VOTF Un-banned

As reported in our October 11, 2002, issue ("VOTF Watch," Grant Gallicho), the lay Catholic reform group Voice of the Faithful has roused the ire of several bishops, eight of whom had prohibited it from meeting on church grounds. One such bishop, Thomas V. Daily of Brooklyn, recently had a change of heart. In an April 29 letter to his priests, Daily announced that he was leaving such decisions up to each pastor—essentially lifting his earlier ban. After consulting with a committee of diocesan representatives that Daily established to meet with VOTF members, he found VOTF documents "to be in accord with the teachings of the church." Bishop Daily’s willingness to learn about this burgeoning lay initiative shows a laudable openness to dialogue with the laity. Daily’s reversal also serves to challenge bishops (like William E. Lori of Bridgeport, Connecticut) who have cited VOTF’s "hidden agenda" as their reason for banning the group. Dialogue, it seems, can work.

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