Magazine article National Catholic Reporter

Bay Area Bishops Nix Conference Ad

Magazine article National Catholic Reporter

Bay Area Bishops Nix Conference Ad

Article excerpt

Organizers of a late March conference titled "Imaging the Future Church" and held at Jesuit San Francisco University couldn't get pre-event advertising in local Catholic media because Bay Area prelates do not like one of the sponsors--Voice of the Faithful of Northern California.

The conference featured the president of the Catholic Theological Society of America as the keynote speaker.

Media spokespersons in Oakland and San Francisco confirmed to NCR that after Voice of the Faithful tried to place an ad for the conference in the Catholic Voice, Oakland's diocesan newspaper, Oakland Bishop Allen Vigneron and San Francisco Archbishop William Levada talked about the ad and, at Levada's request, Vigneron instructed his paper to refuse the ad.

The conference went ahead as planned March 27 with some 500 people in attendance--double the anticipated turnout.

Besides Northern California Voice of the Faithful, "Imaging the Future Church" was sponsored by three San Francisco University organizations: the theology department, the St. Ignatius Institute, and the Leo T. McCarthy Center for Public Service and the Common Good.

It featured addresses by two associate professors of theology from Jesuit Boston College, M. Shawn Copeland, who is also the president of the Catholic Theological Society of America, and Immaculate Heart of Mary Sr. Mary Ann Hinsdale.

Speakers on a panel discussion included the author Fr. Donald Cozzens and Vatican watcher Robert Blair Kaiser. James Post, president of the national Voice of the Faithful, offered closing remarks.

"It was a very straightforward conference with nothing terribly radical discussed," according to Evelyn Seely, who attended the conference and describes herself as "an orthodox Catholic."

Seely and her husband, Gordon, coordinate Voice of the Faithful in San Mateo county, part of the San Francisco archdiocese. …

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