Tuesday, September 20, 2005

Archbishop seeks calm over closing of churches.

Just when you thought it was safe to go back into the water, here's more news on the difficult process of pastoral reconfiguration in the Archdiocese of Boston. Today's Boston Globe reports on what seems to be a new and more conciliatory approach to the issue by Archbishop Sean O'Malley. In my view, this is a very welcome turn of events.

For months, parishioners holding vigils at several closed Boston-area churches have sought meetings with Archbishop O'Malley, but to no avail. Until recently, the Archbishop typically turned down the aggrieved parishioners' entreaties or else delegated the task of meeting with them to subordinates. However, in recent weeks O'Malley seems to have turned to a softer approach. According to the Globe, he has met with members of some - but not all - of the parishes that have held ongoing vigils to protest the Archbishop's decision to close them. Over the past year, the Archdiocese has reversed a number of parish closings after concerted and effective lobbying from parishioners. As the Globe pointedly notes, Archbishop O'Malley has not promised to reconsider his earlier decisions regarding any of the parishes whose members he is now speaking with. Nonetheless, it's encouraging that O'Malley is taking the time to listen respectfully to the concerns of people who have been hurt by his decisions. If carried out in a spirit of genuine humility and openness, dialogue of this kind can play a key role in healing a deeply wounded and divided community. The Archdiocese of Boston still finds itself in a very difficult place, but today's news gives me a little more hope for the future than I had yesterday. AMDG.


At September 21, 2005 9:50 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Hey Joe---
Don't have your current email address. Would you drop me an Email? Curious to hear your thoughts on the VA elections.

At September 21, 2005 8:08 PM, Blogger Joseph Koczera, S.J. said...

Josh -
And I'm curious to hear what you've been doing since the publication of Nick's book. You'll be hearing from me soon. Hope all's well, ttyl.


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