Wednesday, February 12, 2014

Bishop Frank Caggiano: the future of the Church

New Bridgeport Diocese Bishop Frank Caggiano is scheduled to address a group of Catholics about the future of the church.

That may not sound like major news. That should not be major news. But the head of the group isn't wrong to say, "It's practically historic."

For this group is the Voice of the Faithful, which formed 12 years ago to campaign for reform in the church in the wake of lawsuits and scandals involving the sexual abuse of children by priests.

The group's members were ignored by Caggiano's predecessor, Bishop William Lori, who responded only by banning them from meeting on diocesan property.

Lori took the post just in time to deal with the fallout of 109 sexual abuse cases involving 32 priests from 1960 to 1990, more than a decade before his arrival in 2001. New scandals surfaced over subsequent years. Michael Jude Fay, former pastor of St. John Church in Darien, pled guilty to stealing more than $1 million from his parish. Michael Moynihan, former pastor of St. Michael the Archangel in Greenwich, was sentenced to five months in prison in 2011 on charges related to $400,000 in parish funds that were missing. Kevin Wallin, former pastor of St. Augustine Cathedral in Bridgeport, pleaded guilty last year to selling $300,000 worth of methamphetamine.

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