Bishop Accountability
  Letter from priests to Cardinal Law

Boston Globe
December 10, 2002

The following is the text of the letter signed by 58 Boston-area priests and sent to Cardinal Bernard F. Law on December 9, 2002:

Dear Cardinal Law:

It is with a heavy heart that we write to request your resignation as Archbishop of Boston. We have valued the good work you have done here in Boston, including, but not limited to: your advocacy for the homeless, your outreach to the Jewish community, your opposition to capital punishment, and your leadership in welcoming immigrant peoples. However, the events of recent months and, in particular, of these last few days, make it clear to us that your position as our bishop is so compromised that it is no longer possible for you to exercise the spiritual leadership required for the church of Boston.

As leaders of many parishes that make up this Archdiocese, we hear from the people their call for a change in leadership. The revelations that have come to light a few days ago challenge the credibility of your public statements. The people of this Archdiocese are angry, hurt, and in need of authentic spiritual leadership. We believe that despite your good work in the past you are no longer able to provide that leadership.

While this is obviously a difficult request, we believe in our hearts that this is a necessary step that must be taken if healing is to come to the Archdiocese. The priests and people of Boston have lost confidence in you as their spiritual leader.


Rev. Richard C. Beaulieu, St. Mary, Winchester
Rev. James Bertelli, St. Eulalia, Winchester
Rev. Paul W. Berube, St. Mary, Chelmsford
Rev. Louis Bourgeois, St. Paul, Hamilton
Rev. Emile R. Boutin Jr., Immaculate Conception, Stoughton
Rev. Robert J. Bowers, St. Catherine of Siena, Charlestown
Rev. James M. Broderick, Sacred Hearts, Haverhill
Rev. Thomas J. Buckley, Holy Family, Amesbury
Rev. Timothy A. Butler, chaplain, U.S. Air Force
Rev. Robert W. Bullock, Our Lady of Sorrows, Sharon
Rev. Charles E. Collins, St. John the Evangelist, Cambridge
Rev. Francis M. Conroy, St. Ann, Wayland
Rev. Ronald D. Coyne, St. Albert the Great, Weymouth
Rev. Richard J. Craig, St. John the Evangelist, North Chelmsford
Rev. Walter H. Cuenin, Our Lady Help of Christians, Newton
Rev. Francis Daley, St. James of Apostle, Arlington
Rev. Phillip B. Earley, St. Thomas of Villanova, Wilmington
Rev. Alfred J. Ellis, O.S.A., St. Augustine, Andover
Rev. Harry J. Erdlen, O.S.A., St. Augustine, Andover
Rev. Scott A. Euvrard, St. Joseph, Needham
Rev. John P. Fitzpatrick, Deaf Community Center
Rev. Austin H. Fleming, Our Lady Help of Christians, Concord
Rev. John W. Gentleman, Holy Family, Amesbury
Rev. Francis M. Glynn, St. Anthony, Lowell
Rev. Ronald A. Gomes, senior priest
Rev. Richard E. Gribble, C.S.C., Stonehill College
Rev. Msgr. Michael F. Groden, St. Cecilia, Boston
Rev. Roger D. Haight, S.J., Weston Jesuit School of Theology
Rev. Timothy A. Harrison, St. Ann, Gloucester
Rev. David Hollenbach, S.J., Boston College
Rev. Roger N. Jacques, St. Joseph, Waltham
Rev. Lawrence A. Jerge, C.S.C. Bridgewater State College
Rev. Stephen S. Josoma, St. Susanna, Dedham
Rev. William P. Joy, St. Angela, Mattapan
Rev. Thomas A. Kane, C.S.P., Weston Jesuit School of Theology
Rev. James F. Keenan, S.J., Weston Jesuit School of Theology
Rev. Timothy J. Kelleher, Blessed Sacrament, Walpole
Rev. Paul E. Kilroy, St. Bernard, Newton
Rev. William M. MacKenzie, senior priest
Rev. Thomas A. Mahoney, Sacred Heart, Middleborough
Rev. Francis X. Mawn, St. James, Haverhill
Rev. Sean M. McCarthy, St. Elizabeth of Hungary, Acton
Rev. Richard R. Messina, St. Mary, Winchester
Rev. Richard S. Moran, St. Bernard, Newton
Rev. Robert E. Nee, chaplain, Children's Hospital
Rev. Scott C. Ness, O.S.A., St. Ambrose Friary, Andover
Rev. Francis E. O'Brien, St. George, Framingham
Rev. Francis P. O'Brien, St. Matthias, Marlborough
Rev. David M. O'Leary, chaplain, Tufts University
Rev. Leonard F. O'Malley, St. Malachy, Burlington
Rev. Richard J. Piatt, O.S.A., St. Augustine, Andover
Rev. Marc A. Piche, Sacred Hearts, Haverhill
Rev. Daniel J. Sheehan, St. Brigid, South Boston
Rev. Frank J. Silva, St. Ann, Wayland
Rev. Williams F. Waters, O.S.A., St. Mary-Immaculate Conception, Lawrence
Rev. James A. Wenzel, O.S.A, St. Ambrose Friary, Andover
Rev. William G. Williams, St. Mary of the Assumption, Hull
Rev. Walter J. Woods, St. Elizabeth of Hungary, Acton

The materials on are offered solely for educational purposes. Should any reader wish to quote or reproduce for sale any documents to which other persons or institutions hold the rights, the original publisher should be contacted and permission requested. If any original publisher objects to our maintaining a cache of their documents for safekeeping, we will gladly take down our cache of those documents and offer links to the original publisher's posted versions instead.


Original material copyright © 2004. Reproduce freely with attribution.