In the Vineyard :: September 8, 2011 :: Volume 11, Issue 17

News From National

Emily & Rosemary Fund for Women: Application Deadline Oct. 1
The Emily & Rosemary Fund for Women in the Church will be making another round of awards this winter. The deadline for completed applications is October 1.

Lynette Petruska established the fund to support women who lose employment in the Roman Catholic Church as the result of injustice or discrimination, and to help women who are working to bring about justice and equality in the Church.

You can learn more about the Fund and find grant applications here. Please note the purpose of the Fund and be sure your application falls within those criteria.

Update from Spiritual and Communal Growth Team
Voices in Action Spiritual & Communal Growth Team has posted two versions of Psalm 80, a prayer well-suited to expressing the hopes of those seeking the restoration of the Church.

Site Seeing

Rolling Stone covers the sex abuse scandal in Philadelphia

The latest skirmish between the Vatican and Ireland

Kansas City dealing with fall-out of Ratigan case

The Vatican Thought Police Take on Theological Studies

Affiliate News

VOTF of SWFL Helps Fired Teacher
Earlier this year, five sophomore girls at Bishop Verot Catholic High School in Fort Myers, Florida, told one of their teachers, Chris Wilson, they had been verbally sexually abused by a priest during confession. Chris reported this to his principal, but the priest continued to hear confessions at the high school. When the Florida Department for the Protection of Families told Chris the Catholic high school incident was out of its jurisdiction, he contacted Voice of the Faithful. VOTF of SWFL spoke with a Canon lawyer, and then helped Chris file a non-criminal report with the Fort Myers police. Two days later, he was fired for insubordination. We would say he was fired for trying to protect the children in his care. Married with two little girls, Chris had to get a lawyer to sue for his unemployment compensation and also has filed suit against the school and bishop. VOTF of SWFL has helped start a fund to support Chris.

Boston Area Council Speaks Out on Release of Names
The Voice of the Faithful Boston Area Council Board has for years insisted the Archdiocese of Boston release a list of clergy with substantial allegations of sexual abuse of minor children. In the words of Anne Southwood, BACVOTF chair, “We've done this with the vigilance and persistence of a faithful family guard dog who warns the family of a fire threat. We knew our members needed us to persist and we are grateful for any support they gave us in this effort to protect Catholic children in our Archdiocese.” Prior to the release of a list, Cardinal O’Malley said he was "mindful" of the concerns of reform organizations like ours.

The release of a list by the large Archdiocese of Boston adds momentum to a national database being developed as each diocese publishes a public list easily referenced by parents as well as Church hierarchy. This can only aid in the protection of children.

BACVOTF says they will continue to call for complete disclosure with the public addition of names of religious order priests. This is important with a national database being developed. Religious Order clergy have been essential to the Boston Archdiocese and many other dioceses and have also been the subjects of substantial allegations.

Children do not make a distinction between types of clergy. Religious Orders are as responsible to help parents protect their children as diocesan bishops.

“We will call on our Archdiocese and Religious Orders to extract those names, both for the sake of survivors and for parents seeking child protection,” Southwood says.

To see the list of clergy with substantial allegations against them, go to

Denial vs Truthfulness: McCormack’s NH record
Submitted by Carolyn Disco, New Hampshire VOTF

As Bishop John McCormack approaches retirement with the naming of his successor, the legacy he leaves in New Hampshire is worth examining. His 13 years in the Granite State are certainly momentous, though it is his record in Massachusetts that usually draws attention.

But what type of leadership has he exercised here in regard to the signature issue of his ministry, the sexual abuse crisis? Granted, other matters required action: long-range planning for diocesan schools, the consolidation of parishes, the priest shortage, Catholic hospital administration, reduced church attendance, and so forth.

These pale in comparison though to the impact of his record in clergy abuse.


“Vatican II in its Fiftieth Year”
VOTF North Shore-Seacoast Affiliate in collaboration with the School of Theology & Ministry, Boston College presents “Vatican II in its Fiftieth Year” Sunday evenings 7:00 – 9:00 pm   -   Lecture, Discussion & Refreshments. The events are on these Sundays:

Sunday, September 11, 2011, St. Rose of Lima Parish Hall, 12 Park St., Topsfield.
Sr. Maureen Sullivan, O.P.,Ph.D., “Gaudium et Spes (The Pastoral Constitution on the Church in the Modern World)”

Sunday, February 12, 2012, St. Thomas the Apostle Church Hall, 1 Margin St. Peabody
Dominic F. Doyle, Ph.D.  – “Lumen Gentium - Imagining the Church Before and After Vatican II”

Sunday, March 11, 2012, St. Mary’s High School, Connell Center, 35 Tremont St., Lynn
Rev. John F. Baldovin, S.J., Ph.D. “Constitution of the Sacred Liturgy”

Sunday, April 29, 2012, Immaculate Conception Parish Center, 5 Court St., Newburyport
Richard R. Gaillardetz, Ph.D. “Second Vatican Council’s Theology of the Laity”

In addition to the Faith Formation Program, the Affiliate is committed to provide sessions that deal with the three goals of VOTF: support of victims of clergy abuse, support of priests and religious, and change in Church structure so that the abuse by priests and subsequent cover-up by Church leaders will not continue. “We know that the crisis, which first surfaced in our own diocese, has not ended as we read in the news about scandals in Ireland, Germany, and Australia as well as in our own country.” 

This fall the affiliate will be offering a retreat day in support of victims, a play written and performed by Michael Mack, entitled “Conversations with My Molester.”  Members of the Affiliate who previewed Michael’s sensitive and powerful solo performance were so deeply moved and eager to share their reactions to Michael’s life experiences that they decided the best presentation format would be a retreat day. So save the date:  Saturday, November 12, 2011. Place:  St. John the Evangelist, 705 Hale Street, Beverly Farms, MA.  Time:  9:30AM – 4 PM.

Letter to the Editor

Dear Siobhan,

I read your notes faithfully and thank you for them.

This issue contained an open letter to Archbishop Timothy Dolan, Pres of the USCCB. It was from Rev. James Connell, Vice-Chancellor of the Archdiocese of Milwaukee. I read the whole letter.  Amazing! 

In the letter, Fr. Connell is asking for full support of the USCCB for the requirements of the Charter for the Protection of Children and Young People.

I had not read of this any place else and will be curious to hear what comes of it (if anything).Could you keep us posted of any feedback?

Thanks for a job well done, as always.
M. Feloney

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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