In the Vineyard :: July 13, 2012 :: Volume 12, Issue 11

News from National

The countdown has started! On July 15, your chance to participate in our historic 10th Year Conference on September 14 and 15th at the reduced rate of $150 will end. Register NOW and you not only save $50 on registration, you also have a chance to win a $200 dinner certificate to Legal Seafood.

It's a can't-lose deal. You get to hear speakers such as John Morgan from Ireland, Anne Burke, Tom Groome, Don Cozzens, David Clohessy, Jamie Manson, and Jim Connell ... You can meet others who, like you, see opportunity for renewal and healing in the Church and a chance to address the dysfunction of an institutional Church held hostage to clericalism ...

You can have a voice in discussing the NEXT 10 years of work before us ...

And you can enjoy good food, autumn in New England, and old and new friends.

All this and the opportunity to be a part of the living history named Voice of the Faithful: bringing lay voices into governance and guidance challenges for our Church.

PLUS -- Anyone who registers by July 15 has a chance to enjoy dinner on us Saturday night. We will draw 2 names from all early registrants and each winner gets a $200 gift certificate to Legal Seafood, just yards away from the Boston Marriott Copley Place so that you can treat your friends to dinner too.

But your chances will end soon ... To register online, click this link, complete the identification page and click Next, then choose the Conference registration options on the second page. Or you can register by mail.

A message from Jayne O’Donnell, VOTF Conference Chair:

The Most Important Speaker of All: YOU !

In the past several editions of In the Vineyard, we have introduced you to the seven speakers who will address the VOTF 10th Year Conference in September. Each of them will contribute a new and important message. Each will deliver a message shaped by their particular perspective or expertise.

Now it is time to consider the most important speaker at our conference: YOU. Each of you attending the conference will have an opportunity to ask questions of and/or interact with the featured speakers. This give-and-take will be recorded and referred to in future projects.

You also will be invited to share your unique responses, ideas and reflections with those at the table where you sit.

Table discussions will be a critical part of this conference.

On Friday and Saturday, each table will be asked to “appoint” a “scribe.” That individual will be responsible for ensuring that everyone’s voice at the table is “heard” through the written word. The scribe also will jot down notes about the themes that the table deems pertinent.

At the close of the program, this “Wisdom of the Table” will be collected and combined with the recorded Q/A and comments from all the sessions. The gathered information then will serve as a compass to direct the future work of VOTF—especially those post-conference actions that result from our September gathering.

VOTF Ireland

Check out VOTF Ireland’s website. It was recently updated to respond to recent events in Ireland, including the International Eucharistic Congress.

A prayer from VOTF Ireland:
Gentle Father, Son and Holy Spirit,
source of all wisdom, love and light. Revive our spirits at a time of doubt and despondency. Help us to witness to the truths our Church and our priests have brought to us over many centuries. Help us to show that your Gospel can meet all the challenges of the moment and bring peace and friendship to all people on this island - so that Ireland can become again a source of light and joy to the world. Amen

From VOTF Ireland’s website

Voice of the Faithful FOCUS,
July 12, 2012

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


Will the Catholic Church Still Be Standing in a Few Generations?
And in true community, there’s no room for unquestioning obedience to censorious powers. There must be, instead, room for doubt and forgiveness, for the freedom to share our fears, our hopes and especially our uncertainties. The Catholic Church seems more open to all of that today than it was prior to Vatican II. But something has almost extinguished the spirit of that liberating time of reform, and the church once more is manning (the male reference is intended) the barricades against modernity, postmodernity and anything that may follow.

Whose Religious Freedom Is Under Attack?
As a rabbi, I am deeply conscious of the transcendent value of religious freedom. I believe that the First Amendment to the U.S. Constitution is indeed one of God's best creations. So I listen with great care to claims it is being violated.

Top Church Historian Sees Catholic Schism Ahead
Influential church historian Diarmuid MacCulloch said he believes Christianity faces a bright future, but predicted the Roman Catholic Church will undergo a major schism over its moral and social teaching. ... He predicted that Catholicism faces a division over attempts by popes John Paul II and Benedict XVI to “rewrite the story” of the 1962-1965 Second Vatican Council by portraying it as a “minor adjustment” in church governance, rather than as a “radical move to change the way authority is expressed.”

Arlington Diocese Parishioners Question Need for Fidelity Oath
(July 11, 2012) Kathleen Riley knows her beliefs on the male-only priesthood and contraception put her at odds with leaders of her church, and now, the Arlington Diocese wants this Sunday school teacher to take a fidelity oath.

Catholic Sex Abuse Crisis, 10 Years Later
Recent weeks marked several landmarks in the Catholic Church’s dark history with child sexual abuse. ... What have we learned in the past ten years? We have learned that more than 10,000 youth were victimized by perhaps four percent of Catholic priests in America during the past half century, with the vast majority of cases occurring during the 1960s and 1970s. For a compilation of the government and academic reports on sex abuse this past decade, see this link to our web pages.

Nothing Sacred About Celibacy
As the reputation of the Catholic Church sinks further into the mire with the latest allegations of sex abuse and cover-up, it is worth raising again the subject of priestly celibacy. Celibacy cuts to the heart of what is wrong with the church - along with its homophobia and misogyny.

A Red, White and Blue Roundup
In honor of the July Fourth holiday, this week's column presents a red, white and blue roundup of recent news, meaning current events somehow linked to, or suggested by, those patriotic colors. Red: Cardinals, traditionalists and money; White: the Vatican and transparency; Blue: the U.S. bishops lose a lion.

Voice of Faithful to Mark 10th Year with Conference
The worldwide Catholic Church reform movement Voice of the Faithful is marking its tenth year with a conference in Boston in September. The event is expected to draw supporters from across the United States and Europe, according to a news release from the organization.

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

VOTF Members in the News

VOTF Bridgeport member Joe O’Callaghan recently had an article published in the Connecticut Post challenging the US Bishops “Fortnight of Freedom.” He believes Catholics could dedicate each one of those days day to Catholic theologians and leaders who have been bullied, threatened, silenced or wrongfully excommunicated by the pope, the Congregation for the Defense of the Faith (CDF) and the bishops. He presents his own “Heroes of Religious Liberty” list.

Read more:

VOTF Florida member Robert Wilford recently had a letter to the editor printed in the Alachua County Today paper. In his letter, he discusses how the conviction of Jerry Sandusky and Monisignor William Lynn are a victim for all sexually abused children who now know someone is listening and someone cares.
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FutureChurch Plans Celebrations to Honor Nuns
In July and August, Catholic organizers plan to honor U.S. nuns currently under attack by the Vatican at special national celebrations honoring St. Mary of Magdala. The celebrations also aim to end the silencing of Catholic women and restore the tradition of female deacons in the Church.

"This year's celebrations have a special power and poignancy in light of recent Vatican attempts to discredit U.S. women religious," said Liz England, FutureChurch Program Coordinator. "Like St. Mary of Magdala, U.S sisters have also been maligned by male church leaders. We are really happy that over one third of all celebrations will honor U.S. women religious"

Nearly 300 celebrations will be held worldwide, including 29 international celebrations in Australia, Canada, England, India, Ireland, Mexico, New Zealand, Scotland, Uganda and Zambia. Typically each celebration attracts from 15 to 500 participants.


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