In the Vineyard :: June 15, 2012 :: Volume 12, Issue 9

News from National

Award-Winning Columnist Jamie Manson
Will Speak at VOTF 10th Year Conference

Jamie L. Manson, award-winning columnist for National Catholic Reporter, lay minister to the poor, frequent speaker and retreat leader, and former Women’s Ordination Conference trustee, will address Voice of the Faithful’s 10th Year Conference in Boston, Sept. 14 and 15, at the Marriott Boston Copley Place Hotel. She will speak on Saturday, Sept. 15. Click here for a conference agenda.

Manson received her Master of Divinity degree from Yale Divinity School where she studied Catholic theology and sexual ethics with Margaret Farley. Her weekly column, “Grace on the Margins,” appears in the National Catholic Reporter. Her writing earned her a first-prize Catholic Press Association award for Best Column/Regular Commentary in 2010. In January 2011, her essay on St. Joseph’s Hospital in Phoenix, Arizona, was highlighted by Nicholas Kristof in his New York Times op-ed column.

Manson is the former editor in chief of the Yale magazine Reflections. As a lay minister, she has served two Manhattan churches in the roles of director of faith formation and as director of social justice ministries. In both churches she worked extensively with New York City’s homeless and poor populations.

A frequent speaker and retreat leader, she is a regular homilist for the New York City chapter of DignityUSA and has served on the board of the Women’s Ordination Conference.

Voice of the Faithful 10th Year Conference
Program Book Advertising: An Invitation 

You became a part of history when you joined VOTF. Now help mark another significant milestone by saying, I'm still here, in our 10th Year Conference Program Book.

As you know, we're marking our first decade with a conference in Boston, Sept. 14-15, at the Marriott Copley Place Hotel. Gathered will be veterans of our 10-year effort to support survivors of clergy sex abuse and priests of integrity, and to help begin the reforms and healing necessary for our Church.

Gathered too will be Catholics newly joining our efforts to open files that shielded sex abusers, to seek accounting for the millions we pour into Church coffers, and to deepen our spiritual lives in ongoing adult faith education.

With your ad in our Conference Program Book, you can publicize your affiliate, highlight an upcoming program in your area, or mark your place in history as one who worked towards the inevitable reform and renewal of our Church.

The Program Book will include the Conference agenda, notes about the speakers, lists of Priest of Integrity and Catherine of Siena Award recipients, well wishes from our members, and historical observations about VOTF and our 10 years of breaking new ground for lay voices within the Catholic Church.

If you reserve a spot in the program book right now, before June 15, you'll also get a 20% discount off the cost of your ad. (The deadline for your advertisement is July 20, 2012.)

For details on Program Book ads, see the Program Book Advertising Opportunities form. If you need more information, email Nick Ingala at the office:

And don'10th Birthday Conference Save the Date Calendart forget to register for the conference.

 Sept. 14-15 in Boston -- See you there!

Prophetic Voices Speak Out at the 2012 Catholic Theological Society of America Meeting

Addressing some 300 colleagues assembled in St Louis for an annual meeting of the Catholic Theological Society of America, Jesuit Fr. Agbonkhianmeghe Orobator said that women are often the “face of redemption turned visibly” toward those the church serves, but are often “banished beyond the borders of relevance.” Orobator said the state of their participation in the church community leads to an uncomfortable question: “As a church, so long as we surreptitiously but tenaciously rehearse the politics of discrimination and exclusion, we stand before God, as Cain was, befuddled by a question that we simply cannot wish away at the wave of a magisterial wand,” said Orobator.

“And the question is: ‘Church, where is your sister? Church where is your mother?’”

Orobator also called into question the Church’s “exclusion and marginalization for many, very many, on account of their gender, race, or social location.”

Another speaker at the conference, Reverend William O’Neill, also spoke in protest against the Vatican's denunciation of Sister Margaret Farley's 2006 book, Just Love: A Framework for Christian Social Ethics in which the bishops say they found "grave problems."

“We must "learn to say 'stop' to those who abuse authority only to preserve it," O'Neill, of the Jesuit School of Theology at Berkeley, told the assembled scholars.

Read more:

Update on the Nuns
In case you missed Sister Joan Chittister on CNN this week, click here to see her interview about the Leadership Conference of Women Religious and the Vatican. You may need to scroll down on CNN's web page when it opens to see the link to Sister Joan's interview. If you would like to read Sister Joan's interview on these topics in the Huffington Post, click here.

Other interviews and commentaries:
Simone Campbell, SSS, discusses the “Nuns on the Bus” tour with Stephen Colbert and Andrea Mitchell:
Colbert Report
Andrea Mitchell 7/14/12

Maureen Fiedler, SL, American Roman Catholic Nuns and the Vatican on the Diane Rehm Show

Christine Schenk, CSJ: Local Nuns Question Vatican Reprimand Cleveland PBS

The Association for the Rights of Catholics in the Church (ARCC) invites you to a time of reflection and empowerment - moving from identifying issues, to taking effective action in response.

These workshops will empower you to identify issues of injustice, then determine in community with others how to respond in a way that is both non-violent and effective. Together we will follow the example of Jesus of Nazareth, who eschewed violence while insisting on living faithfully his relationship with the Father. To find out more

Voice of the Faithful FOCUS,
May 31, 2012

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

Analysis: Bishops’ Accountability Still Missing from Abuse Scandal
As the nation’s Catholic bishops mark 10 years since they adopted sweeping reforms to address the sexual abuse of children by clergy, the 800-pound gorilla in the chancery remains a lack of accountability for the bishops themselves. The lay National Review Board of the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops on June 13 warned the bishops at their spring 2012 meeting in Atlanta that “they must follow their own policies against abuse more rigorously if they hope to restore their fragile credibility,” according to David Gibson, Religion News Service. The NRB also said, “While the charter called for punishing priests with a one-strike policy and instituted programs to safeguard children in Catholic parishes and schools, it did not provide any mechanism for disciplining bishops who flout the charter’s provisions.
 -- A Ten Year Progress Report, June 2012, USCCB National Review Board
 -- National Review Board Recommendations – June 2012

Is ‘Zero Tolerance’ Charter on Priest Sex Abuse Working, 10 Years Later?
Ten years ago in Dallas, American Catholic bishops responded to an exploding priest sex abuse scandal with a “zero tolerance” charter. Now as WBBM News radio’s Bernie Tafoya reports, there are those who see the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops “Charter on the Protection of Children and Youth” as a success and those who don’t.

At Meeting in St. Louis, Catholic Theologians Defend One of Their Own Against the Vatican
The head of the Jesuit order in East Africa explained to other theologians gathered here last week that a simple gesture had different meanings in different cultures.

Magisterium’s Clock Is Stuck in 1965
What exactly was ‘the spirit of Vatican II?  Here as elsewhere we find ignorant voices raised to misrepresent it merely as the spirit of 1960’s secular liberalism. This trend has led to an even more dangerous and unjust one: to blame ‘the spirit of Vatican II’, and those who speak of it, for ‘all that has gone wrong’ since.

Essay: Power of the Dying Hierarchy Is an Illusion
Another sister told me this about a decade ago: The hierarchy is like a dying dragon, breathing fire on those around it as it flails through its final collapse. But don’t worry, she said, it is dying and someday something else will resurrect.

Church Battles Efforts to Ease Sex Abuse Suits
While the first criminal trial of a Roman Catholic Church official accused of covering up child sexual abuse has drawn national attention to Philadelphia, the church has been quietly engaged in equally consequential battles over abuse, not in courtrooms but in state legislatures around the country. The fights concern proposals to loosen statutes of limitations ..

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

Letter to the Editor

Just wanted to let you know VOTF-Atlanta will be there, giving the Bishops and media handouts about strengthening the "fundamentally flawed" Charter (last month's Santa Clara U. Conference) and imploring Archbishop Gregory to practice the openness and transparency he preaches.

John Dearie

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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