July 10, 2005

Catholic reform group approves resolutions on tougher laws, finances

Worcester Telegram & Gazette

Associated Press Writer

INDIANAPOLIS— The Catholic lay reform group Voice of the Faithful approved draft resolutions Sunday calling for tougher laws against abusive priests and the bishops who have protected them.

In the conclusion to the grass-roots movement's first national meeting in three years, nearly 600 local organizers also approved a draft resolution that calls for greater financial transparency in the church.

Bishops, who hold ultimate decision-making power in their dioceses and the church, are likely to reject most of the proposals the group approved.

However, some of the proposals are outside their control, such as the resolution to "promote legislation that protects children and holds bishops accountable for their failure to protect their children."

"The message was we've got to be a stronger voice on the statutes of limitations," said Jim Post, president of the Newton, Mass.-based group.

Other resolutions that won approval called for the election of bishops by representatives of dioceses' laity and clergy, greater collaboration between clergy and laity and an increased lay voice in diocesan and U.S. church decisions.

Posted by kshaw at July 10, 2005 06:42 PM