FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
September 11, 2018
TO POPE & BISHOPS: NO MORE BUSINESS AS USUAL
Association of Roman Catholic Women Priests Janice Sevre Duzynska email@example.com, 859-684-4247,Bridget Mary Meehan, firstname.lastname@example.org, 703-505-0004
CORPUS (National Association for an Inclusive Priesthood): Co-presidents Maureen & John Sheehan, email@example.com, (413) 527-3305
Federation of Christian Ministries :Thomas E Cusack, President, president @fcmmail.org, 609-947-0770; Tom Stricker, Chairperson, firstname.lastname@example.org, (937) 477-0139
In response to widespread and well-publicized clergy sexual abuse of children and adults, CORPUS (National Association for an Inclusive Priesthood), the Association of Roman Catholic Women Priests, and the Federation of Christian Ministries call for the following:
· Immediate resignation of all implicated U.S. bishops
· Ordination of women to the priesthood
· An end to mandatory clerical celibacy
Apologies are not enough; even the introduction of yet more policies and oversight committees is not enough. A resignation of all implicated U.S. bishops would signal their understanding of the gravity of crimes committed either by them, or on their watch. As for the selection of new bishops, lay people within the affected dioceses must be involved at all levels, including initiation of the search.
We urge the Vatican to likewise take extraordinary, decisive steps that will transform the structures currently enabling the rampant incidence of clergy sexual abuse.
Fact: Welcoming of women into the ranks of priests would radically decrease the percentage of sex offenders in their midst. Fact: Welcoming married men (and allowing current priests to marry) would eliminate the cover for pedophiles provided by an insular, all-male, supposedly celibate system. The opposite of unhealthy sexuality is not celibacy but healthy sexuality – that’s the answer to sexual abuse.
As a church, we owe this to the victims of such abuse, to those most vulnerable, to those most in need of the church’s ministries: Demonstrate the virtue of courage by making the changes – seemingly drastic, but minimal in fact - that will be the first steps toward our church regaining its moral credibility in the eyes of a scandalized world.
# # #