O'Malley Spokesman Expected to Step down

By Kevin Cullen
Boston Globe [Boston MA]
September 24, 2004

The Rev. Christopher J. Coyne, the public face of the Catholic Archdiocese of Boston during much of the clergy sexual abuse scandal, is stepping down as spokesman for Archbishop Sean P. O'Malley, according to several sources familiar with archdiocese communications.

Coyne declined to comment yesterday, but several people who are familiar with his plans said he may take a sabbatical and perhaps concentrate on teaching.

A recording on Coyne's cellphone says he is no longer taking media inquiries and refers callers to the archdiocesan communications office.

Many priests consider the job of archdiocesan spokesman especially difficult, particularly after the abuse scandal broke, in late 2002.

The job has not gotten easier even as the abuse story receded from the front pages and was replaced this year by reports about the fallout over O'Malley's phased closing of 82 of the archdiocese's 357 parishes.

Friends of Coyne said he had hoped for a new assignment since Cardinal Bernard F. Law resigned in December 2002, but remained in the spokesman's job out of respect for O'Malley, who was installed as archbishop in July 2003.


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