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Spotlight Report

Bishop, lay group set to meet

By Michael Paulson, Globe Staff, 3/11/2003

Breaking a stalemate of several months, Bishop Richard G. Lennon, the interim administrator of the Archdiocese of Boston, plans to hold his first meeting today with the president of Voice of the Faithful.

Lennon is scheduled to meet with James E. Post, the Boston University management professor who heads the lay organization, at the bishop's office this afternoon, according to both Lennon's spokeswoman and a spokeswoman for Voice of the Faithful.

Post plans to ask Lennon to lift a ban that prohibits chapters of Voice of the Faithful formed since Oct. 12 from meeting on church property, according to the Voice of the Faithful spokeswoman. He also plans to ask Lennon to accept money raised by the lay organization for use by Catholic ministries.

Voice of the Faithful was formed in Wellesley a year ago by Catholics upset about the church's handling of the clergy sexual abuse crisis. The organization says it intends to support ''priests of integrity'' and victims of abuse, and to push for structural change that would give laypeople a greater voice in the church.

Lennon's predecessor, Cardinal Bernard F. Law, met with Post and other Voice of the Faithful leaders on Nov. 26, but did not respond to the organization's requests before resigning on Dec. 13. The group has been trying to meet with Lennon for three months, since he was appointed to temporarily oversee the archdiocese.

This story ran on page B5 of the Boston Globe on 3/11/2003.
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