the refusal by the Boston Archdiocese to accept funds
raised by VOTF's Voice of Compassion Fund for charities
hurt by a decline in donations to the Church, a well-known
regional newspaper columnist wrote that VOTF should
declare victory "and leave" since the Church had shown
its true colors and couldn't be worthy of continued
efforts at dialogue (www.bostonglobe.com and click on
Eileen McNamara). We reprint a response to that column
by MA Survivor Support Group activist Steve Sheehan.
Steve speaks for thousands of Catholics, regardless
of diocese. He is a parishioner at St. Ignatius of Loyola,
Chestnut Hill, MA.
respectfully disagree with Ms. McNamara that we should
declare victory and quietly leave; that change cannot
am one who refuses to walk (or run) away from a good
fight. As I said before, when Cardinal Law finally resigned,
and I quoted Sir Winston Churchill, "This is not the
end, it is not even the beginning of the end, but it
is, perhaps, the end of the beginning!"
would love to hear that there are many more out there
whose sense of outrage is so strong that capitulation
is a word reserved for the hierarchy. To quit now, when
we have achieved so much, would be disastrous. The hierarchy
has been waiting us out to see if we would eventually
just go away. Why should we consider surrendering when
we have so many victories behind us: resignations, release
of documents, fear of meeting with us, fear of loss
of control, etc.
try to marginalize us. They try to wait us out. They
hope we will trip over our own coattails and make their
life easier. They are scared to death of coming out
into the open, to meet us on a level playing field,
and to tell the truth and hear the truth. The thought
that the truth will be known paralyzes them.
hide behind their walls and cathedrals. They hide behind
tradition and custom. They hide behind their attorneys
and insurers. They hide behind their cloaks of secrecy,
power and self-importance.
is not the time to walk away. Now is the time to march
forward and challenge them continually until they cave
in and recognize the role and baptismal mission of the
laity in the Catholic Church.
is the time to stop asking for their cooperation and
to demand that they fulfill their roles and allow the
laity to fill ours, remove all bans, accept all donations
and, most of all, come forth into the light and do the
right thing by the survivors, the faithful laity, and
our excellent clerical base which serves Christ and
I am wrong, will someone please tell me?
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