Bishop Christopher Coyne –– The Mouthpiece for Boston’s Cardinal Law. Shouldn’t We Expect More From Him?
For three tumultuous years (2002-2005), Fr. Christopher Coyne was Boston Cardinal Bernard Law’s hand-picked spokesman. Cardinal Law, in case memories have faded, has been the most notoriously corrupt and complicit Catholic official in the US, responsible for ignoring or hiding the crimes of hundreds of predatory clerics.
In that role, Coyne talked with hundreds – perhaps thousands – of journalists about clergy sex crimes and cover-ups. Surely, one would expect, Coyne would have learned painful lessons about how crucial it is to be open about these horrors. But sadly, that doesn’t seem to be the case. Because now, Fr. Coyne is Bishop Coyne, head of the Diocese of Burlington Vermont.
And in that role, like most of his brother bishops, Coyne is being less than fully transparent about child-molesting priests, nuns, seminarians, brothers, and other church staff. Just take a look at who Bishop Coyne is leaving OFF his ‘credibly accused’ abusers list:
- Fr. Roger Carlin, who was sued nine months ago for allegedly abusing an altar boy in South Burlington, and who allegedly was transferred eight times over a 20-year career in Vermont.
- Fr. Jeffrey L’Arche, a LaSalette Missionaries priest who was put on the Springfield MA diocese’s credibly accused list. (He also worked in CT and FL.)
- Fr. Mark Haight was sued in Vermont for child sexual abuse and put on the accused lists in Baltimore and Albany.
- Fr. Robert D. Huneke, who is on the Rockville Centre NY accused list, reportedly molested kids in hotels in Vermont, Pennsylvania, New Jersey, Ohio, and Maine. (He also worked in Florida and later as a high school guidance counselor in Georgia.)
- Fr. Michael J. O’Leary, who (like Huneke) is on the Rockville Centre NY accused list and who (again, like Huneke) reportedly molested kids in hotel rooms, including one in Jay Peak VT.
Coyne also ignores several credibly accused Edmundite clerics who were or worked in Vermont, including Fr. John A. Lanoue, Fr. John A. Stankiewicz, Fr. Paul I. Plouffe, Fr. Edward J. Stapleton, Fr. Aime J. Trahan, Fr. Paul A. Pinard (who also worked in Alabama and Canada) and Fr. Nelson B. Ziter (who also worked in Alabama). How do we know these Edumundites are ‘credibly accused’ abusers? Because their own supervisors, the hierarchy of the Edmundites, have declared this to be true on their website.
In 2019 Bishop Coyne finally released his list of proven, admitted, and credibly accused sex offending clerics. At that time he assured his flock that “We are doing everything we humanly can to make sure this (abuse) does not happen again.”
It’s hard to take Bishop Coyne at his word on this, given his continuing to act as his former employer, Boston’s Cardinal Law, acted for so long, erring on the side of secrecy rather than honesty, and on the side of minimizing clergy sex crimes rather than admitting them. Just another corrupt member of the Catholic church.
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