5 Theses

1. Full transparency

Release the names of clergy in every diocese found by internal processes to be abusers. Pledge to fully cooperate, without question and without qualification, with all new and ongoing investigations initiated by Attorneys General, local prosecutors, and any other law enforcement bodies, especially when evidence points to abuse by clerics and negligence by those with responsibility over them. 

2. Survivors’ voices

Create and publicize a permanent and prominent place in every issue of every diocesan newspaper in the country for survivors of clergy sexual abuse to share their stories.

3. Simple living

As a symbolic gesture of the commitment to dismantle clericalism, shed the royal raiment and regalia of the episcopate, wearing the plain black garb and liturgical vestments of a parish priest and spending time in service to the poor and marginalized for the coming liturgical year.

4. Put women in church leadership

Ask Pope Francis to restore women to the ordained diaconate, to include women as voting members at meetings of the synod of bishops, to reopen the discussion of women’s ordination, and to name women as cardinals at the next consistory and at every consistory going forward until a balance is achieved.

5. Pray for a reformed Church

Require every parish in every diocese to include this prayer, or one based on it, every Sunday in the prayers of the faithful during the next three liturgical years: 

“That from this community of gathered people will rise a new church:  a church that protects the abused and the marginalized, ministering to all in search of healing; a church that strives continually to overcome every type of discrimination, whether social or cultural, whether based on gender, race, color, social condition, sexual orientation, language or religion, in order to pave the way for a new future of joy and hope . . . we pray to the Lord.

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Act Now

  • Join the 5 Theses Facebook group

  • Gather a small group, lead or participate. The In Spirit and Truth blog offers a great outline here and recommends this instructional resource for leading small group discussions provided by the Archdiocese of Milwaukee . Compose your own or adapt our prayer service

  • Pray this prayer, and ask your parish to include it in the petitions at your Masses. Download the prayer card and share it with others.

  • Share 5 Theses postcards and letters,  in person, in the mail and online. Contact us if you’d like to receive a batch of postcards and/or prayer cards to share. Mail flyers and postcards to your bishop at his chancery 

  • Strengthen our Church: Activate in your parish - add your time, talent, and prayer. Thank overworked and often under-appreciated staff and clergy. Pray for our brothers and sisters in Christ, especially the bishops and their staff.

  • Sign up to receive the latest information — Join In and share your work with the 5theses community around the world

  • Continue to communicate with church leadership and fellow catholics, speaking with civility and love, with wisdom and understanding.

Be the persistent Canaanite woman who did not give up when the apostles told Jesus to send her away. "You are a woman of great faith. What you ask will be done for you." Matthew 15:28.

What we work and hope for: words and actions from the bishops that address each of the statements in the 5 THESES to encourage the healing and renewal of our beloved Church.  

Pray for discernment and civility.


5 Theses

We are the Church

Share and promote the 5 Theses until it is done.

Keep communicating.

Be present in your Church & your parish & insist on reform.

Share the 5 Theses.

Contact your bishop.

Encourage & uplift others.