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Hudson fill-in priest welcomed

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Spotlight Report

In about-face, Lowell priest to back appeal

By Michael Rezendes, Globe Staff, 5/1/2002

A Lowell pastor who said in a recent church bulletin that he would not ask parishioners to contribute to the Cardinal's Appeal this Sunday said yesterday that he will ask them to donate at a later date.

In a statement issued by the Archdiocese of Boston, the Rev. Albert L. Capone of St. Michael Church said fund-raising for the Cardinal's Appeal and for Cardinal Bernard F. Law's Promise for Tomorrow campaign would be delayed because of the clergy sexual abuse crisis, but not canceled.

''To allow Saint Michael's Parish priests and the parish staff to be more available at this time to victims of sexual abuse by priests and to our parishioners, the Archdiocese of Boston supported our need to postpone the Promise for Tomorrow Capital Campaign'' and the Cardinal's Appeal, Capone said.

In this week's parish bulletin, Capone expressed frustration at the response of the archdiocese to the victims of clergy sexual abuse and their families. St. Michael's is home to the families of alleged victims of the late Rev. Joseph E. Birmingham.

In yesterday's statement, Capone struck a different tone.

''In no way were my words or actions ever intended to undermine or question the leadership of the Archdiocese of Boston or our Archbishop, Cardinal Law,'' Capone said.

The Rev. Christopher J. Coyne, a spokesman for the archdiocese, said Capone wrote the statement without the urging of any church official.

This story ran on page A15 of the Boston Globe on 5/1/2002.
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