The faithful laity are also mobilizing. In a recent article in The National Catholic Register, several groups are profiled, including “the Society of St. Peter Damian, a penitential society that started to form in August after Catholics on social media decided the Church needed the laity to provide a “Catholic response” to these crimes and found a champion in St. Peter Damian, the doctor of the Church who exhorted the laity to work with reform-minded bishops and clergy to fight the scourge of clerical immorality that had poisoned the papacy and nearly overwhelmed the Church in the 11th century.”
The group calls on its members to perform acts of penance on Wednesdays in order to strengthen their resolve to engage in the reform of the Church. It advocates lay oversight into the Church’s records on sexual abuse and reform of the Church’s justice system, including excommunication and mandatory laicization with the “rite of degradation” for both abusers and their enablers….
Again, faithful Catholics need to be aware that the goal is the sanctification of the Church. The objective is not to punish and destroy, but to build up the Church in the image of Christ.
Hasson said the Church needs a thorough study on clerical celibacy and the conditions that need to be addressed so clerics can live out their vocations healthily and prevent harm done to their victims’ bodies and souls and to the Church at large. Hasson said it was clear that a certain number among the hierarchy seem to think that violating celibacy is not “that big a deal.”
“That suggests a failure of the clergy to think of their mission as a spiritual father,” she said, adding that clergy who are not willing to live chaste celibacy “need to leave.”
Indeed, that is the key. We at The Laity are not on a witch hunt, but on a mission of education and edification. It is time for the bishops to stand up and clarify the incontrovertible teaching of the Church. It is up to us to hold them accountable, or the barque of St. Peter shall sink.