Let’s swim against the liberal conventional thinking for a bit on this one.
Dan Foley, a spokesman for a group formed initially to seek the reinstatement of their former pastor, Walter Cuenin, said:
There are a lot of really good things we see in Father Coyne, and we hope he’ll be transferred to a parish in line with his skills. The other side of that is we hope that the next person assigned to Our Lady’s is in line with the direction the parish has been heading for 10 or 12 years.
Lots of parishes wish they could have a hope along those lines.
I was chastised–and somewhat justifiably–for my criticism of the parishioners and neglecting their sense of grief and loss. I guess we Catholics usually go through that when a beloved pastor is reassigned or dies. I’ve been through it often myself. The circumstances in Newton were unusual, controversial, and disruptive.
But let me suggest it might show the immaturity of a community that ousts an admittedly talented pastor after just a few months. Sure: there may have been extraordinarily difficult circumstances. But extraordinary parishes could demonstrate that they can rise to the occasion and be an example for others that clergy moves need not and should not be the occasion of pastoral catastrophe.