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Voice of the Faithful Representative Council passed the following resolution on Saturday, September 18, 2004.


  • The U.S. bishops in 2002 adopted, and the Vatican approved, a policy of permanently removing from ministry any priest for even a single act of sexual abuse of a minor.

  • The harm done by predator priests was often greatly magnified by the actions of bishops who knowingly reassigned such priests, covered up their offenses, and placed the avoidance of “scandal” above the protection of children.

  • The gross failure of leadership of such bishops is at least as morally culpable as the crimes of abuser priests.

  • Justice demands and the manifest need for healing in the Catholic Church in the United States and elsewhere requires that such bishops be held accountable for their betrayal of the people of God.

  • Just as priests who have exploited their priestly ministries to abuse children are precluded from continuing in such ministry, those bishops who have failed to exercise their ministry of leadership in the service of the People of God should be precluded from continuing in any ministry of leadership in the Church.

  • The maintenance of such bishops in positions of leadership — exemplified by the appointment of Bernard Law to the position of the Archpriest of the Basilica of St. Mary Major in Rome and his continued service on important Vatican congregations — scandalizes the faithful, diminishes the moral authority of the episcopal office, and suggests to the Church and to the world that the Catholic Church is unwilling to hold its leaders accountable.

The Voice of the Faithful hereby resolves that no bishop or other hierarch who, knowing of the sexual abuse of minors by any priest, has failed to remove the priest from any exposure to minors or to take any other effective step to protect the people of God, or who has concealed the risk of abuse presented by such priests from the people to whom such priest was assigned to minister, should be permitted to hold any position of ecclesiastical leadership in the Church. The Voice of the Faithful directs the officers of the organization to advocate for the implementation of this policy in the Church and to take such steps as they consider advisable to secure that goal.



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Mission Statement

To provide a prayerful voice, attentive to the Spirit, through which the Faithful can actively participate in the governance and guidance of the Catholic Church.


Our Goals

1. To support survivors of clergy sexual abuse.

2. To support priests of integrity

3.To shape structural change within the Catholic Church.

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Jesus, Lord and Brother, help us with our faithfulness. Please hear our voice, and let our voice be heard. Amen. More



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