Clergy sexual abuse of minors and vulnerable adults stands as one of the darkest moments in the history of the Catholic Church. Innocent victims have been and continue to be assaulted by clergy and men and women vowed religious. The people who commit these assaults minister in the name of God. They are looked upon with reverence, trust and respect. Reverence, trust and respect are violated along with the bodies and souls of the innocents as a result of these assaults. The resulting tsunami like devastation changes their lives dramatically. Victims / survivors face the daunting task of rebuilding their lives from the ruins.
Compounding the difficulty of rebuilding their lives has been the immoral and sometimes criminal behavior of many bishops and other Church leaders as they further traumatized the victims by foregoing pastoral care in favor of protecting reputations and assets. Indeed, those who perpetrate these crimes often have been defended and justified, while the victims have been vilified.
Moreover, many people in the Church and in the society at large, although appalled by the crisis and scandal, have done little or nothing to proclaim the truth and to promote justice.
Some church insiders, however, broke ranks in order to stop the sexual abuse of children and to call sexual abusers and their supervisors to accountability. Many others wanted to blow the whistle but feared repercussions.
We realize that whistleblowers and potential whistleblowers need support, especially from one another. Hence, we have formed Catholic Whistleblowers as a vehicle to strengthen and to encourage all good people who in a public and vocal way desire to stand with and speak up for the victims/survivors. Our hope is that the revelation of the truth and the doing of justice may one day foster healing and peace for all people who suffer in any way because of the Catholic clergy sexual abuse crisis and scandal.
How and WHy we came together
Catholic Whistleblowers emerged from years of friendships and months of planning and conversation. Reporter Laurie Goodstein of the New York Times was present at some of those discussions. Her "Church Whistle-Blowers Join Forces on Abuse," published on May 20, 2013, gives a sense of our process and goals.
As the increased knowledge of the truth leads to justice, and justice in turn enhances healing and peace, the sexual abuse crisis and scandal will subside, trust by the faithful in the bishops will return, and the ability for the faithful to fully participate in the mission of the Church will be strengthened.