VOTF sent out an e-mail objecting to the guilt-by-association allegations of those opposed to the recent Connecticut legislation proposed to relieve clergy and bishops of financial control of parishes in that state. From the press release:
March 11, 2009 – Boston –Voice of the Faithful fully supports the principle of increased lay participation in the governance and administration of our dioceses and parishes in concert with our bishops and pastors. However, contrary to some press reports, we have not initiated specific legislation either at the national or at the state level to force this participation.
At the national level, we support education of the faithful on our baptismal rights and responsibilities with regard to increased responsibilities and active participation on diocesan and parish finance and pastoral councils based upon the talents and skill sets of competent professionals.
Many dioceses and parishes today lack meaningful lay participation in such councils and fail to provide transparent and accountable financial statements to their parishioners.
And VOTF goes on to cite the criminal acts of the Connecticut priest who funneled over a million dollars of his parishioners into financing a life of luxury, advocating for more tranparency and competent participation from lay people.
Maybe conservatives feel VOTF stole some of their righteous thunder back in 2002. Bishop Lori hasn’t minded casting out wild speculation in his own opposition to this legislation. The vehemence, plus the willingness to play loose with the truth, and it’s a wonder the scattershot approach worked to get the legislators to yank the bill. More likely the consitutional aspects chilled its prospects even before the bishops marshalled their opposition.
More accountability isn’t likely to dent the pile of money coming in via collections, is it?