JESUIT PRIEST BARRED FROM JESUIT PROPERTY
DUE TO VOICE OF THE FAITHFUL SPONSORSHIP
Maine-Based Lay Catholic Group Continues
Speaking Series Despite Obstructions
Portland, Maine - January 16, 2003 - Voice of the Faithful
(VOTF), a group of over 25,000 lay Catholics formed in response
to the sexual abuse crisis in the Catholic Church, continues its
speaking series in Maine with an informative dialogue regarding
the rights and responsibilities of the laity and clergy by Jesuit
Priest, Rev. William Clark, S.J., who holds a doctorate in theology
from the Weston Jesuit School of Theology. This latest lecture was
originally targeted for Cheverus High School, a Jesuit facility
located in Portland, Maine. However, Cheverus refused to host Rev.
Clark's talk because the event is sponsored by VOTF. VOTF's Maine
affiliates will now host this free public event in the parish hall
at Most Holy Trinity Catholic Church, 271 Maine Street, Saco, Maine,
at 7:00 p.m., Wednesday, January 22, 2003.
"In the midst of the worst crisis facing the Catholic Church in
its entire 500-year history in North America, it is astonishing
that some bishops and Catholic educators think the best solution
is to ban Catholics from gathering on church property to talk about
the Church's problems," said Jim Post, president, Voice of the Faithful.
"Catholic leaders need to stop preventing open and honest dialogue.
They should join with Voice of the Faithful and thousands of Catholic
laity across the country, to promote and foster effective healing
via community discussions."
Paul Kendrick, a founding member of VOTF's Maine affiliate and
Jesuit educated at Cheverus and Fairfield University, finds Bishop
Joseph Gerry's (bishop of the Maine Diocese) continued edict to
ban VOTF from church property and in particular the banning of a
Catholic theologian and VOTF speaker from a Jesuit school very disturbing.
"The banning of a Jesuit Priest from Jesuit property is quite troubling.
VOTF's Maine affiliates have been diligently working to bring educated,
well-informed Catholic speakers to Maine, only to be ostracized
by local Catholic leaders and now, Jesuit educators. The continued
banning of VOTF group meetings and the barring of open and honest
dialogue via notable Catholics is an affront to all laity."
Rev. Clark's Topic: Role of the Laity in the Roman Catholic
Church in the 21st Century
Rev. Clark will detail the authority of the laity to speak within
the Catholic Church; the canonical, moral, and theological obligation
of clergy and laity to listen to the voice of the Spirit in the
numerous places it can be heard, as well as the potential role of
Voice of the Faithful and other active lay groups as bridges between
the growing polar extremes in the Catholic Church today.
"I am increasingly concerned that on all sides, dialogue in the
Catholic Church is so often precluded before it has begun; we pay
much more attention to labels and affiliations while dangerously
postponing the healing the church so desperately needs," said Rev.
About Rev. William J. Clark
Rev. William Clark, S.J., joined the faculty of the College of the
Holy Cross in the fall of 2001, and is currently an Assistant Professor
of Religious Studies. He has written extensively on the continuing
significance of the declarations that came out of Vatican II, with
particular emphasis on the rightful function of the parish-level
faithful in their ministry as a People of God. Rev. Clark is a 1980
graduate of Williams College (magna cum laude; Phi Beta Kappa),
where he majored in history, and also holds an M.A. in political
philosophy from Loyola University of Chicago. He studied theology
at the Weston Jesuit School of Theology (M.Div., 1992; S.T.L., 1995;
S.T.D., 2001), specializing in systematic theology with a particular
emphasis on ecclesiology.