Voices in Action outlined a practical pathway for transforming the Catholic Church through local, regional and national action. VOTF Action focuses on improving our parishes and dioceses by fostering greater accountability in ourselves and our leaders; healing survivors; protecting children; ensuring financial transparency; supporting clerical collaboration with laity; and encouraging systematic transformation and growth in the universal Church.
We approach these efforts with a renewed spirituality grounded in prayer. We call on all Catholics to discern our gifts and join our talents with others to make a difference now. Our work depends on the insights and energies of all—because no one person or group has every answer.
Only by working together can we truly be the Church we want to be.
Voice of the Faithful provides multiple opportunities for members to participate in work that matches their particular skill sets and interests. As we build critical mass for change, we will seek out new members, establish new affiliates, and strengthen our support base.
Our priorities for this effort, developed in response to member surveys, are:
- Spiritual and Communal Growth as a way of expressing our dedication to our faith. We believe that such growth within and outside VOTF is vital for building the Church we wish to become. Towards that end, we will serve as a resource for spiritual growth and a pathway for furthering education in our faith.
- Local Actions to achieve best practices by working to increase active participation of the lay faithful in the mission and ministries of each parish and diocese. We believe that “Global Change Begins with Local Action." Our focus is on creating practical, pragmatic tools that you can use to promote local change, including parish-based programs for renewal, parish-based safe environment committees, structured programs for VOTF affiliate renewal, and communications toolkits for VOTF affiliates.
- Child Protection and Survivor Support. VOTF will support victims in sharing their stories to increase public awareness as well as survivor healing; prepare a comprehensive guide to help VOTF members engage in legislative reforms that protect children and advance the efforts of survivors to obtain justice; and work for the adoption of evidence-based child abuse prevention programs for adults.
- Universal Church Reform to engage the global Catholic community in efforts to bring a lay voice into issues affecting the broader Church and the entire People of God. To gain reform in the Church Universal, we as individual Catholics must change first. But to gain effective reform, individuals also must come together on issues where they find common cause and can together attain broader lay participation.
- Networking and Partnership with other Catholic organizations in a way that facilitates mutually beneficial actions and creates critical mass for change. Our research and contacts with other organizations will be available internally to all members who are working on our strategic plan.
For a printable version of the overview click here