In the Vineyard :: March 22, 2013 :: Volume 13, Issue 6

News from National

Prayers for Pope Francis
On Tuesday, March 19, 2013, Pope Francis was installed officially as the leader of the Roman Catholic Church. We join Catholics worldwide to pray for Pope Francis, for our Church and for a welcomed and honored place for lay voices. And we offer the following Prayer of St. Francis for Pope Francis, as always, in Jesus' name:
Prayer of Saint Francis of Assisi
Where there is hatred, let me sow love;
where there is injury, pardon;
where there is doubt, faith;
where there is despair, hope;
where there is darkness, light;
and where there is sadness, joy.
O Divine Master, grant that I may not so much seek
to be consoled as to console;
to be understood as to understand;
to be loved as to love.
For it is in giving that we receive;
it is in pardoning that we are pardoned;
and it is in dying that we are born to eternal life.

You also may be interested in reading and hearing VOTF voices regarding the papal election. VOTF members made appearances on TV and radio, were interviewed by print media and conributed an editorial to a major religion web site. You will find those links on our VOTF in the News page.

New VOTF Ad Hits Newsstands Today!
VOTF Internet ad says, "Something is
missing from CHRCH"

Voice of the Faithful has kicked off its new ad campaign! Our ad is now appearing in the online editions of The New York Times and Los Angeles Times. We hope to continue placing ads in other secular and religious online media as funding permits. Internet ads like these, when added to our other communications efforts, help us show more people who we are and what we want for our Church.

Click here and you will be taken to a landing page on our website, just as if you had clicked the ad on one of the newspaper websites. There, you will see the rest of our message.

If "U" believe in us, our vision will continue to become a reality.

Reflection for the Week Following the Fifth Sunday of Lent 2013
We offer the following Scripture and reflection from Gaile Pohlhaus, Ph.D., theologian, teacher, and former VOTF officer, for the week following the fifth Sunday of Lent --

Reading 1, Is. 43:16-21
Thus says the LORD,
who opens a way in the sea
and a path in the mighty waters,
who leads out chariots and horsemen,
a powerful army,
till they lie prostrate together, never to rise,
snuffed out and quenched like a wick.
Remember not the events of the past,
the things of long ago consider not;
see, I am doing something new!
Now it springs forth, do you not perceive it?
In the desert I make a way,
in the wasteland, rivers.
Wild beasts honor me,
jackals and ostriches,
for I put water in the desert
and rivers in the wasteland
for my chosen people to drink,
the people whom I formed for myself,
that they might announce my praise.

I was already thinking about the Gospel reading of the woman accused of adultery when I read the first reading from Isaiah and was stunned. The liturgy always does this to me -- it is always just right for the time. The Holy Spirit is doing something new for us! We have a Jesuit Pope named Francis! While I will miss the Augustinian tone of Benedict the XVI, I believe the Lord is opening a new way for us. "Use the money you would spend coming to Rome for the poor."(paraphrase.) All is well.

Gaile M. Pohlhaus, PhD.
Practical Theologian

Also during Lent, please remember to pray for the sisters. The NunJustice Coalition, to which VOTF belongs, has posted a prayer at its website to help us keep the sisters in mind during Lent.

VOTF Hires New Development Coordinator

Voice of the Faithful has named Jayne O’Donnell of West Hartford, Conn., as its new development coordinator.
A VOTF member since 2002, former trustee and co-chair of VOTF’s 10th Year Conference in 2012, O’Donnell will be coordinating VOTF’s major donor efforts, direct mail appeals, e-mail solicitations and grant writing.

She co-founded the Greater West Hartford VOTF affiliate, served as the VOTF regional coordinator for Hartford and was chair of the Hartford Regional VOTF steering committee.

A long-time parishioner of St. Timothy’s Church in West Hartford, O’Donnell has been actively involved in parish life. She was director of religious education from 1990 until 2010 and has taught second- and third-grade religious education classes. She also served from 2000 to 2006 as the first development coordinator for the parish middle school. She is a past chair of the St. Timothy Middle School board and Parish Council. In addition, she has been involved in the parish social outreach program.

O’Donnell holds a law degree from the University of Connecticut School of Law, Hartford, Conn., and a bachelor’s degree from Manhattanville College of the Sacred Heart, Purchase, N.Y.
She resides in West Hartford with her husband Edward (Bud) O'Donnell, and they are the parents of a son and daughter.

Affiliate News

Naples VOTF Hosts Viewing of Mea Maxima Culpa: Silence in the House of God
Approximately 60 people attended the Naples Voice of the Faithful showing of HBO's documentary Mea Maxima Culpa: Silence in the House of God at Hodges University March 20, 2013.  Discussion, led by VOTF president Peg Clark, followed the movie. HBO's documentary highlights steps taken by the Vatican to protect the Church's image at the expense of sexual abuse victims. it’s easy to conclude from the stories shown that systemic changes are essential for the Church in the future. The movie is available on HBO and will be available on DVD and Netflix.  


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


Catholic Church Inaugurates Pope Francis in Huge, Open Air Mass
The Catholic Church officially inaugurated Pope Francis as its first Latin American and Jesuit pontiff on Tuesday morning. More than 150,000 faithful, joined by leaders from much of the secular and spiritual world, watched as the humble and hopeful Argentine was vested with the trappings of authority at an open-air Mass in St. Peter’s Square.
-- Pope Francis: Homily for Inaugural Mass of Petrine Ministry

VOTF Comments on Papal Election
 -- Pope Francis Makes Good First Impression on U.S. Catholics
-- Voice of the Faithful Reacts to Election of New Pope
-- Voice of the Faithful Representative Discusses Pope Selection
-- New Pope Must Deal with Divided Church in United States
-- In New York, Hope Pope Francis is ‘Modern’
-- New Pope ‘A Fresh Start,’ But Old Problems Are Waiting
-- Pope Francis
-- “Jesus did not don gold cloaks”: The Future of the Papacy
--  O’Malley Should Be Next Pope
-- Past Popes & a Modern Precedent
-- May a New Pope Throw Open Wide the Windows of the Catholic Church
-- Pope O’Malley?
-- Cardinal Sean O’Malley on Short List of Pope Candidates

“Jesus did not don gold cloaks”: the Future of the Papacy
Clericalism and its companion sins, insularity and arrogance, have long plagued the Catholic Church. Its most grievous manifestation in our time is the clergy sex abuse scandal and its decades-long cover-up by bishops, chancery officials, and the Vatican. To that toll can be added financial malfeasance, insistence on the second-class status of women in the Church, attempted silencing of legitimate theological expressions, indifference to the rights of lay people, and more.

Pope Francis Supports Zero Tolerance of Child Abuse
Pope Francis is on record as supporting zero tolerance for the sexual abuse of minors by priests. In a 2012 interview, then-Cardinal Bergoglio said that a bishop called him for advice on how to deal with it, and "I told him to take away the priests' licenses, not to allow them to exercise the priesthood any more, and to begin a canonical trial in that diocese’s court."

Pope Francis Vows to Serve ‘Poorest, Weakest’ and Urges Leaders to Offer Hope
Striking a tone of radical humility that has already become his trademark, Pope Francis offered a passionate pledge in his installation Mass on Mar. 19 to serve “the poorest, the weakest, the least important.”

Victims of Argentina’s Pedophile Priests Say Pope Was Little Help
A Roman Catholic activist group said Mar. 19 that Pope Francis was slow as head of the Argentine church to act against sexual abuse by clergy and urged him to apologize for what it called church protection for two priests later convicted of sexually assaulting children.

Vatican’s Bureaucracy Tests Even the Infallible
In the final years of the papacy of Benedict XVI, a cardinal was desperate to warn the pope his top administrator was undermining his papacy, and two church benefactors sounded an alarm that the Vatican’s governing hierarchy, known as the Roman Curia, was riddled with intrigue.

L. A.'s Catholic Archdiocese To Pay $10 Million To Settle Abuse Claims
The Archdiocese of Los Angeles has agreed to pay nearly $10 million to four men who allege they were molested by a pedophile priest in what Cardinal Roger Mahony has called the most troubling case of his tenure.

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

Book Corner

Luke 17:2
By Michael and Patrick Emerton

From the Amazon review: Day after day in 2002, the Boston Globe’s Spotlight Team was unearthing secrets that had been kept in the Roman Catholic crypt. The bones of tens of thousands of children who had been sexually abused by priests had been found. It was revealed that the crimes had been covered up, and the perpetrators moved to unsuspecting parishes to molest again and again. Church administrators were given clear directives on how to avoid prosecution by hiding the criminals and silencing the victims. A soul corroding contagion was allowed to spread, psychological wounds festered, and childhoods were infected with fear. Adulthoods were crippled, as priests donned robes, lifted The Word, and proclaimed themselves to be moral leaders. 

This is the story of how one man remembered that he was a victim when he read those articles in the Globe. It is the story of how he came to terms with this, and how he then turned his tragedy into a victory for himself, and for others. Through the power of his witness, with the power of his truth, and in the emancipation of his voice this one man stands as an example for others to see. He makes a call for others to hear, and offers a way for those suffering under the weight of secrets to be freed. This man tells his story.


Description: When Bad Things  Happen to a Good Person event flyerFor those who wonder about the kind of God who permits bad things to happen to good people and seems to test loyal followers.

Rabbi Harold Kushner
A prominent American rabbi and the popular author of many books, including the best seller: When Bad Things Happen to Good People.

April 21st
2:00 - 3:30pm
Temple MishkanTefila,
300 Hammond Pond Pkwy
Chestnut Hill, MA
Cost: $30 early registration, $40 at door (including refreshments)

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.


Page One


Shop at Amazon, Support VOTF

VOTF relies solely on the contributions of people like you to support its work.





© Voice of the Faithful 2013. All Rights Reserved