November 08, 2005

Parish pushes for information on ouster


Newton, Mass.

Members of Our Lady Help of Christians Parish, convinced that an ousted pastor is not going to return, continue to press the Boston archdiocese for a further explanation of the action taken against him, for greater transparency regarding procedures used in his case and his reinstatement in “meaningful ministry.”

Recent developments at Our Lady Help of Christians also indicate that Fr. Walter H. Cuenin’s ouster and replacement by a chancery insider, Fr. Christopher J. Coyne, may have been in the planning for months before the switch actually occurred.

At a recent meeting of the parish council, Coyne said that he had been asked by archdiocesan officials back in June if he would consider accepting the pastor’s job at Our Lady. That was two months before the completion of a financial audit that the chancery officials say led to their asking for Cuenin’s resignation. ...

Increasing numbers of people believe that Cuenin was targeted for removal because of his outspoken criticism of Cardinal Bernard Law during the sex abuse crisis, his welcome for gays and lesbians and divorced and remarried Catholics, and his encouragement of dialogue about the ordination of women.

The new revelation at a parish council meeting only fuels those suspicions. Minutes of that council meeting in fact indicate that when asked when he first knew of Cuenin’s forced ouster, Coyne said “that he was told in June of the possibility of a leadership change at Our Lady’s and asked if he would be interested in the pastorate.”

Posted by kshaw at November 8, 2005 07:59 PM