We, concerned and committed Catholic lay women and men, after thoughtful reflection about the dire situation facing our Church and aware that the New Testament repeatedly confirms both the authority and responsibility of lay women and men to actively work for the healing and renewal of the Church, ask you to join with us in conducting A Call for Reform and Renewal of The Catholic Archdiocese of Western Washington.
By establishing an ongoing Truth and Reconciliation Commission (TRC)* led by a diverse group of lay people committed to the following:
I. Truth through full and verifiable disclosure:
All documents relating to sexual abuse by clergy, religious orders of men and women, and laity.
All diocesan financial matters, including the sources and costs of payments to victims of abuse and attorneys for the archdiocese.
All archdiocesan personnel policies and practices related to the training, appointment, assignment, transfer, and discipline of archdiocesan clerical and lay personnel and volunteers.
The TRC will issue a report including recommendations for reconciliation.
“Love One Another” (John 15: 17)
II. Reconciliation: Upon issuance of its report, and through the leadership of the TRC, laity and clergy throughout the Archdiocese would meet in Assemblies to implement a plan for reconciliation. At a minimum, it is hoped that the Assemblies would consider the following:
Promulgation and enforcement of strong safeguards and assurance the abuses will not be repeated. We acknowledge the Safe Environment Program and Review Board as positive efforts.
The harm caused by clericalism.
Welcoming all Catholics regardless of their personal status or standing in the church.
Inclusion of Catholic women in senior positions of genuine authority and influence in all aspects of Catholic ministry and life.
Full and lasting justice for the victims of clerical abuse in all its guises with justice that extends beyond the practice of apology and financial compensation to victims.
III. Healing: The objective of healing is to repair injuries and restore trust. Contributing elements include:
Full disclosure and open, honest communication.
Recognition and affirmation both by clergy and laity of the role of the laity in achieving the fullness of our church’s mission.
Acknowledging the many faithful, effective clergy and lay persons whose service reflects the Gospel message.
Respecting people who struggle with their faith, and welcoming them to full participation in our liturgies, sacramental life, and community activities.
*The Truth and Reconciliation Commission is not an agency of the Archdiocese of Seattle. It seeks to accomplish its mission in dialogue, and as possible, cooperation with the Archdiocese of Seattle.