I received this email today. I had left a message on Msgr. Conway’s voice mail in regard to our support.
“I am a MMR parishioner. At a meeting last evening with Msgr. Conway and the Parish committee that has been formed to further address the sexual abuse issues in the Archdiocese, we were made aware of Catholics4Change’s plans for this Sunday. I have been asked by Msgr. Conway to communicate his request that these efforts be deferred.
To begin, of course everyone is always welcome to celebrate Mass at MMR. But, for a number of reasons, we are concerned that the planned efforts of Catholics4Change (handing out support ribbons and leaflets) this week could be disruptive and counterproductive. In fact, Msgr. Conway is not the celebrant at the 10:45a.m. Mass and the May procession of the First Communicant children is set for the next Mass. There are simple logistical issues related to parking that need to be considered.
Certainly, “Msgr. Conway is grateful for all of the support he has received, but, again, his focus —and all of those working on the issue— is to ensure that the problems are addressed properly. In furtherance of that goal, after Msgr. Conway’s evening meeting with the parishioners several weeks ago, a parish committee was formed that is in the process of finalizing a number of concepts to address the issues. There will likely be an announcement in the MMR Parish Bulletin very soon respecting the Committee and its mission and follow up meeting for the benefit of the Parish to provide answers to questions raised at the first meeting and thereafter. Msgr. Conway fully supports the Committee and its mission and among other things, we are happy to discuss our efforts with anyone from Catholics4Change.
Msgr. Conway requested that everyone hold any further action until the Parish Committee moves ahead with its plans and involves everyone at the Parish level. He has repeatedly said the issue is not about him but rather, the greater issues of protecting children, instilling and restoring confidence in all the priests and the protection of the Church of Jesus Christ.
I’m sure that everyone will respect Monsignor’s wishes.
– Paul A. Logan, Esquire”
While Catholics4Change thinks far too much has been “deferred” since the 2005 report, we don’t want our support to get in the way of parish healing. We were aware of the May Procession. That is why our attendance was planned for the 10:45 Mass. There was no plan to distribute leaflets – just stickers that read, “Keep Kids Safe.”
Msgr. Conway is right. This issue is not about him. It is about “the greater issues of protecting children, instilling and restoring confidence in all the priests and the protection of the Church of Jesus Christ.” It is about the laity needing brave priests who are willing to put ministry above legalities and misguided leadership. We hope we can support one soon.
What do you think?