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The Voice of the Faithful Story

Peggie Thorp,
Founding Member, Voice of the Faithful

When the faithful speak, the faithful listen. And so it has been for these months of our fleeting infancy and explosive growth. From 25 people gathered on a January Monday evening at St. John the Evangelist church in Wellesley, Massachusetts, to standing-room-only crowds exceeding 700 all spring, to tens of thousands of members today throughout the world, the group that has become Voice of the Faithful has shared our outrage, pain, deep love of Church, and commitment to act. Mainstream Catholics are talking as never before — to each other and to Church leadership.

The realization that clergy sexual abuse had infected the Catholic priesthood might have driven us far from our Church. Instead, Voice placed the victims first in our mission statement.

The understanding that the great majority of fine priests would suffer by association might have been lost. Instead, Voice placed priests second in our mission statement.

The discovery of a costly cover-up engineered by Church officials and born of abuse of power might have alienated all. Instead, Voice placed structural change third in our mission statement.

Here marked the end of "pay, pray, and obey" Catholicism. And here marked the beginning of what Catholic priest and author Henri Nouwen noted of lives lived in hope — they are lives of "prayer, community, and resistance."

This crisis has brought faithful Catholics all over the world to their feet - first by ones and twos, and now by the tens of thousands. Over 4,000 of us met for the first time at our convention, "Response of the Faithful," on July 20th in Boston. Our mission is nourished by each other as we continue a Spirit-driven dialogue toward a stronger Catholic Church. Good hearts and discerning minds are determined that the voice of the laity will never be silent again.

Our God-given gifts are everywhere evident, materializing, it has seemed, at the very moment of need. We have traveled far with friends and one-time strangers - from folding and unfolding hundreds of chairs to Web site design, management and enhancement; from hours of listening to hours of organizing; from endless questions to workable answers; from 37 supporters on our month-old Web site to over 25,000 today. How fortunate is our Church! Rainer Maria Rilke's poem has fresh resonance — "All will come again into its strength lest we remain unused."

 

 

 

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VOTF
Mission Statement

To provide a prayerful voice, attentive to the Spirit, through which the Faithful can actively participate in the governance and guidance of the Catholic Church.

Our Goals

To support survivors of clergy sexual abuse

To support priests of integrity

To shape structural change within the Catholic Church.
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Pray Each Day at Noon

Jesus, Lord and Brother, help us with our faithfulness. Please hear our voice, and let our voice be heard. Amen. More


         

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