Two weeks ago I wrote about some of the things the Church has done since 2002 when we became painfully aware of some of the extent of abuse of children by priests in the past and the failure to have done more to prevent this. I also mentioned that we need to do what we can to hold authorities more accountable for their actions in attempting to change this in our Church and in our society. In our society we need to consider, propose, and support laws that may help victims and to protect the vulnerable. In the Church we need to also make our voices heard to consider, propose, and support changes that can help.
One of the main ways to make our voices heard in the Church is the same way as it is in the rest of society, to write to those in positions of authority. Specifically I can write to the head of our local church, Archbishop Carlson; the head of the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops, Cardinal Daniel DiNardo; and to Pope Francis. Their addresses are as follows:
Archbishop Robert Carlson
20 Archbishop May Dr.
St. Louis, MO 63119
Cardinal Daniel N. DiNardo
President – USCCB
3211 Fourth Street NE
Washington, DC 200017
His Holiness, Pope Francis
00120 Vatican City
I plan on writing them this week to express my concerns as well as those parishioners have expressed to me.
Just today I saw a letter to the USCCB from Anne M. Burke published in the Chicago – Sun-Times. She served as an Interim Chair of the National Review Board of the USCCB that was formed 15 years ago to address reports of sexual abuse in the Church at that time. She, and the rest of that independent board, are volunteering to investigate recent concerns in the Church and listed the questions they feel need to be answered. I am grateful for her sending this letter and providing a step in a possible path forward.
In addition to writing those I mention above, you can also write, e-mail, or talk to me. I am grateful for those who have already communicated with me about this topic and invite you to continue to do so. I know that this is not something that is simply addressed in one letter, or one homily, but something we must continue to work and pray to overcome.