Hold the Diocese of Wheeling Charleston Accountable for Failure to Protect the Faithful

Hold the Diocese of Wheeling Charleston Accountable for Failure to Protect the Faithful

0 have signed. Let’s get to 200!
At 200 signatures, this petition is more likely to be featured in recommendations!
Paul Buede started this petition to Archbishop William Lori and

Whereas the former Bishop of the Diocese of Wheeling Charleston has credible accusations against him, and his case has been forwarded to the authorities in Rome;

Whereas the investigation carried out by those appointed by Archbishop Lori has been completely secret, and carried out without any knowledge of the faithful of the diocese;

Whereas many who called tips into the tipline, were never contacted for additional information or to arrange meetings with potential witnesses;

Whereas the release of information on diocesan priests with credible criminal accusations was insufficient in that it did not address any existing NDAs with victims or witnesses, nor did it address immoral actions of clergy with adults (male and female);

Whereas the public response from the clergy of the diocese (with few exceptions) as well as the chancery of the diocese has been completely underwhelming;

We, the undersigned, faithful and active members of the Diocese of Wheeling Charleston, announce that until the following demands are met, we will continue to withhold funds to all Diocesan collections, and, as conscience dictates, to parish collections which may offset needed diocesan expenditures (regular parish collection, second collections dedicate to mortgages, etc). We, the lay faithful will continue to stay meaningfully engaged in our parishes, in our ministries with the needy, as the hands of Christ, charitably working to bring souls to the church. But we will no longer pay to support a culture of cover-up and silence. We will not continue to financially support an unaccountable hierarchy of the diocese that has done so much damage to the souls of the faithful laity, seminarians, and their brother priests.

In a desire to provide concrete, meaningful guidance on reform, we present the actionable and measurable demands:

1. The clergy serving in the roles of Vicar General and Vicar for Clergy during the term of our previous Bishop must be investigated and disciplined to the full extent allowable by Canon Law and Church rules (at a minimum removed from positions of authority within the diocese) for: 1) at worst complicity and involvement in gravely immoral behavior related to accusations against our former Bishop, negligence with regard to discharge of duties relating to parish priest assignments and negligent support of parish priests who in some cases were repeatedly involved in immoral sexual relationships, and in some cases contributed to destruction of families; 2) at best, rank incompetence and negligence in failure to safeguard the priests under their care, and failure to protect the laity from priests with no business being in active parish ministry.

2. In the interest of maximum transparency, release of all pertinent details related to establishment of a lay review board for complaints and accusations against clergy in the diocese. Who is on the review board? What is the process for being appointed to the review board? What is the process for lodging of complaints? What is the process for investigating complaints? To whom does the review board answer?

3. All clergy background check information (results of checks, not PII -personally identifiable information such as SSNs-) must be made available to the laity of the diocese for currently assigned priests, and in advance of future appointments.

4. Full accounting of changes that have been made, and a timetable for future changes to the diocesan process of Seminarian formation. Changes must include ensuring our diocese adheres to the Church teaching on screening out of seminarians with known sexual disorders, as defined by the Catechism of the Catholic Church, and as spoken about by several Popes, including our last two popes.

5. Implementation of a 2 signature rule for checks at all parishes in the diocese. Critical elements of the scandal that has done so much damage to the relationship between laity and clergy include unchecked and lavish spending on questionable lifestyle elements. Diocesan resources, contributed by lay people of good faith, in an effort to glorify God through building holy spaces of worship, reverent liturgy, and the charitable mission of the Church in caring for God's people, have been squandered without adequate explanation or justification. That cannot continue, and we require a greater level of accountability within the clergy.

We offer our most heartfelt and fervent prayers for our priests, deacons, bishops, consecrated lay people, and the employees and volunteers of our diocese. We affirm and accept the responsibility we as lay people share in allowing, through disengagement and sloth, the scandals within our church to exist and continue, and we resolve, through meaningful financial action, as well as prayer, and moral and emotional support, to hold our church accountable for its actions, and to demand reform. We love Christ's church, it is our church, and as faithful Catholics we long for authentic orthodox teaching by the clergy, reverent beautiful liturgies, and a clergy who respects not just their own vows of celibacy, chastity, and the regular basic moral teachings of the church with regards to sexual relations, but also an understanding and appreciation of their role as spiritual father-protector-provider and shepherd of the laity, but also a clergy who fully understands and appreciates the share in Christ's priesthood they possess by virtue of their ordination.

With all love and charity,

The undersigned faithful of the diocese of Wheeling Charleston

0 have signed. Let’s get to 200!
At 200 signatures, this petition is more likely to be featured in recommendations!