Reform Group, Dupre Hold 'Fruitful' Meeting
The Discussion between the Bishop and Voice of the Faithful Members Was Not Open to the Media

By Bill Zajac
Springfield Union-News
April 1, 2003

SPRINGFIELD - Several members of the local affiliate of the Voice of the Faithful met recently for the first time with the Most Rev. Thomas L. Dupre, bishop of the Roman Catholic Diocese of Springfield, and other diocesan officials. The one and a half hour meeting, which was not open to the press, was characterized as "fruitful in fostering greater understanding and respectful dialogue," according to local Voice of the Faithful moderator Ann W. Turner.

A diocesan statement said, "The meeting was held at the request of the local Voice of the Faithful chapter, involved an exchange of information and views, and was cordial, interesting and productive. It was agreed that the parties would meet again in the future."

No date has been set for future meetings.

Voice of the Faithful is a Boston-based worldwide reform organization that formed in the wake of the sexual abuse scandal last year. The group, which claims 25,000 members, is dedicated to having a voice in the governance of the church and supporting sexual abuse victims.

According to a Voice of the Faithful press release on the meeting, the sexual abuse crisis was discussed in broad terms.

In the past year, more than 20 people have filed sexual abuse suits against the Springfield Diocese and at least another 35 have filed complaints with diocese's Misconduct Commission.

Besides Dupre, diocesan representatives at the meeting were: the Rev. Monsignor Richard S. Sniezyk, vicar general; the Rev. Daniel P. Liston, vicar for canonical affairs; and the Rev. George Farland, co-vicar for the clergy.

Members of the Voice of the Faithful group who attended were Mario DePillis, Joan Smola and Robert O'Brien. Bill Zajac can be reached at

Any original material on these pages is copyright © 2004. Reproduce freely with attribution.