October 13, 2005

Keeping faith, but not status quo

San Mateo County Times


HEADS BOWED in prayer, the gray-haired group of Roman Catholics who gathered Sunday at St. Matthews Catholic Church had a much more controversial agenda than their appearances would suggest: to discuss naming the next Archbishop of San Francisco.

Controversial, because lay people haven't had a role in voting for bishops or archbishops in more than 500 years.

The members of Voice of the Faithful's Northern California chapter, a lay Catholic group whose motto is "Keep the faith, change the Church," would like to alter all that.

According to the nationwide group, 80 of whose members were at the meeting on Sunday, the Church is ripe for change. Revelations of widespread child sex abuse shattered its image and exposed its lack of accountability. Western youths are deserting the Church in droves, and fewer priests are joining its ranks.

"The bishops have to realize that the lay people are not going to stand for their malfeasance," said Ed Gleason, a coordinator for Voice of the Faithful. "We've been shut out."

Posted by kshaw at October 13, 2005 10:02 AM