Pope Benedict XVI has named the Rev. Christopher Coyne, a former spokesman for Cardinal Bernard F. Law and pastor of St. Margaret Mary in Westwood, auxiliary bishop of the Archdiocese of Indianapolis.
Coyne, 52, served as spokesman for the Archdiocese of Boston from 2002 to 2005, in the immediate aftermath of the sexual abuse crisis and the period during which Law stepped aside over criticism of his failure to remove sexually abusive priests from ministry.
Coyne's tenure also coincided with the archdiocese's decision to close some five dozen parishes, a handful of which are still occupied by parishioners and fighting to re-open.
After leaving the archdiocesan job, Coyne served as pastor of Our Lady Help of Christians in Newton before moving to St. Margaret Mary.
In a statement yesterday, Cardinal Sean P. O'Malley praised Coyne's pastoral and leadership skills.
"Archbishop Daniel M. Buechlein is indeed blessed to receive one of Bostons finest priests," O'Malley said.
But David Clohessy, executive director of Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests, or SNAP, called the pope's decision to promote Coyne "irresponsible and callous."
"It's thumbing your nose at the hundreds of men, women, and children who were sexually assaulted by Catholics clergy in Boston and Indianapolis," Clohessy said.
Coyne was born in Woburn and ordained in 1986. He holds a bachelor's degree from the UMass-Lowell and a master's of divinity from St. John Seminary in Brighton, as well as a doctorate in liturgy from the Pontifical Liturgical Institute in Rome. Prior to becoming archdiocesan spokesman, he served on the faculty of St. John Seminary in Brighton from 1995 to 2002.
Coyne writes a blog on the church's website.