US Catholics say they've had enough and send message to bishops: 'Silence Stops Now'

US Catholics say they’ve had enough and send message to bishops: ‘Silence Stops Now’

The Faith
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[National Catholic Register] “If the laity doesn’t do anything, this is game over.”

VIDEO: [ChurchMilitant] RC Bishop of Buffalo, recently spotlighted on the TV show ’60 minutes’ for his role in allegedly covering up crimes, has the misfortune of being on the same flight as militant Catholic Michael Voris, who takes the opportunity to confront the cleric face-to-face on his handling of a specific rape case.

Regina Schmiedicke stood on the concrete pier in Baltimore’s Inner Harbor, watching her two young daughters run around, bundled in their coats. She and her husband Andrew brought their family up from Virginia to the “Silence Stops Now” rally held at the harbor’s MECU Pavilion — a venue used to vast crowds gathering for summer music festivals.

A gentle breeze rippled over the harbor’s silt-brown waters, carrying a chill that made the pier feel colder than the 40-degree weather. Schmiedicke said they had only one reason to be there.

“Because we’re Catholic,” she said, and they were not leaving it up to the media to hold the bishops accountable.

A crowd had gathered under the pavilion’s great white tent that stretched out against the steel gray sky for the 1:30-4:30 p.m. at the rally. Immediately next door, connected by a wooden plank footbridge, stood the Baltimore Marriott hotel, where the U.S. Catholic bishops were debating what course of action they would take about clergy sexual abuse and holding bishops accountable for their role.

For the laity who came to Baltimore, the “Stop the Silence” event was an opportunity to assert their responsibility as individual Catholics to demand change in the Church, and leadership from the bishops.

The rally had been organized, chiefly by Church Militant in concert with other groups, in the wake of this summer’s revelations about the sexual misconduct of Archbishop Theodore McCarrick, and the widespread historical clergy sexual abuse detailed by the Pennsylvania grand jury report.

Schmiedicke told the Register that she wanted the bishops to see her children — particularly her teenagers whose faith is challenged by looking at the bishops’ role in the crisis — and realize “something is very wrong with the Church.”

The U.S. bishops had been set to vote on these issues — with a code of conduct for bishops and an independent lay investigative committee empowered to investigate — until an eleventh-hour message from the Holy See told them not to hold any votes. Instead, they were told to wait until a February meeting at the Vatican with Pope and presidents of bishops’ conferences worldwide.

This article continues at [National Catholic Register] Lay Faithful Send Bishops a Message in Baltimore: ‘Silence Stops Now’

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