Bishop Lennon said VOTF is divisive and undermines the bishop’s relationship with the charitable work of the Church, especially as the gift came with strings attached. Jim Post, president of VOTF, sputtered the usual stuff about refusing to hear laypeople, including overblown rhetoric about creating new victims: “This action is creating a new wave of victims in an archdiocese that is not being run on Gospel values of charity and love, but is being run on hierarchical power.” Jim, the annual archdiocesan budget is about $17 million; your $35,000 wouldn’t even make a noise as it dropped into the bucket.
Incidentally, as I observed in the article, VOTF last year claimed it would raise $1 million in one year from people who decided not to give to the archdiocese. So far this year they’ve raised $49,000 from 600 people. Not exactly a rush to support them or their goals.
Catholic Charities, the social service agency that isn’t really Catholic, was also ordered not to take the cash. Last year, Cardinal Law gave them the same order, which they obeyed.. until the day after he resigned. If they show similar “obedience” to Bishop Lennon, I wonder if he’ll actually do anything about it.