Voice of the Faithful is a lay organization of faithful Catholics, who organized in 2002 as a response to the sexual abuse crisis in the Catholic Church. We started in the basement of a church in Wellesley, Massachusetts, and have since expanded worldwide with more than 30,000 members.
Our Mission is 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.
We work towards achieving our mission by pursuing three goals:
- Support survivors of clergy sexual abuse
- Support priests of integrity
- Shape structural change within the Catholic Church
Visit Voice of the Faithful’s website at www.votf.org to see all of VOTF’s programs, projects, initiatives, and resources and to support our work.
#1 by Marian Cope on September 14, 2018 - 8:11 PM
Hi, I am so glad I found your organization. Many I know have left the Church or are thinking about leaving the Church because of the systemic evil and failure of leadership. However, why do the faithful think they need to leave the Church? The Church is Jesus and there are over 70 million Catholics in the U.S. I don’t understand why the faithful aren’t coming together to force change.
In my view, the model under which the Church has been operating for centuries is deeply flawed as the sex abuse and financial abuse scandals have evidenced. How on earth did many (including me) not realize that the bishops had exempted themselves in 2002 from oversight by the review board that addresses only sexual abuse complaints? Why wasn’t there an uproar by the 70 million Catholics then?
As for a plan. First and foremost, the evil has to be eradicated. I submit that the way to do this is by transparency (investigations by an independent firm of each and every diocese and the Vatican with results published), accountability (those that allowed the evil to occur, looked the other way, or committed evil acts must leave the Church and be reported to law enforcement) and ) and laity oversight of each diocese or the Vatican respectively (akin to a Board of Directors comprised of at least 6 lay persons and one clergyman with jurisdiction over bishops, cardinals, archbishops and the Pope) should be established for each diocese and the Vatican. I’d also like to see the ban on priests getting married lifted and the bar to women being deacons or priests removed, but transparency, accountabiliy and oversight are the most important changes that must be implemented in the short term.
The question is how does one organize the 70 million Catholics to force these or similar radical changes that would prevent the evils of the past from occurring again?
#2 by firstname.lastname@example.org on September 15, 2018 - 10:03 PM
Marion, nice to hear from you. Our local VOTF has mostly disbanded. We used to partner with SNAP also on events. They are still functioning. You are right in target for what church needs to do. Mostly they have been all words without substance of follow up. In fact, I rather surprised at how people are now responding to the big Pennsylvania abuse report. We tried so hard for years to tell people what was going on and most did not want to hear it. I, for one, hope attorneys general of all states look into each and every diocese in their state. Surely PA is not the only one with such abuse. So many bishops and cardinals guilty of covering up reports. It is disgusting!!! Where are you located, Marion? I am in Illinois. Sandy
Sent from my iPhone
#3 by Laurie Benson on February 13, 2014 - 6:15 AM
Where is the story about Mpls., & St. Paul officials that will not be prosecuted for giving church funds to clergy that abused…….
#4 by Voice of the Faithful on February 13, 2014 - 10:06 AM
Laurie — Thank you for your comment. We’ve posted links on this blog to news stories about the abuse scandal in the Archdiocese of Minneapolis and St. Paul. Please look through our previous blog posts. These blog posts also are posted to VOTf’s Facebook page and Twitter feeds to increase their visibility. You can see an even more extensive list of the news coverage of this scandal by reading the Focus column in VOTF’s “In the Vineyard” email newsletter. Use the Publications link in the left-hand menu of our website homepage at http://www.votf.org. If you see any particularly interesting media coverage that you think should be made widely known, please email a link to me, and we’ll consider it for a blog post. — Nick Ingala, VOTF Public Relations Director, email@example.com