In the Vineyard :: April 20, 2013 :: Volume 13, Issue 8

News from National

Voice of the Faithful Prays for Boston Bombing Victims
Voice of the Faithful® prays for comfort, healing and peace for the victims of the bombings April 15 at the site of the Boston Marathon finish line in downtown Boston, and for all those affected by such senseless acts.
But this I will call to mind;
therefore I will hope:
The LORD’s acts of mercy are not exhausted,
his compassion is not spent;
They are renewed each morning—
great is your faithfulness!
The LORD is my portion, I tell myself,
therefore I will hope in him.
The LORD is good to those who trust in him,
to the one that seeks him
It is good to hope in silence
for the LORD’s deliverance.
 Lamentations 3:21-26

Child Abuse Prevention
April is National Child Abuse Prevention Month. Have you put a check mark next to each of these critical child protection guidelines?
I have confirmed that my Parish Safety Committee:

____ Conducts prevention education for children and parents.
____ Completes annual criminal background checks for ALL clergy, staff and personnel.
____ Observes ZERO TOLERANCE for sexual abuse.
I personally have:
____ Studied and can recognize signs of abuse in a child.
____ I have helped ensure VOTF can continue to promote

Effective abuse prevention and child protection programs!
How did you score? The more check marks you have, the better protected all children will be because every child is a potential target for abusers.

Protecting children is integral to Gospel teaching. Make it part of your witness to the teaching of Jesus.

Excellent resources for promoting child protection

For more information on how to prevent child abuse go to

"Voices: Telling Our Stories" -- Written by VOTF Members years after VOTF's founding, Voices: Telling Our Stories offers a glimpse into the ideals and ideas of individual Voice of the Faithful® members, told in their own voices. They continue to seek ways to break the Church's silence, hold perpetrators of scandal accountable, afford justice and healing, and ensure a responsible lay voice in Church governance.

Read Voices: Telling Our Stories and learn why and how Catholics firm in their faith, and often serving in roles central to parish life, but disenchanted with their Church governance, turn to advocacy as a way to remain whole.

As a preview, you may read the book's preface here, the author-by-last name index here, and the author-by-first name index here.

Order your copy of Voices: Telling Our Stories, and copies for your friends, by clicking here. Or, if you prefer, send your check for $25 to VOTF, P.O. Box 423, Newton, MA 02464, and put "Voices Book" on the memo line.


Highlighting issues we face working together to Keep the Faith, Change the Church


Pope Upholds Reprimand of American Nuns’ Group
Pope Francis has reaffirmed the reprimand of American nuns issued by his predecessor, Pope Benedict XVI, and endorsed the plan to have three bishops supervise an overhaul of the nation’s largest umbrella group of American nuns.
-- Pope Francis’ LCWR Reaffirmation Leads Sisters to Hard Questions
-- Pope Francis Reaffirms Critique of LCWR, Plan for Reform
-- Pope Francis, the CDF and the LCWR
-- Pope Francis Supports Crackdown on US Nuns; Women Had Hoped for Different Approach
-- Pope Francis and the Ongoing Reform of the Leadership Conference of Women Religious

Pope Sets Up Cardinals’ Group to Advise on Vatican Reform
Exactly one month after his election to the papacy, Pope Francis on April 13 set up a working group of eight cardinals from all over the world to advise him on the running of the Catholic Church and on how to reform the scandal-ridden Roman Curia.
 -- Pope’s New Advisory Group May Curb Secretary of State
-- Pope Francis Taps Eight Cardinals to Lead Vatican Reform
-- Five Thoughts on the Pope’s New ‘G8’
-- Pope Francis Names Advisory Panel at Vatican
-- O’Malley Named by Pope to a Key Advisory Council
 -- Pope Appoints Panel of Cardinals to Weigh Major Reform of Roman Curia
-- Pope Taps Cardinals to Advise on Governing, Reform
-- Pope Francis to Revolutionize Running of church with New Advisory Panel

Pope Seeks Decisive Action Against Sex Abuse
Pope Francis directed the Vatican on Apr. 5 to act decisively on clergy sex abuse cases and punish pedophile priests, saying the Catholic Church’s ‘‘credibility’’ was on the line.
-- Pope Seeks Decisive Action Against Sexual Abuse
-- Pope Francis Calls for Action on Clerical Sex Abuse
-- The Vatican: Pope Seeks Decisive Action to Resolve Church’s Sexual Abuse Cases

The New Pope’s Real Target: Clericalism

Pope Francis may be building by example a case against the arrogance and self-satisfaction that provides the foundation for a multi-tiered, class-conscious society of those who make the decisions and those who don’t, those who have given up earthly rewards in favor of honorific titles, fancy liturgical attire and, above all, power.

Wisconsin Archdiocese Will Release Files on Abuse
Archbishop of Milwaukee Jerome Listeki announced on Apr. 3 that he has authorized the release of thousands of pages of documents on sexual abuse by Catholic priests, including cases that date back 80 years and including legal depositions of former Archbishop Rembert Weakland and Cardinal Timothy M. Dolan.

Read the rest of this issue of Focus here ...

VOTF NY and Call to Action Metro NY Present Workshop on Conscience

Saturday, May 4, 2013, Judson Memorial Church
55 Washington Square South, New York
Roy Bourgeois
Featured Speaker
9AM – 1PM

Our Church teaches that it does not have the power to ordain women priests. Yet many of us feel that conscience demands something more. How do we determine what justice for women demands today?

On Sat., May 4, distinguished speakers will invite participants to ask and begin to answer for them­selves the core questions of conscience:

  • How does each of us go about forming our conscience properly?

  • How do we know where conscience is leading us?

  • What should we do when our conscience is in conflict with our Church?

Initiating the day will be an address by Roy Bourgeois, a Maryknoll priest who has advocated for the ordination of women. Is he a prophetic witness, or a misguided excommunicant?

How should we respond to his wit­ness to justice for women?
Following Roy’s address and a ques­tion-and-answer session, Sr. Chris Schenk, executive director of Future Church, will discuss the issue of con­science and her organization’s efforts to advance the diaconate for women.

Suggested donation: $10.
For more information, contact

VOTF and the NunJustice Project
Thursday, April 18, was the first anniversary of the Vatican's mandate attacking the Leadership Conference of Women Religious. The NunJustice Coalition (of which VOTF is a member) is asking us to write letters to the editor and invite our new Pope Francis to come and see the wonderful work U.S. Sisters are doing.

Will you help?  Download pointers and a sample letter here.

You can send your letter on April 18 or over the next ten days.

We are  hearing positive things about the newly appointed Secretary at the Congregation for Religious (COR), Fr. José Rodríguez Carballo OSF.  (Though it would have been even more positive had a woman religious been appointed. There are 722,000 women religious compared to 244,557 religious men. Maybe some day!)

When your letter is published, please send a copy or link to Christine Schenk at

You can also send an online message and write the Apostolic Nuncio and US Bishops with this request. Addresses available here.

View photos and videos of Sister City vigils here.

If you haven't already please record your pledge to direct or redirect a financial contribution to support the sisters, and  write to church officials about how US sisters are being treated.


Everyone is invited to hear Sr. Janice Farnham, RJM, Ph.D.’s lecture “New Every Day”:  A Spirituality for the Second Half of Life on Sunday, April 28, 2013, 7:00-9:00PM at Immaculate Conception Parish Center in Newburyport.  Emily Dickinson wrote: “We turn not older with years but newer every day.”  With aging, we move from an “onward and upward” pattern of achievement to the “inward and outward” pilgrimage of the heart.  We will explore the spiritual burdens and the blessings of aging.  Refreshments served & free will offering appreciated.  (Sponsored by North Shore-Seacoast Affiliate of VOTF)  For further information, call John & Barbara Gould 978-535-2321.
Join VOTF NJ for their next Eucharistic Liturgy.
Sunday, April 21, 2013
St. Mark's Lutheran Church
100 Harter Rd. Morristown, NJ Presider: Mike Corso

Questions, Comments?

Please send them to Siobhan Carroll, Vineyard Editor at Unless otherwise indicated, I will assume comments can be published as Letters to the Editor.


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