About

Voice of the Faithful in the Diocese of Bridgeport was formed in June 2002 in response to the crisis of priestly sexual abuse.  Our purpose is to be a prayerful voice, attentive to the Spirit, through which God’s faithful people can actively participate in the governance and guidance of the Catholic Church.

Our goals are to support the survivors of sexual abuse by priests; to support priests of integrity; and to work for structural change in the Church in accordance with the teachings of the Second Vatican Council.

One Response to “About”

  1. Robert M. Kelly Says:

    Mercure: Why State Lines and SOL Matter

    to my good friends in Conn., I thought I would give a summary of the Mercure affair which concluded with the conviction of Rev. Gary Mercure on four counts of child sexual abuse.

    the prosecution was difficult because the SOL had run out for both civil and criminal charges in the Lake George area of NY (near Albany). however, because his victims recalled that they were transported across the Mass. and VT lines, and were willing to testify, police investigated in both states.

    four charges were made in Mass. about two separate incidents with two altar boys being taken on day trips.

    no sooner was Mercure convicted and sentenced than there was a long essay published in local papers from the Albany chancery defending the diocese. it reads to me like a public absolution, but see what you think: it is here:
    http://www.timesunion.com/default/article/A-test-of-faith-1010217.php

    the reason I call it a public absolution for Doyle and his cohorts, not Mercure, is that Mercure has shown no remorse whatsoever. in this his attitude resembles that of the departed bishop of the Springfield Diocese, Thomas Dupre, who has also never uttered one word of contrition or remorse, despite being indicted for child sexual abuse and also for multiple supervisory lapses.

    one may wonder if indeed both men are not capable of remorse, and if mental illness may be a better way to view their failures. Doyle’s article opposes this view: for him, it is still all about “temptation” and the important thing is that he, Doyle, resisted temptation, with God’s help, and that Mercure did not.

    this theological explanation has the advantage of simplicity but it does not explain why Doyle, the man in charge of public information for the Diocese, appears to have made a hobby of keeping information about Mercure’s long and troubled sexual history from the public, the police, and most of all, from the parishioners of the Albany Diocese.

    although my blog is dedicated to understanding the issues of power and structural change (inspired by Joe O’Callaghan and others), the issue of child abuse (a gruesome symptom, in my view) occasionally demands attention.

    so, I devoted a considerable amount of the blog to these issues, in two posts, a long one here:
    http://westernmassachusettscatholics.blogspot.com/2011/02/mercure-verdict.html

    and a follow-up post here:
    http://westernmassachusettscatholics.blogspot.com/2011/02/mercure-verdict-updated.html

    all best wishes to my friends Joe and Marge and all, God bless you all.

    Bob

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