In the Vineyard :: February 10, 2012 :: Volume 12, Issue 3

News from National

Voice of the Faithful® 10th Anniversary Conference

2012 marks a significant milestone for Voice of the Faithful® members, volunteers and supporters, who have been working for 10 years to Keep the Faith, Change the Church. To help mark our decade-long commitment, we are gathering this September for a 10th Year Conference. Join us to Celebrate our mission, Rejuvenate our commitment, and Accelerate our work.

The conference opens Friday, Sept. 14, at the Marriott Boston Copley Place Hotel in Boston MA with a reception and dinner, and features a presentation by Prof. Thomas Groome (noted author and the chair of Religious Education and Pastoral Ministry at Boston College). We continue Saturday, Sept. 15, 2012, with a full slate of speakers.
You can see the details here.

VOTF Members Speak Out
Marita Green, chair of Greater Philadelphia VOTF, had the following letter published in the Delaware County Daily Times. In her letter, Green asks for financial transparency from the archdiocese as it seeks to close about 50 grammar schools and high schools. She wonders how much of the $10 million that the church believes it will save will go towards those fighting to restrict the statute of limitations in sexual abuse cases.

21st Century Disciples Needed!
Become a 21st century disciple! We encourage lay Catholics to participate fully in transforming our Church at all levels—especially by increasing lay input into its governance and guidance. We hope each of you will download and print our brochure and distribute it in your parish church, to friends, to relatives, to everyone who cares about addressing the reforms we need. Click here for the brochure.
 If you print this at home, follow these simple instructions.

LIVOTF Analyzes Diocese Rockville Centre’s Financials
LIVOTF member Dick Grafer, whose work LIVOTF endorses and supports, recently completed a financial analysis of the Diocese of Rockville Centre’s cash reserves and operating results for its fiscal year that ended Aug. 31, 2011. The diocese does not publish its own consolidated financial statements. Dick has been doing these analyses since 2003 in an effort to encourage the diocese to exercise greater financial transparency. Unfortunately, Dick says, “‘transparency’” apparently does not mean the same thing to the DRVC as it does to most people.” You can read Dick’s analysis by clicking here. LIVOTF is offering Dick’s work as an example of what Catholics could do to encourage financial transparency in their dioceses.

Roman Catholic Archdiocese of Boston Pastoral Planning Commission Proposal 
The proposed plan for "groupings" of parishes, the first and most complicated of initiatives developed in the Roman Catholic Archdiocese of Boston planning process, is now out. Described as a plan to strengthen parishes for mission, the plan has been presented to clergy and staff and is now beginning round three of a consultation process. 

Lay people who are aware of the process as it hits the ground have many questions, but general knowledge is poor at this point. 

In an attempt to prevent surprises, the Boston Area Council VOTF (BACVOTF) will try to keep lay people abreast of developments and any opportunity to voice their opinion. That opportunity exists right now for those in the Boston area to answer a consultation survey online by clicking here.

BACVOTF is encouraging members to ask pastors to announce the online option or to place a notice in the parish bulletin, since the consultation process ends in March. They also are publicizing links to opinions gathered previously from priests in the diocese.

For more information

Voice of the Faithful Focus,
February 9, 2012

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

Rome Symposium on Clergy Sexual Abuse Enters Third Day
The symposium in Rome on clergy sexual abuse scandal, Toward Healing & Renewal, has entered its third day and is drawing worldwide attention. Vatican organizers hope results will inform dioceses around the world to develop effective guidelines for dealing with the scandal in time to meet the May deadline for sending such guidelines to the Vatican for review. Voice of the Faithful remains cautiously hopeful of the outcome. Here is a link to the symposium’s opening statement by Cardinal William Levada, prefect for the Vatican’s Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith, and some of the latest media coverage–

     -- The Sexual Abuse of Minors: A Multi-faceted Response to the Challenge
-- Bishops Advised to Heed Victims
-- Vatican Body Has Dealt with 4,000 Child Sex Abuse Cases
-- Sexual Abuse Silence ‘Deadly’ for Church: Vatican Official
-- Pope Says Renewal Requires ‘Christ-like’ Response to Abuse
-- Vatican Urged to Give Priority to Abuse Victims
-- Bishops Seek Forgiveness for Clergy Abuse
-- Vatican Abuse Summit: Expert Blasts Denial on Global Dimension of Crisis

Legislative Battle over Pennsylvania’s
Child Sex Abuse Statute of Limitations Continues
Pennsylvania legislator Rep. Louise Williams Bishop recently told a crowd gathered for a public meeting in the rotunda of the capitol in Harrisburg about her personal experience with child sexual abuse—which she had kept hidden for 60 years—and she vowed to continue the fight to abolish the state’s child sexual abuse statute of limitations.

Archdiocese Hit for Secret Balance Sheet
Voice of the Faithful of Greater Philadelphia chairperson Marita Green has published a guest column in the Delaware County Pennsylvania Daily Times decrying a “secret balance sheet” the archdiocese has maintained in the face of school and parish closings.

Earlier Abuse Claims to Be Allowed at Priest Trial
Philadelphia prosecutors overseeing a child sex-abuse case involving three Roman Catholic priests can reference molestation claims against more than 20 other clergymen to try to establish a pattern of how such allegations were handled.

Read the rest of this issue of Focus by clicking here…


Thursday, Feb.23,2012

Psychologist Mary Gail Frawley-O'Dea, Ph.D  will speak on:
"Perversion of Power, the True Context  and Causes of the Catholic Sex Abuse Crisis."

Vanderbilt Presbyterian Church
1225 Piper Blvd.  7:00PM

Boston College Church in the 21st Century Speakers

Thursday, February 16, 2012
“Catholics: Why We Are a Sacramental People”
Presenter: Fr. Michael Himes, professor, Theology Department
For Catholics, God is present to humankind, and we respond to this presence in the everyday moments and ordinary activities that make up our lives. With the eyes of faith, we see in visible realities the signs of the invisible presence of God. Fr. Himes will talk about the great sacraments of the Church, which parallel the pivotal moments in our earthly pilgrimage, and how they represent the climactic celebration of the sacramentality of life.

Location/Time: Gasson Hall, Room 100, 4:30 p.m. – 5:30 p.m., Main Campus, Boston College
Information: 617-552-0470 or

This event is FREE and opened to the public, but an RSVP is preferred:


Thursday, February 23, 2012
“Why Be Baptized in the Catholic Church?”
Presenter: John F. Baldovin, S.J., professor, School of Theology and Ministry
Explore why the sacrament of Baptism in the Catholic Church is so much more than just a cleansing from sin.

Location/Time: Heights Room, Corcoran Commons, 5:30 p.m. – 6:30 p.m., Lower Campus, Boston College
Information: 617-552-0470 or

This event is FREE and opened to the public, but an RSVP is preferred:


Wednesday, February 29, 2012
“Living the Sacrament of Confession”
Presenter: Paul Wilkes, author
Paul Wilkes will speak about the Catholic sacrament of penance and the human need of renewing oneself through the practice of honesty.

Location/Time: Gasson Hall, Room 100, 5:30 p.m. – 6:30 p.m., Main Campus, Boston College
Information: 617-552-0470 or

This event is FREE and opened to the public, but an RSVP is preferred:

North Shore – Seacoast Affiliate of VOTF Adult Faith Education Formation Series
Come learn more about Vatican II in its Fiftieth Year. Everyone is welcome.  Free will offerings are gratefully accepted. Refreshments will be served.
Sun. Feb. 12, 2012 from 7:00 – 9:00P.M. at St. Thomas Church Hall, 1 Margin St., Peabody, MA
Speaker:  Dominic F. Doyle, Ph.D., “Imagining the Church Before and After Vatican II—The Relevance of Lumen Gentian for Today  (Dogmatic Constitution on the Church)”
Sun. Mar. 11, 2012 from 7:00-9:00 P.M. at the Connell Center at St. Mary’s HS, 35 Tremont St., Lynn, MA
Speaker:  Rev. John F. Baldovin S.J.,Ph.D,  “Constitution of the Sacred Liturgy  The liturgical reform & renewal marked by the Second Vatican Council is in danger of being lost today.”
Sun. Apr. 29, 2012, 7:00-9:00 P.M. at Immaculate Conception Parish Center, 5 Court St., Newburyport, MA
Speaker: Richard R. Gaillardetz, Ph.D, “Second Vatican Council’s Theology of the Laity. Explore the development of the Council’s teaching in the Dogmatic Constitution on the Church, the Decree on the Apostolate of the Laity, and Gaudium et Spes (Pastoral Constitution on the Church in the Modern World.”
For more information contact:  Barbara and John Gould, 978-535-2321.


VOTF member Fred Cassleman has just published a book Fresh Air:
New Visions for the Catholic Church. Cassleman hopes his book will “serve as an example of how lay people can contribute and help envision the Church into future.”
From Amazon: Pope John XXIII expressed the sentiment that it was time to open the windows of the Church to let in some fresh air. Decades later, the need continues. Fred Cassel man’s book is a sharing of his personal insights to help let in some of that fresh air. His writings are gentle and hold the space for new ways without invalidating the old. Twenty topics are covered in a concise manner, each with an accompanying decorative element. With an artist's eye, he has designed a lovely book that carries a timely and peaceful message.

 If you are interested in buying a copy of Fred’s book, please go to and follow the link to Amazon. VOTF will receive a portion of the purchase price.

 Letters to the Editor

Re: New Child Protection Guidelines

In reading the guidelines presented to the world's bishops by Cardinal Levada, it struck me that the 7th item out of the 9 items given, should have appeared as the second item and it should have read "Law in each country regarding reporting of such allegations to civil authorities must be followed" not should. The word "should" allows for wiggle room. Since not reporting child sexual abuse claims to the local authorities has been and seems to remain a problem, it should have gotten more prominence that it did.

Thank you,

Frank Pasquariello

Dear Siobhan, 
My thanks to you and to the Chicagoland VOTF president for sharing their statement of Recommitment to Survivors.

I am a Cambridge member of the Winchester Area VOTF family.  We continue to meet regularly about two or three times a month. I would like to see us adopt paragraph two of the Recommitment statement as part of our opening prayer. 

We meet at St. Eulalia parish on Monday evenings and welcome all to join us.

Millie Feloney, St. Peter Parish, Cambridge

Dear Editor,

It's marvelous that the Pope has advice for oversight and accountability in the international financial system.
He could start by giving the world an example of same by implementing his recommendations for Vatican and diocesan finances.
Don't hold your breath.

Ed Wilson
Brooklyn NY

To the Editor,                                                 December 27th,2011

On December 20th Thomas Cajetan Kelly was laid to rest. His administration of  our archdiocese lasted for twenty five years.  He  started his ministry as a scholarly Dominican priest who cared for people.  He was focused on education and ecumenical endeavors.  At his installation as archbishop, he said in his homily, “Too many members of the human family are subject to conditions that are offensive, to their life, to their dignity and to the aspirations that are rightly theirs.” 

* How true.

How does a good man, a caring priest, become so infected with ecclesiastical power that he gets addicted to the protection of the church’s image at the cost of harming its children and alienating his flock? Yes, each of us is inclined to do good or evil, but how did this man let his appointment to the office of archbishop of Louisville erase the truly Christian words in his installation homily?  They surely apply to the thousands of children, victims of clergy sexual abuse entrusted to his care, don’t they?

Yes, he inherited a history of mis-governance of archbishops before him, but he must have been aware that the lives of even more children were being ruined by Frs. Creagh, Clark, Miller and others during his years as our shepherd. These men had to appear before him and plead their innocence. Their personnel  files were in his office.

The victims wanted Thomas Kelly to publically apologize to them and for him, and his chancellor, to resign. Their requests were denied.  The lawsuit was filed to get the truth out about the abusers and the coverup.  It is painfully obvious that these members of our human family were offended in their lives, dignity and the aspirations they had for themselves as baptized, confirmed and communicants in our Catholic Church.

Because of the scandal, tens of thousands of Catholics left the church Bishops Flaget, David and others had labored to gather so diligently during the storied history of our archdiocese. The abuse and its systematic cover up broke in 2002 and that year will mark the lowest point in the history of our archdiocese.  It happened during Kelly’s administration. At his funeral mass no mention was made of it. Neither John Quinn nor Joseph Kurtz in the homily or in the “words of remembrance” made mention of Kelly’s handling of the victims or their abusers.

Brian Reynolds the chancellor also made no mention of it in his personal remarks about Kelly. The victims and their families were not prayed for in the General Intercessions. The penitential rite in the New Roman Missal was simply omitted. Saying the Confiteor together would have given the seventeen bishops in attendance a chance to beat their breasts for their most grievous fault, reassigning pedophile priests and covering up their crimes. They did not. You can be sure that these same bishops will see to it that the sinful lay folk beat their breasts when the Confiteor is said at parish masses.

It makes this Catholic wonder, should Thomas Kelly’s passing have even been celebrated? When the seventeen bishops gathered to pray on December 20th, did they individually or collectively forget that they carried out the policies of Rome which brought so much suffering to us and cost the Catholic Church its moral standing in Louisville? Do bishops really think that such formal liturgies wash away their covering up for perverts who preyed upon children? No mention of the scandal was made in the funeral. Is the hierarchy in denial?

How will the deaths of pedophile priests be celebrated?  Will a priest of integrity be found to celebrate the Christian burial of the victims? Events that came to a head this month remind me that Christ is the Head of our church, not the Pope or Bishops. (Roman Catechism # 669). The current Pope and his bishops have not acted like Jesus of Nazareth; the Good Shepherd expected them to act.


Michael A Diebold, Chairman
Voice of the Faithful
Louisville, KY.Affiliate

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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