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Cardinal Law Finally Meets with Catholic Lay Group

Nearly a year after its inception last January, Catholic lay group Voice of the Faithful (VOTF) finally won a meeting with Cardinal Bernard Law on Tuesday. The global organization, formed amidst the sex abuse scandal and described by its interim executive director Steve Krueger as a group of concerned Catholics who love the church, and want nothing more than to help build the church up, purports to have a membership of 25,000 people from over 20 countries.

Still, the church until Tuesday had shown little interest in engaging with VOTF. Previously, Law refused to accept any financial contributions from VOTF, and just last month, he banned all new chapters from meeting on church property, deeming their meetings inappropriateuntil I had received further information according to the Associated Press.

For the most part, the meeting resulted in few core decisions. VOTF president James Post explained, I dont know how you score itI think we made progress on the relationship side, since we had none and anything was a step forward, reported the New York Times. Twice Law expressed disappointment that he was not consulted prior to VOTFs creation. He also sought clarification regarding the organizations goals and intended relationship with the church. Law agreed to requests for future meetings with archdiocesan officials, but no changes were made regarding the meeting ban or rejection of donations. According to Laws spokeswoman, the group will continue to meet with the cardinal in the future.

In related news, Suffolk Superior Court Judge Constance M. Sweeney ruled Monday that the Boston Archdiocese must release 11,000 internal documents spanning three decades pertaining to 65 priests accused of pedophilia. The churchs request that the documents remain sealed from the public until January received a critical reply from the judge: While the defendants have seemingly produced the documents to opposing counsel at the last minute and under a warning of sanctions and contempt, they still resist public disclosure of those documentsThe court simply will not be toyed with, reported the Associated Press.

Media Resources: 11/26/02; NY Times 11/26/02; Associated Press 11/26/02, 11/27/02