Our Mission Statement
To provide a prayerful voice, attentive to the
Spirit, through which the Faithful can actively participate in
the governance and guidance of the Catholic Church.
- To support survivors of clergy sexual abuse
- To support priests of integrity
- To shape structural change within Church
OUR STATEMENT OF IDENTITY
Voice of the Faithful (VOTF) arose in 2002 in response to shocking
revelations in the life of the Catholic Church: widespread clerical
abuse of children; silence of clergy in the face of known or suspected
abuse; and the moral, governance and pastoral failures of Catholic
bishops in response to abusers and survivors alike. In the face
of such breaches of trust, VOTF emerged from the determination
of Catholic laity to find their voice and to claim their proper
role in the governance of the Church.
Drawing on their baptismal responsibility for the life and work
of the Church, VOTF members commit themselves to supporting survivors;
supporting priests who are helping to heal survivors and correct
institutional flaws; and working to reform governing structures
so that abuse of authority could not happen again. Nourished by
its members’ deep love for the Body of Christ, VOTF seeks
full transparency and accountability in Church governance and full
incorporation of lay Catholics in the life and work of the Church
at every level.
The patterns that led to abuse and cover-up, and to increasing
instances of clerical financial misconduct, still prevail. It is
simply unreasonable to trust in exclusively clerical governance
or to expect meaningful reform from the hierarchy acting alone
on these issues.
Affirming their responsibility for the good of the Church, VOTF
members continue to offer their experience of faith and their competencies
in the Church. They willingly collaborate with bishops and clergy
who welcome such relationships. They also pursue independent avenues
to exercise their role of fully initiated lay faithful in the life
and governance of the Church. In doing so, VOTF stands in full
communion with the Church through sacrament, proclamation and service.
It bases its work on the Gospel, the guidance of the Holy Spirit,
and on the rich sources of Catholic tradition, particularly the
understanding of the Church articulated in the documents of the
Second Vatican Council.
VOTF welcomes the active participation of all Catholics who share
a commitment to assisting survivors, supporting priests of integrity,
protecting children, and working for full lay participation in
Church governance. VOTF will continue to seek structural reforms
that will correct the problems that led to the abuse scandal, and
that, if unchanged, could enable other scandals to occur. Joining
VOTF is a commitment to work to strengthen and renew the Church,
and to assume shared responsibility for its governance.
Find a Parish
Voice affiliate in your area.
here to get your copy of Keep the Faith, Change the
Voice of the Faithful is recognized as one of the
most promising lay organizations to evolve in the Catholic Church. Your
support is absolutely necessary for us to continue. The online
donation form and the mail
in donation form are both quick and easy ways for you to participate,
and we are most grateful. (VOTF
is a 501(c)3 tax-exempt organization. )
To provide a prayerful voice, attentive to the Spirit,
through which the Faithful can actively participate in the governance
and guidance of the Catholic Church.
1. To support survivors of clergy sexual abuse.
2. To support priests of integrity
3.To shape structural change within the Catholic Church.
Pray Each Day
Jesus, Lord and Brother, help us with our faithfulness.
Please hear our voice, and let our voice be heard. Amen. More
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