What We Are Reading

The community of St. Vincent’s is deeply committed to responding to the current heightened awareness of crisis and sorrow caused by child abuse and a lack of accountability in our Church. We have addressed it before, during, and after Mass, by email and in an initial two town meetings, which also produced many written responses. Below are links to just some of the articles that parishioners have shared with each other in their quest for greater understanding and a desire to plan for action.

DEATH IN THE CHURCH: IS NEW LIFE AHEAD? by Ilia Delio
“The Church has a deep structural problem which is entirely bound to ancient metaphysical and philosophical principles, not to mention imperial politics, that at this point require either a radical decision towards a new ecclesial structure or accept the possibility of a major schism.”

It’s time to choose the painful path of purification
“The Catholic community has arrived at a point in its history so seared by raw reality that we are all left with nothing to lean against or hide behind. Our leaders, drained of authority and credibility, can only follow as we move beyond overburdened expressions, beyond even the content of our normal prayers. We grasp for some new psalm of lamentation to fit this horrid moment and search for a new way to live as a Catholic community.”

An Appeal to U.S. Bishops and Pastors
“The time of necessary action is now and the task is urgent. We implore you, as siblings in Christ and as co-workers in the vineyard, to be accountable to and transparent with the entire People of God, to seek true renewal inspired by Vatican II that goes beyond cosmetic institutional reforms, and to follow Pope Francis in practicing a radical discipleship.”

Fr. Richard Rohr’s Statement on the Sexual Abuse Catastrophe in the Church
“This moral catastrophe first of all demands public and sincere lamentation from every segment of the Body of Christ, and only then can the deep healing begin.  It also demands public ownership, repentance and reform of our very immature teaching in regard to sexuality in general, male power issues in particular, and our “enforced” understanding of celibacy, which will predictably produce this kind of result.”

Statement of Catholic Theologians, Educators, Parishioners, & Lay Leaders on Clergy Sexual Abuse in the United States
“If we are to say “never again” to this catastrophic epidemic of sexual violence within the Church, then structural change on a scale previously unimaginable is required.”

Trent’s Long Shadow: The Abuse Crisis and Seminaries, Dioceses, and the Laity
“If this is, as many believe, the most serious crisis in the Catholic Church since the Protestant Reformation, then the analysis of this systemic failure of the institutional church needs to take the long view, comparing this period in the church’s history to others in order to discover where exactly things went wrong.”

A Proposed Constitution for the Catholic Church
“We the people of the Catholic Church hold that because all men and women are created in God’s image and likeness and that the same divine teaching on how they should live is written in every human heart, all persons are to be treated with dignity and equality, each person having the same fundamental rights and responsibilities.”

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