<%@LANGUAGE="JAVASCRIPT" CODEPAGE="65001"%> Plea For Openness ARCC
ARCC Banner
Home Join ARCC Donate Facebook Table of Contents
DHTML JavaScript Menu By Milonic.com

Who we are

What we do

Contact us



A Plea for Openness (Sun Feb 27, 2005 2:45 pm)

This message was sent today to U.S. bishops and newspaper editors both Catholic and secular.



Leonard Swidler, Ph.D.
Department of Religion Tel: 215-204-7251 (office)
Temple University (022-38) 215-477-1080 (home)
1114 West Berks Street Fax: 215-204-4569 (office)
Philadelphia, PA 19122-6090 215-477-5928 (home)
E-mail: dialogue@temple.edu Web: http://arcc-catholic-rights.org/

February 27, 2005

Dear Bishop/Editor,

It seems inconceivable that the US bishops have voted to go back on their word promising independent audits of every diocese in 2005, especially after they had pledged to appoint the National Review Board to create mechanisms to ensure that no more young people would be abused by church personnel in this country, a policy ARCC believes could well be a model for the rest of the world.

The bishops struggled with this issue throughout 2004, keeping their pledge to hold independent annual audits, despite the attempts by several bishops to derail the process. Unfortunately, the bishops reneged on this promise in their November meeting and decided instead to require only a self-study report from dioceses that had been found to be in compliance in 2004.

The absurdity of such a toothless system of cooption can be seen in Springfield, Massachusetts. The Diocese of Springfield announced that is was in compliance and therefore had given itself a positive audit. It neglected to mention that Bishop Dupre had resigned and gone into treatment in February after being charged with sexual abuse by two former altar boys.

ARCC believes that decades of episcopal obfuscation have made it difficult, if not impossible, to assume trust in our bishops. Trust can no longer be taken for granted , but must be earned by concrete actions that insure accountability, openness, and lay participation in the decision-making process.

Moreover, this can be only a first step toward the absolutely necessary re-structuring of the Church in a more participatory direction. The Church adopted the structure of the Roman Empire when it “came out of the catacombs” in 313 A.D. It is long since time that the Church adopt the more participatory and responsible structures of modern democracy.

Hence, we urge you to take this first step toward rebuilding our trust and more participatory and responsible church structures by honoring your pledge to have independent audits of every diocese in the United States.

Other voices

Another Voice

Questions From a Ewe

Challenges Facing Catholicism
(Bishop Geoffrey Robinson in converation with Dr Ingrid Shafer)

Home ] Up ]
Locations of visitors to this page

Contact Information

, D.P.A., President
(406) 544-5527
Postal address
P.O. Box 6512
Helena, MT 59604-6512


Website design and maintenance:
Ingrid Shafer &
Copyright © 2003-2010,
Association for the Rights of Catholics in the Church
DHTML JavaScript Menu By Milonic.com