Voice of the Faithful Calls on Bishops to Fulfill Role As Pastoral Leaders
Organization Dismayed by Bishops’ Recent Exclusionary and Divisive Actions
Newton, Mass. – April 15, 2004 – Members of Voice of the Faithful are calling on bishops to provide genuine pastoral leadership in a time of great turmoil for Catholics in the United States. This call comes as Catholics are reacting to recent decisions by at least two bishops, Archbishop Sean O’Malley and Archbishop John F. Donoghue, excluding women from sacred rituals during Holy Week. The events represent the latest in a series of incidents that have exacerbated existing divisions in the archdioceses of Atlanta and Boston.Faithful Catholics are relieved that some Bishops are following liturgical instructions - of course, those who prefer the "do it yourself" Mass, (more commonly known as the "community worship service" - performance) are perturbed and upset that anyone would listen to Rome when we have the ultimate authority right here - ME!
“As a father whose daughter has gone to Catholic high school and college, I would like to hear Archbishop O’Malley’s rationale for why we educate Catholic women in our Faith, if we are going to treat them as second class citizens,” said John Hynes, chair of the steering committee of Voice of the Faithful – Boston. Hynes, who attended Archbishop O’Malley’s installation at the Cathedral of the Holy Cross, remembers being hopeful about the healing that was promised there. “I am sorely disappointed that Archbishop O’Malley is now sending signals that not all voices are welcome,” he said.
Not all voices are welcomed - We, for instance, do not invoke the help of the Evil One (well, some of us don't) during Holy Mass - Although, I sometimes wonder just what's going on at some of the "do it yourself" specials.
“We have made every effort to work with Archbishop Donoghue, who continues to ban faithful Catholics from meeting on church property,” said Betty Clermont, regional coordinator of Voice of the Faithful in Georgia. “Archbishop Donoghue represents the kind of failed leadership that allowed five decades of clergy sexual abuse to happen – even now, he refuses to fill important positions that will ensure the protection of children in our diocese. The fact that he would not allow women to be a part of the foot-washing ritual exemplifies his unwillingness to listen and to include lay Catholics in any kind of meaningful way.”
He continues to ban "faithful" Catholics from meeting on Church property? It is not even remotely possible to claim to be faithful when one rejects the teaching of the Church - for example, that ordination is reserved solely to men. Rejecting this irreversible teaching places one outside the Church, and hence, one is not properly called "faithful".
Even more bizarre it the flawed opinion that a bishop who is faithful to his calling and faithful to the Holy See can be responsible for causing the recent predatory homosexual scandal in the Church. As the evidence makes clear, and will continue to make clear, it is precisely those bishops and priests who REJECTED the teachings and wisdom of the Church that are responsible for the crisis.
One who follows and obeys Christ, His Church, and the Holy Father does not cause evil. One causes evil by rejecting God's will for one's own will. A failure to understand this basic principle demonstrates the depths of the catechetical crisis in our country.
“We are seeing a pattern of words and actions emerge on the part of some bishops that ignore the wounds of the clergy sexual abuse crisis,” said Steve Krueger, executive director of Voice of the Faithful. “At a time when bishops should especially demonstrate pastoral outreach to all Catholics, recent actions excluding the participation of women in the ritual of foot washing and the divisive rhetoric expressed in our churches surrounding the constitutional debate on gay marriage have only served to create further division in these dioceses, as well as throughout the Church nationally. We need to move forward, not back. The actions and words these bishops have taken are unnecessarily painful for women and men of all ages and persuasions. Such actions are divisive, not unifying.”
Members of Voice of the Faithful are encouraging bishops to work more cooperatively with lay Catholics and to cease using divisive language and tactics.
Teaching the Truth, the Catechism, the faith of our Fathers is divisive???
If these people are serious, then they are advocating, not only, disobedience to God but also a rejection of the moral law in general. The propose that people move foward when they accept what Satan offers us. By all means, let's debate the moral issues of homosexuality and marriage - so we can summarily reject them and fashion our own culture, our own church, and our own god or gods.
Please dear God, grant these people the graces they need to shine light upon their minds so that they can learn to think and the graces to strengthen their will so that they may choose to do the good - to choose to do Your will. And please dear Lord help all of us who wish to preserve your Church from corruption - both from the inside and the outside. Guide us and enlighten us to do Your will.