U.S. Norms for Catholic Church Should Go Global, says The New York Times Editorial Page
VOTF Call for Reform Endorsed by Nation’s Newspaper of Record

July 12, 2010 – Boston— The New York Times, in a July 9 editorial, called on the Catholic Church to make the U.S. norms for reporting of accused child molesters the global rule of the Church, writing, “Eight years after the American church’s overdue order, it is shocking that Pope Benedict XVI and the Vatican have not yet applied it to the worldwide Roman Catholic Church….Benedict has the obligation to shepherd not just guidelines but credible mandates that all priest-abusers and bishops who abetted their crimes face disclosure and punishment.” Read the entire editorial here

Voice of the Faithful applauds the editorial, which echoes VOTF’s call to apply the U.S. norms to every Catholic diocese in the world. “The fact that our Pope is being called to fulfill his responsibility by The New York Times is a sign of how slow the Catholic Church has been to respond to what is the most serious crisis in the modern history of the Church,” said Dan Bartley, national president of Voice of the Faithful. “We are living in the 21st century! The Catholic Church does not have the luxury of taking years to respond. We need action for reform and we need it now.”

Voice of the Faithful urged the Catholic Church to make the U.S. norms, adopted in 2002, the universal rule of the Church as part of a ten-point program for responding to the crisis. VOTF’s recommendations go further, urging that all known abusers be publicly identified through national registries, and that all religious authorities who transferred abusers without adequate supervision and separation from children should resign or face prosecution.

To read the complete ten-point VOTF reform program,click here.

“We applaud the U.S. Catholic bishops for adopting these rigorous norms, and for establishing safe environment programs across the country,” Bartley said. “While the U.S. norms are not perfect (independent audits are needed to ensure compliance), our priests need stronger protection for their right to due process. These norms, however, are an excellent start, and precisely what the whole Church needs right now.”

For more information about VOTF or to set up an interview with VOTF leaders, please email Jessica at or call 781-559-3360.

Voice of the Faithful (VOTF) is a lay organization formed in 2002 in response to the sexual abuse crisis
in the Catholic Church. We began in the basement of a church in Wellesley, Massachusetts, and have since expanded worldwide. Our organization is committed to helping reform the Catholic Church.