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Catholic Church Reform Movement Voice of the Faithful Cautions Hierarchy as World Leaders Gather
Voice of the Faithful cautions Catholic Church leaders that the time is long past for creating appropriate universal responses to abuse clergy sexual abuse and for ending secrecy and coverup. Transparency and accountability are essential.
Voice of the Faithful (http://www.votf.org)
“Towards Healing and Renewal: A Symposium for Catholic Bishops and Religious Superiors on Sexual Abuse of Minors” is expected to draw delegates from 110 bishops’ conferences and superiors of 30 religious orders internationally.
Their goal in part will be to share “practical wisdom” of “experts in the fields of psychology, canon law, theology, and pastoral ministry” in order to promote a consistent, global response by the Church to reports of sexual abuse and to structure child protection policies. In this, the symposium points toward the May 2012 deadline for dioceses worldwide to develop guidelines for handling child abuse allegations.
The Vatican is right to bring worldwide attention and focus on this growing and continuing scandal that ruins lives and wounds the Church so deeply. The Vatican is right to seek a worldwide response to the enormous task of handling sexual abuse allegations amidst Church communities with such cultural, theological, sociological and governmental diversity. But the Vatican’s failure before now to look for global solutions and hold bishops accountable and the bishops’ actions in keeping abuse allegations secret leave VOTF without confidence that adequate guidelines will be forthcoming.
VOTF and other organizations and individuals that put children above institutional image will be watching closely for what comes from the symposium and May deadline.
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About Voice of the Faithful (http://www.votf.org) -- Voice of the Faithful is a worldwide movement of concerned mainstream Roman Catholics working to support survivors of clergy sexual abuse, support priests of integrity and increase the laity’s role in governance and guidance of the Church. More information is at http://www.votf.org.