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A mutiny by priests and laity against the cardinal (and the church)? Voice of the Faithful
The Boston Herald ^ | April 30, 2002 | by Tom Mashberg and Eric Convey

Posted on 04/30/2002 4:54:31 AM PDT by american colleen

Laity group demands voice: In Lowell, pastor snubs diocesan fund drive

by Tom Mashberg and Eric Convey Tuesday, April 30, 2002

Nearly 500 mainstream Catholics demanding a major voice for the laity in church affairs met last night to say they would organize locally and nationally despite a recent letter from the Archdiocese of Boston urging ``the faithful'' not to question church directives.

The meeting of The Voice of the Faithful group, at St. John the Evangelist Church in Wellesley, came as a small mutiny broke out in Lowell. The pastor of St. Michael's Parish urged his congregants to shun two major archdiocesan fund-raisers and focus instead on the ``pain, fear, stress and hurt'' of the clerical molestation crisis.

``The position of absolute power is a very difficult position for anyone to handle,'' said Jim Muller, president of VOTF, which has received global attention in the past week for voicing the determination of conservative U.S. Catholics to wield power and influence from the parish level to the Vatican.

``It has never been so clear the laity is needed to bring structural change into the church at the most fundamental of levels,'' he said.

Muller said at least 50 parishes around the nation have now asked for guidance in establishing VOTF chapters. More than 1,200 people signed up on the group's web site during the last 48 hours, organizer Paul Baier said.

Muller said the ultimate goal of the group is to have democratically chosen lay representatives sit on councils in parishes, dioceses, at the national level, and in Rome.

The group plans to hire full-time staff and raise at least $100,000 for its campaign.

VOTF, which takes no stands on controversial issues such as gay, married or female priests, says the authority for lay Catholics to organize and flex their muscle stems from the language of the Vatican II church reforms, which call on laity to assume key roles in the church.

``We want to serve as a counterbalance to the church hierarchy,'' Muller said. ``If we had been consulted 10 years ago, (Bernard) Cardinal Law and our church would not be in this position today.''

Stephen Pope, chairman of the theology department at Boston College, said church teachings are on their side.

``I believe that the tradition of the church and the theology of the church is with the spirit of the movement you represent,'' he said.

Dr. Joseph Murray, a winner of the Nobel Prize for Medicine and member of the Pontificial Academy of Sciences, said Law has lost credibility with the masses.

``My confidence in (Law's) leadership is increasingly being tested,'' he said.

Even as the VOTF movement gathered steam, a rare chink appeared in the archdiocesan armor in Lowell.

In a church bulletin issued Saturday, the Rev. Albert L. Capone told St. Michael's churchgoers the parish would eschew Law's annual ``Cardinal's Appeal'' and Promise for Tomorrow campaign.

``We must attend to immediate needs of the parish - the pain, fear, stress and hurt we are all experiencing as a result of this present crisis,'' he wrote.

Robert A. Sherman, an attorney representing alleged Birmingham victims, said there is ``a mutiny by priests against the cardinal.''


TOPICS: Crime/Corruption; Culture/Society; News/Current Events; US: Massachusetts
KEYWORDS: boston; cardinallaw; catholic; catholicchurch; catholiclist

1 posted on 04/30/2002 4:54:32 AM PDT by american colleen
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To: catholic_list
Cardinal Law Opposes Parish Groups

BOSTON (AP) - Cardinal Bernard Law risks alienating his most devoted followers by cracking down on a proposed coalition of lay groups representing parishes in the Boston archdiocese, some church experts said Saturday.

Law's directive to priests, sent Thursday by a senior bishop, came just days after American cardinals meeting at the Vatican urged the laity to take a greater role in the wake of the clergy sex abuse scandal.

``You have the potential for some combustible material here,'' Boston College church historian Thomas O'Connor said Saturday.

David Zizik, vice chairman of the parish council at St. Theresa in Sherborn, has proposed that a group comprising one person from each of the more than 300 parish councils meets with archdiocese officials.

Parish councils are made up of volunteers who aid their parish in organizing, fund-raising and advising the pastor.

Law learned of the proposal while in Rome. Bishop Walter Edyvean, on Law's behalf, sent a letter invoking Canon Law to point out that any parish council remains ``exclusively within the parish where it has been established and it is presided over by the pastor of that parish.''

Another lay group would be ``superfluous and potentially divisive,'' the letter said.

The archdiocese's reaction to the proposal caused disbelief among some Catholics.

``I'm shocked,'' said Jim Muller, president of Voice of the Faithful, a lay group. ``The divisiveness is going to be in response to the order.''

If Catholics cannot meet with the blessing of the archdiocese, they might seek out other venues, Muller said.

O'Connor said the move could backfire, especially after Law pledged to foster an atmosphere of openness.

``It seems surprising from a political point of view,'' he said. ``From a historical point of view, it seems like a sudden attempt to turn the clock back. Given the current emotional outrage, it seems unlikely that it would work. It's more likely it would produce a greater level of outrage.''

Some prominent Catholics, however, said it might be a good idea to go slow on the proposal.

``The church is not involved in public relations,'' said Ray Flynn, former Boston mayor and U.S. ambassador to the Vatican. ``They can't be guided by a populist movement that on the surface sounds good. The devil is in the details.''

2 posted on 04/30/2002 4:59:52 AM PDT by american colleen
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To: american colleen
...Coming to a parish near you "Muller said at least 50 parishes around the nation have now asked for guidance in establishing VOTF chapters. More than 1,200 people signed up on the group's web site during the last 48 hours, organizer Paul Baier said."

Cardinal Law is right about this, but has lost any credibility he had - another reason he has to go. This is pretty scary, folks. Originally, I thought VOTF sounded pretty orthodox, but it appears they are just another group that wants to change the church. Notice they take no stand on "controversial issues" (read homosexual priests, celibacy and female ordination). ..."the authority for lay Catholics to organize and flex their muscle stems from the language of the Vatican II church reforms, which call on laity to assume key roles in the church."

Scary. Anyone else wondering about a schism between the Roman Catholic Church in America and the American Catholic Church?

3 posted on 04/30/2002 5:11:03 AM PDT by american colleen
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To: american colleen
Scary. Anyone else wondering about a schism between the Roman Catholic Church in America and the American Catholic Church?

I don't like seeing this crisis in the church being used as an excuse to promote the agenda of those who want to change the basic tenets of the church. The first priority right now has to be to clean house. A lot of very fine people who care deeply about their relationship with the Church are suffering deeply right now. They deserve better.

Right now, the world needs a Catholic Church that has moral authority...if the Vatican weren't so busy with this scandal it could've been able to do something about issues like the siege on the Church of the Nativity and carnage in the Middle East and Africa.

4 posted on 04/30/2002 5:21:22 AM PDT by grania
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Comment #5 Removed by Moderator

To: grania
Right now, the world needs a Catholic Church that has moral authority...if the Vatican weren't so busy with this scandal it could've been able to do something about issues like the siege on the Church of the Nativity and carnage in the Middle East and Africa.

Yes, you are right. If you think like I do, this entire evil scandal is deliberate... and in matters where the Church formerly could be a "beacon of light", Her beacon has been dimmed considerably by the evils of men within Her.

6 posted on 04/30/2002 5:32:02 AM PDT by american colleen
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To: one_particular_harbour
Actually, I'd call it Refomation II. After all the Counter-Reformation was the Church hierarchy's response to the Reformation. No Luther or Calvin has yet emerged, but perhaps a conservative reformer will. Remember that the original Protestants were trying to bring the Church back to its roots and reform from within. If its actions so far are any indication, the Church will probably make the same order of mistakes now as it did in the first half of the 16th century.
7 posted on 04/30/2002 5:33:15 AM PDT by CatoRenasci
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To: american colleen
In matters where the Church formerly could be a "beacon of light" .... Her beacon has been dimmed considerably by the evils of men within Her.

And this is surprising? The Church has survived in spite of the venal men who have led it from time to time -- think of Popes like Alexander VI (Ceasare Borgia), Cardinals like Richelieu and Bishops like Talleyrand, of the scandals that led first to the founding and then to the reform of various orders of monks and nuns, of the abuses that led to the Reformation. As painful as it may be, read what the Protestant historians such as von Ranke (History of the Popes) have written on the Church in the late medieveal, renaissance and reformation periods. I suggest that despite their obvious hostility to Rome, because the Church approved historians consistently minimize the problems that led to the Reformation. The Reformation, regardless of what one things fo it, and regardless of whether it was heretical or not, came out of sincere righteous anger and indignation at very real abuses in the Church and frustration at all attempts to reform the Church from within. American Catholics have never much been given to learning about the Reformation, perhaps now would be a good time for both the hierarchy and laity to really read what the Protestants and their historians were saying, if only to understand why the hierarchy's intransigence now is playing with fire far beyond their human understanding.

8 posted on 04/30/2002 5:42:43 AM PDT by CatoRenasci
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To: CatoRenasci;American Colleen
Robert A. Sherman, an attorney representing alleged Birmingham victims, said there is ``a mutiny by priests against the cardinal.''

It will take a "mutiny" by parishioners who decide to withold their offerings

9 posted on 04/30/2002 5:44:36 AM PDT by Dr. Scarpetta
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To: american colleen
Scary. Anyone else wondering about a schism between the Roman Catholic Church in America and the American Catholic Church?

Schism is not always a bad thing for the Church. When a limb rots with gangrene, it has to be amputated lest the rot spread.

The AmChurch (and the CanChurch, for that matter) have only in juridical communion with Rome since Vatican II, not spiritual communion. It is clear that the Catholic Church and the American Church do not share the same faith.

< rant > As far as I'm concerned, the AmChurch and CanChurch can go and take their altar girls, guitar choirs, chickenhawk priests, Earth Mother-worshipping nuns, lay women busybodies and feel-good semi-Unitarian theology with them. Let the Roman Catholics get on with the job of restoring the Church. < /rant >

10 posted on 04/30/2002 6:13:36 AM PDT by Loyalist
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To: CatoRenasci
Thanks for your thoughtful words. I'm married to a (lapsed) Lutheran and have read fairly extensively on the Reformation (from both the Catholic and Non-Catholic angles) - and you are right, the Reformation was born of sincere righteous anger. The only unfortunate part is that now we need the term "seperated brethren" - had Rome listened to *some* of M. Luther's proposed reforms, we might have avoided some of the resultant heartache.

However, the "reforms" proposed by some of the newly forming dissenting groups are not proposing "reforms" that correct the problems within the Church. They are groups with agendas that propose changing dogma and will consequently bring the Catholic Church more in line with some of the mainstream Protestant religions.

I believe that only an adherence to Catholic Catachism will rid the Church of the evil within.

11 posted on 04/30/2002 6:23:25 AM PDT by american colleen
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To: american colleen
Notice they take no stand on "controversial issues" (read homosexual priests, celibacy and female ordination). ..."the authority for lay Catholics to organize and flex their muscle stems from the language of the Vatican II church reforms, which call on laity to assume key roles in the church."

This also appears to be the war plan of homosexual groups within the church. A story in the NYT yesterday quoted members of a "gay Catholic church" (an oxymoron) in San Francisco -- totally denying that homosexual priests are the problem, but ranting about the removal of bishops. In other words, their tactic is to ignore the real issues, and focus on attacking the hierarchy. I don't think it would be a bad idea if these "gay congregations" and doctrinal reformers split off from the Church, but that isn't their goal; as with the gay movement, their aim is acceptance within the establishment. Watch for them to attack conservative bishops as well as the cardinals and bishops involved in the cover-up.

12 posted on 04/30/2002 6:29:33 AM PDT by browardchad
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To: one_particular_harbour
No. Not counter-reformation. What you are witnessing is the replication of the "comunidades de base" (base communities) that came out of Latin America's Marxist-dominated "Liberation theology" in the nineteen sixties. To destroy the Church you must first destroy its heirarchy, That is done by the creation of thousands of independent base communities whose pastors act independently of their bishops and arch-bishops.
13 posted on 04/30/2002 6:31:34 AM PDT by gaspar
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To: Loyalist
< rant > As far as I'm concerned, the AmChurch and CanChurch can go and take their altar girls, guitar choirs, chickenhawk priests, Earth Mother-worshipping nuns, lay women busybodies and feel-good semi-Unitarian theology with them. Let the Roman Catholics get on with the job of restoring the Church. < /rant >

I know you are right, and I do agree with you, but I'm one of those Rodney King types - why can't we all get along?

I believe that the AmChurch (and CanChurch) was born of the watering down of Church teaching over the past 30 - 40 years and if these people really knew Catholicism and what it stands for and what it teaches, they would come back/remain in communion with Rome. So, we need the priests and catechists to step up to the plate and teach morals and preach on sin and salvation and repentance. At least if parishioners go, they won't go in ignorance.

14 posted on 04/30/2002 6:32:32 AM PDT by american colleen
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To: american colleen
I am staying with Rome, I don't care how far I have to go for Mass, I will stay with Rome.
15 posted on 04/30/2002 6:36:27 AM PDT by StAthanasiustheGreat
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To: browardchad
I don't think it would be a bad idea if these "gay congregations" and doctrinal reformers split off from the Church, but that isn't their goal; as with the gay movement, their aim is acceptance within the establishment.

Yes, I agree with you. The sad part is, many of the laity who have been subjected to "love your neighbor" "don't judge others", etc., ect., homilies over the past 30 years are unwitting accomplices. I find that most people I know take things on face value - if you look below the surface on this HOMOSEXUAL (not pedophile) problem, you can see that it was/is a concerted infiltration plan to wreak havoc on the Roman Catholic Church.

16 posted on 04/30/2002 6:39:57 AM PDT by american colleen
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To: grania
What buisness does the Vatican have trying to stop Israel from going after terrorist in its own territory?
17 posted on 04/30/2002 6:40:10 AM PDT by weikel
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To: NWU Army ROTC
I'll stay with you!
18 posted on 04/30/2002 6:40:23 AM PDT by american colleen
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To: american colleen
Glad to hear it.
19 posted on 04/30/2002 6:44:57 AM PDT by StAthanasiustheGreat
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To: CatoRenasci
The Reformation, regardless of what one things fo it, and regardless of whether it was heretical or not, came out of sincere righteous anger and indignation at very real abuses in the Church and frustration at all attempts to reform the Church from within.

100% correct
20 posted on 04/30/2002 6:53:03 AM PDT by uncbob
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To: american colleen
It would be really nice to see a revolution of Good Priests who can effect change from the inside of the church.

Cardinal Law looks a little like Humpty Dumpty at the moment and he deserves the position.

It certainly looks like the VOTF group is gaining momentum, I hope so.

21 posted on 04/30/2002 6:54:36 AM PDT by chatham
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To: american colleen
So, we need the priests and catechists to step up to the plate and teach morals and preach on sin and salvation and repentance. At least if parishioners go, they won't go in ignorance.

Trouble is those parishoners almost universally ignore what was and is one of the Church's main tenets of the 20th century, that birth control is a sin.

When you already have this many people ignoring a loudly proclaimed facet of the teaching of the Popes it will not be that hard to get them to break away
22 posted on 04/30/2002 6:58:05 AM PDT by uncbob
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To: american colleen
I really love the Name of the Pastor of St. Michael's in Lowell.

Rev. Al Capone couldn't be more appropriate.

God sure does work in Mysterious ways..

23 posted on 04/30/2002 6:58:42 AM PDT by chatham
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To: weikel
What buisness does the Vatican have trying to stop Israel from going after terrorist in its own territory?

That Church is the birthplace of Christ...it's god's territory.

24 posted on 04/30/2002 7:04:40 AM PDT by grania
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To: chatham
It certainly looks like the VOTF group is gaining momentum, I hope so.

I thought the same as you, in fact, I even registered at their web site last month - I was going nuts trying to figure out what I could do to help the Church and VOTF sounded like it was a group that upheld Church teaching. But, the more I hear about them, the more I realize that in fact, they are no different from the other *agents* for change groups. VOTF does not tackle "controversial issues" -homosexuality, married priests or the ordination of women, and that is a tacit agreement with those issues.

One of the reasons that we are in the predicament that we are in is that the Cardinals have listened to the laity (and I mean psycologists, psychiatrists including non-Catholics) and have gone "PC" over the past 30 - 40 years instead of remaining true to Church teaching. The evil was spawned by the relaxing of Church teaching and admitting dissenters into the seminaries and colleges.

Look at the Voice of the Faithful website - NO WHERE does it state that it is faithful to the teaching of the Catholic Church. In fact, its motto is:

"Keep the Faith, Change the Church"

Now, what does that mean? Sounds like some of the "gay Catholic" sites.

25 posted on 04/30/2002 7:11:57 AM PDT by american colleen
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To: history_matters, saradippity
*ping*
26 posted on 04/30/2002 7:14:57 AM PDT by american colleen
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To: american colleen
Scary. Anyone else wondering about a schism between the Roman Catholic Church in America and the American Catholic Church?

I'm for the schism and I'll stay with Rome!

27 posted on 04/30/2002 7:22:23 AM PDT by Feldkurat_Katz
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To: american colleen
I have been investigating VOTF and have talked with a few organizers. This organization is not for conservative Catholics who love Peter and the Church. There are many conservative Catholics who are getting sucked in by this group, but if you dig underneath it a bit you find the same AmChurch agenda grinding on.

We do need Counter-Reformation II, and we have need of souls like St. Theresa of Avila, St. John of the Cross, and St. Catherine of Siena. Mother Angelica has certainly led the vanguard in trying to rescue the Church in America from the AmChurch evildoers.

More later.....

28 posted on 04/30/2002 7:40:14 AM PDT by history_matters
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To: CatoRenasci
"The Reformation, ... came out of sincere righteous anger and indignation at very real abuses in the Church and frustration at all attempts to reform the Church from within. American Catholics have never much been given to learning about the Reformation, perhaps now would be a good time for both the hierarchy and laity to really read what the Protestants and their historians were saying .."

One could begin HERE and HERE

29 posted on 04/30/2002 7:46:21 AM PDT by Matchett-PI
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To: american colleen
The basic Church does not need changing but the Management needs a complete overhaul from top to bottom.

The Hierarchy needs a Purge and Purification to excise the Rot and get back to the basics the Church was built upon.

Because of your post I will be a little more wary of the goals of Votf.Thanks

30 posted on 04/30/2002 9:15:56 AM PDT by chatham
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To: american colleen
The basic Church does not need changing but the Management needs a complete overhaul from top to bottom.

The Hierarchy needs a Purge and Purification to excise the Rot and get back to the basics the Church was built upon.

Because of your post I will be a little more wary of the goals of Votf.Thanks

31 posted on 04/30/2002 9:17:19 AM PDT by chatham
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To: grania
Everything is God's territory doesn't mean that any part of it can be allowed to be a terrorist sanctuary...
32 posted on 04/30/2002 11:06:44 AM PDT by weikel
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To: one_particular_harbour
>>>Are we seeing the beginning of Counter-Reformation II?

Not here, no. I don't think there are any orthodox Catholics in Wellesely, having lived right next door. They all traveled to the Church I went to. The article claims they are trying to voice the concerns of conservative Catholics and mainstream Catholics. Well, out in Boston a mainstream Catholic is a cafeteria Catholic who actually believes 25% of what the Church teaches. The liberals are the ones who believe 1% or more, but can't quite get enough momentum to leave the Church.

There is a reason this group isn't voicing its views on "gay, married or female priests." Can you imagine an orthodox Catholic who has trouble articulating positions on gay or female priests? Married may be debatable, but not the other two, at least for a Catholic.

I do see the counter reformation II coming, but not here.

patent

33 posted on 04/30/2002 12:29:46 PM PDT by patent
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To: american colleen;history_matters
Thanks for the ping.It has been clear for some time that we have had two churches co-existing within the structure of the Roman Catholic Church.For purposes of clarity,I call one the Catholic Church and the other the catholic church. Years ago Thomas Sowell wrote a wonderful book called a "Conflict in Visions". He said it was pretty easy after observing people and the causes they espoused to determine what their vision of man was.An organization with a conflict in vision could not long endure. This is what we have in the Church right now,a major conflict in visions.

The Catholic Church was established by Christ and is in union with the Pope and Magisterium.It is often known as the Body of Christ and is composed of the People of God in the world.The adherents consider themselves orthodox,conservative and/or traditional,they hold to the 2000 year old teachings of the Church,they view Truth as absolute,subject to discernment and development as man has more tools available to probe the universe.They see God as Triune,unchanging,personal,transcendent;a creator endowed with omnipotent,omnipresent and omniscient qualities that made us to know,love and serve Him and to be with Him forever in heaven.

The catholic church establishes christ in accordance with the desires of the most powerful of the magisterium of the people.The adherents consider themselves to be "progressive",marxist,and/or democratic,they hold to ever changing "truths"established by the whim of the people.They see god made in man's image and subject to change based on the feelings of the people.The god they have designed,at this time,is very loving and merciful and good and wants man to enjoy himself in this world because it's the only thing man can be sure of.However,if there is more it will be good and all will go there.

Succinctly,we have the Catholic Church and God's People on earth or the catholic church and the "godpeoples" on earth.I think thats what the choice is going to boil down to as it becomes increasingly clear that we have A CONFLICT OF VISIONS.

I do think that if Catholics start praying and thinking and proclaiming and acting in accordance with Catholic teaching,the ring of Truth will hit a lot of the people sleeping in the pews between the eyes and the choice they will make will surprise the "enemy".

34 posted on 04/30/2002 5:56:09 PM PDT by saradippity
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To: chatham
Check this out.
35 posted on 08/10/2002 6:25:30 AM PDT by american colleen
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