Posts Tagged Church reform movement
Voice of the Faithful Statement, June 15, 2015
The Roman Catholic Church reform movement Voice of the Faithful hopes the resignation today of St. Paul-Minneapolis Archbishop John Nienstedt signals the Church is continuing to turn the corner on holding bishops accountable for covering up clergy sexual abuse.
His resignation comes just 10 days after St. Paul-Minneapolis prosecutors brought criminal charges against the archdiocese for failing to protect children; five days after Pope Francis set up a Vatican tribunal to judge allegations against bishops involved in the clergy sexual abuse; less than two months after the resignation of Bishop Robert Finn of Kansas City-St. Joseph, Missouri, who was convicted of covering up abuse; and the same day the Vatican announced former papal nuncio Jozef Wesolowski would stand trial at the Vatican for sexual abuse of children.
Pope Francis already has accepted Nienstedt’s resignation and the resignation of Auxiliary Bishop Lee Piche and appointed another archbishop there to administer the diocese.
VOTF has long called for accountability for bishops who have covered up abuse, and for Nienstedt in particular, given longstanding revelations of his mishandling local clergy sexual abuse.
We only wish Nienstedt would have admitted his wrongdoing instead of standing by his previous actions, but his resignation no doubt is for the good of the Church and the faithful of his diocese, which he said in his statement was the reason for his resignation.
Voice of the Faithful®: Voice of the Faithful® is a worldwide movement of faithful Roman Catholics working to support survivors of clergy sexual abuse, support priests of integrity and increase the laity’s role in the governance and guidance of the Church. More information is at www.votf.org.
The Extraordinary Synod of Bishops on the Family closed this past Sunday, Oct. 19, and pundits inside and outside the Church are now considering the synod’s ramifications. The most significant occurrence for the Church reform movement Voice of the Faithful® was the synod’s process of listening, openness to all points of view and transparency.
We see hope for the future input of lay voices, which are essential if the Church is to speak meaningfully on family life and other matters in the 21st century.
The synod certainly took the Church “out of its comfort zone,” as a German family counselor there is reported to have said. The bishops heard “about real life for families around the world.” They discussed each issue openly and freely to a degree not seen publicly in the Church for quite some time.
We do not know who said what during individual sessions, but the Pope made the unexpectedly transparent move of publishing the vote counts in the document that closed the synod. Controversial issues did not receive two-thirds majorities required for acceptance, but they received significant majorities.
Bishops are expected to continue discussions with clergy and laity in their home dioceses as they prepare for the second synod on the family in October 2015. Pope Francis warned the bishops that, during this year-long process, they must avoid camping at either end of the spectrum, showing neither “hostile inflexibility” nor “deceptive mercy.” We hope all lay faithful will now raise their own voices to provide the bishops with ideas and realities consistent with the lives of modern families in today’s world.
The bishops listened to each other. Let us hope they heed Pope Francis’ call to hear the voices of all the faithful before next October.
Voice of the Faithful®: Voice of the Faithful® is a worldwide movement of faithful 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. Click here for more information.