"Because zeal for Your house consumes me,
I am scorned by those who scorn you "
Psalms 69:10; John 2:17
Faithful Lay Catholics taking action
against systemic sexual abuse and clericalism in the Church
We are a grassroots movement of faithful Catholics in the pews. We have chosen to suspend the funds we would normally contribute to our parish and archdiocese and redirect them to specific Catholic charities of our choice. This is in protest to inaction on the part of the Church hierarchy to address systemic sexual abuse within our beloved Holy Church worldwide. We will renew our contribution(s) when we feel real action is being taken and significant progress made to protect our most vulnerable.
"...and in three days I will raise it up."
Jesus overturned the tables of the moneychangers in order to fight corruption in the Temple and pave the way to purify the people. We still need to fight corruption and pray for purification today. In John 2:19 "Jesus answered [the people] and said to them, "Destroy this Temple and in three days I will raise it up." Three ways we believe our Church will be raised up today:
"Day 1": Zero Tolerance Policy on Sex Abuse
This is where it all starts. Zero Tolerance is urgent and foundational in terms of providing a safe environment for the faithful by expelling sexual predators who wear a collar. Holding criminals accountable (and those who enable them to hide) , protecting children and fostering renewed trust are more important for our future than upholding, through virtue signaling, a false and idolatrous image of our Church.
"Day 2": Re-institute Women Deacons
Women Religious are needed at the leadership table and at the Altar. Jesus surrounded himself with men AND WOMEN in the building of His Church. We need the watchful eyes and perspective of the whole Church which should reflect the Holy Family with both Fathers AND Mothers at the head of each parish.
"Day 3": Option for Married Priests
Our Church does not have enough Priests. So, there seems to be a temptation to protect Priests at any cost due to the lack of men entering Celibate Religious life. Opening the Priesthood to married men will provide a larger source of Ordained men. It will also help keep the parishes running when the Zero Tolerance policy results in the loss of hundreds or thousands of corrupt Priests.
Our Plan for Action
"Learn to do good; seek justice, correct oppression; bring justice to the fatherless, plead the widow's cause." Isaiah 1:17
Through much prayer and discernment we have decided to take some specific action as a family to protest the inaction of Church leaders in effectively dealing with this sex abuse crisis. Here are our strategies:
1. We are staying in the pews.
We feel strongly that God works great good through our Catholic Church and we will not dishonor those things by leaving. We also believe that the Devil plays hardest where God is the strongest, which means God needs his soldiers present, watchful and prepared to do battle. We will show our weekly presence by placing a special business card with a penny taped to it in the offertory basket each week. This will remind our pastor each week that we are here and we are watching expectantly for change! (go to our Facebook page for links and resources if you wish to copy the card - we offer it free for you to copy and use.)
2. We are holding a portion of our regular parish contributions in escrow.
As angry as this crisis makes us, we can also recognize that withholding money simply to punish is ineffective and can be seen as self-serving. We strive to do more than punish; we strive rather to motivate. Withholding funds without a re-entry plan puts the basic functioning of our church at risk. We want to keep the lights on! So whereas we will not continue our monthly contributions right now, we will hold those funds in escrow and release them on 3 different days: the day the Church agrees to adopt a worldwide Zero Tolerance policy on sex abuse, the day the Deaconate is opened up to Women, and the day married men can serve at the altar as priests. Destroy this temple and in 3 days I will rebuild it!
3. We are using the remaining contributions to support specific Catholic Charities directly rather than through the parish offertory.
We have faith that the Church can act in ways to regain our trust again. But until then we offer our prayers to keep us close to trusting God's hand in this mess. We recognize that God works wonders in the lives of millions through the many Charities that the Church facilitates. The Catholic Church feeds more hungry, supports more poor, houses more homeless, heals more sick and educates more children than any other single private organization in the world. It is as important to us that good work continue as it is to work quickly for a change in culture that will protect children, women and seminarians from sexual, emotional and spiritual trauma.
Our intention is not to start an organization. We accept no money for anything. We just want to share with you our vision so that faithful Catholics, or Catholics who may have left because they have felt powerless to act, might have an example of one family that is able to be boldly Catholic while fighting the corrupt forces from within. We would encourage you to stay with us, fill the pews with watchful eyes! Jesus asked his disciples to stay and keep watch while he did battle with Satan in the Garden of Gethsemane - they fell asleep and the centurians came. Stay with us, keep watch, and pray... We need you!
The peace of God be with you!
If you take some inspiration from this site, we would love to hear from you on The Temple Cleansers Facebook page.