We want you to know the story behind the decision to convene a virtual meeting in the near future of our supporters and interested faithful to discuss and approve a plan to implement the objectives of Heal Our Church.(HOC) Our hope was that Archbishop Etienne would join HOC for this meeting. He declined. So here is the story of how we arrived at this conclusion.
On January 20, 2020, we delivered a letter to the Archbishop asking to meet with him. In March we received a response proposing to meet on May 13th. As that date got closer, the Archbishop changed his mind, citing his wish to meet personally rather than virtually. So, we agreed to meet personally using social distancing and recommended precautions. He declined. His decision postpones and dismisses the importance of addressing both sexual abuse in the church and the role of the laity. This is disappointing in the context of other current events to change systems and organizations for the better.
The most recent letter to HOC from the Archbishop follows. His resistance and refusal to join our planned virtual meeting and to sign the joint statement of purpose of Heal Our Church is disheartening. We will not be deterred in our mission and purpose. We will go forward with our virtual meeting to chart our future course while engaging all our voices and concerns for positive change, transparency, truth and healing.