This is such a devastating time for the Roman Catholic Church and, unfortunately, the church does not respond well to change. The cover-up of abuse by priests is self-serving and criminal, and the victims of sexual assault have waited far too long for justice. This is a critical time for many who love the Roman Catholic faith and can no longer support the hierarchal structure. It is time to make significant change, and the church needs to act now.
There is no lack of vocations in the Roman Catholic Church. Roman Catholic men and women are ready to lead the way toward healing in a community of equals full of compassion and justice-seeking for all the survivors.
Roman Catholic Church members are forming small, inclusive faith communities of support where all are welcome at the Eucharistic table. The Upper Room Inclusive Catholic Community in Albany is among the growing number of faith communities in the United States modeling a new church structure rooted in a theology of blessing. Pastoral ministers are women and men ordained through the Association of Roman Catholic Women Priests. Change is happening at the ground level. Roman Catholics who still wish to be part of a prayerful community are encouraged to join with these smaller groups. It may be the only way the church will survive.