I thought I would give you a few months to settle in before I wrote to you. I have carried on a (one way) correspondence with your predecessors so I thought I should continue the tradition and be in touch with you.
I want to commend you for what appears to be your actual concern for the people of God whom you lead. I also want to commend you for reaching out to your people and inquiring of their experiences and opinions about urgent issues in their lives, particularly about their experiences in families. The information which you gather will be critical to your discernment of the path ahead for your church.
I expect that you will hear from many survivors of sexual abuse by priests, relatives and family friends and also from survivors of intimate partner violence in the home. Across all races, classes, genders, orientations, ages, and nationalities, they are in the pews at every mass every week. Their voices must be heard.
I realize that your plate is filled to overflowing with the suffering of the world and the corruption of our institutions, including the church. There are many faithful Catholics who long to be a part of a new church and I pray that you will hear their voices and call on their help.
In addressing the moral crisis of clergy sexual abuse which has shaken the very foundations of the Roman Catholic Church, I urge you to read Bishop Geoffrey Robinson’s book, For Christ’s Sake: End Sexual Abuse in the Catholic Church for Good. Bishop Robinson along with two other Australian Bishops has launched a petition campaign urging you to call a new Vatican Council to address the crisis of sexual abuse in the church.
As you gather information and opinion from Catholics around the world, I urge you to include these petitions and to call on Bishop Robinson to help give direction to a serious critique of the institutional failures of the church which have so compounded the pain and suffering of thousands of individuals and families.
And as always, I stand ready as an ecumenical partner to support this effort.
Your sister in Christ,
Rev. Dr. Marie M. Fortune
- See more at: http://www.faithtrustinstitute.org/blog/marie-fortune/185#sthash.At725tga.dpuf