We didn’t get answers to our questions. (See the Cardinal’s response here.) Now we ask for action – not words. The following actions are necessary for restoring faith and renewing the Catholic Church in Philadelphia.
1- Direct pastors to hold open meetings with parishioners on the issue of Church response to the Grand Jury report. Give pastors the appropriate support to have such meetings.
2- Announce the names of any suspended priests and the nature of the allegations against them.
3- Create a customized charter of child protection, as was done in many other U.S. Dioceses.
4- Remove the disclaimer language that precedes the Standard of Ministerial Behavior and Boundaries. These disclaimers are not found in other U.S Dioceses.
5- Establish a special collection for clergy sex abuse victim support groups with all the money going directly to those charities.
6- Fund a victim assistance program run independently of the Archdiocese and its lawyers.
7- Publicly support legislation that suspends for two years the civil statute of limitations on sex abuse claims. Support the abolishment of the statute of limitations for sex offenses against minors.
8- Use independent providers for the evaluation and treatment of priests accused of sexually abusing minors.
9- Follow all recommendations made by Gina Maisto Smith and her team.
10- Send every new allegation received by the diocese to Gina Maisto Smith and her team. (Victims should contact the DA’s office. Please see resources page.)
It’s time for us to be the Church. We must unite ourselves with victim survivors. It is up to each and every one of us to protect children, bring victims justice and help our priests of integrity retain the respect they deserve.