United States and Rome -- On September 8 and 9, Catholics across the United States will protest at their local cathedrals and parishes demanding truth and accountability from Catholic bishops who covered up clergy sex abuse.
On August 14, a Grand Jury in Pennsylvania released a report detailing the abuse suffered by over 1,000 child victims, and names over 300 Catholic priests as credibly accused. In addition to the individual crimes, the report shed light on the decades long effort of Catholic Church officials to shield the perpetrators from prosecution, and generally hide details of the crimes from the public.
“Justice for survivors is foremost on the minds of Catholics today,” said Kate McElwee, executive director of Women’s Ordination Conference. “We need civil investigations of clergy sexual abuse in every state, the elimination of age limits for victims to report, the elimination of non-disclosure agreements, and a tightening of laws that require professionals to report abuse, and an end to disclosure agreements that bar victims from cooperating in criminal prosecutions.”
“Catholics are calling on the U.S. Bishops and Pope Francis to unseal all documents related to clergy sex abuse cover up and to conduct a full, immediate, and independent investigation of any and all allegations of cover up in the case of Cardinal Theodore McCarrick and other prelates who have engaged in criminal activities,” said Zach Johnson, executive director of Call To Action.
“Catholics are also demanding that any investigation must be led by laity in order to re-establish trust with Catholics in the U.S. and elsewhere,” said Deborah Rose-Milavec, executive director of FutureChurch. “A rampant sense of entitlement and unchecked power afforded to clerics that is often referred to as ‘clericalism’ has created this crisis, and we need competent lay people to oversee all aspects of cleaning it up.”
To learn more about the protests on September 8 and 9 and to download an organizing kit, go to CatholicToo.org.
Mobile: 513.673.1401 Office: 216.228.0869
Kate McElwee, executive director Women’s Ordination Conference,[email protected], USA: +1 607-725-1364 Italy: +39 393 692 2100