Friday, September 17, 2010

Father David Mullen asks for prayers (or, the epitome of the classy Catholic priest)

As I wrote in my last post, I've never met Father David Mullen. Pray God, I hope to do so someday. Meantime I was honored to be among those whom he asked for prayers for a good result with his meeting with Cardinal Sean O'Malley tomorrow. I'm posting this letter from Father Mullen in its entirety. All emphases are his. All admiration for this servant of God are mine, and, I hope, yours.

Dear Friends,

I am sending this to my entire e-mail list, so some of you may not remember who I am. Please feel no qualms of conscience if you delete this message!

I am asking everyone to pray for me tomorrow (Saturday) when I will meet with Cardinal O'Malley to talk over the safe environment programs that the Archdiocese wants me to implement in St. Brendan's parish. If you want to brush up on the controversy then you can visit my parish website: and look for the tab that says "TAT Dossier". You will find there all that you need to know, and perhaps some things you would rather not know!

I am hopeful that tomorrow's meeting will be successful. It will be so if God's will is done by myself and His Eminence. His goal is that my parish implement a "safe environment" program so that the Archdiocese is 100% compliant with the child protection goals set by the National Conference of Catholic Bishops. My goal is to protect the innocence of the children of my parents and respect the rights of their parents (and, of course, not go to Hell at the end of my life because I knowingly did something to the children of my parish that I knew was gravely objectionable). I see no reason why the goals of the eminent ordinary and the country pastor cannot be achieved together.

The best result would be for His Eminence to allow St. Brendan's to implement the program of the Diocese of Baker, Oregon, called "Healthy Families: Safe Children". Bp. Robert F. Vasa, the ordinary of Baker, only this evening sent me a very gracious message of personal support (without presuming to tread on the authority of His Eminence in Boston). The program that he has developed in his diocese is derived from the Catholic Medical Association's wonderful report on safe environment programs and child development entitled "To Protect and to Prevent" (2006).

I asked for the meeting with His Eminence and am gratified that he so quickly said "yes". Some are claiming that I said that I was told that if I did not implement a "safe environment" program that I would be dismissed from the parish. I was told no such thing. I came to the conclusion on my own. I have been assured by honorable priests that such a move has not been discussed in the meetings of His Eminence and his advisers. I believe that I have been told the truth in this matter.

Perhaps I have allowed my fears to get to me! The last seven or eight years have been filled with various levels of fear, anger and anxiety. I am not fearful tonight - nor anxious - nor angry. Please pray tomorrow - and tonight! - that my meeting with His Eminence go well tomorrow.

God bless,

Fr. David J. Mullen
St. Brendan Parish
Bellingham, Massachusetts