May 16, 2005

Catholic lay group lacks church approval, but not convictions

Chicago Tribune

By Rita Hoover
Special to the Tribune
Published May 16, 2005

ROCKFORD -- Defying the bishop of the Rockford diocese, local members of a Catholic lay organization held a meeting Sunday in a church sanctuary.

Bishop Thomas Doran, who has said Voice of the Faithful is not a sanctioned Catholic group, has denied the Rockford affiliate of the organization the right to meet on church property and refused to meet with members.

Aimee Carevich Hariramani, an official of Voice of the Faithful who came from Boston to attend the meeting, called Sunday's participants pioneers.

"This is a really special moment in the life of this group," she said.

Voice of the Faithful was formed in response to the sexual-abuse crisis in the Catholic Church. According to its literature, the group's mission is threefold: support victims of clergy abuse, support priests of integrity and shape structural change within the parameters of the church.

Started in 2002 with a handful of members in Massachusetts, the group now claims more than 25,000 registered supporters in the U.S. and 21 other countries.

Posted by kshaw at May 16, 2005 07:23 AM