October 17, 2006
TO: Editor, New York Times
FROM: Mary Pat Fox, President, Voice of the Faithful
There are striking similarities between the priest abuse scandal in
the Catholic Church and the scandal surrounding Congressman Mark Foley.
Both Congress and the bishops became aware of such a problem in the 1980s.
In 1983 Congress censured Rep. Gerry Studds (D-MA) and Rep. Dan Crane
(R-IL) for improper sexual relations with minor Congressional pages and
supposedly “fixed” the problem. In 1985 Fr. Tom Doyle warned
the U.S. bishops of the impending clergy sex abuse scandal. He was ignored,
fired from his job as a Vatican diplomat and ostracized by the Catholic
bishops and clergy.
Now we are learning that Congress’s “fix” to the problem
was about as effective as the bishops’ denial of the problem.
In both cases leaders chose to protect their brethren rather than children.
In both cases there seemed to be a belief that leaders are superior to
other people. In both cases leaders chose to protect their organization
from scandal rather than to protect children from men who held power
over them. In both cases, the leadership “ran away” from
We need to demand that both organizations face up to the problem immediately
and devise plans to prevent this from happening in the future. There
must be a sense of accountability. Voters can voice this need through
the ballot box. Catholics can do it by signing the “Petition For
Accountability” now being circulated by the Catholic reform group,
Voice of The Faithful. For more information log on to www.votf.org.
Mary Pat Fox, President VOTF, New York, NY
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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.
1. To support survivors of clergy sexual abuse.
2. To support priests of integrity
3.To shape structural change within the Catholic Church.
Pray Each Day
Jesus, Lord and Brother, help us with our faithfulness.
Please hear our voice, and let our voice be heard. Amen. More
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