St. John Neumann Action Committee MISSION
In response to the Summer of 2018 revelations about clerical sexual abuse and the Listening Session held at St. John Neumann Catholic Community on September 27, 2018, a parish Action Committee was formed.
The Mission of the Committee is two-fold:
- to communicate concerns emerging from our loss of trust in the ability of our Bishops to provide an adequate response to the sexual abuse crisis;
- to advocate for greater involvement of the laity in pastoral governance at all levels of the Church.
Within the parameters of this Mission Statement, the members of the Action Committee seek to become self-informed, and consequently to keep parishioners informed, regarding the following:
- Extent of abuse;
- Current status of civil authorities in terms of actions to identify and prosecute abusers;
- Current status of Bishops in terms of their actions to identify and punish abusers;
- Current status of Bishops’ actions to seek forgiveness from victims of clerical sexual abuse;
- Current status of Bishops’ actions to restore laity trust in Church Hierarchy;
- Actions that can be taken by the Parish Action Committee to communicate with Bishops the laity’s expectations of the Bishops;
- Actions that can be taken by individual parishioners to communicate their personal expectations with the Bishops.
Statement from the Oblate Priests of St. John Neumann:
Sin and evil exist everywhere and at all times, but when it happens in the very institution given us by God to bring us salvation and hope—the damage to all of us is most difficult to understand and to recover from.
In the name of all of the priests here at St. John Neumann, we want to apologize for the hurt, pain and damage done to all of you.
We pray for the victims of abuse and the damage caused by the institution that covered up the evil with the excuse of avoiding scandal.
You are the church—not the hierarchy. Never let anyone be an obstacle to your relationship with God.
The community here at St. John Neumann supports and loves you and will do all we can to restore hope and the belief that has been damaged by the actions and failings of some priests and bishops.
Have faith that God will ultimately heal us all.
Links for more information:
- August 20, 2018: Letter from Pope Francis
- Protecting God’s Children – Diocese of Arlington
- September 26, 2018: Diocese of Arlington Announces Review of all Clergy Files
- Oblates of St. Francis de Sales
- August 29, 2018: Bishop Burbidge’s interview on WJLA
- USCCB Office of Child & Youth Protection
January 31, 2019 – Fr. Gerard McGlone, S.J., Ph.D., “Separating Fact From Fiction In the Sexual Abuse Crisis”
Fr. Jerry is the Associate Director for Protection of Minors for the Conference of Major Superiors of Men. In addition, he serves as liaison and consultant with the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops, the Papal Commission for the Protection of Minors, and many religious orders and dioceses. Three articles were referenced Thursday night, January 31, when Fr. Jerry shared his insights at St. John Neumann: “Separating Facts About Clergy Abuse from Fiction“, “On Carrying a Scandal Biblically“, and “Receiving the Council-Laity in Church“.