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


Change the Catholic Church Culture of Secrecy, Not Just the Archbishop

Newton, Mass., – December 11, 2002 – Voice of the Faithful (VOTF), a group of more than 25,000 mainstream Catholics formed in response to the Catholic Church’s clergy sexual abuse scandal, today called for Cardinal Bernard F. Law to resign as Archbishop of Boston.

The meeting of over 100 VOTF leadership individuals and parish representatives, held at Our Lady Help of Christians parish in Newton, Mass., discussed recent events and voted on four motions:

  1. To call on Cardinal Law to resign immediately;
  2. To petition the Holy Father to acknowledge the need for holy, pastoral leadership in the Archdiocese of Boston; to acknowledge the urgency of this need; and to appoint – only after meaningful consultation with the Church of Boston, including the laity, the priests, the religious, and the hierarchy – a suitable person to this position, which, de facto, is not functioning at this time;
  3. To call on Bishop Wilton D. Gregory, president of the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops (USCCB), to request that the bishops, individually and collectively, and in the spirit of their publicly stated commitments, recognize and respond to the moral and pastoral crisis in the Archdiocese of Boston; and
  4. To call on Bishop Gregory to request that the bishops open to the public the hidden records of known sexual abusers in their own dioceses.

After a thoughtful and thorough discussion by VOTF members, the group overwhelmingly passed the four motions. VOTF President Jim Post explained the vote, “This is an historic action by American Catholics to reclaim the moral integrity of their church. The recent files on abusive priests released to the public in Boston show a systematic unwillingness to place the safety of the laity before the reputation of the Catholic Church. Clearly, it’s time for a change.”

Addressing the Catholic Church’s Culture of Secrecy

Moving forward, VOTF will be actively calling for a change in the hierarchical culture of secrecy – a culture that disconnects its actions from its values – that has fueled the crisis in the Catholic Church. VOTF will continue to grow its membership and educate its constituency, while standing ready to work with the hierarchy and develop new methods for the laity to become effectively engaged in the administrative, personnel and financial aspects of the Catholic Church.

“We are under no illusions that today’s actions will end this crisis. This is the first step on a long road to renewing the Catholic Church. We all have a lot of work to do,” explained Susan Troy, VOTF’s “Prayerful Voice” committee head.








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.