Reasons behind Church's Decision
By Rev. Christopher Coyne
Boston Globe [Boston MA]
April 7, 2003
ONCE AGAIN, Eileen McNamara reveals her true colors when she advocates that the faithful leave the Catholic Church. Her April 2 column, "The church won't budge," presents an inaccurate picture of the Archdiocese of Boston's decision to decline money from Voice of Faithful. Despite recent financial challenges, the church's mission to serve the poor and needy in society remains an active and strong priority. Thus, it is not accurate to allege that the church would rather subject the poor to hardship.
In fact, the church continues to be the largest private provider of social services in the state of Massachusetts.
Since assuming his role as Apostolic Administrator, Bishop Richard Lennon has met with as many individuals and organizations as his schedule has permitted, including the leadership of Voice of the Faithful. His recent meeting was the fourth meeting in nine months between senior officials from the archdiocese and VOTF.
McNamara's implication that Bishop Lennon would not share power with the people who are the church is erroneous, and also suggests that the donation was intended to buy power and influence. In actuality, the donation was rejected because this separate fund-raising effort creates division, undermines the archdiocese's own fund-raising efforts, and imposes unacceptable restrictions on the use of the donations. In addition, McNamara makes the error of equating VOTF with the laity of the church. Using VOTF's own membership numbers, it is clear that they represent a very small percentage of the Catholics in the Archdiocese of Boston. While they are a voice of some of the faithful, they do not represent all of the faithful, many of whom do not approve of VOTF or the tactics of its leadership. The lay faithful and the clergy of the Archdiocese of Boston continue to address the tragic problem of sexual abuse in the church and the harm done to so many.
Rev. CHRISTOPHER COYNE
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