NEWTON, Mass., Dec. 21, 2010 – Fresh, seemingly daily, revelations of clergy sexual abuse continue roiling the worldwide Roman Catholic Church and have prompted Voice of the Faithful (https://www.votf.org) to reaffirm its 10-step program to help resolve the scandal and institute church reforms.
Two recent revelations in particular demonstrate the scandal’s broad extent and underscore the need to heed suggestions like those VOTF has made for resolving it, no matter what Church hierarchy claims about the sexual abuse scandal being behind us.
In one such revelation, Newark Archbishop John J. Myers was cited in a Newark Star Ledger story earlier this month for “shielding at least four priests accused of sexual abuse” since 2002, when he and the nation’s bishops gathered in Dallas to “craft a policy intended to cleanse the priesthood of pedophiles and restore trust among shaken American Catholics.” In ratifying the Dallas Charter, the Ledger continues, he and “his colleagues promised a new era of reform and transparency.”
Also earlier this month, stories began circulating about extensive new claims of clergy sexual abuse in the Netherlands. A New York Times story declared “an investigative commission showed that almost 2,000 people had made complaints of sexual or physical abuse against the church, in a country with only four million Catholics.” The Times also said, “One central accusation in the Netherlands is that, as in other countries, known abusers were simply transferred to new parishes.”
To address its concerns over the continuing sex abuse scandal and problems made worse by certain Church structures and attitudes, VOTF developed several months ago its Ten Steps Toward Resolving the Scandal (https://www.votf.org/featured/tensteps) and now reaffirms these steps as an appropriate, workable program.
VOTF also remains realistic about the time frame for change in the Church. Immediate action is required on steps like protecting children, supporting survivors and holding accountable all who facilitate abuse; while other steps will take time, such as inclusive governance structures and men and women laity in positions of authority.
Voice of the Faithful
Voice of the Faithful is a lay organization formed in 2002 in response to the sexual abuse crisis in the Catholic Church. Started in the basement of a church in Wellesley, Mass., Voice of the Faithful has expanded worldwide to comprise more than 150 Parish Voice affiliates and 30,000 members. The entire organization is committed to helping the Catholic Church. More information is at https://www.votf.org.
Nick Ingala, Public Relations Director
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