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NEWARK, N.J. (ChurchMilitant.com) - Mothers and children are protesting the sex abuse crisis in Newark.
Protesters showed up for several days outside the archdiocese of Newark's offices. The archdiocese is headed by Cdl. Joseph Tobin. The protests took place began on Tuesday, Aug. 28 and continued through Friday, Aug. 31.
There was also some protesting on Sunday outside the cathedral. That protest drew about 50 people, one of the protesters told Church Militant.
"We had two survivors of abuse from within the archdiocese of Newark join us," she said. "The two older men had tears in their eyes as they explained how [the archdiocese of Newark] has treated them, and how when they found out about our protesting, they dropped their family obligations to join us."
She added, "One of them said they've never had this much hope for the truth to come out."
The protester who spoke to Church Militant also said, "Only lay people have been protesting because all of our priests and religious fear retribution. They are praying for us and advising us on what to do."
She said there will be continuing protests.
"We will be continuing to protest on Sundays in front of the Basilica from 10:30 a.m. to 12 noon and Mondays from 9–11 a.m. and 1–3 p.m. in front of the Archdiocesan Center."
This week, however, the Monday protest was moved to Tuesday, owing to Labor Day.
Signs held by protesters last week said things like "Prosecute Predator Priests," "No investigations, no donations," "It's not enough" and "Independent Investigation Now."
Other signs read, "Rebuild our Church, rebuild our TRUST" and "Wolves in Shepherds' Clothing."
At the protests, one lady's sign read, "Honk for Truth, Stop the Abuse."
The source told Church Militant that many passersby honked in support.
During the week's protests, the source told Church Militant, representatives of the archdiocese spoke with them on a few occasions.
She recalled, "The Cardinal's secretary (a priest) and the archdiocesan communications director have greeted and spoken to us several times, and have assured us that Cdl. Tobin knows we are there and that he understands our concerns."
The source said that the protesters handed the archdiocesan personnel copies of their demands for "an independent investigation into incidences of pedophilia and other sexual activity among the clergy."
They are also calling for any predatory priests who are uncovered by the investigation to be handed over to civil authorities, for sexually active clergy to be laicized and for whistleblowers in the archdiocese to not be punished.
She claims the response was due to how "sympathetic" the protesters were to passersby:
Let's just say, they are eager to get rid of us. A bunch of moms lugging their toddlers to the sidewalks of Newark in 95-degree heat holding signs and getting a huge response from passersby. Could we be a more sympathetic group? For the record, the center has been very kind, and has brought us water and is letting us use the restroom inside — which is not usually allowed for demonstrators — but considering the amount of children we've brought with us.
Those who wish to take part in the protests, Church Militant was told, can visit the Facebook page and contact organizers there.