Action Alert!

Open season?

By Phil Lawler (bio - articles ) | Jul 19, 2004

Not long ago it would have been shocking to see American bishops contradicting each other in public, and utterly unthinkable that a spokesman for one bishop would dare to contradict another prelate. Now it's becoming routine.

For the latest example, notice how Bishop D'Arcy was slapped down by Father Chris Coyne when the bishop dared to say that homosexual men should not be ordained to the priesthood.

(Father Coyne went on to say that Boston's standards for vetting seminarians are wonderful. We've seen plenty of evidence for that proposition, haven't we?)

Here's what I'm still waiting to see: The first time when a liberal bishop earns an open rebuke from a conservative colleague for a foolish public statement. If you can cite an example of that rare phenomenon, please let us know.

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: - Jul. 20, 2004 1:23 PM ET USA

    Gil and Phil are right on point. One thing to note. Fr. Coyne is often unavailable for comment to media. How odd that the Globe got him on record to undercut a bishop's statement. I don't think the Archbishop sent him out. Fr. Coyne almost certainly took the initiative here.That says a lot. He represents a clerical mindset that is losing hearts & minds( souls too?). The Archbishop can be faulted for keeping Fr. Coyne and neglecting the need to communicate effectively to ordinary folk.

  • Posted by: Gil125 - Jul. 19, 2004 7:12 PM ET USA

    You've come up with a pretty good word for it youself, St. Uriah: smarmy. I agree with Phil that if the archbishop wanted to challenge his brother bishop on the subject that would be one thing. But to send a flunky to do the job is pretty pusillanimous. And isn't he the one who was sent to Boston to clean up the mess Archpriest Law of Sta. Maria Maggiore left behind?

  • Posted by: - Jul. 19, 2004 5:05 PM ET USA

    It is one thing to be troubled by a so-called "homosexual orientation." It is another thing altogether to be a public advocate of the active sodomite lifestyle, even defending the presence of these misfits in the ranks of the priesthood. Their presence is rank indeed. If these people lived to promote the honor and glory of God they would not, could not, remain in the priesthood that they cheapen and work so ably to destroy. Send them to penal monasteries or throw them out ... every last one.

  • Posted by: - Jul. 19, 2004 3:48 PM ET USA

    It looks like the Peruvian Opus Dei Cardinal is the martyr to atone for those Bishops who won't speak out.

  • Posted by: - Jul. 19, 2004 2:31 PM ET USA

    Fraternal correction? The very idea is laughable. I cannot imagine any bishop anywhere correcting my bishop for his lack of orthodoxy. This man was appointed based on an agenda known only to other bishops. His primary concern seems to be the administration and finances of the diocese, not the orthodoxy and spirituality of his priests or the teachings of the Church. He cannot be totally ignorant of the gay element in his presbyterate. He acts only when there is public scandal.

  • Posted by: - Jul. 19, 2004 1:45 PM ET USA

    Fr.Coyne's comments beggar belief. Such blindness can only be regarded as willful. He plays along with the maddening failure in the media and , yes, Church circles, to confront the obvious, indeed, the proven fact , that homosexuality is at the heart of most abuse cases. God bless them but homosexuals suffer from a pathology. How many reports, how many Austrian scandals, how many good men driven away does he need? Bishop D'Arcy told the truth. What do we call Fr. Coyne's smarmy response ?

  • Posted by: - Jul. 19, 2004 12:14 PM ET USA

    Coyne is a good example of how these people refuse to face reality. All the awful things that happened in Boston and they still want to insist that it has nothing to do with homosexuality. Sin blinds the mind. If we do not increasingly learn to think with "the mind of Christ." We will increasingly form our thoughts and ideas accordingly to the mindlessness of hell.

  • Posted by: - Jul. 19, 2004 12:12 PM ET USA

    Thirty-three years ago I was told that the primary rule of the "old boys' club" was "cover the other guys back." Rebuke of one member by another is thus absolutely ruled out.