Boston priest silenced

By Phil Lawler (bio - articles ) | Nov 05, 2003

There's a rumor going around that Father Dave Mullen, who has courageously opposed the outrageous "Talking about Touching" program, has been silenced by the Archdiocese of Boston.

I called Father Mullen, to see if it was true.

"I can't talk to you," he told me.

'Nuff said.

Phil Lawler has been a Catholic journalist for more than 30 years. He has edited several Catholic magazines and written eight books. Founder of Catholic World News, he is the news director and lead analyst at See full bio.

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  • Posted by: DCpa - Nov. 13, 2003 11:46 AM ET USA

    Let's not jump the gun. Did anybody read Fr. JimC's comment? If O'Malley is doing something about it, and doesn't want the boat rocked while he's getting his gear together, everyone is going to look foolish. It is clear that Fr. Mullen is a hero who deserves all of our support, and that the very existence of this program shows (again) how bad things have been in the top levels of the Boston Church. But calling for virtual dismantling of hierarchical authority can never be the Catholic answer.

  • Posted by: - Nov. 09, 2003 11:02 PM ET USA

    Ahhh, verax, where have you been all my life? If all of our priests had half of what you have, we'd all be much closer to sainthood.

  • Posted by: - Nov. 08, 2003 12:07 AM ET USA

    I hear today that the Bishop has back-pedalled a bit, saying that this program will not be the only program in the diocese -- great! Now we can have two!

  • Posted by: John J Plick - Nov. 07, 2003 11:15 PM ET USA

    You know verax, you warm the cockles of this layman's heart when you talk about "excommunication" that way! Unfortunately, too often, the "shrunken head" that unscrupulous authority shakes at legitimately dissenting religious in order to terrorize them! Perhaps I will live to see the day when disgusted and indignant priests rise up as one man against any given bishop without fear of ANYTHING except God Himself and zeal for the true teachings of the holy Roman Catholic Church!

  • Posted by: - Nov. 07, 2003 5:31 AM ET USA

    The blessed Mother Teresa of Calcutta gives us this advice: "Do not wait for leaders; FOLLOW GOD, then do what you must alone!"

  • Posted by: - Nov. 06, 2003 9:28 PM ET USA

    It may be the time has come to face the fact that a kind of Gestapo-KGB-Maoism runs many a chancery of the R.C. Church in USA.The Church revealed in the New Testament has nothing in common with this perverted monstrosity.IT MUST BE OVERTHROWN.Careful and prayerful consultation is needed to determine a strategy.Shall we join in a chorus of "Here I stand, I can do no other"?If Rome will not act, and judastyrants will not resign, then schism may well be justified. CHRISTUS VINCIT, REGNAT, IMPERAT !

  • Posted by: - Nov. 06, 2003 9:15 PM ET USA

    Where are all the people who promised to support Father Mullen ? Can it be that in the Archd. of Boston, "plus ca change, plus c'est la meme chose"? In my opinion, a "face-to-face" with the boss is in order ! If indeed the program in question is as immoral as you people say it is, then there is an absolute moral imperative to take an active stance against it. If a person is excommunicated or suspended for doing right, then the "authority" HAS NO AUTHORITY, and the Lord is laughing at it.

  • Posted by: - Nov. 06, 2003 6:36 PM ET USA

    We priests of the Archdiocese of Boston have been summoned to a plenary meeting with the Archbishop on Saturday, Dec. 6. Given that Saturdays are normally busy for a parish priest (a fact acknowledged in the 'invitation' letter from himself), the topic must be of extraordinary importance. Mayhap it will be a review of the official thinking on the TAT program, the pressure to institute which has occasioned increasing resistance among the brethren. Stay tuned.

  • Posted by: - Nov. 06, 2003 9:56 AM ET USA

    Based on your next post Phil, I expect this would be: "Fr. Mullen can't engage in 'a certain type of talking'..."

  • Posted by: John J Plick - Nov. 05, 2003 9:32 PM ET USA

    I tend to agree with WF. "Obey your parents in all that is not sinful" the pre -Vatican II Nuns taught us. They left room for legitimate defiance. I think it is time.

  • Posted by: - Nov. 05, 2003 5:03 PM ET USA

    Maybe he could talk about a hypothetical program called "talking about NOT touching: A Catholic guide to chastity." Poor dear Fr. Mullen. You are in our prayers and our catholic children are safely out of harm's way, being catechised at home.

  • Posted by: - Nov. 05, 2003 1:29 PM ET USA

    I have had the pleasure of knowing Father Mullen for some time. I regard him as the Archdiocese of Boston's "Man for all Seasons". Why is it, priestly heretics and lunatics can say and get away with anything, and a priest like Father Mullen says nothing but statements supporting Church teaching and he is silenced? We sure are in a sorry state, and it appears Cardinal Law's replacement is no better. CALL THE CHANCERY!

  • Posted by: - Nov. 05, 2003 12:37 PM ET USA

    He should be as silent as the liberals were in the 60s and 70s. No bishop can force a priest or anyone else to consent to or be silent about evil. If bishops are going to be disobedient to the Pope or to the teaching of the Church, no one owes them obedience.

  • Posted by: - Nov. 05, 2003 11:45 AM ET USA

    Fr Mullen cannot talk about talking about touching. The new broom is not sweeping too clean in the Archdiocese of Boston.