There was something question in a post below as to whether VOTF had permission to celebrate an outdoor Mass. I assumed they hadn’t but never received a reply from the Archdiocese. In an article in the Boston Globe it says:
The two-hour, Voice of the Faithful-organized Mass, which was neither authorized nor condemned by archdiocesan officials, was meant, organizers said, to offer a show of strength by parishioners at some of the 82 parishes slated for closure this year by Archbishop Sean P. O’Malley.
Four priests who lead parishes targeted for closure officiated at the Mass, and along a walkway organizers had arrayed small white placards bearing the names of the closing parishes meant to evoke tombstones:
That is the real problem I have with groups like VOTF is that here they basically had a protest Mass With too many of these people in attendance they put their loyalty in the local church and not the Church universal. I can understand how difficult it must be to have a parish close especially if you were baptized there. But these groups (as with all of us) would do much better if they spent their time praying for vocations and learning their faith.
Many worshipers appeared angry at the archdiocese.
"They’re not only closing churches, they’re closing families, because our church is a family," said Michele Cannizzaro, 36, of Charlestown, a parishioner at St. Catherine of Siena Church, also slated to close.
Maureen Bannon, 64, a parishioner at St. Anselm Church in Sudbury, said, "Our hierarchy tells us we are the church, so we want them to hear our voice. No more will we be silent. What they’re doing is wrong, especially to parishes like St. Anselm’s that are strong, vibrant, and financially independent. We weren’t asking them for anything, we were just giving, giving, giving. But will we be heard?"
Unfortunately this seems to be the prevalent attitude among them and they use words like target making it seem like the Archbishop closed parishes because he a grudge against them. They don’t seem to understand the bigger picture of what hast to be done to consolidate parishes to accommodate all of the people in the diocese.
This picture in the article displays the joyful people at this Mass.
What a picture! Don’t tell me, the homily was delivered by Wavy Gravy!
I heard only 1000 people showed up to this Mass. I think that works out to less than 20 people per parish being closed, on average. Not exactly what you’d call a strong showing by VOTF.
The article says 2000, so 2000 people/82 parishes being closed = 24.4 people per parish.
I don’t agree with the illicit Mass either, but I can sympathize with these people. Primarily because I don’t look at it this way:
“They don’t seem to understand the bigger picture of what hast to be done to consolidate parishes to accommodate all of the people in the diocese.”
See, when I see that, I read it: “They don’t understand the bigger picture of why the Boston Archdiocese has to continue taking, taking and more taking from the laity to pay for the justice owed to victims of sexual abuse because of Cardinal Law’s criminal activity.” In that case, I don’t understand it either, and I think the Church would do well to cease understanding and get involved in some holy anger. Archbishop O’Malley is not handling this well by making the laity pay for his predecessor’s serious, criminal mistakes.
That said, I can’t stand Voice of the Faithful because it’s governed by a group of dissenters.
You said: “…I don’t understand it either, and I think the Church would do well to cease understanding and get involved in some holy anger…”
Well, since the Church is over 99% laity — go ahead and get angry! Let your bishop know! (I am assuming Archbishop O’Malley is YOUR bishop)
Just a reminder that the Church is not some far-away bureaucracy. It’s the body of believers.
Wow, compare the average age of that crowd to a papal gathering. The New Faithful(TM) will be taking over before you know it!
Actually, I saw the Mass advertised in the archdiocesan newspaper, The Pilot. So it must have had permission of O’Malley. The weather was terrible. Remember hurricaine Charley. And some of these parish closings do have us scratching our heads. One of them brings in a lot of money. Another is the fastest growing in the diocese. Others are understandable–poor attendance, run down, etc. I didn’t go but I sense a reconciliation with the bishop. Sometimes I think VOTF and some diocese staff are in cahoots–getting rid of Cardinal Law, or this Mass of healing for the diocese. mmmmmmmmm Who is using whom??????