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As most of our readers know, VOTF will mark its fifth anniversary this year. Our emergence was occasioned by the horrific revelations in Boston, Massachusetts on January 6, 2002 of a long-standing practice in the Catholic Church of clergy sexual abuse of children and the moat built by some bishops and priests around those crimes. See Commentary for “VOTF: Five Years Old”.


VOTF has appreciated the twenty months of genuinely pastoral care by Executive Director Ray Joyce. Ray will be leaving VOTF for another opportunity and to spend more time with his family. Long-time VOTF member Mark Mullaney will step in as interim Executive Director. See Mary Pat Fox’s announcement here.

Remembering VOTF’s beginnings - Boston VOTF to host a fifth anniversary Mass in the church where VOTF began. The first meeting was called on the heels of the Boston Globe’s disclosure of clergy sexual abuse and its cover up. The VOTF Boston Council is sponsoring a day of remembrance for all those who have been wounded by this tragedy. A Mass will be held on SATURDAY, JAN. 6, 9 A.M., AT ST. JOHN THE EVANGELIST CHURCH, 9 Glen Rd. in Wellesley, MA, (just off Rt. 16) followed by a RECEPTION in the St. John school basement (Philbin Hall) where the first listening sessions were conducted.

Survivor Community News – A message from SNAP New England on the fifth anniversary of the Boston Globe’s disclosure; an exhibit at Weston Jesuit School of Theology titled “Heart of Sorrow, Heart of Wisdom: A Memorial of Hope and Renewal for the Sexual Abuse Tragedy”; new leadership for the VOTF National Survivor Support Working Group; Mary Gail Frawley-O’Dea, a psychologist who works with survivors of sexual abuse, comments in the Dec. 29 issue of National Catholic Reporter; “Hand of God” documentary details. Carolyn Disco, VOTF NH, reviews "Hand of God".

“SOME-Things” to Think About:
One of the longest serving and most pastoral voices in the Church has been removed from his parish. Read about Bishop Gumbleton’s upcoming departure; and his own remarks to National Catholic Reporter, where his “Peace Pulpit” column will continue.

More on the Bishop Bruskewitz/Cardinal Re excommunication story at Commonweal; also Bishop Bruskewitz responds to the excommunication move against Call to Action and other reform organizations in the diocese of Lincoln, Nebraska. See National Catholic Register.

“Pope Benedict XVI’s personal preacher, it was reported recently, asked the pope to declare a day of fasting and penance to atone for the ‘abominations’ committed inside the church ‘by its own ministers and pastors.’” Several correspondents have objected to what they see as misplaced responsibility; one said, “Why should I do penance for the transgressions of pedophile priests and the criminal bishops who shelter them?” See National Catholic Reporter for this story and let us know what you think at

Church finances continue to alarm: Kris Ward sent the following story from the Cincinnati Inquirer: “Money is so tight at the Archdiocese of Cincinnati that the central office is now taking a bigger share of donations from its parishes’ Sunday collection plates.” Read more.

Villanova University’s Charles Zech’s study of church embezzlement is noted at these sites: Catholic Online and National Catholic Reporter:

Remember the little church that roared? The recent story about St. Stanislaus Kostka ran on KMOX. “KMOX’s Berta Collins takes an in-depth look at how things have changed for St. Stanislaus Koska, and for the priest who’s been leading the faithful.”

DIOCESE/State Watch

Bridgeport, CT: “As expected, the Diocese of Bridgeport has filed an appeal of a Superior Court judge’s ruling that thousands of pages of secret court files involving lawsuits against some of its priests be made public.” See the Hartford Courant.

VOTF Kentucky representatives met with chief officers of the Catholic Conference of Kentucky. The affiliate was hoping to gain support from Kentucky’s four bishops to strengthen legislation for the protection of children. From Louisville, KY Area VOTF coordinator Vince Grenough came the following message: “I am very happy to tell you that the meeting in Frankfort yesterday with the staff of the Catholic Conference of Kentucky and leaders of Voice of the Faithful in Kentucky went very well. We view it as a good first step toward a working partnership between VOTF and our four Kentucky Catholic bishops to strengthen laws regarding sexual abuse of children. Details will follow.”

  • The Kentucky Post notes that the Vatican “has overturned a more than four-year-old decision of Cincinnati Archbishop Daniel Pilarczyk” to place a former Elder High School teacher on administrative leave.” The article notes that the priest is back on active duty and that this priest had already reached a settlement with an accuser. For the full story, click here.

Chicago, IL: According to the Chicago Sun Times: “The Archdiocese of Chicago has reprimanded the principal of Our Lady of the Westside School for allowing her boss, the Rev. Daniel McCormack, to teach and coach at the elementary school even after sex abuse allegations came to light, NBC 5 reported Monday night.” The principal has accused the Archdiocese of using her as a scapegoat. Read more at the Chicago Sun Times and

Remembering Fr. Jim: A few weeks ago the Vineyard published a message about Fr. Jim Sullivan’s (NY) illness; he died on December 13. For the notice of Fr. Jim’s death, click here. For Guest Book comments, click here. Thanks to Fr. Jim’s good friend Cathy Kelly for keeping Vineyard readers in touch with Jim’s last weeks.

SITE-Seeing, Etc.

Pope John Paul II’s call for a “new feminism” received some recent attention at Notre Dame. Read more. What do you think? Write to

LETTERS to the editor respond to commentaries on dissent that appeared in the Dec. 14 Vineyard.

QUOTE for our time: “The minister of the word, the preacher and author, the confessor and counselor, now wore the mantle of prophet. He could make you feel uneasy if you did not take a stand. But if you honestly disagreed with him on the best way to approach these issues you did not lose his affection. He was encouraged when this spring Bishop DiMarzio working with the presbyteral council hosted a meeting with the resigned priests of the diocese, a gathering that has opened many new lines of communication…. May Christ the good Shepherd, the Shepherd of souls, welcome you home.” From the eulogy for Fr. James Sullivan delivered by Msgr. Ed Wetterer.

In the Vineyard
January, 4, 2007
Volume 6, Issue 1
Printer Friendly Version (PDF)

Page One

Survivor Community News

LETTERS to the Editor


Structural Change Working Group

Voice of Renewal/Lay Education

Prayerful Voice

Goal 2 - Priest Support



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