Voice of the Faithful
Voice of the Faithful—whose members are among the most committed Catholics and active members of their parishes1—is promoting the participation of all members of a diocese in recommending candidates for their bishop prior to his appointment by the Pope.
We respectfully request the Holy Father to invite interested Conferences of Catholic Bishops to develop demonstration projects on participation of all the laity and clergy of a diocese in recommending candidates for their bishop. These projects would provide the Holy See with best practices that could be promulgated for use throughout the Church.
Voice of the Faithful proffers this request in hope that it promotes the good of the Church.
It expresses our commitment to be “co-responsible for the being and action of the Church, promoting a mature and dedicated laity.”2 In this way we promote the “new evangelization,” because a warm reciprocal relationship between a bishop and his diocese is indispensable to its success.
We have developed this supporting document for the consideration of the Holy See and the various national Conferences of Bishops. The document includes an overview of the proposal and a rationale for adopting it; namely, consideration of the new evangelization and the bishop, the history and current practice generally followed in selecting and appointing bishops, and the timeliness of expanding the laity’s role in the recommendation process.
INSURE THAT YOUR PARISH’S CHILDREN ARE PROTECTED!
GET ANSWERS TO THE FOLLOWING QUESTIONS.
1. Does your parish have background checks done on all employees and volunteers who work with children?
2. Does your parish have ongoing Child Abuse Prevention Training for adults?
a) Who must be trained?
b) Who does the training?
c) Is training done every year?
d) To whom does the trainer report?
e) Who keeps records of who has been trained?
3. Does your parish have an ongoing Abuse Prevention Program for children?
a) If there is a parish school, is an Abuse Prevention program included in the curriculum?
b) If so, which grades receive training?
c) Who presents the Program?
d) Is an Abuse Prevention Program included in the Religious Ed curriculum?
e) If so, which grades?
f) Who presents the Program?
4. Does your parish prominently display the Promise to Protect, Pledge to Heal poster and the related prayer cards and brochures provided by the US Conference of Catholic Bishops?
5. Does your parish bulletin list the name and phone number of the diocesan Victim Assistance Coordinator?
IN HIS SEXUAL ABUSE POLICY ARCHBISHOP GREGORY PLEDGES TO BE AS “TRANSPARENT AND FORTHCOMING AS POSSIBLE.”
WHERE ARE THE ACTIONS?
WRITE THE ARCHBISHOP AND URGE HIM TO:
REVEAL THE NAMES OF HIS ADVISORY BOARD MEMBERS SO THERE CAN BE SOME ACCOUNTABILITY AND CONFIDENCE IN THE BOARD
INFORM THE FAITHFUL AT LEAST ANNUALLY ABOUT WHAT HAS/HAS NOT BEEN HAPPENING REGARDING SEXUAL ABUSE IN OUR ARCHDIOCESE
PUBLISH A COMPLETE LIST OF CREDIBLY ACCUSED CLERGY AND OTHER EMPLOYEES, ACTIONS TAKEN, AND THEIR CURRENT LOCATIONS IF KNOWN
Voice of the Faithful – Atlanta
ON MAY 11TH, 2012, AT SANTA CLARA UNIVERSITY, EXPERTS, INCLUDING KATHLEEN MCCHESNEY, FIRST HEAD OF THE BISHOPS’ OWN OFFICE OF CHILD AND YOUTH PROTECTION, AND MICHAEL MERZ, FORMER CHAIR OF THE BISHOPS’ NATIONAL REVIEW BOARD, CONCLUDED:
THE CHARTER TO PROTECT
CHILDREN AND YOUNG PEOPLE IS STILL
THERE IS NO ASSURANCE OF DIOCESAN COMPLIANCE.
THERE IS NO ACCOUNTABILITY FOR RECALCITRANT BISHOPS WHO DO NOT COMPLY OR REPORT.
THERE IS NO COMPREHENSIVE LIST OF THE CREDIBLY ACCUSED, THE DISPOSITIONS OF THEIR CASES, AND THEIR WHEREABOUTS.
THERE IS LITTLE/NO RESPONSIVENESS TO NATIONAL REVIEW BOARD RECOMMENDATIONS.
SPEAKING TRUTH TO POWER IS NOT WELCOMED.
THE SEXUAL ABUSE SCANDAL IS NOT HISTORY!
FOR THE SAKE OF OUR CHILDREN, WRITE TO ARCHBISHOP GREGORY AND DEMAND THAT HE AND THE OTHER BISHOPS:
CLOSE THE CHARTER LOOPHOLES!
GIVE THE CHARTER THE TEETH IT NEEDS!
Voice of the Faithful – Atlanta