Bishop Accountability
  Statement by Boston Priests Forum
December 13, 2002

Reprinted in the Boston Globe

This is undoubtedly an historic day for the Archdiocese of Boston, for the Church in America, and for the entire Roman Catholic Church.

As Bernard Cardinal Law’s resignation as Archbishop of Boston is accepted by Pope John Paul II, we recognize that much good, both for the Catholic community and the entire community, has been brought about by Cardinal Law’s ministry over the years since his coming among us in 1984. In the midst of this moment of crisis, we remember those efforts, and thank Cardinal Law for his service among us. We assure those who benefited by his ministry -- those in need of affordable housing, those working for greater respect for life, those in the ecumenical and interreligious communities, those working to bring justice for workers and for the marginalized of society, our many immigrant peoples and so many more -- that we ministers of the Gospel of Jesus do continue and will continue to stand by them and for them.

To Pope John Paul II , we are grateful for his recognition in these days of the extraordinary situation here in the Archdiocese of Boston.

To Bishop Richard Lennon, serving now as Apostolic Administrator of the archdiocese in this difficult time, we assure him of our support in the work that lies ahead. We stand with him as we face the necessary and pressing labors of confronting boldly the tragedy of the sexual abuse crisis, advocating for justice for survivors, and working to make possible a future day of true reconciliation. Further, as we await together the next Archbishop of Boston, we pledge to make ours the active waiting of this season of Advent, calling for the coming among us of a gentle, effective servant of the Gospel, imbued with the Spirit of Christ, open to the laity, eager to engage the gifts of all Boston’s priests and people, one who will gather our community together and call us to effective action to renew the Church as we look to the days to come.

To victim survivors, our hearts go out to you as we continue to work for healing and justice.

To our parish communities and all the people of the Archdiocese, we have have heard your voices, felt your anguish, and stand with you and your families as we work together with you for reconciliation and peace. We pledge to do all in our power to rebuild trust and confidence among us all.

To our brother priests, let us work together for the greater unity of our church and the good of our people.

The events of this day, as important as they are, only signal to us how much lies ahead to be accomplished. The pain of scandal still lives powerfully among us. That truth calls us today to recommit ourselves to become, as the Church, all that Jesus Christ, who gave himself totally for us, calls us to be.

Reverend Robert W. Bullock, Pastor, Our Lady of Sorrows, Sharon, MA
Reverend Walter H. Cuenin, Pastor, Our Lady Help of Christians, Newton, MA
Reverend Austin H. Fleming, Pastor, Our Lady Help of Christians, Concord, MA
Reverend Paul E. Kilroy, Pastor, Saint Bernard, West Newton, MA
Reverend John P. McGinty, Pastor, Sacred Heart, Lynn, MA
Reverend Gerald. J. Osterman, Pastor, Immaculate Conception, Everett, MA
Reverend Daniel J. Riley, Pastor, Saint William, Dorchester, MA
Reverend Msgr. Dennis F. Sheehan, Pastor, Saint Paul, Cambridge
Reverend Walter J. Woods, Pastor, Saint Elizabeth of Hungary, Acton, MA


Original material copyright © 2004. Reproduce freely with attribution.