Tad Heuer


The Roman Catholic Church in the United States has been buffeted by numerous crises in recent years, yet in few places have these crises combined to such an extent as in the Archdiocese of Boston. From revelations that the church hierarchy in Boston covered up the actions of sexually abusive priests, to the public debate over the politically charged role of the Archdiocese in the wake of the Massachusetts Supreme Judicial Court's ruling in favor of same sex marriage, to the controversy over whether parish priests should deny Communion to Catholic presidential nominee John Kerry because of his stance on abortion, the Archdiocese of Boston has acquired an unusually high public profile--even in a state where the Catholic church has historically carried significant political influence because of the 44% of Massachusetts citizens (and 53% of citizens within the geographic boundaries of the Archdiocese) who are at least nominally affiliated with the church. Yet in the midst of these very public crises, a quiet crisis was enveloping the Archdiocese of Boston.

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