Cardinal O'Malley Reflects

Here’s an unusually perceptive article on the fifth anniversary of Cardinal Sean O’Malley’s installation as archbishop of Boston, something that I would consider, in the wake of Cardinal Law’s departure, an almost impossible job.  Michael Paulson at the Boston Globe does his usual fine job of laying out the complexities of the situation, and highlights O’Malley’s change over the last five years.  Paulson also gives space to both supporters and critics.  I’m curious to hear what people in Boston think about the piece. 

Here’s Mayor Menino with the walk-away quote, "In the beginning, I was very concerned about what he was doing - he wasn’t calling, and the people around him thought they could do anything because they were the church," Menino said. "But he has grown more into the job than people expected. He’s more willing to listen, to sit down with different groups in the city, and he’s telling people what he’s going to do before it happens. We don’t always agree, but we have conversation - it’s my religion, it’s his religion, and we want to make the city work."

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James Martin, SJ

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10 years ago
Not from Boston, but close by in NH: I have some concerns about the Paulson article which I read in the Globe yesterday. Paulson quotes David Clohessy of SNAP acknowledging O’Malley’s powerful understanding and use of symbols, but essentially being like other bishops where the rubber hits the road. It was a strong quote but Paulson let it hang without explanation. Perhaps Clohessy meant O’Malley’s secret return to ministry this year of a priest accused of soliciting and offering to pay a 12-year old girl for oral sex, along with her mother no less, in a Chelsea bar a few years ago. See Paulson’s own article on the case of Fr. Jerome Gillespie at http://www.bishop-accountability.org/news2008/03_04/2008_04_26_Paulson_PriestsReturn.htm There was no physical contact, says the archdiocese, and the priest was “under the influence” ---why is that not incriminating instead of exculpatory? Abusers do not abuse because they drink but drink in order to abuse. O’Malley has accomplished much and Paulson gives full credit. But the Gillespie case has the feel of rubber, and Clohessy deserved space to back-up his claim. See case history at http://www.bishop-accountability.org/assign/Gillespie_Jerome_F.htm Snip: Summary of Case: Accused of asking oral sex on 1/25/05 from woman and daughter age 12. Resigned 1/28/05. Pleaded not guilty to enticing child, soliciting sex, annoying/accosting, and assault. Most charges dismissed 4/4/05. Pleaded sufficient facts to annoying/accosting charge. Case continued pending alcohol and sexual offender evaluations with treatment if indicated, and no contact with minors without disclosing case. Case dismissed 2007. Returned to work without announcement. Was Lynnfield supply priest 4/08. Why does O’Malley do something like this?

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