Outside group wants to open bishop selection process to laity’s voice

NW Times

By Bill Dolan bill.dolan@nwi.com, (219) 662-5328

GARY | A national organization advocating change within the Roman Catholic church wants local parishioners to use the group’s website to tell church fathers who should be the diocese’s next bishop.

“Church law encourages all Catholics to express their views on Church matters that concern them, and this includes who their new bishop may be,” Nick Ingala, a spokesman for Voice of the Faithful, said Tuesday.

However, Debbie Bosak, communications director for the Gary Catholic Diocese, said she is skeptical of the the group, which first formed a dozen years ago in response to the sex abuse scandal of recent years.

“They are not an official organization of the Catholic Church but rather a dissident group of lay Catholics with an agenda,” she said.

Ingala said Voice of the Faithful, headquartered in Newton, Mass., supports “survivors of clerical sexual abuse, recognizes priests of integrity and seeks to shape structural change in the Church,” and wants greater participation in bishop selection.

He said the group’s motto is, “Keep the Faith, Change the Church.”

“That change-the-church part really does create some opposition,” he said, adding his group isn’t challenging the pope’s authority to name bishops.

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