Ultimately, horrific secrets that are hidden in Vatican archives and buried in confidentiality agreements should be made public if we are to know what really happened.
We need a tribunal run by an independent investigative team led by lay women and men to find out the complete truth. They would have authority to remove bishops from office who covered up criminal sexual abuse by priests. Only when we know the truth, can we move forward to create a new Church that is accountable, inclusive and empowering.
|People light candles during an Aug. 20 vigil to protest sexual abuse in the Chilean Catholic church outside the Santiago cathedral. (CNS/Reuters/Ivan Alvarado)|
On one hand, the old hierarchical structures appear to be breaking down right before our eyes, while on the other hand, Catholics are demanding accountability and offering real solutions to the hierarchy. They are making their voices heard in public protests around the country and in prayerful gatherings on the streets and in churches.
More than likely, some Catholics plan to withhold money from the collection plate until real changes are made, such as Pope Francis addressing recent allegations about his role and the role of other prelates in the cover-up of sexual abuse of children. The National Catholic Reporter is calling for a system-wide independent full investigation. I agree with the editorial by the National Catholic Reporter. It gives an excellent overview of the history including reviewing John Paul 11's response/lack of holding bishops' accountable) (See article below)
In order to move away from a top-down pyramid clerical, hierarchical led Church to the earlier and longer tradition of community partnership, the Church needs the gifts and spirituality of women. The majority of Catholics in the U.S. Canada, Europe and in some countries in South America favor women priests and are ready to build a new, more vibrant Church. Our international Roman Catholic Women Priests Movement has been leading grassroots inclusive communities since 2002. Now is the time for Catholics to build a new Church that is more open, transparent, compassionate, equal and just. Bridget Mary Meehan ARCWP, https://arcwp.org, firstname.lastname@example.org, 703-505-0004
National Catholic Reporter Morning