Catholic group focuses on successor to Cardinal Francis George
A group of Chicago-area Roman Catholics dedicated to reforming its church is asking parishioners which leader they would like to see at the helm of the Chicago Archdiocese once Cardinal Francis George retires.
Members of Voice of the Faithful, an organization of progressive Catholics focused on church accountability, have set up two websites to solicit suggestions from people in the pews.
Activists said the unprecedented undertaking fulfills centuries-old canon law that calls on the faithful to communicate their needs and weigh in on major decisions.
“The average layman does not realize his duty according to canon law to make needs known when it comes to selecting bishops,” said Mary Jean Cardwell, a parishioner at Sts. Faith, Hope and Charity Catholic Church in Winnetka and one of the initiative’s organizers. “Who knows better the needs of the community than I do? I’ve lived here for 43 years. … So many things have been done by our current cardinal, but there are things that have been left undone. It’s a very important endeavor that we’re doing.”
However, the archdiocese has told parish priests that they are not allowed to advertise the public initiative in their parish bulletins. Although the cardinal supports the group’s goal of energizing people in the pews, the creation of a clearinghouse for communication taints the process, the church said. [more]