"It is a grave offense not to work for the extermination of heresy when this monstrous infection requires action"
(Council of Vienne)

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Tuesday, November 13, 2018

Lay group urges US bishops to ‘rid’ Catholic institutions of unchaste clergy




November 12, 2018 (LifeSiteNews) – A group of Catholic laity is urging U.S. bishops gathered this week for a General Assembly in Maryland to "rid" the Church of clergy involved in "sexual misconduct with adults."
“No More Victims,” a group of laypeople located in the diocese of Lansing, MI, has prepared a 32-page document titled “What We the Laity are Reading that has Shaken us to the Core” concerning clergy sexual misconduct among adults. The group intends to hand out the document to bishops at the meeting that is taking place November 12-14 in Baltimore at the Waterfront Marriott.
The U.S. bishops are under intense moral pressure from pew-sitting Catholics and also legal mandate in some places to open their records and clean their houses. Laity are demanding accountability from the bishops.
The group states in an open letter (full letter below) to the bishops: "As you deal with the scandal of McCarrick and abuse committed by bishops, we urge you to include in your concerns, efforts to rid seminaries, dioceses and all Church institutions and structures of those who are involved in sexual misconduct with adults."
"We believe clergy sexual misconduct with adults is at the core of so many of the problems of the Church in the last many decades," the group adds.
The letter is signed by broadcaster and author Al Kresta, moral theologian Janet E. Smith, and accountant and director of No More Victims Jason Negri. The group also includes, among others, abuse-survivor and advocate Graham Lapp.
"It is not just Archbishop McCarrick who is the problem or clergy who abuse minors, but also clergy who engaged in sexual misconduct with adults," the group stated in a press release.
The group urged the bishops to do what "needs to be done" to "rebuild and purify" the Church.
"We know the tasks before you are truly of epic proportions and will affect the faith and salvation of many for decades to come. We are praying that what needs to be done to rebuild and purify the Church will be done. We know it will come at a great personal cost to many but have confidence that the graces the Holy Spirit will abundantly pour upon those who repent, convert, and follow the commandments of the Lord will make it a joy to share in our Savior’s cross."
News broke earlier today that the Vatican directed the U.S. bishops to hold off from voting on two measures during their meeting that aimed at addressing the sexual abuse crisis in the U.S. Church.
Note: Read No More Victims' document "What We the Laity are Reading that has Shaken us to the Core" here.
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Dear Your Excellencies,
In the next few days, it is likely that many Catholics will be posting “open letters” to the bishops with advice on how to deal with the sexual abuse crisis. We are praying and wracking our brains, as we are sure you are.  
Our organization, No More Victims of the diocese of Lansing, MI, has put together a Reader, What We Laity Are Reading that has Shaken Us to the Core. It addresses a problem that has rarely been mentioned in any news releases from bishops: the problem of clerical sexual misconduct with adults. It includes excerpts from 22 articles published mostly within the last few months as well as additional resources.  
As you deal with the scandal of McCarrick and abuse committed by bishops, we urge you to include in your concerns, efforts to rid seminaries, dioceses and all Church institutions and structures of those who are involved in sexual misconduct with adults.  We believe clergy sexual misconduct with adults is at the core of so many of the problems of the Church in the last many decades.
We will be sending copies of the Reader to members of the media but we are embargoing them until the afternoon of Monday November 12. We are confident that the media will learn of this effort and “get ahead” of the issue and “manage” their response as much as possible. We wanted you to have advance notice to be prepared to answer any questions that may come from the media.
We know the tasks before you are truly of epic proportions and will affect the faith and salvation of many for decades to come. We are praying that what needs to be done to rebuild and purify the Church will be done. We know it will come at a great personal cost to many but have confidence that the graces the Holy Spirit will abundantly pour upon those who repent, convert, and follow the commandments of the Lord will make it a joy to share in our Savior’s cross.
Please consider us as loyal partners in the work of the Church.  We believe that for you to do your job you need to hear from devoted laity. The days of “pay, pray and obey” are over, and the relationship between the hierarchy and the laity is undergoing a transformation as well. We would like to stand with you through this crisis in your commitment to the Gospel which brings healing and calls us all to true holiness.
Attached is a copy of the Reader and of the press release.  A copy of the reader will also be available within the next 24 hours at https://www.nomorevictimsmi.org/.
Oremus invicem.
Al Kresta, broadcaster and author
Janet E. Smith, moral theologian
Jason Negri, accountant and director of No More Victims

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