Could this be the Catholic Church’s #MeToo moment?

Could this be the Catholic Church's #MeToo moment?

Like many Catholics, Michelle Marks hoped the church’s sex abuse scandal that exploded in the early 2000s was over.

“Then, boom, another shocker,” she said Friday, stepping inside the Santa Clara Mission on a tour with her sixth-grade daughter.

As Catholics return to Mass on Sunday — or don’t — many are questioning the atonement of the church hierarchy after a disturbing grand jury report in Pennsylvania revealed that, over seven decades, some 300 priests molested more than 1,000 children and few were held accountable. Now, many parishioners are wondering whether — like the movement that toppled the powerful of Hollywood and beyond — the Catholic Church could finally face its own “#MeToo” moment?

“I don’t mean to be a bad Catholic,” said Marks, visiting from San Diego, “but it rattles your faith.”

Despite skepticism, there are signs this time it could be different.

In a signed statement Friday, more than 140 theologians, educators and lay leaders called for all U.S. bishops to submit their collective resignations to Pope Francis, as did 34 Chilean bishops earlier this year after a sex scandal there.

“The bishops have given the faithful little indication that they recognize and take accountability for the breathtaking magnitude of the violence and deceit that has continued unabated under their leadership,” read Friday’s statement, signed by numerous educators at Catholic universities across the country, including Santa Clara University and University of San Francisco. “Thus, we call on them to follow Christ’s example in offering to the people a willing abdication of earthly status. This is a public act of penance and sorrow, absent of which no genuine process of healing and reform can begin.”

Faye Butler and Louise Lynch, both of Fremont, from left, protest near the steps of the Cathedral of Christ the Light on Sunday, April 11, 2010, in Oakland, Calif. (Jose Carlos Fajardo/Staff) 

The statement came three days after the…

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