The Clergy Abuse Scandal Has Hit the Top: Where Do We Go from Here?

March 16, 2010 – Boston—The clergy sexual abuse crisis that shook the very foundations of the Catholic Church in America has now reached global proportions. As many suspected all along, despite what we had been told, this horrific scandal was never a United States problem or an Irish problem, or an Australian problem or a German problem. It is a global problem that we now know extends even to the Vatican.

All over the world the story is the same: Bishops continue to blame everyone but themselves. This lack of accountability and personal responsibility must stop. It is time to face the truth. The clerical culture of secrecy that put the reputation of the Church ahead of the safety of tens of thousands of innocent children must come to an end. The very existence of the Catholic Church is at stake and those who have participated in this disgraceful scandal must step down.

At the same time, as Catholics, we must somehow find light in this darkness. Without question the time has come to fully embrace meaningful reform. The faithful can no longer deny the substantial shortcomings of an outdated institutional model that relies on secrecy. Nor can we deny our own responsibility to work towards replacing silence, secrecy and corruption with the lights of transparency and accountability. It is time for the laity to reclaim our proper role in the governance and guidance of the Catholic Church.

“The time for wringing our hands over levels and layers of culpability and misconduct is past. Leave that to the historians,” says Voice of the Faithful President Dan Bartley. VOTF calls upon every Catholic prelate, wherever he is and whatever his rank, who has participated in this conspiracy of silence to hold himself accountable. We invite all Catholics—cleric, religious, and lay—to join us in the effort to rebuild our beloved Church.


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.