these days to dissidents by Archbishop Sean P. O'Malley: The pastor in Westborough chastised for calling efforts to overturn gay marriage an ''attack" on his homosexual parishioners. The popular, progressive pastor in Newton ousted on trumped-up charges of mismanagement. ...

While he is at Harvard he hopes to interest sociologists in examining the fallout for the 58 Boston-area priests who called on Cardinal Bernard F. Law to resign in 2002 for his failure of leadership during the clergy sexual-abuse crisis. Law resigned 10 days later, but he has moved on to a comfortable berth in Rome. Many of the priests who signed that letter have been removed from their parishes, though the archdiocese denies that reprisals played any role in those personnel changes. ''We have a support group for priests," says Father Nee, who also signed the letter seeking Law's removal. ''The Boston Priest Forum is not dead yet."

Posted by kshaw at October 30, 2005 07:09 AM