In the Vineyard :: January 6, 2011 :: Volume 10, Issue 1

National News

Happy New Year! The National office would like to thank all those who so generously donated to VOTF last year. Without your support, we couldn't do the work we do.

As we begin 2011, we look forward to several exciting events, including:

  • The publication of Tricia Colleen Bruce's new book "Faithful Revolution: How Voice of the Faithful is changing the Church" due out in February from Oxford University Press.

  • The upcoming book by Jason Berry due out in June of 2011, which details financial malfeasance within the Church.

  • The meeting of the American Catholic Council in Detroit on June 11 and 12, which will be preceded by a VOTF gathering on June 10 at the same hotel (more details to come).

Many of the efforts launched by our Voices in Action teams also will progress—you can read about new steps by the Child Protection/Survivor Support group in this issue, and look in your email boxes for some communiqués by the Spiritual & Communal Growth team soon, as well as reports from Universal Church Reform and Local Action teams.

Voices in Action – Child Protection/Survivor Support

With the arrival of a new year, VOTF has launched an expanded web page that is dedicated to a variety of child protection and survivor support initiatives coordinated by the Child Protection and Survivor Support committee.

Readers will have easy access to news and developments through daily postings on Abuse Tracker, to a new Advocacy Guide for Statute of Limitations Reform, and to several survivor support resources including SNAP, Bishop Accountability and a Healing and Spirituality Blog by Jaime Romo.

Victims/Survivors, their families, friends and supporters will also be able to share the stories of their common journeys in an online forum. Upcoming editions of In the Vineyard will cover features of this expanded web page in more detail. You can access this web page by clicking

Following is a prayer for survivors


"Priestly Sexual Abuse and Episcopal Accountability" will be discussed by Voice of the Faithful in the Diocese of Bridgeport on Thursday, January 13, at the First Congregational Church on the Green in Norwalk, at 7:30 p.m. A videotaped segment of "Bless Me, Father, For I Have Sinned!", a play based on court documents and presented on stage on November 13, will be shown. For more information please go to www.

Site Seeing

National Catholic Reporter's Person of the Year is Sr. Carol Keehan, the Daughter of Charity who is president and CEO of the Catholic Health Association. This is the first time NCR has named a Person of the Year

The Pope creates new watchdog to oversee Vatican finances

Pope commits to upholding European money-laundering laws

The Pope's "strategy" toward women religious

Most under-reported religion stories of 2011

Milwaukee diocese files for bankruptcy

Father Cutie, an ex-Catholic priest, talks about his marriage

Reflections on an ordination golden anniversary

Letter to the Editor

[In reference to last month's letter from J. Dougherty we got many comments; here are two]

Ouch!! I agree but I have found a monastery where I can have my Eucharist without feeling angry. I am sorry he has been deprived of this blessing. How on earth can priests, speaking in Jesus' name, or so they believe, speak such rot!! Do they really believe Jesus would have said that? Have they ever read the Bible? Or only the Code of Canon Law?
P. Woodbury, SC

It saddens me to see the alienation that Catholics such as J Dougherty described in his recent letter. Those who cannot find the living Christ in the parish at a particular time might want to consider returning to the Eucharist as a meal with a few friends and family members. The rationale for this kind of Eucharist is on .

Very simply, when we are baptized, we are baptized into the life of Christ, which of course includes his priesthood as the Son of God. Just as the Church teaches now that there is no difference between the priesthood of the parish priest and the bishop, but only the degree of authority, so it is between the baptized and the ordained. There is only one Christ, and He is now the Risen Christ. The baptized are baptized into His priesthood.

We have been so brainwashed into the sacramental character of ordination as making "another Christ." St. Augustine invented the sacramental seal in order to win an argument!! Ordination is just a matter of conferring authority, as is the consecration of a bishop. The baptized don't get the infant Jesus; the confirmed, the boy Jesus; the ordained, the adolescent Jesus; and finally the consecrated or bishop, the adult Jesus. That is nonsense.

There is only one Jesus

The official teaching of the Church is that the body and blood of Christ present in the consecrated species is that of the Risen Christ. We do not chomp on leg or arm as if we were cannibals. This is the same presence that Christ promised to those who gathered in His name. We gather as a small group, the host or presider calls upon the Christ who is already present to fulfill His promise to feed them with His very life. And He does.

We should never underestimate the importance of the Catholic, the Universal nature of our institution. We need parishes, professional priests devoted to the many aspects of spiritual and temporal life. The house church should perform as a cell in the body. But when the institutional part of the Church goes off the track, it is better for us to retreat to the house church Eucharist than to seek solace in the rosary or other form of piety.

The Holy Spirit came down on the whole community. It is time for us to reject the "divine right of the hierarchy."

T. Draney

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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Site Seeing

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