After every Sunday Mass, there are three women who hold up signs at the parking lot exit wih the words “Don’t let them move pedophile priests” and “Pedophile priests work here.” These women claim that our pastor moved a priest who abused one of their daughters about four years ago. That priest is now far away from our diocese and he claims he never touched the girl. The girl and her mother never filed a charge because there was no proof. So, is there anything we can do to stop this after all of our Masses? The police are aware of it but the women are on the sidewalk and freedom of speech is what they claim gives them the right to protest. Any advice?
Perhaps you might suggest to your pastor that he talk to these women and arrange for them to meet with the bishop of the diocese to discuss their grievances. If these women felt that they were being heard and were offered an appropriate forum to discuss their concerns, they might stop picketing the parish. If the pastor refuses to acknowledge these women or to extend to them the pastoral care they so desperately need, then he must shoulder the responsibility for their continued protests. If the women refuse any help he offers, then he might write a letter to parishioners explaining that he has offered the women help and an appropriate forum for their concerns, but so far they have not been able to accept and so he asks for prayers for their spiritual peace.