WASHINGTON — Members of the Catholic Church are gathering across the nation Sunday to speak out against sexual abuse. The campaign, called Time’s Up, Catholics Demand Truth, is also demanding change within the church’s leadership.
Judy Lorenz with the Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests, or SNAP, was among those outside the Apostolic Nunciature in D.C. today making clear that members of the church have had enough and are speaking out against allegations of sexual abuse within the church. She is among a group of organizations that have come together, including DignityUSA, the Women’s Ordination Conference and Call to Action.
The campaign is pushing for survivor justice, transparency, accountability and civil recourse. Lorenz says they are also calling out leaders within the church, including Cardinal Donald Wuerl and Cardinal Theodore McCarrick.
“Cardinal Wuerl, after being implicated by the Pennsylvania grand jury report, needs to resign,” Lorenz said. “More consequences need to come out for Cardinal McCarrick who was recently removed from ministry because of allegations of abuse.”
Her husband, David Lorenz, also with SNAP, shared his story of abuse at an all-boys school in Kentucky in the 1970’s.
“I was abused by a priest who was a guidance counselor,” David Lorenz said.
Referring to Cardinal Wuerl’s handling of the allegations, David Lorenz said “child abuse is a crime. Don’t call The Vatican and say ‘I want to get rid of this guy.’ Call the police.”
He says he didn’t come forward with his own story until decades later. As they push for change, he is sending a message to parents and kids in the church.
“I don’t care if your kid is 60 or 70 or 30 or 20, ask them. Give them an opening to say: ‘it happened to me,’” David Lorenz said.
The protests, taking place across the nation, are what the couple hopes will encourage survivors to come forward, legal action to be taken and donations to the church to stop.
“It will be a different kind of church but it will be better,” Lorenz said.
Additional demonstrations will be taking place in October across the nation.