“In January 2002, investigative reporting at the Boston Globe set off a wave of revelations regarding child sexual abuse by Catholic clergy and the transferring of abusive priests from parish to parish. Public allegations against clergy reached unprecedented levels; one Bishop would later refer to the period as ”our 9/11.” Reeling from a growing awareness of abuse within their Church, a small group of Catholics gathered after Mass in the basement of a parish in Wellesley, Massachusetts to mourn and react. They began to mobilize around supporting victims of abuse, supporting non-abusive priests, and advocating for structural change in the Catholic Church so that abuse would no longer occur. Voice of the Faithful (VOTF) built a movement by harnessing the faith and fury of a nation of Catholics shocked by reports of abuse and institutional complicity. Some 30,000 around the United States formally joined the VOTF movement to reform the Catholic Church.
“Faithful Revolution offers an in-depth look at the development of Voice of the Faithful and their struggle to challenge Church leaders, advocate for internal change, and be accepted as legitimately Catholic while doing so. In a study based on three years of field observation and interviews with VOTF founders, leaders, and participants in settings throughout the U.S., Bruce shows the contested nature of a religious movement operating within a bounded institutional space. Guided by the stories of individual participants, this book brings to light the intense identity negotiations that accompany a challenge to one’s own religion. Faithful Revolution offers a meaningful and accessible way to learn about Catholic identity, intra-institutional social movements, and the complexity of institutional structures.”