Contact: Jessica Lillie, firstname.lastname@example.org,
(617) 558-5252, (617) 680-2131 cell
For Immediate release
VOTF Names Bishops Who Should Resign
January 13, 2009 – Boston –Seven years after news of clergy sex abuse exploded in the United States, a new crisis looms in Ireland. Clearly the Church has not yet fully addressed such abuse and the culture that makes it possible. It is time for the leaders who enabled so much abuse to step aside.
Voice of the Faithful calls for an examination of conscience by Church leaders worldwide—and the resignations of those whose actions have led to endangerment of children by sexual predators among the clergy.
Catholic bishops and superiors of religious orders who hold or have held positions of authority should examine their consciences in light of Canon Law 1389 (§2): “A person who, through culpable negligence, unlawfully and with harm to another, performs or omits an act of ecclesiastical power or ministry of office, is to be punished with a just penalty.”
We call on those leaders who failed to protect the well-being of our children by knowingly and secretly transferring predator priests from parish to parish without informing the laity to resign their current office or position of authority on or before June 30th, 2009.
It is our position that in cases where bishops, despite the weight of evidence against them, refuse to resign their offices, Pope Benedict XVI should request their resignations. As examples, we cite five current bishops where records from public documents, court testimony, and multiple survivor accounts clearly indicate “culpable negligence … with harm to another …” and thus have a clear obligation to the Body of Christ to resign: Cardinal Francis George, Cardinal Roger Mahony, Bishop William F. Murphy, Bishop John B. McCormack, and Archbishop Daniel Pilarczyk. In addition, Cardinal Bernard Law should resign from all ecclesial positions he currently holds in Rome.
Attached is a document from VOTF describing in detail our position on this issue, including why we believe the cardinals and archbishops identified should resign.
For more information about the open letter and the evidence against these Bishops, please email Jessica at email@example.com or call 617-558-5252
Jessica Lillie (617) 558-5252, (617) 680 2131 ©
About Voice of the Faithful (VOTF) VOTF is a worldwide movement of concerned
mainstream Catholics formed in response to the clergy sexual abuse crisis.
The group’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. Its goals are to support survivors of
clergy sexual abuse, support priests of integrity, and shape structural change
within the Catholic Church in full accordance and harmony with Church teaching.