Bishop Christopher Coyne, leader of the Catholic Diocese of Burlington, announced last week that he will hold a series of six town meetings across the state as “part of a continuing effort to promote full transparency and communication about Catholic matters in Vermont.”
The meetings will take place from 6 to 7:30 p.m. at several locations and dates in January including two in Chittenden County: Jan. 22 at Holy Family Church, 4 Prospect St., Essex Junction; and Jan. 31 at St. John Vianney Church, 160 Hinesburg Road, South Burlington. Others are set for St. Albans, Orleans, Bennington and Rutland.
Coyne said he wants to improve communication “with people in the pews.”
The diocese, like many across the nation, has been rocked by allegations of sexual abuse of minors by clergy, some claims dating back decades. In an effort to demonstrate transparency in facing this scandal, a review committee of seven lay men and women is currently reviewing all clergy personnel files that contain a credible allegation of sexual abuse of a minor with the goal of publishing a list of the names of priest abusers, the diocese said.
“I am ready to listen and respond to concerns and questions from the Catholic community,” Bishop Coyne said. “I think it so important to be as open and transparent about all matters as much as possible.”