October 10, 2005

Catholic group convenes to change the church

San Francisco Chronicle

Delfin Vigil, Chronicle Staff Writer

Monday, October 10, 2005

With their gray hair and their overwhelming preference for decaffeinated drinks, the nearly 100 members of the lay Catholic group Voice of the Faithful who gathered inside St. Matthew's Catholic Church gym in San Mateo on Sunday didn't look intimidating.

But theologian Sally Vance-Trembath of San Francisco said leaders of the Catholic Church see the group as a force to be reckoned with.

"Fifty years from now, the Voice of the Faithful will be remembered as the tiny pebble that rolled down the hill and became the biggest thing to hit the church," Vance-Trembath, 51, said before delivering a keynote address to the group, which gathered to discuss its potential role in choosing the next archbishop to lead the San Francisco archdiocese. ...

"Sexual abuse is not the biggest crisis in our church," Vance-Trembath said. "A bishop's deceit is the crisis -- because bishops did not tell the truth about priests abusing children. If we can have a say in who becomes bishop and what qualities they must have, we can end that crisis."

Jenkins said leaders of the San Francisco archdiocese have tried to stunt the group's growth.

Archdiocese spokesman Maurice Healy acknowledged Sunday that he rejected the group's attempt to buy an advertisement announcing the meeting in Catholic San Francisco, the archdiocese's monthly newspaper, which he edits.

Posted by kshaw at October 10, 2005 10:07 AM