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By Diogenes (bio - articles ) | Sep 29, 2005

Bishop McManus of the Worcester Diocese has leaned into a journalistic thrashing that we can hope he will survive. The press is giving decidedly unsympathetic description of his sermons at a Westborough MA parish last weekend, that stated in no uncertain terms that he was not about to flee with tail between legs, when priests of his dioceses were preaching against the heterosexual marriage referendum--an initiative that the MA bishops are supporting.

This response by the Bishop McManus, who has only been the Ordinary for a little over a year, has a different style than his predecessor; Bishop Daniel Reilly was confronted by concerned laymen nearly two years ago about an unsigned essay supporting gay marriage distributed at St. Francis Parish in Bolton MA. But this dog didn't hunt. The Bolton affair now seems to have been the test case that Reilly flubbed and so McManus is left to repair the damage.

Bishop McManus' assertiveness is certainly encouraging, but it raises a larger question on whether we would be witnessing the open defiance of the Worcester Diocese priests to a bishop's initiative on a matter of homosexuality, if there were only a token presence of homosexual clergy in the diocese. The behavior of these priests also suggests that their ultimate sympathies reside with their downtrodden brothers in Boston's Back Bay.

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  • Posted by: Gil125 - Sep. 29, 2005 7:10 PM ET USA

    Of course, it would have been wonderful if my ex-archbishop Levada had ever done anything of the kind and I applaud Bp. McManus heartily, but I do wonder at: "[C]ommunications director, Raymond Delisle,...[who] said McManus had a problem with the approach St. Luke's [and]... added that neither pastor has been removed from his post." The question is, why not?

  • Posted by: - Sep. 29, 2005 11:26 AM ET USA

    "...no ifs ands or buts..." Way to go Bishop McManus! Now if more bishops did the same - step in and nip dissent and heterodoxy in the bud, we would have less confusion and more clarity. Of course, in that case some bishops would be 'on the road' a lot. Which may not be a bad idea. But even if they just made an example or two, the message would be clear: fish or cut bait. Let's have more fishing!

  • Posted by: benedictusoblatus - Sep. 29, 2005 9:37 AM ET USA

    Open defiance from queer priests and their allies should receive sudden and swift termination of duty. There must be no question of toleration of this "venting" in the hopes of receiving some future sincere apology from these rogues. Their mouths speak from the fullness of their hearts. Get rid of them. It is better to have a diocese with one faithful (traveling) priest than it is to have parishes well staffed with heretics, queers and all manner of ecclesiastical clock-watchers.

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