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The Banned Play On

We call on all Bishops to voice opposition and ban Voice of the Faithful. [ VOTF ]


Since the first week of August Voice of The Faithful has been opposed and banned from Church property in nine dioceses across The United States .

Banned by Bishop Gerry in Portland, ME.

Banned by Bishop Lori in Bridgeport, CT.

Banned by Bishop Murphy in Rockville Centre, NY.

Banned by Bishop Daly in Brooklyn, NY.

Banned by Bishop Meyers in Newark, NJ.

Banned by Bishop DiMarzio in Camden, NJ.

Banned by Bishop Vasa in Baker, OR.

Banned by Bishop Allue ,No Andover, Ma

Banned by Bishop Pilarczyk Dayton ,Ohio

Banned by Bishop Donaghue , Atlanta, GA

Banned by Archbishop Michael Sheehan , Phoenix , AZ

Banned by Archbishop Michael Sheehan , Santa Fe , NM

And, frozen - - in Boston, MA, by Cardinal Law.





Maine - Voice of the Faithful act in opposition to Bishop Gerry , Portland ,Maine .

Speaking Series Despite Obstructions


Portland, Maine - January 16, 2003 - Voice of the Faithful ( VOTF ), a group of over 25,000 lay Catholics formed in response to the sexual abuse crisis in the Catholic Church, continues its speaking series in Maine with an informative dialogue regarding the rights and responsibilities of the laity and clergy by Jesuit Priest, Rev. William Clark, S.J., who holds a doctorate in theology from the Weston Jesuit School of Theology. This latest lecture was originally targeted for Cheverus High School, a Jesuit facility located in Portland, Maine. However, Cheverus refused to host Rev. Clark's talk because the event is sponsored by VOTF. VOTF's Maine affiliates will now host this free public event in the parish hall at Most Holy Trinity Catholic Church, 271 Maine Street, Saco, Maine, at 7:00 p.m., Wednesday, January 22, 2003.


"In the midst of the worst crisis facing the Catholic Church in its entire 500 year history in North America, it is astonishing that some bishops and Catholic educators think the best solution is to ban Catholics from gathering on church property to talk about the Church's problems," said Jim Post, president, Voice of the Faithful. "Catholic leaders need to stop preventing open and honest dialogue. They should join with Voice of the Faithful and thousands of Catholic laity across the country, to promote and foster effective healing via community discussions."


Paul Kendrick, a founding member of VOTF's Maine affiliate and Jesuit educated at Cheverus and Fairfield University, finds Bishop Joseph Gerry's (bishop of the Maine Diocese) continued edict to ban VOTF from church property and in particular the banning of a Catholic theologian and VOTF speaker from a Jesuit school very disturbing.


"The banning of a Jesuit Priest from Jesuit property is quite troubling. VOTF's Maine affiliates have been diligently working to bring educated, well-informed Catholic speakers to Maine, only to be ostracized by local Catholic leaders and now, Jesuit educators. The continued banning of VOTF group meetings and the barring of open and honest dialogue via notable Catholics is an affront to all laity."


Rev. Clark's Topic: Role of the Laity in the Roman Catholic Church in the 21st Century Rev. Clark will detail: the authority of the laity to speak within the Catholic Church; the canonical, moral, and theological obligation of clergy and laity to listen to the voice of the Spirit in the numerous places it can be heard, as well as the potential role of Voice of the Faithful and other active lay groups as bridges between the growing polar extremes in the Catholic Church today.


"I am increasingly concerned that on all sides, dialogue in the Catholic Church is so often precluded before it has begun; we pay much more attention to labels and affiliations while dangerously postponing the healing the church so desperately needs," said Rev. William Clark.


About Rev. William J. Clark

Rev. William Clark, S.J., joined the faculty of the College of the Holy Cross in the fall of 2001, and is currently an Assistant Professor of Religious Studies. He has written extensively on the continuing significance of the declarations that came out of Vatican II with particular emphasis on the rightful function of the parish-level faithful in their ministry as a People of God. Rev. Clark is a 1980 graduate of Williams College (magna cum laude; Phi Beta Kappa), where he majored in history, and also holds an M.A. in political philosophy from Loyola University of Chicago. He studied theology at the Weston Jesuit School of Theology (M.Div., 1992; S.T.L., 1995; S.T.D., 2001), specializing in systematic theology with a particular emphasis on ecclesiology.


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