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.
How to Report Abuse:
-If an Emergency, call 911
-Child Protective Services; Virginia Dept of Social Services: 800-552-7096
-Diocese of Arlington, Office of Child Protection; Report and Get Help and Counseling: 703-841-3847 www.arlingtondiocese.org/Child-Protection/How-to-Report-Sexual-Abuse
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 SJN Action Group:
- Letter to US Bishops signed by 600+ calling for accountability, transparency and reform
- Fr. Gerard McGlone, S.J., Ph.D., “Separating Fact From Fiction In the Sexual Abuse Crisis”
- Email us for More Information or to Sign Up, SJNActionGroup@saintjn.org
- 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
Town Hall Meeting with Oblate Provincial
On June 3, 2019, the St. John Neumann ACTION Committee, in partnership with the Our Lady of Good Council CAPACT group, ( Capital Advocates for Church and Transparency), held a Town Hall meeting with Father Lewis Fiorelli, the Provincial for our region of the Oblates of St. Francis de Sales. Father Fiorelli spoke about the Oblates’ history with the sex abuse crisis, what they have done and will be doing; his advocacy for the victims of clerical abuse; the selection and formation of Oblate seminarians, and current reforms underway in the Church. Fr. Fiorelli is co-author of Veronica’s Veil, essays of gentle spiritual support for healing from abuse.