Boston priest facing prostitution charges

Sad news to report this week. This has already been reported extensively in the mainstream media while BCI was out of town.  Msgr. Arthur Coyle was arrested for paying a prostitute. See here for one of several articles on this unfortunate situation.

A high-ranking priest in the Roman Catholic Archdiocese of Boston is facing a prostitution charge.

MyFoxBoston.com reported that the Rev. Arthur Coyle, 62, pleaded not guilty Monday to one count of sexual conduct for a fee in Lowell, Mass. and was released on $500 bail. Police say that Coyle was arrested Sunday afternoon after being found with a prostitute behind a Lowell cemetery.

The prostitute told police that Coyle had given her $40 to perform a sex act and showed the two $20 bills to police as proof. She said it was the second time that Coyle had paid her in return for sex acts. Police said that Coyle had been observed circling known prostitution locations in Lowell for close to a year before his arrest.

Coyle holds the title of Episcopal Vicar for the Merrimack Region, which means that he oversees several Catholic parishes in the Lowell area.

The Archdiocese of Boston released a statement Monday saying that Coyle had taken a voluntary administrative leave following his arrest and was forbidden from performing any public ministry.

This article covers even more disturbing revelations.

All BCI can offer is to ask readers to pray for all involved, and the especially pray for our priests.  The St. Michael prayer feels appropriate in this situation. And, in fact, we think parishioners should be asked to say the prayer at the end of every Sunday Mass on an ongoing basis, to help all combat evil.

Saint Michael the Archangel,
defend us in battle.
Be our protection against the wickedness and snares of the devil.
May God rebuke him, we humbly pray;
and do Thou, O Prince of the Heavenly Host –
by the Divine Power of God –
cast into hell, satan and all the evil spirits,
who roam throughout the world seeking the ruin of souls.

41 Responses to Boston priest facing prostitution charges

  1. Jimmy says:

    January 2013: Cardinal O’Malley said, “Msgr. Arthur Coyle has distinguished himself throughout his priesthood with exemplary service to Christ and His Church. His service to the Archdiocese, as a parochial vicar, pastor and member of the Cabinet and now Episcopal Vicar for the Merrimack Region, has consistently been marked by dedication and commitment. His leadership will be of great assistance as the Archdiocese moves forward with Pastoral Planning and the implementation of the New Evangelization. In this Year of Faith, we pray that the Lord continues to bless Msgr. Coyle’s ministry and enlivens in all the faithful a new enthusiasm to strengthen the mission of the Church in our parishes.”

    • DBP says:

      Jimmy – your point? That every good thing that Art Coyle did is somehow undone by his sad dalliance with a hooker? Really? Is that the story of your own life – that every time you fail to be a paragon of virtue you expect others to completely discount any good you’ve ever done?

      Or is your point that Cardinal O’Malley somehow should have known about Msgr. Coyle’s failings? Really? Tell me how that would work, with Art trying to keep it quiet.

      Nobody – not even Charlie Sheen – hires a prostitute and feels good about himself. Maybe you should try feeling sad about a man who felt so bad about himself that he had to hire another person who felt bad about herself to make him feel better about himself. Especially if he really did all the good things Cardinal O’Malley said he did.

      • cmm says:

        DBP,

        While this does not apply to this particular circumstance with Monsignor – I’d love to say that our falls do not negate our good works, sometimes, they do. Christ said people will say Lord, Lord, I fed the hungry, etc., etc., and He will say – get away from Me, I do not know you and the things you did were unauthorized.

        Again, this doesn’t apply to this set of circumstances but let us be careful when we are speaking about theology.

        Re: Monsignor and the Cardinal’s press release

        Most of us do not know the life of an archdiocescan priest. Observing the brotherhood of priests in the Boston see, it gives the appearance of a group of men who do not care about and/or dislike each other.

        Those of us who strive to live everyday in a state of Grace struggle with some thorn in our paw. Most of the time we keep the battle of disciplining minutia: our impatience with foolines, self-indulgence, pride, temper.

        Monsignor Coyle did not leave the intimacy of Christ to fall into the arms of a hooker abruptly. It is a gradual withdrawal and decline that manifests itself outwardly. The idea that nobody noticed is preposterous.

        We never know the details, but we know when a war for a soul is waging. That’s our job. That’s what we do. If we don’t know, we better face the truth that we are living on the margins of our
        fiat.

        Should the Cardinal have known? He is supposed to be a parent. He has abandoned his duty to shepherd us to our salvation. His shtick is a costumed prop that is driven to and from pot luck suppers and frau-frau events.

        His press release stands out like a sore thumb.

      • Jimmy says:

        Is this a mere “dalliance” to you? Your perspective is disturbing for many reasons.

        Cardinal O’Malley’s statements on Coyle are reminiscent of Cardinal Law’s effuse praise for the careers of priests he knew to be serial sexual predators. It is worth noting because it speaks to a core problem with the Archdiocese of Boston. A good priest always has a serious prayer life and seeks personal sanctity. A good priest seeks the salvation of souls. Such a priest does not find himself trolling for hookers or molesting post-pubescent boys. Contrast this with the metrics used by the Archdiocese of Boston to evaluate their priests. Sanctity doesn’t appear to be a relevant consideration. Jesus’ statement “A good tree cannot bring forth evil fruit, neither can an evil tree bring forth good fruit” underscores the fact that an unholy priest brings nothing but destruction to his culture. “Woe to that man by whom the scandal cometh.”

      • "Just Wondering" says:

        Thank you, DBP…I agree 100% with you. Who of us has not had bad times in our life?
        Thank you again.
        “Just Wondering”

  2. cmm says:

    n.b. I can’t claim to be an expert in the workings of the male libido, but my experience with human nature tells me that seeking comfort in five minutes with a prostitute is not about seeking the redemption of the ego, ie ‘to feel good about himself’.

    It’s just a carnal pleasure demanding to be fed. Our sin creates a monster that proceeds to eat us alive. Takes over our intellect. When it gets this bad, it has the wheel of the ship. He needs a good six weeks with Opus Dei priests and the Sacraments and he will be as good as new.

    Fr. Groeschel would be another excellent resource.

    For the love of Christ, do not send him to the usual and customary places the archdiocese uses to feed their sick priests pablum.

    Cut to the chase and free the man.

  3. Objective Observer says:

    Three realities hit me when this story first broke:

    1. Art Coyle’s fall from grace may be tough on him, but it’s tougher on the faithful. Whether people (priests and laity alike) cooperated with his edicts out of respect for the Church, or turned their backs on him out of disdain for his imperiousness, they now have no reason to hold RCAB leadership in high regard. None at all.

    2. Boston Catholics deserve better episcopal leadership. Sean O’Malley has been here ten years, and the morale of diocesan priests has declined steadily since his arrival. This happened on his watch, literally. He has never done the job of archbishop right, and so far the only groups that have uniformly benefitted from his tenure are Rasky Baerlein, and the people he’s paid over $160,000 per year. We need an archbishop who takes personal responsibility to lead the souls in this Archdiocese. We need an archbishop who does not need to be surrounded by enablers.

    3. The one who needs the most prayer here is the 38-year old woman arrested with Art Coyle. She is someone’s daughter, sister, mother and this is how she makes her living? Christ’s advice to a woman in similar circumstances was, “Go and sin no more.” Why aren’t we on our knees begging the Holy Spirit to open her heart and help her out of this hideous existence? And why aren’t we, collectively as the Church, begging forgiveness for fostering a landscape in Lowell where her profession is the best option for her? The Church’s top dog in the region was dragging her down further! Why aren’t we building an outreach to offer prostitutes a legitimate, humane way to make a living?

    • jbq2 says:

      And yet, the good Cardinal is in the graces of the pope himself. He has been appointed to be one of the top seven or advisors. On the highest stage, he is being viewed as a “social justice” success. In some Italian publications, he was even viewed as an outsider with a chance to be pope.

  4. Carolyn says:

    If you really want to throw up, read the Globe Magazine 10 page cover story (online now, coming out in print this weekend) about how Ralph De Latorre, the CEO of Caritas Christi, is the salvation of healthcare. Let’s see, wonder how that morass got spun so sweetly? Oh, right, Rasky Baerlein is his p.r. firm.

  5. Chris Whittle says:

    Msgr. Coyle is one of those “old-time” archdiocesan priests who [edited by BCI]. If he is found guilty of these prostitution charges and has to serve jail time, he won’t be back in ministry anyway.

    But I have another question about a regional vicariate: why is the archdiocese divided into 5 regions where canonically each diocese is supposed to be divided in parishes?

    • Liam says:

      Well, canon law certainly envisions vicariates forane (often referred to as deaneries in English) as a structure between the parochial and diocesan level. That said, Msgr Coyle was acting in a role above that kind of vicariate: his administrative role for the Merrimack Region of the RCAB is at the level of the other auxiliary bishops for their respective regions, a structure that obtains in many dioceses and appears to be within the discretion of the ordinary. Vicars of various sorts are a common device in Roman legal culture.

    • Chris,
      You are correct that if Msgr. Coyle is found guilty of these charges, he will not be back in ministry. However, unless you know him well and have heard him discuss his beliefs about the vow of celibacy first-hand, we would suggest that you not presume to know or judge his beliefs about his vow of celibacy.

      • Lazarus' Table says:

        BCI, this is so sad. People like the Magdalene & St Augustine (who had a girl in every port before his conversion) lived and died before we stopped being a religion of Redemption.

    • David S. says:

      Mr. Whittle,

      I also take issue with your statement: “Msgr. Coyle is one of those old-time archdiocesan priests who doesn’t care about his vow of celibacy.”

      Quite frankly, it is judgmental and cruel. I would suspect that most of us at one time or another have engaged in activities that are as bad or worse than what is alleged here. Have you have never committed a moral sin? If so, how would you like the sordid details to be splashed on the front page of the Boston Globe for the whole world to see? And worse, for people who don’t even know you to pass judgment on your motives.

      The behavior described in the news reports is one of desperation, and not one of calculating deliberation. It is quite possible that severe stress, anxiety, compulsion, or other psychological or emotional factors diminish or even negate the ability of a person who engages in such behavior to give full consent of the will.

      But that is for God, not you or I, to judge.

      • Jimmy says:

        It is actually a “mortal” sin. Sins by definition are not “moral”. By any rational standard soliciting a prostitute is a deliberate and calculated act that involves full consent of the will. Given that you ostensibly believe that a priest could do this and not be culpable for the sin, I would never leave you alone with children.

  6. cmm says:

    He cares about it now doesn’t he.

    God works in mysterious ways.

  7. cmm says:

    Jimmy, David is describing sins against morality. He was not characterizing the sin’s theological property.

    The story has the distinct odor of desperate and reckless act. Nobody is saying his desperation therefore relieves him of accountability. But to describe it as ‘deliberate and calculating’ is a gross exaggeration and lacks the understanding of the consequences of sin wrapping its talons around the intellect.

    There isn’t a single one of us who can look over our life and say how could I have possibly been out of touch with the reality of what we were doing.

    • Jimmy says:

      cmm, the only lack of understanding and gross exaggeration here relates to your grasp of the facts. Did you read the story? This wasn’t a “desperate and reckless act”, it was a lifestyle:

      “A Police report showed that Coyle was observed “well over a dozen different times” driving through areas frequented by prostitutes since last November.”

      • cmm says:

        Jimmy,

        Nobody can or would deny that his story reveals his distance from intimacy with Christ.

        I’m saying cruising for prostitutes in your own town behind a cemetery is pert near featherbrained.

        When we do featherbrained things, it is incongruent with deliberate and calculating.

        Calculating, would be to drive into the next state to avoid being recognized or caught, take a plane to state where prostitution is legalized. Go to Europe. Find a floozy online and have a readily available supply.

        Those kinds of situations are deliberate and calculating.

        You seem to be suffering from the delusion that desperation requires spontaneity in a struggle with sin. Temptation, especially with skins of the flesh is like the slow boil of a lobster in a pot. When you get accustomed to the temperature of your excuses for venial sin, the devil turns up the heat a little at a time. Depending on how long you resist temptation, how serious and often you seek the Sacraments of Penance and The Blessed Sacrament, it could be a matter of days or years before you fall to a temptation in a moment of desperation. When everything else in your life is going crappy.

        Doesn’t get him off of the hook of culpability, but giving the appearance he is sinister and the situation rises to the level of a pedophile is way out there.

      • Jimmy says:

        cmm’s personal interpretation of “desperation” and “calculating” ought to be applied to our criminal justice system. Apparently, according to cmm (not the Church), you cannot deliberately & with calculation commit an overt criminal act unless it is one in which you are unlikely to be caught. cmm makes the case that Fr. Coyle would need to take a plane for his prostitutes to be calculating. Not clear on why a particular mode of transportation matters or how this reduces the likelihood of him being arrested as a john elsewhere or how one who wants to frequent prostitutes on a regular basis could afford the time/money to pull it off, especially if one might go to Europe as cmm suggests. Also not clear on how doing this for at least 10 months (according to the story) in this particular part of Lowell (have no information as regards the other 61 years of his life) and knowing all the machinations that Fr. Coyle must have been employed during these excursions could not rise to the level of deliberate and calculated.

        He is not sinister? Are you kidding me? How about the women he victimized? How about the scandal that he has brought about with this international news story? How about all those souls who will lose faith because of him? Whose money did he use for this activity? How about his countless betrayals to include his vows to God? What flavor of Catholicism has such a priest been representing as authentic teaching? How about his brother priests who will suffer greater ridicule because of him?

        cmm, when you falsely implied that I equated prostitution with pedophilia you revealed much. In response to the absurd suggestion that is possible that Fr. Coyle did not give consent of the will to his evil activity because of such factors as stress and “desperation” I observed that I would not allow a person holding such an opinion to be alone with children. If Fr. Coyle did not give consent of the will, he did not commit a mortal sin which requires “full knowledge and complete consent”. A person that can mitigate away the essence of what happened in such a way is not safe with children because that person will likely apply the same criteria to his own behavior. Not going to take the chance that he might be so inclined.

        The bar is much higher than you believe. Ask one the Opus Dei priests you recommended.

      • cmm says:

        Jimmy, I’ve spent my life trying to keep myself in a state of Grace every single day. Sometimes by the hour in a crucible. Looking back over my life, I have been a toot or two – sometimes for more than a year.

        In fact, after 15 years of heretical homilies, misleading people into promiscuity, contraception, abortion, liturgical shenanigans that would make me want to throw up, invalid Sacrifices, ethe day Boston presbyterate – with very few holdouts – took our children, sat them down into chairs and told them perverted stories about their relatives raping them – I had a hard time walking into Mass for well over a year.

        Looking back, it seems ludicrous to me that I could ever let myself feel such animosity for bishop and priest soul slayers that the slow drip kept me away from the Sacraments.

        The Sacraments are more important to me than anything or anybody in this world.

        I know I hurt people in that state.

        I always considered myself as a good person who fell off the wagon here and there. I doesn’t mean I wasn’t culpable. It doesn’t mean I didn’t repent and do penance.

        That’s how I consider everyone else.

        Sinister?

        Msgr. Coyle is Blessed Mother Teresa compared to the priests who robbed the last two generations of Catholics of the tools they need for salvation…priests pervert the minds of the flock – especially children.

  8. Justyn Tyme says:

    When will Bishops and Priests finally GET IT!! The greatest need in the Roman Catholic Church today is the Conversion of the Clergy: Bishops/Priests to the Lordship of Jesus Christ in their Personal lives and Sacramental/Pastoral Ministries. The New Evangelization needs Episcopal/Presbyteral Outreach best done by the Laity.
    As for Msgr. Coyle and this Woman: The Mercy of God is endless and the treasury of His Compassion is INEXHAUSTIBLE!!!!!

    • Concerned Parent says:

      True. Meanwhile, public exposure of priests who are betraying us all while betraying their vows – leading double lives and engaging in illicit sexual activities (legal and illegal) – is all to the good, even if it takes the vice squad to accomplish the job the archdiocese should be doing. Priests living such double lives shouldn’t be “ministering” to anyone else.

  9. Lazarus' Table says:

    Anyone who points a finger at Msgr Coyle and shouts “Sinner!” is in dangerous waters himself. Only God can judge, only He knows the degree of Msgr Coyle’s culpability, all the circumstances that led him to act as he did.
    There are, however, some things we can know:
    1) There is no agent of the archdiocese in whom a troubled priest can confide in confidence (outside Confession). A priest who needs help will not seek it out of fear he will be “reported”, “sent away”, etc.

    2) The Cardinal is not only the priest’s ‘spiritual father’, he is also responsible for the good of the entire archdiocese, i.e., the institution. The good of the institution will always trump the good of the individual. Over are the days when the shepherd will leave the 99 to go in search of the lost 1.

    3) In the opinion of many in the hierarchy, Msgr Coyle’s greatest fault was not soliciting a prostitute but getting caught. His story is not unique. Priests “in a relationship” –with females or males– are an accepted fact. Just be discreet.

    4) Priests are not “their brothers’ keeper”. Except for whatever friendship group a priest might be part of, priests are not solicitous for each other’s true well-being– spiritual, emotional, psychological, physical. A priest is on his own. His fellow priests will not confront him, correct him, reach out to him, embrace him, accept him.

    5) Many priests are living lives of quiet desperation, they are hurting. They feel used and abused by the archdiocese, they fear abandonment in their incapacity, old age, sickness. Their legitimate human needs for affirmation, affection, security are absent from their life. If they do not find it in legitimate ways from the archdiocese, in their desperation they will go looking for it elsewhere.

    6) Sometimes lay people, too, are too quick to judge and condemn. They don’t look upon priests as their brothers, and a priest who falls is denied the compassion and understanding that might have prevented his fall in the first place.

    7) The current “pastoral plan” is sowing among priests additional seeds of isolation, non-accountability, loneliness, excessive stress, insecurity. The feeling of the need for self-preservation will grow. Spiritual desolation is replacing the experience of priestly fraternity and ecclesial encouragement and support.

    8) Tragically, and worst of all, the Church has given ample witness that the Gospel is too impractical, if not impossible, to be truly and fully lived in the modern world.

    • "Just Wondering" says:

      Thank you for your great, tender and loving expression of concern for the Priests of Boston, especially during these days when we make them the target of anything coming down the road. Thank you for speaking of their humanness. God bless you and all of our Priests who struggle every day with being a representative of Christ in a Church that is bursting more and more every day. We pray for all of them! “Just Wondering.”

    • ACS says:

      Amen. Great post!

  10. Julie Johnson says:

    My first and abiding reaction to this news was deep sadness, accompanied then by fear that the RC Church may never recover its mission, and will be irrelevant within my lifetime. I fully agree with the writer who called for an evangelization for the clergy; the RCAB has made yet another mess with the changes for priests in the “collaboratives,” and has left the men in the trenches to deal with sometimes impossible situations. Meanwhile, the laity has been left in limbo (so to speak), not knowing what kind of leadership may be thrust upon them. No two priests seem to follow the same structure, whether it’s within the Mass or within parish offices. These are unsteady times.

    Mons. Coyle was a large part of the decision-making process in this pastoral plan. Perhaps his despair was at failing to listen to the people in the pews or to the concerns of fellow priests.

    I know the life of a parish priest is stressful and lonely. Why the Vatican insists on mandatory celibacy is beyond me. In fact, the Church has a number of married priests who converted from a Protestant faith. If the emphasis was on quality, Christian leadership instead of what a man does with his plumbing, if celibacy were optional, if the focus returned to Christ’s teachings and love…there would be no shortage of priests. Supported by family love and spousal understanding, a priest could face each day renewed for his vocation, not dreading it.

    • Lazarus' Table says:

      Julie, Jesus promised that the gates of hell would not prevail against His church, and thus it will be. But that Church –the Mystical Body of Christ on earth– will not be any identifiable human institution. The coming Church, the Mystical Body of Christ on earth, will be comprised of a small group of people anxious to be Christ one to the other. Catholics merely of habit or guilt or tradition will give up playing the game and fall completely away. Those who remain will be ministered to by holy, dedicated priests who, in turn, are fed spiritually by their people. Parishes churches, if they continue to exist for long, will look quite different. Once upon a time, parishes tailored their services to meet the needs of their parishioners, even individual parishioners. The parishes now forming (and some already in full sail) will each have their one “song”, and if you don’t like the song or can’t learn to sing it, you’ll have to shop around for a parish that meets your needs. Clericalism will be rampant, but ‘clericalism’ among lay ministers and employees. The older bishop in white will continually be looked to for teaching and strengthening, and the bishops and priests loyal to him, while greatly fewer in number, will have a power to possibly once again allow a new Pentecost on the earth. But this is all still to come. But for now, the institution is slowly and reluctantly being shed of its old skin to make way for new wine in new wineskins.

      • cmm says:

        A small group of people anxious to be Christ to one another?

        Blech. Sounds like a Voice of the Faithful meeting.

        That’s when the last of the mohigans will flee to Motu Proprio.

  11. jbq2 says:

    It has to be a concern on the circumstances involved. From reading the article, the area was monitored by the police and he had been seen there previously. It would appear that the prostitute was a police informer. In fact if you dig, there was entrapment. However, the fact of the cemetery means that there was the “rush of danger” involved. He could have “made arrangements of a different sort. As a Navy vet with service in Norfolk, I can tell you that hookers are everywhere. I once observed fifty women “waiting for a bus” just off the base or so I thought. Priests are just not experienced enough of the evil of the world. What makes it even worse is the known “gay lobby” of which the pope has mentioned.

  12. Chris says:

    The question in my mind is what the archdiocese would have done if this incident hadn’t made the papers. If his superiors had certain knowledge of what was going on with Fr. Coyle, say, but it wasn’t yet public. Would they have pulled him from ministry? Sent him to one of the treatment centers? A stern talking-to? Or would it have been ignored?

    The archdiocese seems to be too willing to ignore behavior that shows disrespect for authority and for Catholic beliefs. (I’m thinking of Fr. Unni here, during that whole Gay Pride Mass debacle a few years ago. He invited cameras in while the auxiliary bishop was present for a confirmation and gave an inflammatory sermon. Nothing happened.)

    • Michael says:

      Character … each individual priest needs good moral character … the church as a whole needs good moral character … Charcter is missing in our church, in our laity and in our priests/bishops. It is missing even in our “good” priests. Everyone is too afraid to stand up for the truth. So the Church endlessly lets serious problems fester, unattended, and then everyone is surprised when they explode. No one knew of this priest’s “problem” before now? No one has the vision to see the ramifications of Fr. Unni’s arrogant and disrespectful agenda driven conduct? It requires character to stand up and fight for what is right.

    • Came Home Catholic says:

      Is there any Question that if this happened in 1983, say, that the media would have reported nothing of this? That Coyle would’ve quietly been returned to his parish and allowed to continue in ministry?

    • cmm says:

      Do you remember several years back Cardinal O’Malley’s secretary took off with his sportscaster boyfriend?

      There was a press release saying everyone was so sad and they would hold a spot open for him in case he changed his mind. The fellow was in the directory for a couple of years. Of course it was all hushed up.

      How about the pianoman? He was struggling with his sexual orientation, took off for a with some dude who had a gay motel. The dude ran the place and pianoman played here comes the brides gay weddings. He came back, got assigned to a parish and then eventually took off again. It was all hush hush.

      How about Walter?

      Ron Coyne?

      The list is long.

      You wonder – is it because this made a splash in the newspapers or is it because he’s a heterosexual.

    • MIchael says:

      Chris,

      First of all, Fr. Unni did not INVITE cameras into the church. Did he allow them to be there, absolutely. Why? Because what he did was honest and showed the church in a more positive light than the Carol McKinleys & Joe Sacerdotes of the blogosphere. Bishop Hennessy gave the homily, not Fr. Unni. Fr. Unni did speak after communion and it was hardly “inflammatory” – on the contrary, it was masterful and enrollment at St. Cecilia grew in a noticeable way following that weekend.

      • Chris says:

        Excuse me, Michael, but the video was taken by the Boston Globe and they would have had to have asked permission to come in and take the video. They had to because it is against the law in Massachusetts to disrupt a church service, and the Globe would be careful of that legality. Fr. Unni told them they could come in. That is a positive action, not a passive one. Furthermore the camera was set up to have a clear reaction shot of the bishop while Fr. Unni was talking. You may call that “honest.” I call it an ambush.

      • MIchael says:

        Chris,

        I guess you can’t comprehend what you read. I already said that Fr. Unni allowed the cameras in the church. They were not disruptive and Fr. Unni wanted to show that he is an honest man with the integrity to speak power to truth…in this case, to speak the truth in front of the bishop. And, I know for a fact that Bishop Hennessey respects Fr. Unni for that. Both Fr. Unni and Bishop Hennessey allowed the Globe to take that video. It was hardly an “ambush.” If you think that poor Bishop Hennessey was ambushed, I can assure you he wasn’t. That was a great day for St. Cecilia. Only the most obtuse people were not proud to be a Catholic on that day. And I know for a fact that the Cardinal supported what Fr. Unni said.

      • “Michael”,
        Several points for you, as you appear to be new here.

        First, there has been another Michael commenting here for several years. His viewpoints are very different from yours. Could you kindly add a first letter of last name to distinguish yourself from that other long-time reader?

        Secondly, we ask readers to keep their comments here relevant to the topic of the BCI blog post. This venue is not a place to discuss other blogs. Non-relevant comments will be removed. For those who continue posting comments not relevant to the topic of the BCI blog post, we will moderate their comments.

        Thirdly, you clearly err in your understanding of what Fr. Unni is doing and is not doing at St. Cecilia. That was not the topic of this blog post, but we wish to put this issue to rest. If you are familiar with this issue, then you are no doubt also familiar with Cardinal O’Malley’s November 2005 “Letter on Homosexuality” found here:
        http://www.bostoncatholic.org/uploadedFiles/BostonCatholicorg/Cardinals_Corner/omalley_bos_letteronhomosexuality_2005-11-23.pdf

        Here is an excerpt:
        It is never easy to deliver a message that calls people to make sacrifices or to do difficult things. Sometimes people want to punish the messenger. For this reason we priests at times find it difficult to articulate the Church’s teaching on sexual morality. We must never deliver the message in a self-righteous way, but rather with compassion and humility. It is important to express the moral teachings of the Church with clarity and fidelity. The Church must be Church. We must teach the truths of the Gospel in season and out of season. These recent times seem to us like it is “out of season”, but for that very reason it is even more urgent to teach the hard words of the Gospel today.

        We know that friends and relatives of homosexual Catholics sometimes feel torn between their allegiance to Christ and their concern for their loved ones. I assure them that these goals are not incompatible. As Catholics we profess a firm belief in the dignity of each person and in the eternal destiny to which God calls us. Calling people to embrace the cross of discipleship, to live the commandments and at the same time assuring them that we love them as brothers and sisters can be difficult. Sometimes we are told: “If you do not accept my behavior, you do not love me.” In reality we must communicate the exact opposite: “Because we love you, we cannot accept your behavior.”

        Objectively there is no evidence that Fr. Unni has done the above at St. Cecilia. Case closed for now, as far as BCI is concerned.

  13. JUSTYN TYME says:

    When are the “good priests” of the Archdiocese of Boston going to get MAD enough and do exactly what alleged victims/victims of clergy sex abuse have done: Organize, Demonstrate Publically with their Pictures and Signs saying “Pray for Your Priests!!” Call Press Conferences…etc. This can be done especially in front of the Cathedral/Parishes, anywhere. Make a Peaceful scene! Where is the righteous anger of Jesus! Look at the People of Churches that are still being occupied by the Laity 10 yrs +. Now there is Faith and Guts! Jesus said “Fear is useless, it is TRUST that is needed! Its time these good priests start “walking the walk instead of talking the talk.” Get out there!!! Don’t worry about Cardinal Sean, bishops are as powerful as their priests let them be. Take back the Power of/as “Service.” of Christ the Good Shepherd! Bishops come and go, the good priests are here to stay! Let us Love/Pray for Priests every day!

  14. Mack says:

    I pray for Fr Coyle and note that he was arrested on Sun, August 4–the feast date of St John Vianney. So perhaps it was due to St John’s intercession that the double life Father was leading was put to an end. Having it come to light is the first step in conversion and salvaging of his priesthood, which I hope can happen.

    Even if he has some kind of addiction that may lessen his culpability, it is still a scandal and a sad event. I wish he had gone to the cardinal to make this known so he could have stepped down and gotten help before things came to this point. The news article said the police had stopped him last November and he claimed to be only driving around. Didn’t that make him think that he would eventually be caught? I’m tired of the scandals and I pray for the holiness of priests. Being a priest is not a career but a call to holiness, and to shepherd the people of God.

    As Pope Benedict wrote in 2009 proclaiming the year of priests, “There are also, sad to say, situations which can never be sufficiently deplored where the Church herself suffers as a consequence of infidelity on the part of some of her ministers. Then it is the world which finds grounds for scandal and rejection.”

    Indeed.

  15. […] the wake of the situation with Msgr. Arthur Coyle having been arrested for paying a prostitute, a number of BCI readers–including priests–are asking again about the episcopal […]

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