In the Vineyard :: January 10, 2014 :: Volume 14, Issue 1

News from National

2014 Assembly: Turning Talk into Action
John Allen, formerly a senior correspondent for the highly respected National Catholic Reporter and recently appointed to The Boston Globe for coverage of the Catholic Church, will be a guest speaker at the VOTF 2014 Assembly: Turning Talk into Action.

Fr. Tom Reese, formerly editor of the Jesuit magazine America and currently a columnist and analyst for National Catholic Reporter, also presents a key address at the Assembly.

Both speakers will provide insights on Pope Francis and his actions, as well as on the spiritual and other influences that have shaped his experiences. It’s an exciting prelude to an afternoon of workshops, prayer, and collegial collaboration.  Six afternoon workshops will provide opportunities to turn talk into action. Lunch is included in the $80 per person registration fee.

The VOTF 2014 Assembly will take place Saturday, April 5, 2014, 9 a.m. - 5:30 p.m., at the Connecticut Convention Center, Hartford, Connecticut. If you stay overnight in Hartford, you may make reservations at the Marriott Hartford Downtown, located right next to the convention center, for only $89 per night.

Register online today or download a printable registration form and return to VOTF by mail.

More About John Allen
Allen, widely hailed as the best-sourced and most knowledgeable English-speaking reporter on the Vatican, will be joining The Boston Globe in early February and will help lead coverage of Catholicism and the Vatican as an associate editor.

“There is a resurgence of global interest in the Catholic Church, inspired by the words and deeds of the newly-installed leader, Pope Francis,” said Globe editor Brian McGrory. “There’s nobody in the nation better suited. John is basically the reporter that bishops and cardinals call to find out what’s going on within the confines of the Vatican. His inexhaustible energy, supported by extraordinary insights, is legendary.”

McGrory said Allen, 48, will play “several roles of prominence. He will be a correspondent first and foremost. He will be an analyst on all things Catholic. He will also help us explore the very real possibility of launching a free-standing publication devoted to Catholicism, drawing in other correspondents and leading voices from near and far.”

In addition to his work as a correspondent and author of the column “All Things Catholic” for the National Catholic Reporter, Allen is also the senior Vatican analyst for CNN. He has written nine books on the Vatican and Catholicism. 

We’ll take a closer look in coming weeks on the work of Fr. Tom Reese and on the facilitators and guests who will be leading the workshops at the Assembly. Don’t miss out! Register now.

VOTF President & Development Coordinator Visit Florida
Jan. 20

Mark Mullaney, Voice of the Faithful President, and Jayne O'Donnell, Development Coordinator, are returning to Florida.

Monday, January 20, 2014, 1-3 p.m.

Pelican Bay Community Center, 8960 Hammock Oak Drive, Naples, Florida 34108 (same location as their meeting with local VOTF members last February)

To Do What?
Enjoy talking with local VOTF members, sharing Professor Paul Lakeland's presentation "The Enigma of Pope Francis," and being part of a VOTF fundraiser.

R.S.V.P. By January 13, 2014 (that's this Monday), to

VOTF of Greater Philadelphia Responds to the Release of Monsignor Lynn
‘What a disgrace," said Marita Green, president of the Philadelphia chapter of the Voice of the Faithful, ‘I don’t care whose ‘orders’ Lynn followed, whether [Cardinal] Bevilaqua’s, Krol’s, or even O’Hara's. It is appalling that the laws in the state of Pennsylvania have been so ineffective that none of these enablers, facilitators, and cover-uppers have gone to jail. Read the 2005 and 2011 Grand Jury Reports on the Archdiocese of Philadelphia.” 

“I certainly hope and pray that District Attorney Seth Williams will appeal this decision. There should be no ‘likely’ about it,” said Green.

Lynn, 62, was the first Catholic Church administrator in the country to be charged with covering up child sex abuse.

Pastoral Care of Victims of Catholic Clergy Abuse
By Sean O'Conaill (Ireland VOTF)

Mark Vincent Healy is an Irish survivor of clerical sexual abuse who is seeking ‘Rescue Services’ and ‘Safe Space Provisioning’ for all such survivors.  In the article linked below, he reviews ongoing yet still tentative attempts to provide 'pastoral care' for survivors, acutely analyzing the difficulties involved from the viewpoint of a survivor.

His article reminds me of a meeting between members of Voice of the Faithful (Ireland) and members of the Irish hierarchy in January 2008, at which we spoke of the need for survivors to have a forum within the church: a 'safe space' for them to meet and as a group advise the church on their needs, including the pastoral needs of those who wanted to retain a spiritual connection with the church.

We never heard any word subsequently from the bishops, and no such forum has ever been provided. In fact there seems to be a deliberate strategy of never facilitating any communication between survivors as a community, and of leaving them, as individuals, essentially on the outside of the policy-making process. (An occasional consultative role for individual survivors is insufficient and in danger of being perceived as mere PR.)
Can the needs of survivors, including their spiritual needs, ever be met if power remains undivided within the Church, with no truly independent body to represent the needs of the least powerful? As this new Vatican initiative gets under way, how are all those interested in survivor support to make the best case for radical structural change to end the powerlessness that still victimizes all those 'people of God' who have suffered abuse of clerical power?

And if subsidiarity is now on the agenda, isn't it now up to the bishops conferences in all countries—and indeed all conscientious Catholics there—to respond to this question?
Here is Mr. Healy’s article:


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

VOTF National Statement
Philadelphia Abuse Reversal Conveys a Painful Lesson
“This week’s (Dec. 27) court decision that freed a senior cleric in Philadelphia who had been jailed for shielding an abusive priest was a symbolic setback for victims’ advocates but one with a substantial, and discouraging, message for their cause: None of the churchmen implicated in cover-ups during the worst decades of abuse will likely ever face charges ... ‘We have to insist that there be repercussions for any bishop who would re-assign or cover-up for a sexually abusive priest,’ (Nicholas) Cafardi (canon and civil lawyer) wrote in an email. ‘The church will never have closure on this issue unless the larger problem of hierarchical complicity is dealt with.’” By David Gibson, Religion News Service, Analysis in National Catholic Reporter
 -- Chaput Defends Posting Bail for Lynn, By Allison Steele, Philadelphia Inquirer
 -- Monsignor William Lynn Leaves State Prison, Some Parishioners Outraged At Archdiocese, By CBS News Philadelphia
 -- DA Blasts Archdiocese for Helping Lynn Make Bail, By Robert Moran, Philadelphia Inquirer, By Robert Moran, Philadelphia Inquirer
 -- Philly Archdiocese Helps Monsignor Post $250K Bail, By Maryclaire Dale, Associated Press, in
 -- DA to Appeal Superior Court Decision to Free Msgr. Lynn on Bail, By Jenny DeHuff, Philadelphia Inquirer
 -- Philadelphia Monsignor to Be Released on Bail Pending Appeal in Abuse Case, By Jon Hurdle, The New York Times
 -- Lynn Ruling Elates Supporters, Deflates Victim Advocates, By Aubrey Whelan, Philadelphia Inquirer
 -- Archdiocese of Philadelphia Responds to Superior Court Ruling on Msgr. Lynn, By Archdiocese of Philadelphia
 -- Monsignor Lynn Case Could Affect Penn State Trial, By Associated Press
 -- Victim Advocates Take Anger over Lynn Decision to Church, By Sulaiman Abdur-Rahman, Philadelphia Inquirer
 -- Philadelphia Monsignor’s Conviction Overturned in Cover-Up of Sexual Abuse, By Erik Eckholm, The New York Times

Pope Warns of Fallout from Poorly Trained Priests
“Pope Francis has warned that ‘priests can become ‘little monsters’’ if they aren't trained properly as seminarians, saying their time studying must be used to mold their hearts as well as their minds. Francis also warned against accepting men for the priesthood who may have been implicated in sexual abuse or other problems, saying the protection of the Catholic faithful is most important.” By Nicole Winfield, Associated Press

St. Louis Suit Follows Push Toward Transparency in Church Sexual Abuse Claims
“The lawsuit filed by an anonymous Jane Doe against a now-defrocked St. Louis priest echoes thousands of others nationwide that have forced more than $3 billion in legal awards and settlements from the Roman Catholic Church. But it has particular relevance here because of an added promise: unprecedented disclosure.” By Jennifer S. Mann, St. Louis Post-Dispatch

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

Ordaining Women to the Diaconate
By Phyllis Zagano

The question of restoring women to the ordained diaconate surfaced during the Second Vatican Council and continued to resound in academic and pastoral circles well after Pope Paul VI restored the diaconate as a permanent state for the church in the West in 1967.

Available for the first time in English, these two documents by Cipriano Vagaggini, OSB. Cam., on the historical details of women ordained as deacons in the Greek and Byzantine traditions demonstrate that women were sacramentally ordained to the major order of deacon over the course of many centuries in many parts of the Greek and Byzantine East. Vagaggini introduces the conclusions to his study by noting that "in Christian antiquity there were different beliefs and tendencies distinguishing between ministry and ministry, ordination and ordination, with regard to the nature and significance of the respective orders or ranks."

To order please go to

Phyllis Zagano is senior research associate-in-residence and adjunct professor of religion at Hofstra University and founding co-chair of the Roman Catholic Studies Group of the American Academy of Religion. The author or editor of sixteen books in religious studies, including Catholic Press Association and College Theology Society book award winners, Zagano is also the series editor of the Spirituality in History Series published by Liturgical Press.

Former Catherine of Siena Award Recognized Again
Phyllis Zagano, winner of VOTF’s Catherine of Siena Award in 2010, has been chosen as the recipient of the 2014 Isaac Hecker Award for Social Justice. The award will be presented to Ms. Zagano at the 5 p.m. liturgy at the Paulist Center in Boston, on Saturday, January 25. A reception will follow. All are welcome to attend.

For more than 35 years, The Paulist Center has been honoring Catholics who are committed to building a more just and peaceful world. Here is their announcement about Prof. Zagano: “We are delighted to honor Ms. Zagano and her prolific body of work that has consistently echoed the cry of the poorest of our society for dignity and for justice both inside and outside the church. The Selection Committee was deeply impressed by the way Ms. Zagano's work at Paulist Press and beyond continues to implement and expand Isaac Hecker's vision for sharing Christ in the Gospel to North America through the medium of the printed word. Her efforts toward greater recognition of the dignity of all persons, specifically the dignity of all women, mesh with Hecker's spirituality of ‘looking to the heart, listening to the Spirit, and living in America.’" 


Saint Susanna Church
262 Needham Street 
Dedham, MA 02026 
January brings a Peace and Justice Presentation, just finalized, with a live speaker, on nonviolence, as well as a two week series on the past and possible future of the Papacy, a subject which is literally changing from day to day with the arrival of Pope Francis.
All sessions will be on a Monday evening from 7:00 to 9:00 pm, in the Parish Hall. There is no pre-registration requirement and there are no fees, although voluntary donations are gratefully accepted to cover our speakers' honoraria and our refreshments. For map and directions, go to the Directions Page on the parish web site,  In case of cancellation due to inclement weather, we will make every effort to post our web site, so check the site for a notice if the weather appears threatening. Come and See! 
January 13 – Seizing the Nonviolent Moments: Reflections on the Spirituality of Nonviolence, A Live Presentation by Nancy Small.  Nancy will speak on the subject of her soon-to-be-published book of that name.  Nancy Small is a 2013 Recipient of the Pax Christi of Massachusetts Peacemaker Award.  She holds degrees from Boston College and Union Theological Seminary.  A member of the Pax Christi MA Board, she has been a hospice chaplain, spiritual director and retreat leader, and presents programs in Contemplative spirituality.   This is a co-presentation with the Saint Susanna Parish Peace and Justice Committee.
January 27 – A Time of Two Popes. (Week One of Two) For the first time in 800 years we have a pope resigning and a new pope elected, with both of them still alive and well, and resident within the Vatican complex
in Rome. What is it about the papacy? Has it always been the way we know it to be now? What will it look like in the near, and far, future? 
In the first of two weeks, Peter Hartzel of the Adult Faith Formation Commission will introduce us to the pivotal points in the history of the papacy and the popes involved. For several years now, Peter has given a number of courses at Saint Susanna in Church History. A PowerPoint presentation will be utilized.

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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