Posts Tagged Boston College

Boston College theologian Richard Lennan returns as speaker for 2020 Voice of the Faithful Conference

BOSTON, Mass., Jul. 13, 2020 – Voice of the Faithful is welcoming back Boston College theology professor Fr. Richard Lennan as a speaker at its 2020 Conference: Visions of a Just Church, a virtual Zoom gathering that takes place Oct. 3. VOTF members and others will meet to promote their visions of a just Church 18 years after The Boston Globe brought to light widespread clergy abuse in the Archdiocese of Boston and Voice of the Faithful was founded. After nearly two decades, VOTF continues to address the scandal.

Lennan is professor of systematic theology and Professor Ordinarius in BC’s School of Theology and Ministry. He will speak about the new draft Church governance document which Australia’s bishops will consider this year. Fr. Lennan helped develop the document, which promises to be a guide toward a more lay-participatory Church.

Lennan grew up in Newcastle, Australia, and has been a priest of the diocese of Maitland-Newcastle since 1983. He has taught systematic theology in the Catholic Institute of Sydney and served as president of the Australian Catholic Theological Association. He began teaching at Weston Jesuit School of Theology in 2007 and continued teaching at Boston College after Weston became part of BC. Lennan currently directs STM’s Sacred Theology Licensure program, serves on the editorial board of Theological Studies, and chairs the steering committee of the Karl Rahner Society.

Together with two BC colleagues, Lennan wrote “To Serve the People of God: Renewing the Conversation on Priesthood and Ministry,” about which he spoke at last year’s VOTF conference. The document calls for reexamining the formation process for diocesan priests and eradicating the priesthood’s embedded clerical culture. Lennan also is the author of two books, and he has edited five others.

Also speaking at this year’s VOTF conference will be Catholic studies scholar Phyllis Zagano, Ph.D., who will offer her vision of a just Church. Zagano has lectured widely in this country and abroad. On August 2, 2016, Pope Francis appointed her to the Papal Commission for the Study of Women in the Diaconate, which convened in Rome November 2016. She has published hundreds of articles and is the author or editor of twenty books in religious studies, including award-winning work on women in the diaconate. She currently is senior research associate-in-residence and adjunct professor of religion at Hofstra University.

Zagano is a recipient of the VOTF Catherine of Siena Distinguished Layperson Award, which recognizes exemplary lay leaders who enthusiastically use their gifts in the Church’s service. She also has received the Isaac Hecker Award for Social Justice from The Paulist Center Community in Boston for “her prolific body of work that has constantly echoed the cry of the poorest in our society for dignity and for justice, both inside and outside the Church.”

Conference information and registration is available by clicking here. VOTF expects to add additional speakers to its conference schedule, as well as updates from VOTF leaders on the progress of the organization’s programs and initiatives. Registrants also will gather virtually in small groups on Friday evening, Oct. 2, for the opportunity to meet other attendees and discuss issues affecting the Church today.


Voice of the Faithful News Release, Jul. 13, 2020
Contact: Nick Ingala, nickingala@votf.org, 781-559-3360
Voice of the Faithful®: Voice of the Faithful’s® mission is to provide a prayerful voice, attentive to the Spirit, through which the Faithful can actively participate in the governance and guidance of the Catholic Church. VOTF’s goals are to support survivors of clergy sexual abuse, to support priests of integrity, and to shape structural change within the Catholic Church. More information is at www.votf.org.

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Crucible Moments and the Role of Conscience

A presentation and conversation with authors co-sponsored
by Voice of the Faithful® and Boston College’s Church in the 21st Century Center

Sunday, Sept. 11, 2016, 2:30 p.m.
Church of St. Ignatius of Loyola, 28 Commonwealth Ave., Chestnut Hill, Massachusetts

FromCrisistoCallingMoral decisions can become defining moments in our lives, as well as in the communities where we live. From decisions as diverse as Sasha Chanoff’s work with refugees in Africa to those of Catholics who founded Voice of the Faithful®, David and Sasha Chanoff discuss such “crucible moments” in which conscience prompted an unexpected life path.

The Chanoff’s co-wrote From Crisis to Calling: Finding Your Moral Center in the Toughest Decisions, which features Sasha’s experiences working with refugees and includes a profile of Jim Post and his involvement with Voice of the Faithful® among its stories of “crucible moments.”

The Chanoffs will be available to sign copies of their book, and refreshments will be served following the talk and conversation.

Click here for a flyer you can print and distribute ...

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Storytelling for Healing / Boston College Church in the 21st Century

A lecture about Voice of the Faithful Restorative Justice Healing Circles, “Broken Vessels,” and how they can be a step toward healing for those who have been harmed by the Catholic clergy sexual abuse scandal —

The power of deep listening and safe storytelling ensures a safe place for those telling his or her story. William Casey, former Voice of the Faithful board chair and Northern Virginia Mediation Service Restorative Justice Program director, explains the “Restorative Justice Healing Circle” approach as that safe place in this lecture.”

Posted to YouTube by Boston College Church in the 21st Century Center where this lecture took place on Dec. 3, 2015 — Click here to watch the lecture.

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Healing from sexual abuse scandal was topic for Boston College talk

The U.S. Catholic Church’s primary responses to its clergy sexual abuse scandal have been protection protocols and litigation, that is, promulgating the Dallas Charter for the Protection of Children and Young People and leaving litigation as the primary option for abuse survivors seeking justice.

Conspicuously absent from the Church’s responses have been programs and activities focused on healing wounds from the scandal.

Voice of the Faithful has an approach that the reform movement believes has great potential as a step on the path toward healing for anyone who feels harmed by the scandal. William Casey, a former VOTF board chair and Northern Virginia Mediation Service Restorative Justice Program director, featured this “Restorative Justice Healing Circle” approach in a lecture he presented Dec. 3 at Boston College in Newton, Mass. The college’s Church in the 21st Century Center co-sponsored the event.

Called “Storytelling for Healing,” the lecture explained the power of deep listening and safe storytelling to an attentive audience of BC theology students, VOTF members, abuse survivors and community members. Casey, who also facilitates Healing Circles, described how they ensure a safe place for each participant to tell his or her story. He then quoted testimonials from people who said the Healing Circle had started them on a path toward healing or nurtured healing they were beginning to experience.

Casey also pointed out that the injury caused by clergy abuse spills over into families and friends of survivors and onto all people of faith whose trust is shaken be such betrayal. All affected by this breach in trust are welcomed into a Healing Circle.

Audience questions made it clear the concept of Restorative Justice on which Healing Circles are based is not an easy concept for those living in a 21st century, First-World country, where people are most familiar with retributive and punitive means of redress. Several people expressed their gratitude that VOTF was taking this lead in responding to survivor needs.

More information on Healing Circles is available on VOTF’s Programs webpage.

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Francis Wishes to Release Vatican II’s Bold Vision from Captivity / National Catholic Reporter

In the last 50 years, we have had five popes. The first four were at the Second Vatican Council as either bishops or peritus (theological advisers). Francis may not be a pope from the council, but he is quickly establishing himself as a pope of the council. Each of his recent predecessors, to be sure, carried forward particular elements of the council’s teaching. This pope, however, has received the council’s teaching through his distinctive experiences as a Jesuit, a Latin American and, pre-eminently, as pastor. His pontificate represents a fresh new phase in the ongoing reception of Vatican II, one shaped by a variety of post-conciliar developments.” By Richard Gaillardetz, Joseph Professor of Catholic Systematic Theology, Boston College, in National Catholic Reporter

Read the rest of Prof. Gaillardetz’s article by clicking here.

This is the third in a series of articles in National Catholic Reporter that examine the ramifications of the interview Pope Francis gave to America magazine that was released Sept. 19. The first two articles are “It Will Be Hard to Go Back after Francis’ Papacy” and “The Real Test of Francis’ Reform: Touching the Spiritually Poor.”

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