The Archbishop cancelled the May 13th meeting we scheduled nearly four months previously under the concern of coronavirus. He was offered a remote zoom option and an in person option at a facility of his choice with HOC providing masks, sanitizer and gloves with social distancing. He declined both. The letter below is our response to him.
May 18, 2020 Archbishop Paul Etienne, D.D.S.T.L. Archdiocese of Seattle 710- 9th Ave. Seattle, WA 98104
Dear Archbishop Etienne:
Heal Our Church (HOC) remains deeply disappointed that our representatives could not meet with you on May 13, 2020. As relayed to your assistant we believe a remote meeting could have been an alternative in initiating our much delayed meeting. But you expressed the need for a person to person meeting in order for us to build important relationships. In that spirit, we ask that you commit to a meeting very soon after the Governor lifts his order prohibiting such face to face meetings and direct your staff to do so. This is very important to HOC given your earlier request that we wait nearly four months for a meeting in May after you received our January letter.
All of us appreciate that the Covid-19 pandemic has shifted the ground and presented additional difficulties and struggles for our world, including our Archdiocese. Many members of the Catholic community have become even more disconnected from the Church. Sadly, at the very time when Catholics are in profound need of spiritual sustenance, the still lingering effects of the abuse crisis and divisions within our Church have prevented that from happening. As a result, the urgency of HOC’s mission and goals has only become more pronounced and reinforced for us our determination to proceed as outlined in our Statement of Belief.
Although the bond between the institutional Church and many of its members has been weakened as a result of historic events along with this pandemic, we hope that you see HOC as an ally in strengthening that bond. As you know, our goal is to enable the Church to restore trust and transparency and reconnect with the multitudes of Catholics who have drifted away or feel disengaged from active participation in the Church. There remains a genuine hunger for true and tangible reconciliation. We are quite certain you appreciate from our earlier communications that HOC is continuing with its work and hope that it will provide an opportunity for you to work with lay leaders, in the spirit of truth and reconciliation, to build something critical to the future of our Church.
We know that you will prayerfully reflect on this opportunity to work in collaboration with HOC to restore trust and transparency and to heal our Church.
Respectfully and on behalf of the steering committee of HOC, Colleen Kinerk Terrence A. Carroll