#CatholicToo Organizations Thank Women Religious and Other Survivors For Coming Forward
Three Catholic reform organizations, Call To Action, FutureChurch and Women’s Ordination Conference, are joining their voices in solidarity with the many women religious who came forward this week with accusations of sexual assault by clergy.
“Catholics everywhere owe a debt of gratitude to these sisters, who at great risk are speaking out against their abusers and the culture of secrecy and misogyny that enabled them,” said Kate McElwee, Executive Director for Women’s Ordination Conference. “The strong voices of resistance that we are hearing from sisters in Asia, Africa and Latin America make it clear that Catholics will no longer be silent about abuse and exploitation at the hands of the people we are supposed to trust as our pastors.”
“This is truly a sea change in the Catholic Church,” said Deborah Rose-Milavec, Executive Director of FutureChurch, “The stories being shared by these women religious, combined with the resignation of Theodore McCarrick from the College of Cardinals, are proof that ordinary Catholics have the power to change our Church. For too long, the Roman Catholic Church has been used as a hiding place for predators. These brave survivors are making it clear that their ‘time’s up.’”
In December of 2017, Call To Action, FutureChurch and Women’s Ordination Conference unveiled their newest shared campaign, #CatholicToo, as a Catholic response to the outpouring of testimonies from women breaking their silence about harassment and abuse across industries (#MeToo).
“We formed the #CatholicToo campaign as a way for ordinary Catholics to speak out about their experiences with misogyny and abuse in our Church,” said Christine Haider-Winnett, Communications Manager for Call To Action. “As we’re learning from these courageous women religious, change is possible when women tell the truth about their experiences. The #CatholicToo campaign gives Catholics a supportive space to tell those stories.”
People who want more information on the #CatholicToo movement, or who want to share their own stories, can go to www.catholictoo.org.
About the #CatholicToo organizations:
Call To Action: Call To Action draws its mission from the US Bishops’ 1976 Call To Action conference, and the “Call for Reform in the Catholic Church” proclaimed by more than 20,000 signers articulates its goals for our Church. It began as a response to the challenge of the Second Vatican Council, held between 1962 and 1965, for all members to “scrutinize the signs of the times” and respond in the light of the gospel. The council provided a wake-up call for lay Catholics who had tended to defer initiatives entirely to the clergy. Call To Action educates, inspires and activates Catholics to act for justice and build inclusive communities through a lens of anti-racism and anti-oppression principles.
FutureChurch: FutureChurch is a 27 year old organization that seeks changes that will provide all Roman Catholics the opportunity to participate fully in Church life and leadership. It is a national coalition of parish centered Catholics striving to educate fellow Catholics about the seriousness of the priest shortage, the centrality of the Eucharist (the Mass), and the systemic inequality of women in the Catholic Church. FutureChurch is a nonprofit organization that makes presentations throughout the country, distributes education, advocacy and prayer resources and recruits activists who work on behalf of its mission.
Women’s Ordination Conference: Founded in 1975, the Women’s Ordination Conference (WOC) is the oldest and largest organization working to ordain women as priests, deacons, and bishops into an inclusive and accountable Roman Catholic Church. A feminist voice for women in the Roman Catholic Church, WOC is a grassroots-driven movement that promotes activism, dialogue, and prayerful witness to call for women’s full equality in the Church.