Voice of the Faithful (VOTF) is an American group of progressive Catholics that advocates for clergy reform in light of clergy sexual abuse scandals. With the recent release of the Dublin report that not only details a history of clergy abuse in Ireland but also a pattern of cover up by the Catholic hierarchy, call for reform rages anew.
See my recent post about Catholics and sex, which discussed the recent report from Ireland.
The online Irish Times reported on the story of the VOTF (Ireland) representatives who delivered a letter to the papal nuncio demanding that Pope Benedict remove certain bishops complicit in the cover up.
The open letter to Pope Benedict also called on him to remove the bishops who “enabled abuse” and urged him to bring in a culture of accountability.
During a protest at the apostolic nunciature in Dublin, the 10 protesters also called on papal nuncio Archbishop Giuseppe Leanza to apologise for the failure of his predecessor to co-operate with the Murphy commission. They also asked for him to fully co-operate with the commission from now on.
They were part of Voice of the Faithful Ireland, a group of Catholics that wants to see structural change in the church and a more active role for lay members.
The following is from a VOTF press release announcing that the Pope will hold a summit:
On Monday we learned that Pope Benedict will hold a summit with top Irish bishops on Friday to discuss the findings of the Murphy Report on the Dublin Archdiocese.
Over the weekend, a small group from Voice of the Faithful Ireland delivered a letter to the Papal Nuncio there asking the pope to remove the bishops who enabled the abuse and bring an end to the culture of secrecy in the church.
We are joining our Irish affiliate in calling for accountability as Pope Benedict prepares to meet with Archbishop Diarmuid Martin of Dublin, Cardinal Sean Brady of Armagh, President of the Irish Bishop’s conference, and Archbishop Giuseppe Leanza, the papal nuncio in Ireland. We have highlighted our call with a video that briefly recounts what we face in light of the Church’s refusal to hold accountable those bishops who covered up initial sex abuse and still refuse to open all the records pertaining to such abuse.