Voice of the Faithful
Subscribe to VOTF Newsletter
    Keep the Faith, Change the Church    
top 2

Contact: Suzanne Morse 617-680-2131, smorse@votf.org

For Immediate Release

Voice of the Faithful Calls on Bishops to Fulfill Role As Pastoral Leaders

Organization Dismayed by Bishops’ Recent Exclusionary and Divisive Actions

Newton, Mass. – April 15, 2004 – Members of Voice of the Faithful are calling on bishops to provide genuine pastoral leadership in a time of great turmoil for Catholics in the United States. This call comes as Catholics are reacting to recent decisions by at least two bishops, Archbishop Sean O’Malley and Archbishop John F. Donoghue, excluding women from sacred rituals during Holy Week. The events represent the latest in a series of incidents that have exacerbated existing divisions in the archdioceses of Atlanta and Boston.

“As a father whose daughter has gone to Catholic high school and college, I would like to hear Archbishop O’Malley’s rationale for why we educate Catholic women in our Faith, if we are going to treat them as second class citizens,” said John Hynes, chair of the steering committee of Voice of the Faithful – Boston. Hynes, who attended Archbishop O’Malley’s installation at the Cathedral of the Holy Cross, remembers being hopeful about the healing that was promised there. “I am sorely disappointed that Archbishop O’Malley is now sending signals that not all voices are welcome,” he said.

“We have made every effort to work with Archbishop Donoghue, who continues to ban faithful Catholics from meeting on church property,” said Betty Clermont, regional coordinator of Voice of the Faithful in Georgia. “Archbishop Donoghue represents the kind of failed leadership that allowed five decades of clergy sexual abuse to happen – even now, he refuses to fill important positions that will ensure the protection of children in our diocese. The fact that he would not allow women to be a part of the foot-washing ritual exemplifies his unwillingness to listen and to include lay Catholics in any kind of meaningful way.”

“We are seeing a pattern of words and actions emerge on the part of some bishops that ignore the wounds of the clergy sexual abuse crisis,” said Steve Krueger, executive director of Voice of the Faithful. “At a time when bishops should especially demonstrate pastoral outreach to all Catholics, recent actions excluding the participation of women in the ritual of foot washing and the divisive rhetoric expressed in our churches surrounding the constitutional debate on gay marriage have only served to create further division in these dioceses, as well as throughout the Church nationally. We need to move forward, not back. The actions and words these bishops have taken are unnecessarily painful for women and men of all ages and persuasions. Such actions are divisive, not unifying.”

Members of Voice of the Faithful are encouraging bishops to work more cooperatively with lay Catholics and to cease using divisive language and tactics.


About Voice of the Faithful: Voice of the Faithful (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 victim/survivors of abuse, support priests of integrity, and shape structural change within the Catholic Church in full accordance and harmony with Church teaching. VOTF’s supporting membership exceeds 30,000 registered persons from 50 U.S. states, 38 countries and 197 Parish Voice affiliates throughout the world.



top 3

Find a Parish Voice affiliate in your area.

Calendar of events

Click here to get your copy of Keep the Faith, Change the Church.

Voice of the Faithful is recognized as one of the most promising lay organizations to evolve in the Catholic Church. Your support is absolutely necessary for us to continue. The online donation form and the mail in donation form are both quick and easy ways for you to participate, and we are most grateful. (VOTF is a 501(c)3 tax-exempt organization. )

Mission Statement

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.


Our Goals

1. To support survivors of clergy sexual abuse.

2. To support priests of integrity

3.To shape structural change within the Catholic Church.

right line

Pray Each Day
at Noon

Jesus, Lord and Brother, help us with our faithfulness. Please hear our voice, and let our voice be heard. Amen. More



home | survivor support | clergy support | about us | press | contact us| site map

Copyright © 2006 Voice of the Faithful, Inc. All rights Reserved.
Privacy Policy, Terms & Conditions

Voice of the Faithful, VOTF, "Keep the Faith, Change the Church,"
Voice of Compassion, VOTF logo(s), Parish Voice, and
Prayerful Voice are trademarks of Voice of the Faithful, Inc.