send comments and inquiries to email@example.com.
Luke 2:21, the aged Simeon was called to the temple
by the Spirit. When the baby Jesus was brought in
by his parents, Simeon knew he had lived to see “the
Anointed of the Lord,” the “consolation
of Israel.” Anna, too, was in the Temple that
day – another aged person and prophetess. When
she came to the scene of the infant’s presentation
in the temple, she also knew that the deliverance
of Israel was near. How did these old people know
so much so profoundly? They knew because they stayed
close all their days to their God, listening, believing
and watching all things. We must do the same. See
VOTF Lent reflections in Reflections for Our Time.
Accountability Now Action Campaigns are
ready for a March 2006 launching! Go to Campaign
Get on board and let us know what
is happening in your state’s legislative
efforts on reform of statutes of limitations.
Send to firstname.lastname@example.org.
VOTF National Representative Council member Frank
Douglas (AZ) has set up a new Yahoogroup website/listserv
- PCTL—Protect Children through Legislation.
The site will act as an information clearinghouse
about current and recent initiatives aimed at
reforming state laws dealing with sexual crimes
against children. Typical reform efforts are
mandatory reporting requirements for clergy and
changes to statutes of limitations, including
the application of “look-back windows" for
cases where the statute of limitation has already
run. The site is open to the public so take
a look! Read details in NRC Update.
News in Boston, MA: Archbishop Sean O’Malley
has been named a Cardinal by Pope Benedict XVI along
with Archbishop William Levada (former Archbishop of
San Francisco, CA and Portland, OR). Prior to these
appointments, there were 13 American cardinals, 11
of whom are under the age of 80 and thereby eligible
to vote for a successor pope. See John
column at NCR. Also see the VOTF
press release and additional
details on this story.
For a complete list of the cardinal-delegates, click
- March 14 is the date set for an exclusive hearing on
SOL repeal bills before the State House Judiciary Committee.
For details and updates on Boston VOTF, contact Dorothy
Kennedy for inclusion on Boston VOTF’s excellent,
one-page newsletter distributed twice monthly – email@example.com
will it take? Chicago’s Cardinal George’s failure
to remove a priest against whom credible allegations
of sexual abuse had been made documents both the failure
of the USCCB to live up to its own language and the profound,
ongoing need for vigilance on the part of the laity.
president Jim Post’s letter to National
Review Board chair Dr. Patricia Ewers.
CO: As VOTF prepares
for what promises to be a long campaign toward accountability
in our Church
and the protection of children, there is a parallel “campaign” being
launched in various US dioceses. The sad state of reality
among many US bishops is nowhere more evident than in a
recent public relations commentary on SOL reform and windows
that appeared in the “Catholic PR Wire,” an
arm of Catholic
legislators in Colorado, Ohio, Michigan and New York, Iowa,
Pennsylvania, New Jersey, Minnesota and Massachusetts have
introduced bills that might severely cripple the Catholic
Church as an institution, hurting its 67 million members….”
Region 13 rep Frank Douglas notes: “The
message from Denver’s Archbishop Chaput, under
the logo of his legislative lobbying arm, gives a glimpse
the hardball tactics used by bishops to defeat legislation
to protect children.”;
the Denver Post reports: “The church
is arguing that Colorado law makes it tougher to sue
public schools under
routine governmental immunity laws and therefore it
should be just as tough to sue the church for its pedophile
WA: From the Seattle Times: “An
organization of 82 Catholic parishes in Eastern Washington
Spokane Bishop William Skylstad’s settlement offer
of $45.7 million to victims of sex abuse by priests. The
Association of Parishes, which was organized to represent
the financial interests of the individual congregations
in the diocese, contended the settlement raises the prospect
that churches or schools will be sold to raise the money.” Bishop
Skylstad is president of the USCCB. Follow this
Il: Gretchen Ruethling reported
for The New York Times that
the “Roman Catholic
Archdiocese of Chicago has hired independent consultants
to examine how accusations of child sexual abuse are handled.
Defenbaugh & Associates Inc., an international security
consulting and investigations firm, will review the archdiocese’s
actions related to accusations of child sexual abuse involving
two priests. The cases came under fire after it was disclosed
that the priests had been monitored but not immediately
removed from the ministry after being accused. The archdiocese
also appointed a licensed clinical social worker to review
the policies for monitoring accused priests.”
Moines, IOWA: Bishops hear from victims’ advocates: “In
an unprecedented session, representatives of victims of
priest abuse met with the four Catholic bishops of Iowa
in Des Moines Feb. 2 to ask them to take action against
one of their own, the retired bishop of Sioux City.” See
the Feb. 17 posting of National
MI: SNAP visits the archdiocesan chancery. Go
Now Campaigns are under way with instruction
materials now in the hands of affiliate leaders. See VOTF
Campaign 2006 Update.
reading is Marci Hamilton;
on the same site, see a proposal for federal legislation – the
Violence Against Children Act of 2006.
yourself on questions and issues of financial accountability
by visiting the Foundations
and Donors Interested in Catholic Activities (FADICA).
- Correction: In the January 26 issue of In the Vineyard,
please note that the “Collaborating on Financial
Transparency” was co-authored by George Perkins (not
George Bouchey as stated). To see this report again, go
to the 1/26 Vineyard.
- Get into the conversation! See NRC Update.
AFFILIATE Invitation: RAISE YOUR HISTORICAL IQ!
De-mythologize statements like, “The Church has remained
the same since the time of the Apostles.” Sign up
for VOTF New Jersey’s online course, The Catholic
Church: A Short History, based on the book by Hans
Kung. Registration will
open on February 20 and the course will
begin its spring semester on Ash Wednesday, March 1, 2006.
Take advantage of this opportunity for a unique Lenten
practice that will enrich your understanding
of our church and give you a deeper perspective on our
faith as you continue your spiritual growth.
course is facilitated by NJ VOTF’s
Joseph Lynaugh and Maria Cleary, both of whom have advanced
Theology and Religious Education, respectively. There is
no fee and the book is a reasonably priced paperback available
online at Amazon or Barnes and Noble. Click
here to register. For further information, contact firstname.lastname@example.org or email@example.com.
COMMUNICATIONS Update: Do you know who your affiliate
leader is? your area coordinator? your National Representative?
the difference between one and the other? If not, find
Community Voices: To receive Bishop
weekly homily published in National Catholic Reporter as “The
NCR provides this service free of charge. Here
is an excerpt from a recent homily: “One of the things
that I have discovered with the abuse situation in our
of the hardest things for the survivors is the way that
those who represent the authority within the church, the
bishops, have made them enemies. Instead of reaching out
pastorally trying to draw them in, trying to heal, they
go to court and going to court in our system is adversarial.
So now they’re the enemies. We have to fight them
off and that’s exactly how many of them have felt.
And the wound that they received when they were abused
just become even more intense. How different our church
- See “Detroit
Archdiocese Urged to Support Changing Laws” on
the SNAP web site.
Watch: The Parish Voice Calendar of meetings
and events is posted
on the Web.
Use this calendar to find a PV meeting or a VOTF-related
presentation near you. Event information should be sent
at least two weeks in advance to ParishVoiceExchange@Yahoo.com in order to be on the VOTF calendar. Other events are posted
on various affiliate web sites such as the following:
22: VOTF in Long Island, NY is hosting a day conference
"Keeping the Faith while Living with Contradictions” on April 22. Go to their web
the Feb. 9 issue of In
the Vineyard for Dates
to Remember including the Feb. 27 (not
Feb 26 as mistakenly indicated)
panel discussion at Boston College “Catholic Politicians
in the US: Their Faith and Public Policy” moderated
by Tim Russert from "Meet the Press." Click
here or call 617-552-4820;
March 24-26 retreat “The Church
Women Want” at
the Graymoor Spiritual Life Center in NY – www.graymoorcenter.org;
VOTF Bridgeport, CT will sponsor an April 29th Fairfield
University panel discussion on “Elect Our Bishops?
Why Not?” Go to www.votfbpt.org; Fr. Gary Hayes invites
clergy of all faiths who are survivors of sexual abuse
by clergy to attend a May 26-28 retreat
at the Kirkridge Retreat Center in Bangor, PA. Contact
Fr. Hayes at firstname.lastname@example.org for
details or call 610-588-1793. Register online at www.kirkridge.org.
REVIEW – Two Women of Galilee (MIRA Books, 2006) by Mary Rourke will be available in
Feb. 28. Rourke covered VOTF in 2002 for the Los Angeles
Times and is the author of Amazing Grace in America. Two
Women of Galilee is her first novel.
to the editor – on keeping
our eyes on the prize in VOTF; Aquinas as a model
PUBLICATIONS’ Notes: Subscribing to one or more
Catholic publications is always worth consideration. We
occasionally offer some light/some not-so-light samples
of current coverage in these; as always, we welcome your
own “finds.” See what’s happening in
Commonweal, America, US Catholic and National
Catholic Reporter at In Other Words.
for our time: “The arc of the moral universe
is long, but it bends toward justice.” Martin Luther