January 25, 2004
January 4, 2004
Statement by James E. Post, president of Voice of the Faithful
The Archdiocese of Boston has endured a year of terrible suffering brought on by the clergy sexual abuse crisis. Today’s announcement of change in the leadership of the Archdiocese is a sad, but necessary, step in the healing process.
This is not a joyous time for us. Our hearts are heavy with sadness for the damage that has been done to the office of Archbishop of Boston. We need to emphasize that Cardinal Law’s resignation is only a first step. It is not the conclusion to this crisis, nor is it the ultimate solution. Solutions need the “sunlight” of truth and reconciliation in order to bring about healing. Solutions must involve collaboration among the laity, priests, religious, and hierarchy and we urge Bishop Lennon to hear us and act in a spirit of collaboration and collegiality with the laity, survivors and clergy of the Archdiocese of Boston.
The Archdiocese faces an enormous challenge. Healing requires listening to one another, to survivors and their families, to priests, religious, and to the laity – women and men of good will who share a responsibility for the well-being of the Church. We must listen to one another; we must have real and honest dialogue; we must cooperate in shaping solutions. We need a blueprint to heal the Catholic Church. Voice of the Faithful stands ready to begin that work today. Voice of the Faithful is composed of faithful Catholics who love their Church and are working to restore its moral integrity. We are making a difference by supporting survivors, supporting priests who are faithfully living their vows, and working for structural changes in the culture of secrecy and authoritarianism that contributed to this crisis. Sunlight and cooperation are the tools we must use to reclaim our Church.
VOTF is now a reality in the life of the Catholic Church. We are serious mainstream Catholics, and our movement will continue to grow throughout the U.S. and the world. We are tending to the laity, to the survivors and to the good priests in our midst, and we will continue to do so. VOTF will continue to exercise our rights and responsibilities as baptized Catholics: we will continue working for justice, and we will offer healing solutions for survivors and the faithful, including bringing the expertise and voice of the laity into the governance and guidance of the Catholic Church.