Your input urgently requested for Synod on the Family

In response to Pope Francis’ urging that all of the faithful be consulted on topics of concern to the family,           All Saints Parish in Syracuse has provided a way for all of us to give our feedback.  Call To Action of Upstate NY has been invited to encourage all members and friends to participate in this questionnaire.

Please go to this Survey Monkey website to find the All Saints questionnaire:  https://www.surveymonkey.com/s/FPXNCT3

From All Saints Parish:

“Pope Francis has called for wide input to inform the deliberations at the October Session of the Synod on the Family. Our Pope wants to hear especially from those who feel unwelcome in or hurt by the Church. Francis’ Lenten Message calls upon ‘… all those places where the Church is present, especially our Parishes and our communities, to become islands of mercy in the midst of a sea of indifference!’ All Saints invites all to complete an anonymous survey prepared by our Parish, to provide input that we will report both directly to the Vatican, as well as to our Diocese.

NOTE:  The Survey will close on Friday, February 27, 2015 at 11:59PM.   Timeliness is most important with this survey due to the very tight timelines the bishops are facing.

PLEASE ENCOURAGE FAMILY MEMBERS, FRIENDS – AND ALL PERSONS YOU KNOW WHO MAY FEEL ESTRANGED FROM THE CHURCH – TO RESPOND TO THIS SURVEY. Thank you for your participation! … in faith, hope – and especially – love! The All Saints Parish Community

Learn more about All Saints Parish in Syracuse, NY.   http://www.allsaintssyracuse.org/

Child Victims Act 2014

Upstate NY Call To Action has joined the effort to protect our children by supporting the NY Child Victims Act.  The organizations which have joined the Catholic Coalition thus far are CTA Metro-NY, CTA Upstate NY, VOTF New York City, Dignity/NY, and Road to Recovery.  Information on how members can participate through visits with legislators, phone calls and letters will be received shortly.   

 

Support the NY Catholic Conscience Campaign

 

Protect our children from abuse and support past victims

by reforming the NY statute of limitations for sex offenses against children.

We the undersigned call on all Catholics in good conscience to advocate for reform of the statute of limitations on sexual abuse of minors in the State of New York, as proposed in the NY Child Victims Act (A1771/S6367). In the State of New York today, child victims of sexual abuse only have a limited period of time[1] during which they can make a criminal complaint or bring civil action against their attackers. We have learned from the abuse scandal in the Catholic Church, as well as from cases in other institutions and in society at large, that victims often need many years to understand what happened to them and to find the courage to pursue justice.

We believe that children have the absolute right to live free from the threat of sexual abuse, and, if attacked, to pursue justice against their abusers without regard to the time that has elapsed since their abuse. We believe the State of New York has an obligation to reform its laws on the statute of limitations to give all victims of child sexual abuse – past, as well as present and future — access to justice by allowing them to bring legal actions against their individual abusers and against the institutions that facilitated or failed to report that abuse[2]. Furthermore, we believe the State of New York must apply these reformed laws to all institutions within its jurisdiction, public as well as private. The NY Child Victims Act does not cover public institutions, but represents a crucial first step toward full reform and should be supported

We call on Catholic leaders to cease their efforts to block these reforms, to stop spending our donated dollars to hire lobbyists to deny justice to victims, and as a first step, to support the NY Child Victims Act, which eliminates the statute of limitations in criminal and civil actions for certain sex offenses against children under 18 years of age. The NY Child Victims Act also gives past victims who were denied access to the court system one year in which to bring actions.

As Catholics, we cannot in good conscience ignore the special moral obligation and collective responsibility we have to make amends for the sins committed by those priests, religious and employees who while in positions of trust abused their authority over our children. According to a recent poll, 70 percent of American Catholics believe that addressing the sex abuse crisis should be a top priority of His Holiness Pope Francis,[3] who has said that the Catholic Church should “act decisively as far as cases of sexual abuse are concerned, promoting, above all, measures to protect minors, help for those who have suffered such violence in the past (and) the necessary procedures against those who are guilty.”[4]We believe statute of limitations reform must also be a top priority for the leaders of our church in New York and across the U.S. who, until now, have been among its most vociferous opponents in state after state. We call upon the Catholic hierarchy to examine their consciences, change their hearts, and do the right thing. We also call on all clergy and religious to support this reform.

We urge our fellow Catholics to join with people of good will everywhere to build a society that respects the right of children and their parents to live free from fear. A vital first step toward this goal is the elimination of the statute of limitations for sex abuse of children in the State of New York through the passage of the NY Child Victims Act (Assembly Bill A1771/Senate Bill S6367).

(signed)

Organizations


[1] Five years from the event, or age 23, whichever comes first.

[2] Opening a “window” allows victims of past abuse that were shut out by the short statute of limitations to finally gain access to our courts.

[4]Reuters, April 8, 2013.

Roy Bourgeois on Spring Thruway tour

Upstate New York CTA is very pleased to announce that ‘dismissed’ Maryknoller Roy Bourgeois will be our guest speaker for a Spring Thruway Tour. The tour will begin in the Albany area, at the Bethany Reformed Church, 760 New Scotland Ave., Albany, NY Sunday afternoon, February 17th and continue on subsequent days to Binghamton, Syracuse, Rochester and Buffalo. The topic of Roy’s talk will be: “A Priest Speaks his Conscience: The Struggle for Justice and Gender Equality in the Catholic Church.” Click on Calendar above for time and location details.

image003Fr. Roy will open the tour in Albany at the Bethany Reformed Church, 760 New Scotland Avenue, Albany, NY. Contact: Steve Powers at (518) 370-1615. The talk is free and open to the public. A Free will offering will be taken.

Fr. Roy has spoken at National CTA Conferences as well as many venues around the United States not only as a leader of S.O.A. Watch, but also as a leading advocate for the ordination of women in the Catholic Church.

On Nov. 19, 2012, after 36 years in the Priesthood, Fr. Roy Bourgeois discovered he had been “expelled from the Maryknoll Fathers and Brothers, his religious order and faith community for 46 years and the Vatican had removed his priesthood – all for his refusal to be silent about his support for womens’s ordination.”

Please click on the calendar link above for complete details of other stops on the tour.

Letter to New York State Bishops

The following letter has been sent to Cardinal Dolan and the Bishops of Albany, Buffalo, Syracuse and Rochester by the Board of Upstate NY CTA.  In it we voice the sentiment of many CTA members that actions by the Bishops of the United States claiming to promote religious liberty do not speak for us.  We call for a diversion of personal donations away from the Catholic Communications Campaign and towards a local cause of your choice.  Actions such as this should be noted and recognized.  For this purpose a suggested statement is attached below the letter.  Print, sign and place in the collection.   

**********

Cardinal Timothy Dolan
Archdiocese of New York
1011 First Avenue
New York, NY 10022
May 24, 2012
Dear Cardinal Dolan,
The prophetic voice of the Catholic Church is never more compelling than when it speaks of the needs of the poor.  It is the selflessness exhibited by Mother Teresa, Dorothy Day and other great servants that has attracted so many to the Catholic Church and its ministries.  The eloquent declaration by Cardinal Joseph Bernardin of the church’s affirmation of a “seamless garment” of life promoted a message of great idealism and unity for Catholics.
That prophetic voice of affirmation and unity has been lost and smothered by the divisive message of the church hierarchy.  It has adopted a voice of condemnation against those who disagree on issues related to contraception, celibacy, homosexuality and the role of women in the church.  The latest example of this crusade is the treatment of religious orders of nuns who are dedicated to serving the poor and marginalized in our society.  These have become the new target for “reform.”  Now, the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops (USCCB) has announced its “Fortnight for Freedom” campaign to promote religious liberty during the two weeks leading to July 4th.  This campaign seems motivated by political concerns designed to protect the institutional church rather than its members and to use its members as a political weapon against its opponents.  It will be up to the sisters and the laity to restore the message of the “seamless garment.
The Fortnight to Freedom is a campaign and voice that many of us choose no longer to support in our politics.  Nor will we support it with our contributions.  
The USCCB will be sponsoring the Catholic Communications Campaign in May and June, an annual collection in local dioceses and on a national level to promote media initiatives.  We – a group of Catholic laity – will not be participating in this campaign.  We do not want our funds to be used to promote the message of condemnation by the bishops and maintain institutional liberty while denying freedom of thought and liberty within the church membership.   
We urge Catholics, instead, to consider alternate giving during that weekend and donate those contributions to a parish food pantry, Catholic Charities or another charitable program. The message of the church needs to return to the promotion of a “seamless garment of life.”   This unbalanced message of condemnation and ostracism of those who disagree is imploding the church from within, and it needs to end. 

 We believe the USCCB is pushing the envelope with the Fortnight to Freedom, so we are withholding our envelopes and giving, instead, to those most in need.

Sincerely,
Ellen and William Halligan (Albany), Steve and Nita Powers (Albany),
Fr. TimTaugher (Binghamton), Mike Toner (Buffalo), Lucille Gervase (Buffalo),
Ellen and Ray Grabb (Rochester), Bob Dugan (Syracuse), Fr. Fred Daley (Syracuse), Mary Ann Dobe (Syracuse), Theresa Zehe (Utica)

 Attachment: cathcommform