By Devin Bartolotta

BALTIMORE (WJZ) — Across the country, and in Baltimore, Catholics are putting pressure on their church leaders to do more to prevent sex abuse.

After Sunday mass and in the pouring rain, a group of progressive Catholics asked leaders of their own faith to step up.

“The people in the pews are demanding to have a say,” Maureen Keck, a Catholic, said.

A national campaign, “Time’s Up: Catholics Demand Truth” is calling for transparency from the church and diversity among decision-makers in the wake of a bombshell grand jury report from Pennsylvania that named 300 predator priests and the leaders who allegedly covered up their crimes.

One of those leaders implicated is the late Cardinal William Keeler.

“We support what Pennsylvania did and we encourage every state to take the leadership that Pennsylvania did, and to work with their diocese and demand open and honest investigation,” said Ryan Sattler with Call to Action Maryland.

Nine Catholic reform organizations held rallies on the matter nationwide, including Washington, D.C.

Protestors held photos of children abused by priests. Some said to earn back the respect and trust of parishioners, leaders have to give them a seat at the table.

“I think this terrible issue of abuse is a result of fighting against the involvement of the laity rather than embracing it,” Keck said.

Seven other rallies were held throughout the weekend, from Seattle to Philadelphia. Churchgoers said this will empower them to create the change they said is necessary.

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