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Law's words frame new play

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Spotlight Report

Cardinal, Voice of Faithful to meet

By Michael Paulson, Globe Staff, 11/26/2002

A small gathering of Boston-area Catholics grew into Voice of the Faithful, a nationwide lay reform group.  
Coverage of Voice of the Faithful
Cardinal Bernard F. Law is scheduled to meet today for the first time with leaders of Voice of the Faithful, a lay group founded in Wellesley this year by Catholics upset over the church's failure to remove from ministry sexually abusive priests.

Voice of the Faithful leaders said they would ask Law, who is the Roman Catholic archbishop of Boston, to reconsider his Oct. 12 decision to bar new chapters of the group from meeting on church property. Law has not interfered with the approximately 30 chapters of the group already meeting in local churches.

Voice of the Faithful leaders also plan to ask Law to accept money raised by the group's philanthropic arm, Voice of Compassion, to help finance church ministries. Law had initially said he would not accept money from the group, because Voice of the Faithful is demanding that none of its contributions be used to fund the church's central administration. But Law has now agreed to reconsider his position.

Voice of the Faithful plans to send to the meeting its president, Boston University management professor James E. Post, as well as its vice president, Bill Cadigan, who is the president of an investment advising firm and who has served on his parish pastoral council; its executive director, Steve Krueger, who has served on the archdiocesan pastoral council; and its liaison to abuse survivors, Mary Scanlon Calcaterra, a nurse practitioner who serves on her parish pastoral council. Law is expected to be accompanied by his vicar general, Bishop Walter J. Edyvean, his secretary, the Rev. John J. Connolly, and his assistant for canonical affairs, the Rev. Mark O'Connell, Krueger said.

Voice of the Faithful, now headquartered in Newton, says it has 25,000 members in more than 100 chapters worldwide. The group says its goals are to support victims of abuse, support priests of integrity, and shape structural change within the church.

Several bishops around the country have barred the group from meeting on church property, expressing concern about the group's expressed desire to shape change, and about the appropriateness of a lay organization debating the future of the church without a bishop present.

This story ran on page A14 of the Boston Globe on 11/26/2002.
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