May 26, 2005

Voice of the Faithful supports victims of clergy abuse

Burlington Union

By Christopher Rocchio/ Staff Writer
Thursday, May 26, 2005

At the beginning of weekly meetings for the Winchester chapter of the Voice of the Faithful (VOTF), Bob Morris asks those in attendance at St. Eulalia's Church in Winchester how many were from different parishes and communities. Several weeks ago he stopped this practice, mainly because so many people were raising their hands.

"Even though we're here at St. Eulalia's, we have always drawn people outside the parish," said Morris.

The Winchester VOTF affiliate recently celebrated its three-year anniversary. Like their weekly meetings, the event had a good turnout of people reminiscing about what the organization has meant to them. The VOTF is centered around three goals: To support survivors of clergy abuse, support priests of integrity and shape structural change in the church.

"The mission statement is to provide a prayerful voice attentive to the spirit through which the faithful can actively participate in the governance and guidance of the church," said Morris.

The VOTF originated in January 2002, when Boston-based newspapers began running articles on a daily basis about the burgeoning Catholic church sexual abuse scandal. Morris said many of the cases involved priests and bishops who allowed abuse to happen, finding quick-fixes, like shuffling the offenders to different parishes or dioceses. While it was not known as the VOTF at the time, the first meeting occurred at St. John the Evangelist in Wellesley Hills.

Posted by kshaw at May 26, 2005 07:35 AM