Bishop Accountability

September 25, 2002

Dear Parishioners:

A month ago I wrote a letter saying that St. Michael Church would continue to open its facilities for Voice of the Faithful meetings until I received directions from the Cardinal to do otherwise.

Yesterday, September 24th, I received a letter from Bishop Emilio Allue, our Merrimack Regional Bishop. He writes:

At the present time the Archbishop, Cardinal Law, is in dialogue with the leaders of the VOTF through his Vicar General, Bishop Edyvean. These conversations aim at the clarification of all the hidden and open issues involved and promoted by VOTF. These issues touch on the essence of our ecclesiology.

While these issues remain still unresolved in this dialogue, the activities and promotion of the VOTF must be curtailed in order to avoid further ‘scandal’ and polarity among our parishioners. For the sake of unity and Catholic orthodoxy in the parish, it is inappropriate to foster these meetings and to allow the members of the VOTF to meet with the parish councils.

I personally recognize and appreciate your excellent pastoral leadership of that complex parish. At the same time, I do trust you understand that we must cautiously and patiently await the final judgment of the Archbishop on this matter.

Fraternally in the Merciful Heart of Jesus,
[signed] Emilio S. Allue, S.D.B.
Most Reverend Emilio S. Allue, S.D.B.
Auxiliary Bishop of Boston

In this great Church crisis I have always tried to remain obedient to the will of the Ordinary. When I was ordained as a priest I promised always to be obedient to the Ordinary (Archbishop) of the Boston Archdiocese and to his successors.

Bishop Allue is asking us to discontinue permission to use our parish facilities to the Voice of the Faithful until we await the final judgment of the Archbishop who is in dialogue with VOTF leaders through his Vicar General, Bishop Edyvean.

Hopefully, in the days ahead greater integrity, compassionate understanding, and unity can happen throughout our own archdiocese and throughout the Church universal.

Certainly, some faithful parishioners and non-parishioners alike will continue to meet somewhere else as members of the Voice of the Faithful. I pray that God’s Holy Spirit will bring them great wisdom and I pray that faithful VOTF members will help bring practical and orthodox solutions and answers to very complicated and challenging issues in our Church.

Peace in Christ,
[signed] Rev. Paul T. Keyes

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