In the Vineyard   ::    January 14, 2009   ::    Volume 8, Issue 1

National News

VOTF Names Bishops Who Should Resign
It has been seven years since the clergy abuse scandal rocked the Catholic Church in the United States.  Seven years and so many bishops have not taken responsibility for aiding and abetting predator priests.  Seven years and a crisis of equal caliber threatens the Church in Ireland.  Seven years and many Catholics are still asking for justice for survivors and accountability for bishops worldwide.  Seven years is enough.

As a follow up to the ad in the New York Times last year, where VOTF asked Pope Benedict XVI for accountability, VOTF is now asking bishops to examine their consciences and, if appropriate, resign their ecclesiastical offices.  We have suggested that resignations might begin with the six bishops who by their own testimony or by the verified evidence in public records knowingly transferred predator priests.  Read our press release and the in-depth report.

Update on Strategic Plan
Work on VOTF’s new Strategic Plan has begun! With a high level of enthusiasm, close to 50 volunteers leaders have stepped forward to Make our Voices Heard.  Many thanks to those who have already joined the efforts.  If you are still interested in joining one of the platforms please email If you haven’t yet read the Strategic Plan click here.

Happy New Year! To read VOTF’s New Year’s Message, click here.

News from Working Groups

Prayerful Voice Suggestion
Gaile M. Polhaus, PhD

Visiting in another parish recently I was surprised and pleased to hear a prayer from my youth recited at the end of Mass.  It was being said to protect children.

St. Michael the Archangel,
defend us in battle.
Be our defense against the wickedness and snares of the Devil.
May God rebuke him, we humbly pray,
and do thou,
O Prince of the heavenly hosts,
by the power of God,
thrust into hell Satan,
and all the evil spirits,
who prowl about the world
seeking the ruin of souls. Amen..

In addition to our prayer at noon we should recite this daily and perhaps more parishes could adopt the practice.

Affiliate News

Crisis of Credibility Transfixes Irish Church
By Sean O’Conaill, VOTF Ireland

On Friday January 2, Ireland’s premier newspaper, the Irish Times, reported a mantra repeated by the Irish Catholic primate, Cardinal Sean Brady of Armagh, at the start of the new year:

 “At all times the welfare of children must be the paramount consideration.”

We have grown familiar with this soothing verbal assurance since Ireland’s first clerical child abuse scandal in 1994, and more especially since the awful Ferns report of 2005. However, the very next day . . . To read more, see Crisis of Credibility.

Site Seeing

Paul Lakeland discusses the importation of foreign priests in last week’s New York Times.

VOTF’s John Ryan is quoted in the Peoria Journal Star

National Catholic Reporter has a previously unpublished interview with Cardinal Avery Dulles


Bridgeport Voice of the Faithful
February 5, Carmine Galasso, Sr. Photographer at New Jersey’s The Record and author of Crosses: Portrait of Clergy Abuse will speak to VOTF Bridgeport.

Bridgeport VOTF’s 7th Annual Conference
“Do This in Memory of Me”: The Future of the Eucharist to be held at Fairfield University Saturday, March 28, 2009.

Presented by: The Center for Catholic Studies of Fairfield University and Voice of the Faithful in the Diocese of Bridgeport. For more information:

Wisdom House
A “Centering Prayer Winter Retreat” will be held at Wisdom House Retreat and Conference Center in Litchfield Connecticut

Friday, January 23rd at 6 pm to Sunday, January 25th at 1 pm.

A workshop entitled “Soothe the Soul” will be held at Wisdom House Retreat and Conference Center from 9:30 am to 12 noon on Saturday, January 17th.

For further information on either of these programs, call Wisdom House at 860.567.3163, email, or visit

Dominican University
Bishop Thomas Gumbleton to speak at Dominican University
Lenten Lecture – Forgiveness: Doorway to the House of Peace
Thursday, February 26 at 7:30 p.m.
Priory Auditorium, Dominican University Priory Campus
7200 W. Division, River Forest, IL
$10 Admission

Bishop Thomas J. Gumbleton will examine the spiritual and personal dimensions of living in a truly sustainable, life-giving way. He will share stories of his own journey and those of other wayfarers as he explores a critical Lenten theme. How does one forgive? How can we be people of peace in our culture? What spiritual disciplines can we learn from peacemakers today? Bishop Gumbleton, an auxiliary bishop in the Catholic archdiocese of Detroit, is the founding president of Pax Christi USA and a ceaseless campaigner for forgiveness and true peace in global, local, and ecclesial conflicts.

Book Corner

American Savior: A Novel of Divine Politics, by Roland Merullo.

There are those who hope Barack Obama will be an American savior. But in Roland Merullo’s book, it is the real Messiah who runs for president. This humorous novel imagines what would happen if Jesus ran for president. Told from the perspective of a campaign insider, the main focus of the story is on the enlightenment of those closest to the candidate, rather than politics itself. It is an often biting look at the world of American politics.

Read a review in the Washington Post

To buy this or any book on Amazon, please go to and click on the Amazon link. Voice of the Faithful will receive a small percentage of the purchase price.

Letters to the Editor

VOTF routinely publishes news about notorious bishops, cardinals, etc. who have protected and tolerated pedophiles. Has anyone compiled a summary list of living American hierarchy who are known to have acted in this manner, i.e. conspired to conceal the crimes of pedophile priests under their supervision? It would help to sort out the sheep from the goats.

Charles Lehman

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

Working Group News

Affiliate News

Crisis of Credibility

Site Seeing


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