The Laity Have Spoken!

“The faithful call for ‘accountability now’ is a call to keep memory and body, body and members together. Re-membering the church is about literally reconnecting the body to itself, to all its parts and members. It is about integrating its history and healing its memories. It is about making the body whole.” Francine Cardman, in her keynote address to the VOTF Indianapolis Convocation, July 9, 2005

The Indianapolis Convocation drew over 500 attendees and a broad sweep of media coverage; VOTF commissioned a new National Representative Council; attendees committed to an agenda for action; liturgy framed the weekend and grounded the work ahead; speakers Francine Cardman, Paul Lakeland, Anne Burke, David Castaldi, Gaile Pohlhaus and Jim Post made the case again for lay voices; our Working Groups recapped three years of work; Justice Anne Burke accepted VOTF’s first Catherine of Siena Distinguished Lay Person Award; Fr. Tom Doyle presented Msgr. Lawrence Breslin of OH with the Voice of the Faithful 2005 Priest of Integrity Award; more in Convocation Notes in this issue. Most commonly asked question from attendees: When can we do this again?


And Resurrection Tapes has it all at

Join a post-Convocation discussion by e-mailing your interest to



  • Both the Charter for the Protection of Children and Young People and Norms
    (Essential Norms for Diocesan/Eparchial Policies Dealing with Allegations of Sexual Abuse of Minors by Priests or Deacons) are on the VOTF web site.
  • Want to get in touch with your NEW Council representative? Click here.
  • Office Memo - Suzanne Morse has left her position in VOTF Communications for new challenges. Read Suzanne’s farewell message
  • Our new Executive Director (ten weeks old!) is still catching his breath but Ray Joyce has already formed one solid impression of VOTF - Read More.
  • Read VOTF president Jim Post’s address to SNAP’s annual conference in June
  • Sen. Rick Santorum, PA seems to think the sexual abuse crisis is an understandable outcome of "Boston liberalism." VOTF president Jim Post disagrees and says so.

Read National News


  • The Spring meeting of Catholic bishops in Ontario, Canada left many observers appalled. Read more.



  • Many thanks to Terry McKiernan of for making Faith Betrayed, an important series about the Lafayette IN diocese, available on the web site in time for our Indianapolis convocation. These articles are not available anywhere else.
  • HEADS UP!!! A study on Voice of the Faithful as a Social Movement in the Catholic Church has been completed. A Boston College symposium is slated for Sunday October 23.
  • Once again, VOTF Winchester, MA offers Christmas in July with their popular series of Christmas cards – sales to benefit survivors. You can order today!
  • Ohio and Louisiana join the states extending statutes of limitation on the reporting of sexual abuse
  • Boston VOTF is working on an action plan called the “Boston Initiative.”

Read Regional News


In the Vineyard
July 2005
Volume 4, Issue 7
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  • Carolyn Disco – “Jim Post and Common Ground – A Graced Evening”

Book Reviews

  • Clerical Culture: Contradiction and Transformation by Michael L. Papesh

  • Survivors of Predator Priests - J. M. Handlin, ed.

Letters to Editor

Contact Us 




For an overview of press coverage of VOTF, click here.

QUOTE of the month: “Participation is the norm. Exclusion is the problem.” Francine Cardman, July 2005

©Voice of the Faithful 2005.All Rights Reserved