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another resignation in Boston?

By Diogenes (articles ) | Sep 24, 2005

There's a big story here, and we haven't heard half of it.

If the Boston Herald report is accurate, Father Walter Cuenin is resigning as pastor-- presumably under heavy pressure from the Archdiocese of Boston. The interesting question is why this didn't happen long, long ago.

For years Cuenin has been the most prominent radical priest among the Boston clergy. He ran one parish into virtual rebellion, then temporarily left the priesthood to set up a real-estate agency. Yet incredibly, when he returned, he was given another big, healthy parish-- which soon became a hive of theological dissent. He openly dissented from Church teachings. He supported gay-rights initiatives, and testified at the State House against a bill to save traditional marriage. He was a major force (if not the major force) behind the growth of Voice of the Faithful in Boston. Still he received every sign of favor from Cardinal Law-- right up to the time when Cuenin led a group of rebellious clergy in demanding the cardinal's resignation.

At one point, the Boston archdiocesan newspaper, The Pilot, ran a truly astonishing editorial criticizing Voice of the Faithful. The editorial, entitled "You Are Known by the Company You Keep," chastised the group for associating with someone as clearly heterodox as: Walter Cuenin. The Pilot editorial did not answer the obvious question: If Father Cuenin was so clearly at odds with Church teaching and discipline, why was he given the care of souls in a large parish?

That question still is not answered. Even after Cuenin's departure, we'll be looking for an explanation of how he lasted so long.

Watch this space.

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Show 2 Comments? (Hidden)Hide Comments
  • Posted by: Clorox - Sep. 24, 2005 11:30 AM ET USA

    Big liberal parishes are often cash cows for dioceses. That's the reason bishops don't assassinate dissident pastors (even if in their heart of hearts they had the desire). It's not so much that the liberal parishioners are individually more generous. But they do flock to liberal magnet parishes. Holy Trinity in Georgetown (D.C.) is a good example. Don't kill the golden goose by firing a popular dissident pastor. But there isn't much difference between the golden goose and the golden calf.

  • Posted by: Fiducia - Sep. 24, 2005 10:20 AM ET USA

    I have had the shock of attending several Masses at which Fr. Cuenin presided. At each one he used his sermon time to crticize Church teaching and to rally the congregaion to dissent. He is far from being alone in this ----- the archdiocese has many self-serving priests whose room, board, education and pulpit have been paid for by the those who love the Church they attack. Faithful Catholics have reported his flagrant scandals (theological) to archdiocesan authorities for years.

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