A Cry From a Mother
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Combat Sexual Abuse in the Clergy
"A CRY FROM A MOTHER" Petition
We are presenting this petition to the Bishops of the USCCB to underscore our deep concern for the safety of our children. We are outraged, shocked, and heartbroken by the innumerable cases of abuse against those entrusted to your care. The number of victims run up in the thousands and continues to grow even as this is being read.
This has gone on for decades. Their voices cry out to God and they also cry out to us. In way too many cases, you, the Bishops turned a blind eye or covered up for the evil. You, our Bishops, failed us repeatedly. We, the laity, have had more than enough. Trust is irreparably lost. We, the laity, have children, grandchildren, and great-grandchildren whom we will not allow to be subject to your negligence and complicity. We will not sit back and allow our young sons to be bullied, harassed, or sexually abused at your predatory seminaries. Change is not an option. It is demanded.
We will not follow in your footsteps and look the other way. For those of you who are guilty and not willing to resign in penance and atonement for your role in this most egregious sin against God and humanity, shame on you. For those Bishops who remain in the grace of God, we are enumerating our list of changes that need to be implemented immediately in the church:
We expect that the following ACTION items will be initiated immediately and be completed no later than June 30, 2019.
- All seminaries are to have an independent review to determine the extent of any predatory sexual abuse that may have occurred in the seminary over the last 50 years. The results of such reviews are to be made public and civil authorities notified, as required.
- All incoming seminarians should submit to a much more rigorous psychological exam to determine if they present a risk. If they fail this exam they should not be allowed to continue their studies. A periodic review of the results of such exams should be performed by a qualified independent lay organization.
- All clergy and pre-ordained candidates unable to refrain from their sexual desires must resign from the priesthood or from the seminary. Any priests who resign as a result are to lose all rights of priesthood.
- In regard to the above, one strike and you are out.
- There shall be a meeting of all US bishops and selected qualified lay individuals to discuss the connection between active homosexuality in the priesthood and the current sexual abuse crisis.
- At a minimum, the following steps need to be included as a part of the process of handling and preventing future sexual abuse incidents:
- Immediately set up a committee consisting of lay parishioners that will review all sexual abuse claims. All parishioners shall be notified that such committee has been established. Contact information (not through the church office) shall be provided.
- Immediate notification of civil authorities if a claim is made by any individual (adult or child) under the care or supervision of the church.
- All personnel working in any facility of the church must undergo a criminal background check.
- Filters are to be installed on all church owned computers to prevent viewing inappropriate material.
”In Jesus Name, Hear Our Cry"
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