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ESTABLISHING JUSTICE     EMPOWERING THE PEOPLE     DEFEATING TYRANNY

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   ALERT...........................          
"If you want to know what's evil and what's righteous in this world use the compass of liberty and you will know if your judgment, direction and faith is correct"    
                                                                      
Victorious America
THE WORLD IS WAITING FOR THIS CHANGE
   THE CHURCH PART 3

THE CHURCH 

The Church is presented as an essay in 3 parts:
Part One:   Protecting the Faith, the Organization,
                     the People and the Leaders

Part Two:  
Accountability
Part Three:   Making the Change

PART THREE 

(Note: the following part has been modified from the original specifically for the people of the Catholic Church)

MAKING THE CHANGE 

When there are leaders of high status in a religious institution that justify the suppression of the fundamental rights of its members, in the name of protecting the institution and the faith, these actions then begin to undermine the basic tenets of their religious doctrine. This becomes very serious when we are talking about the doctrines of religious institutions. It is in such a system where the parishioners are not mandated by word or procedure in the organizational by-laws to oversee and inquire into the actions of leaders, that such unhealthy circumstances can fester and remain endemic. 

Despite the pleas of many sincere parishioners, no such implementation in the organizational by-laws is in effect today. When viewed from an historical perspective, where people are not fully empowered in religious and secular institutions, the fundamental rights to protest unethical and abusive behavior, the right to hold leaders personally accountable, freedom from censorship in religious publications and the freedom of free expression are denied. When these rights are expressed by the people to challenge corruption in the system, the consequences for them are very severe: ostracism, defamation of character, and fear of punishment. The purpose of these documents is to call for immediate change in the current antiquated system of religious institutions. In the current system, where the people are not fully empowered to keep the clergy in check, the priests can make any false statements and act with impunity because there is no venue for the members to monitor the behavior and direction of the priests in the hierarchy. Could we accept such a system?

CROSSING THE BRIDGE TO A NEW SYSTEM

In our era there is a shift from traditionally run institutions to organizations based on religious democracies and Victorious America has taken the lead in this shift. It has long been the tradition that the structure of the religious institutions were governed by the power of faith in the doctrine they embraced. Since the institution of the church was considered a working model of the teachings, it was generally accepted that the structure itself was equal to the faith or doctrine they embraced. The institution, literally became absolute itself, because it embodied the teachings.

Unlike secular organizations there was no mandate whereby the people were empowered to censure or put in check the actions of the clergy. The only recourse was prayer and the mechanics of the prayer operated in only one way: through your sincere faith all would be taken care of, and justice would be restored. Any other actions such as speaking out against unjust actions of the hierarchy were viewed as a threat to the institution. People became very docile by accepting this limited understanding of the faith and its relationship to the hierarchy.

With this kind of thinking it is easy for the clergy to keep the control from the top down. In this way, the doctrine can easily be manipulated to keep the worshipers in check. For example, it then becomes easy for the clergy to say to the believers "just have faith and pray" when you are treated unfairly or even sexually abused, because God has absolute justice. So if one is critical about the religious institution or its leaders, then he refrains from speaking out because he fears he is sinning, because the institution embodies the teachings. 

They can further assert control and protect themselves by asserting that we must protect the name of the church, inside and outside, against negative exposure, because of our goodness and faith. Now the worshippers fear that they may be maligning the church and remain silent even when encountering sexual predators within. Now the clergy has asserted full control in silencing the worshipers. 

The supremacy of the religious faith does not justify that it can be interpreted to override people's fundamental secular rights to speak out against injustice, for we could never defend the absence of these basic human rights when dealing with abusive behavior this is covered up. This would belittle the faith. The supremacy of the faith was never purported to say, "sit down, pray and shut-up!" Rather to say "sit down, pray and speak out!" and fight continuously until unjust situations are overturned wherever they occur especially inside the church, so that we can protect it. That is not as to say that religious Law is not superior to the secular law. But it is in fact, superior because it functions to empower the people to stand up for their fundamental secular rights and it provides an avenue of faith, so that if they keep fighting, they will get absolute justice. It then stands to reason that there is a systemic flaw when we think that faith could be used to overrule such principles of people's fundamental rights. 

We assert that religious faith serves to empower the people to be strong enough to champion these rights as an essential ingredient for one's happiness and to protect the teachings of religious institution and its founder. 

In conclusion, any system that would support such actions that impose a threat to people's fundamental rights must be changed immediately. Victorious America is the philosophical foundation for changing the system and finally empowering the parishioners at the grassroots level. It's a positive solution that can unify all diversity. No organization, no group, no person, nothing stands above people's fundamental rights.

Such cold hearted brutality that would have the predators appear virtuous and the victims appear as the villains is found in such a system of tyranny. Until accountability in the parishioner's hands is implemented, the hierarchy will continuously find scapegoats to perpetrate complicity and cover-ups of criminal behavior within the church.

Of course changes in the policy, zero tolerance for priests committing sexual abuse must be determined unambiguously. But the essential change must be made to the system itself. The origin is endemic and it will appear again.

Whatever the bishops decide, the final accounting must be in the hands of the people. Even if the bishops were to decide on an unequivocal 'one strike and your out' policy, the parishioners should ratify and approve it. A US council of parishioners from each diocese and each church should be held. The lay believers should convene a meeting amongst themselves to authorize the bishops proposals.

The bottom line is that the people must oversee the priests and the hierarchy. The news media, which exposed the scandals from the outside, represented the people, the victims, to the hierarchy. Thus the secular free press represents the voice of the people and their empowerment in the church. The next step in this process is to incorporate into the by-laws, the empowerment of the people to hold their religious leaders directly accountable to them.  Thus, the next step in its evolution will involve the lay people overseeing the affairs of religious institutions.

People in religious institutions are generally afraid to take action because they think it will compromise their purity. Nothing can be further from the truth. What I am about to say will hit a nerve just like touching an infected tooth. It's time for all religious people to stop starring in the drama of the "Gracious Victim ". Faith here cannot be represented by those representing the parishioners using polite piety thinking this won't offend the bishops or God. You should be like angry lions defending the victims. This attitude honors the faith while the other way offends it. 

At the time of this writing, no one has of yet suggested that all the parishioners hold a nation-wide meeting sponsored and conducted by themselves, regardless of what the Bishops do. They were all silent and kept trying to cover up the great crimes perpetrated against children by purporting that they must answer to a higher power as the only standard for change. Of course this interpretation would only be determined by those who violated every moral and secular law here.

Now they want to set the new rules also. At the very least they should all resign from the hierarchy. The church will not fall apart without them. Give them the same treatment as criminals who are not priests. Send them to jail for molesting children as well as those who were complicit with cover-ups and let God worry about their souls. Since the church as an institution has accepted the grave responsibility claiming they are the body of Christ, the institution itself as the pathway to the sacred must be free from obstructions. The church must reflect the holy teachings of the Lord by honoring the dignity of the parishioners first and foremost to keep its commitment to God.

The idea of representatives of the holy using the sacred to try to escape from criminal responsibility is the most vile act committed upon the flock of God. Using this means in order to escape punishment rendered to ordinary people not of the cloth, is vile and repugnant especially with respect to the crimes that were committed. Enough is enough. This is an agenda that portrays lay people of faith as indigents, not worthy of Gods favor. 

This is symptomatic of the same arrogant view the Pharisees had of Mary Magdalene. They looked down at these people as not worthy of having their souls saved before Christ's coming. Thus using their positions of importance in the service of God, they called forth forgiveness from the parishioners hoping to escape the punishment that was only reserved for people not of the cloth.

In our remonstration with the SGI, we formed committees of representatives of the membership within the organization to hold the leaders directly accountable to the people. Please refer to the following documents from the essay "Victorious America" for a detailed outline of the plans and procedures to implement the empowerment of the people at the grassroots level. We offer you our support and prayers for your great victory.

Conclusion

The People's Representative Committee

Status Quo

You may need to refer to the Glossary for an explanation of some unfamiliar terminology used in these essays.

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