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Calling All Catholics

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Published on Aug 28, 2008

Millions of Catholics were filled with hope when Pope Benedict came to the U.S. this spring. He met with survivors. He apologized for the abuses and for the cover-ups that saw the Church protect more than 4,000 priests and religious rather than seek justice for the 11,000 children and young people they had molested.
Then we read the deposition from Chicago.

The actions of Cardinal Francis George -- revealed first last fall and recently reported in detail in a sworn deposition as part of a multimillion dollar settlement with survivors -- make the Pope's words ring hollow.

We now know that Cardinal George protected priests accused of pedophilia as recently as 2006. He allowed one credibly accused priest, Fr. Daniel McCormack, to move from parish to parish, exposing additional children to abuse. He ignored a recommendation from his own lay review board to remove Fr. McCormack from ministry.
But it wasn't just Fr. McCormack.

Cardinal George also delayed the investigation of another credibly accused priest, Fr. Joseph Bennett, for four years, resulting in numerous additional charges. Again, he refused to act despite the recommendations of his own Review Board that Fr. Bennett was a danger.

Incredibly, Cardinal George did this even though he helped write the rules encompassed in the USCCB's Charter for the Protection of Children and Young People. The so-called "zero tolerance" in that charter was supposed to ensure that children would no longer be prey to clergy abusers in our dioceses.
Cardinal George did not follow the rules he helped to write.

Cardinal George placed the well-being of accused priests and his perception of the interests of the Catholic Church ahead of protecting innocent children.

Despite these failings -- some of which made national news in 2006 -- Cardinal George late last year was elected by his fellow bishops to be the new President of the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops.

So much for "fraternal correction." So much for a culture shift in the Catholic Church in America. So much for even a slap on the wrist from his fellow bishops -- or the Pope.

We believe that actions by the Cardinal and his lieutenants may have violated state laws that require clergy to report suspected abuse. That's one reason we ask you to watch the video and then contact authorities in Chicago to launch an investigation. Forward the video to others who you think will act as well.

Voice of the Faithful seeks to stop that cycle of revelation/apology/new revelations. We speak out about the continuing problems in our Church, pursuing justice for survivors and seeking accountability by our Church leaders. Voice of the Faithful aims to inspire other Catholics to join with us to help renew our Church. 

We envision a Church that is open, transparent, and accountable. We imagine a Church that embraces the gifts and talents of the laity. We dream of a Church governed by compassion, informed by justice, empowered by equality, and animated to act collegially. In some dioceses and parishes, this vision is becoming a reality thanks to Voice of the Faithful members.
But, as recent events in Chicago demonstrate, this vision is not a reality yet. So please watch our video. Send it to your friends. Contact Chicago civil authorities to demand an investigation. http://votf.org/change

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