Voices in Action

VOTF action engaging the global Catholic community to bring a lay voice into issues affecting the broader Church and the entire People of God

Our platform focuses on conversations about structural change and processes that will foster greater lay participation in the governance and guidance of our Church.


Influence dioceses to initiate consultative processes  (lay input into bishop selection) that involve the participation of the local community (the “People of God”) in the selection of their next bishop, and that encourage selection of the bishop from that local diocesan community.

  • Publish on the VOTF web site the mandatory retirement dates for all bishops and auxiliary bishops in the U.S., to serve as a resource for all laity Also report on the history of bishop selection and how it has evolved.
  • Develop a method for ongoing, incremental lay comment on—and, eventually, input into—the process for identifying suitable candidates for five dioceses by December 2011.


Work with the Priest Support Working Group to foster discussions about mandatory celibacy requirements for diocesan priests.

  • Extend support for the conversations initiated by the national working group.
  • Examine the problems and promises affecting the priesthood today and ask how those realities affect our parishes and sacramental lives.


Carry out work previously initiated on reviewing the roles of women in the Church.

  • Encourage those members who share a concern for the role of women in the Roman Catholic Church to find a comfort level that will facilitate discussion of this subject.
  • We appreciate that a one-size-fits-all approach cannot work; thus, our hope is that a diversity of approaches can be adapted to accommodate a variety of needs