Keep the Faith, Change the Church.

Press Release - VOTF to Bridgeport diocese: Secrecy Must End Now!

Diocese of Bridgeport must comply with Connecticut Supreme Court decision

October 5, 2009-Boston/Bridgeport – The United States Supreme Court announced today that it had decided to deny the application from the Diocese of Bridgeport for a stay that would keep secret thousands of pages of court documents relating to previously settled cases involving the abuse of children by priests. Voice of the Faithful’s national office and its Bridgeport affiliate urge the diocese to cooperate promptly with the June 2009 ruling of the Connecticut State Supreme Court that virtually all such documents must be made public without delay.

“Voice of the Faithful respectfully insists that Bishop Lori accept the Supreme Court decision and stop blocking the right of Catholics in Connecticut to know what happened,” said Dan Bartley, Voice of the Faithful president. “Bishop Lori must stop wasting untold hundreds of thousands of parishioners’ dollars to prevent these same parishioners, and the public, from finding out how Lori’s predecessors, including recently retired Cardinal Edward Egan, dealt with cases of sexual abuse of children.”

In a publication distributed recently at Sunday Masses throughout the Diocese, Bishop Lori once again proclaimed his “commitment to transparency regarding clergy sexual abuse cases.” It is now time for the bishop to stop the stonewalling, and honor that commitment to transparency.

“This is not a case about the Diocese’s First Amendment right to choose its ministers and determine their suitability and assignments. Rather, it is a case about the failure of the Diocese to supervise properly its priests and take appropriate action to protect innocent children from priests that it knew to be sexual predators,” said Dan Sullivan, an attorney who is co-chair of the VOTF affiliate in the Diocese of Bridgeport.

Voice of the Faithful’s national office and the Bridgeport affiliate will comment further after they have the opportunity to review thoroughly the documents as these documents are released by the Connecticut courts.

For more information about VOTF please visit www.votf.org or the Bridgeport affiliate website at www.votfbpt.org
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Voice of the Faithful (VOTF) is a lay organization formed in 2002 in response to the sexual abuse crisis in the Catholic Church. It started in the basement of a church in Wellesley, Massachusetts, and has since expanded worldwide with more than 150 Parish Voice affiliates and 30,000 members. The entire organization is committed to helping the Catholic Church.