Bishop Lennon told Voice of the Faithful to take a hike yesterday. Okay, that’s not what he said, but, according to VOTF president Jim Post, the bishop said he would not lift the ban on new chapters of VOTF from meeting on church property. He also said he’ll decide by the end of the month whether to accept $35,000 the group is offering to the archdiocese—with strings attached. Thirty-five grand is a lot of money from one perspective, but compared to the shortfall facing the archdiocese—and what VOTF claimed it was going to raise—it’s a drop in the bucket.
What we have here is VOTF posturing and claiming to be what it is not. It is not the major organization of lay Catholics it claims to be. It has claimed 25,000 members for almost a year now, but also claims that it is “growing rapidly.”
So what did Bishop Lennon accomplish yesterday? He mollified the group by meeting with its head, promised to have Bishop Edyvean continue to meet with them, and put off a decision regarding their donation. And they continue to fade into irrelevance.
According to the Boston Herald story, they didn’t discuss VOTF’s push to make the Church more “democratic.” He said Bishop Lennon agreed that there is a need for the archdiocese’s finances to be more transparent and accountable, something most observers agree with.
Incidentally, Bishop Lennon also said he hoped to make a global settlement with victims of sex abuse, setting up a pool of tens of millions of dollars from which victims could draw funds based on a formula.