Burlington Free Press
Adam Silverman , Free Press Staff Writer
Emerging from a priest-sex-abuse scandal but still confronting challenges with finances and decreasing participation, Vermont's Roman Catholic diocese is embarking on a yearlong re-examination of church structure and rules.
Bishop of Burlington Christopher Coyne plans to convene "an extraordinary council of the church" known as a synod next year — the first for Vermont's Catholics in more than half a century.
The goal: Find new ways to engage and keep Catholics active in the faith. That's a recognition the church no longer can keep doing what it always has, Coyne said: maintaining numerous parishes, celebrating regular Masses and hoping people will attend.
The decisions that emerge from the synod will be significant for each of Vermont's 118,000 residents who identify as Catholic.