In the Vineyard :: May 6, 2011 :: Volume 10, Issue 9

News from National


Friday June 10, 2011 — 10 a.m. to 3:30 p.m.
Detroit Marriott Hotel at the Renaissance Center
Prior to the American Catholic Council Synod (June 10-12, 2011)

Church Reform: A Do-It-Yourself Job
Please join us to hear from team members working on bishop selection, women’s initiatives, statutes of limitations reforms, spiritual and communal growth, financial accountability ... and so much more.

The morning program (10 a.m. to Noon) features a report from President Dan Bartley and interactive presentations by our Voices in Action teams.

Afternoon program (1:30 to 3:30 p.m.) features Jason Berry and Fr. Tom Doyle along with Barbara Blaine and David Clohessy of SNAP. They will discuss the connections between the greatest Church scandals of today: sex abuse and cover-ups by the clergy, and the misuse of funds.

No registration required.

If you have not yet answered our survey on the meeting, it takes about 2 minutes (and you might win a prize). Click here to take the survey.

Don’t Miss the American Catholic Council
This historic weekend, organized by Catholic lay people and welcoming all Catholics interested in reclaiming the vision of Vatican II, opens on Friday evening June 10 in Detroit MI and closes with a Pentecost liturgy at 11 a.m. Sunday June 11.

Guest speakers include Hans Kung (via special video links), Sister Joan Chittister, James Carroll, and Kathleen Kennedy Townsend. Breakout sessions cover topics on parish governance, liturgical renewal, financial accountability, formation of conscience, youth in the church, and much more.

For details, go to the ACC web site.

VOTF’s New Development Coordinator
Please welcome VOTF’s new Development Coordinator, Sara Callard. Sara has extensive experience in grant writing and donor development and we look forward to working with her. Sara began her work with us this week; we will publish her contact information as soon as it is available.

As many of you may know, Julie Dutcher, VOTF’s former development coordinator, recently accepted a full-time position at Wentworth Institute of Technology.

Catholic League Misses the Point in Philadelphia
Normally, VOTF does not respond to misrepresentations about our mission, goals and actions. However, when such distortions potentially could endanger innocent children, we have a moral obligation to speak out. Recently, the Catholic League sent a letter to Archdiocese of Philadelphia priests that distorts both the facts of a survey conducted by the Greater Philadelphia VOTF regarding Pennsylvania statutes of limitations reforms and the facts of the clergy sexual abuse scandal in Philadelphia. Read VOTF's national statement here.

The Philadelphia Inquirer wonders why priests there so fear SOL reform

Philadelphia scandal pitting Catholics against Catholics

Pope Paul VI opened the second session of Vatican II on September 29, 1963. One stated goal was the understanding of ourselves as the Church, including the precise definition of the nature of the Church as mystery. The first question Pope Paul raised was the place of bishops and their relationship to the papacy, a question known by the term “collegiality.”

Opinions from Our Members

The New Mass Translation
Ed Thompson, Sr.

I have one burning question for those in the Catholic Church who approved the new Mass translation. WHY? From what I’ve read about how it came about since 2001, it boils down to bickering and infighting and just plain politicking resulting in what we now have to swallow beginning in Advent 2011.

It’s like taking a pill that doesn’t taste good, but compliance and conformity are paramount in the church.  Even some bishops and many priests had real issues with the new Missal, but an Imperial Rome didn’t listen. Some Catholics have said that their church ends in the parish. Now with the new missal, even our daily prayer is changed without any input from the local church.


Voices in Action Update

Prayer from Spiritual & Communal Growth Team
The SCG team has posted a prayer on reclaiming the vision of Vatican II, as a way to pray for the success of the American Catholic Council in June. You can find the prayer on our web site.

Book Corner

Render Unto Rome: The Secret Life of Money in the Catholic Church by Jason Berry is due out in June. The book demonstrates how the sexual abuse scandal, financial crises, and financial abuse led to the reconfiguration and closure/merger of parishes. Berry’s report suggests that the Catholic Church will continue to shrink. The hope is that from its ashes there will rise a new Catholic Church where there is no sexual abuse by clergy, no financial abuse, no discrimination by gender or marital status, no lies and cover-ups, where the laity will fully participate in the governance of the Church—in short, the new Catholic church will be the Church Christ originally founded.

Berry is scheduled to speak to VOTF New York City on June 6 and VOTF Winchester, Mass., June 8. He also will participate in a panel discussion at the VOTF meeting on June 10 in Detroit and again during the ACC meeting itself.


“Whither the Diocese of Bridgeport? A Preliminary Inquiry” will be the theme of Voice of the Faithful’s meeting on Thursday, May 12 at 7:30 p.m. at the First Congregational Church on the Green in Norwalk.          

Members will discuss projected parish closings and will explore the mysteries of the Bishop’s Annual Appeal and diocesan and parish finance. Everyone is invited to attend.  

For further information about VOTF in the Diocese of Bridgeport and for directions to the First Congregational Church on the Green in Norwalk consult

Site Seeing

Can the Bishops ever be trusted?,0,4821972.story

Bishop Morris’s support for discussion of ordaining women costs him his job

Support widens for ousted Australian bishop

National Catholic Reporter also covered the 2006 letter that led to Bishop Morris’ ouster

Letter to the Editor

Bishop Dolan is quoted as saying there are just as many abusive teachers in NYC as there are priests. That may or may not be true. However, teachers did not take a vow to be MORAL and ETHICAL LEADERS. To me, that’s a big difference. When teachers are found guilty of this crime, they are fired and jailed. Priests just get moved to the next parish. Pedophilia is gravely wrong no matter who does it, but even more gravely when a supposed religious/Christian leader does it.

H. Hutchinson

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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