and I wish to be seen as people who listen, never as
spiritual masters.” Brother Roger, founder of the
Taize community, died at the age of 90 on August
“In the face of violence, we can respond
only by peace. Brother Roger never stopped insisting
on this. Peace requires a commitment of our whole being,
inwardly and outwardly. It demands our whole person.
So this evening, let us communicate peace to one another,
and do everything we can so that each person stays
in hope.” Spoken by one of the elder monks at the prayer
service for Brother Roger*
Voice of the Faithful At
Work In The World
Return to the election of bishops – an idea that
is gathering steam
The Indianapolis Convocation in July produced a number of resolutions to be
vetted by our affiliates across the country. Among these is lay participation
in the election of bishops. As reported in the August 11 Vineyard, our
VOTF Bridgeport, CT affiliate is working on a simulated bishop election. In
this issue, VOTF
San Francisco, CA announces their own discernment process
for the selection of a new bishop to replace the departing Archbishop Levada.
O’Callaghan, professor emeritus of medieval history
at Fordham University, NY, has written a brief background
paper on the history of bishop elections as well as
some suggested readings. Read more
lazy days of summer for our new National Representative
Frank Douglas writing for the NRC Steering Committee reports on activities
since the Indianapolis Convocation when the newly elected members met for the
first time. Their pace and progress in establishing their own processes, as
well as actions taken to propel Convocation proposals, is impressive. The Convocation
Implementation Team has been identified and issued
their first communication this week.
legislation in the light of the First Amendment Boston,
Sen. Marian Walsh legislation would require the archdiocese of Boston, and
all Massachusetts religious organizations that receive charitable donations,
to file an annual report like the more than 30,000 non-religious charities
in the state. The bill’s hearing in Boston drew broad support, inclusive of
a few political surprises. One of the arguments against the legislation is
the challenge it may pose to our First Amendment.
VOTF members, attorneys both, Sharon Harrington and
Bob Morris, offer their differing perspectives on the
First Amendment argument in Commentary.
Hynes of Boston Area VOTF Council comments on the day’s
work as well as actions needed NOW. Read more.
Interim Press Manager John Moynihan is compiling the
testimonies delivered at the hearing for distribution
to some key players in the life of this bill.
closings: Is anyone on the inside looking out?
Silverstein’s children’s poem in the eponymous book A
Light in the Attic ends with “There’s a light on
in the attic, I can see it from the outside, And I know
you’re on the inside … looking out.” Recent school closings
in Boston beg the question – who, if anyone, is “looking
closings hit the Boston, MA area hard and while stalwart
vigilers were successful in reversing some parish closing
decrees, many who have moved on and others left untouched
by the reconfiguration process found the archdiocese
wreaking additional havoc in the halls of elementary
schools. There are some clear lessons to be learned
for Church leadership and parishioners across the country
as they, too, face similar upheavals. Boston VOTF issued
a statement for Vineyard readers – asking the
questions that need to be answered.
Post story and another in the Buffalo News refer
to Boston, MA for its effective protest around failed
process in school and church closings. As VOTF president
Jim Post said in the Post, “We’ve learned
to say ‘No” to bishops here in Boston.”
has happened in Boston frames the current issue of National
Catholic Reporter. Read more
Louisville, KY reports some good news following
a mutually helpful discussion at their diocesan chancery.
The key seems to go back to VOTF’s earliest days – listening.
of Survivors: SNAP’s David Clohessy’s commentary
on symbol and substance “Thanks, But, No Thanks” drew
dozens of supportive comments and requests for a
here to read David’s June 2005 Vineyard commentary.
a letter to the editor, one mother speaks for another
in a response to Maria Rodrigues’ commentary in the
August 11 issue of In the Vineyard, “Reconfiguring
Watch and Heads Up! See details inside.
published – “The courage to buck the culture” in
the current issue of National Catholic Reporter is
the editorial – it’s about Boston yet the editorial
and additional coverage speak to an altered landscape
for all Catholics.
11 - VOTF Falmouth, MA extends an invitation
to a promising and timely panel discussion made
up of clergy, religious, and laity.
College, October 23. SAVE THE DATE for
the presentation of a study conducted on Voice
of the Faithful.
July 15, 2005 National Catholic Reporter editorial
noted a more reticent USCCB as the bishops’ bi-annual
meeting November 14-17 approaches.
be published in September - Church Ethics And
Its Organizational Context: Learning from the Sex
Abuse Scandal in the Catholic Church edited
by Jean Bartunek, Mary Ann Hinsdale and James Keenan
includes a chapter by Jim Post.
will be due bishopaccountability.org for generations
to come. Visit their web site and look at the outstanding
resource they are becoming through dint of nothing
but passionate commitment to righting wrongs and
documenting facts. Go to www.bishop-accountability.org
of Note: Taize community loses its founder and leader – Brother
Roger was known around the world for the spiritual
community he established. His violent death brought
shock and grief to all who have experienced what
Pope John Paul II called “that little springtime.” Read
your email address? Please let us know!
issue of In the Vineyard will be September 8.
Please send comments and inquiries to email@example.com.