There are ways Catholics can take action and call for reform in the Church. First, is educating ourselves. If we don’t know the places that are broken, we can’t speak knowledgeably about reform. Review the resources and articles on this website first.
Second, consider writing a letter (You may want to read this advice on what to write). You may also want to read this letter from the parish council at St Thomas More Church in Decatur, GA, sent to Archbishop Wilton Gregory laying out specific suggestions for reform. Here are action and letter-writing resources:
The Siena Project makes it easy for Catholics to send letters to their bishops to call for reform. It include free templates to help you draft your letter.
SNAP is the Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests. Their advocacy resources are helpful and extensive.
What Parishes Have Been Doing
|A detailed proposal of action steps and areas of concern for parishioners of Holy Trinity Catholic Church in Washington, DC.|
|An Ignatian Examen-style prayer offered in place of the homily at Masses at St Thomas More Church in Decatur, GA. Parishioners reflected in the quiet between prompts and made anonymous notes on index cards which were then used to direct a committee’s response to the crisis.|
Service of Lament and Hope
This service includes a symbolic act of priests processing in and lying prostrate before a cross, similar to the Good Friday liturgy. This a symbol of lament and repentance not for the specific priests, but rather this represents the repentance of the church hierarchy, which the priests represent. We have found it to be a beautiful and moving gesture. The service is lay-led, balancing female and male participants.
Feel free to adapt this Taizé prayer service for your own community as you lament in the pain and sorrow of this crisis, concluding in hope in the Light of Christ and the transforming and healing power of the Holy Spirit.