In preparation for the February 21 - 24, 2019 meeting of bishops and Pope Francis in Rome, please write your bishop and/or organize a peaceful witness demanding truth, transparency, and effective action.
Actions in Rome During the Rome Meeting
Here are two public witnesses in Rome during the Bishop Meeting.
Thursday, February 21at 6pm (Rome Time), outdoor vigil
Saturday, February 23 at 11am (Rome time), “March To Zero”
Go to https://www.ecaglobal.org/march-to-zero/to learn more and/or participate.
PLATFORM FOR TIME'S UP: CATHOLICS DEMAND TRUTH
- Survivor Justice and Civil Recourse
- Civil investigations of clergy sexual abuse in every state.
- The immediate cessation of efforts to block the lengthening of statutes of limitations on sexual abuse of minors.
- Eliminating nondisclosure agreements that bar victims from cooperating in criminal prosecutions.
- Providing payment for counseling and financial compensation to anyone bringing forth any allegation(s) of sexual abuse by church staff that is deemed credible by an independent panel of expert reviewers.
- Developing a process of public reconciliation where victims and survivors of abuse can speak clearly and directly to church leaders.
- Tightening laws that require professionals to report abuse
- Establishing survivor-led listening sessions in every diocese.
- Establishing systems for diocesan staff and clergy to speak up without retaliation.
- Church Transparency and Accountability
- Open all files regarding sexual abuse at the Vatican, national bishops’ conference, and diocesan levels for review by experts.
- Remove and prosecute all bishops who knowingly reassigned sexually abusive priests from their leadership positions and take steps to ensure that those who are appointed have not engaged in criminal activity.
- Categorically reject any proposal that places a metropolitan bishop in in an oversight position and support Cardinal Blaise Cupich’s statement that the bishops must “cede all authority” to people outside of the hierarchical system creating panels of lay experts (or increasing the independence and authority of the National Lay Review Board) to review and respond to all complaints of sexual abuse and its cover up.
- Publishing compliance reports from each diocese with the DallasCharter for the Protection of Children and Young People on the USCCB website.
- Publishing the names of all credibly accused abusers on diocesan websites.
- Training all church staff to recognize signs of sexual abuse and to support victims.
- Patriarchy and Clericalism Dismantled in All Its Forms
- Including women fully and equally at every level of church ministry and governance.
- Ordaining married men, women, and people of all genders.
- Establishing systems for evaluating the suitability of seminary candidates.
- Reforming seminary education such that the culture of clerical privilege is vanquished and replaced with a culture of mutuality, respect, and the sharing of authority between laity and ordained.
- Establishing a process for participation of local laity in the selection/election of their bishops.
- Establishing robust lay representation on all pastoral councils and ecumenical councils where authority is equally shared by lay and ordained.
- Implementing Vatican II fully by developing lay leadership, authority, ministry, and governance.
“This platform includes points from the Grand Jury recommendations; the recent appeal to the US Bishops ‘For They Preach, but They Do Not Practice’; from SNAP’s statement; and from many other thoughtful writers, groups, and leaders throughout the Catholic Church Reform movement. We are grateful for their support, and we offer ours in return.”
CATHOLIC WOMEN SPEAK UP
#MeToo took off as a global witness to the sexual harassment and violence experienced by the people around us, from every walk of life. Strength in numbers brought powerful testimonies, rattling social media into a cultural reckoning moment: it’s time to talk about sexual violence.
Reporting on the hierarchy of Hollywood revealed a calculated and intentional system of protection for those who abuse. Built to silence victims and normalize harassment, the institutionalization of sexism and violence created a safe haven for abusers.
For Catholics this is a too familiar story: a powerful hierarchy that upholds a culture that normalizes gender inequality, and too often protects abusive men while discrediting and silencing victims.
Just as we know many victims walk away from their dreams because of painful encounters with mentors and colleagues, so too are women leaving the Church.
Structural gender inequality creates conditions for abuse, rejection and silencing. A culture of subordination is codified and upheld by manipulations of scripture, theories of complementarity, and exclusion from decision-making and leadership roles. The extremes of this inequality attempt to justify violence and sexual exploitation. When men decide the rights and roles of women, they deny a woman’s agency as moral and spiritual equals, made in God’s image.
#CatholicToo is a platform for women’s voices and stories of abuse in the Church to be heard and amplified. Join the movement to confront and discredit sacralized sexism. Here we as a Church community can bear witness to victims and survivors, eradiate shame, and celebrate courage and resilience. Let’s be a Church of healing, of truth-telling and of justice.
Also see VoicesofFaith.org.
Make Your Voice Heard