So the Catholic Diocese of Burlington has a new bishop: Christopher Coyne, currently auxiliary bishop in Indianapolis. And let me welcome the Bish in my own inimitable way by pointing out a few of his qualifications for the job:
He knows how to lie with a straight face.
He knows how to subsume the interests of truth and justice to those of his institutional home.
He is willing to put a smiley face on some of the Church’s most abhorrent crimes in order to prop up its facade of morality.
You see, Coyne spent three tumultuous years as the media spokesman for the Roman Catholic Archdiocese of Boston. Those happened to be the years when the Archdiocese’s hidden history of cosseting pedophile priests came to light. And Coyne was right there on the front line, defending the purity of the Church and of his master, the disgraced Bernard Law, last seen scuttling into a Vatican spider hole.
On the other hand, he was appointed by Pope Francis, which is a mark in his favor. But it’s hard to overlook Coyne’s three years of defending the indefensible. Especially when he comes to a Diocese with its own sordid history of sex-abuse coverups and his predecessor Salvatore Matano’s all-out efforts to avoid being brought to account.
The new guy brings a lot of heavy baggage to the job. He’ll have to prove by his actions that he holds the best interests of “the least of these” above those of his ermine-wearing overlords.