Please send comments and inquiries to

"To date, what has been missing in all of this is the lay voice. It's just not in the process.” Bishop Donald Trautman (Erie, PA),chair of the Bishops’ Committee on Liturgy, speaking to NCR’s John Allen following recent approval by bishops of liturgical language changes.

We're happy to report our domain name is back. The registration had expired without our knowledge or any direct notice. The contact name has since been updated and the domain name has been renewed for several years. Our web site is now accessible via, and Emails can be sent to the national VOTF staff/volunteer person's name at either or, for example

In this issue:

VOTF National/Int’l News: VOTF National Representative Council (NRC) Region 13; new representatives elected to NRC – see updated contact list for Regions 14 and 2 here; Campaign for Accountability Update – new information and new support; VOTF in Australia news coverage at Catholic Online; change of leadership for Goal 2 (support for priests of integrity), click here. Affiliate News Update from international area coordinator Mary Ann Keyes (who is also area coordinator for Alaska, and parts of Florida and New York).

SURVIVOR Community News – Survivors Quilt displayed during the USCCB meeting; SNAP conference to draw record numbers including VOTF; Cecelia Project under way; Tom Doyle DVD available.

VOTF 2004 Priest of Integrity Award recipient Fr. James Scahill (East Longmeadow, MA) speaks out again, with courage again. See Site-Seeing, Etc.

USCCB Los Angeles, CA meeting and VOTF – different messages and a different presence; private Mass for bishops leaves lay Catholics literally on the street – our very own Gaile Pohlhaus was there; read more in Commentary – “Banging a Drum in LA” and “The people are leading; will the leaders follow?”

Note Site-Seeing, Etc. below: St. Anthony Messenger and Op-Ed published comments on the USCCB meeting; Common Ground Initiative to host anniversary lecture by Cardinal George; and more.

Diocese/State Watch: California is in the spotlight: in Sonoma, CA, Bishop Daniel Walsh of the Diocese of Santa Rosa, CA, is defending his handling of a priest accused of abuse. The priest subsequently “fled” the state; in Los Angeles and Orange, CA, diocesan screenings for abusers will not cover illegal immigrant Catholics who can volunteer with children without background checks since they lack the required ID; Elsewhere: Spokane, WA – a federal court has ruled that the diocese does not own its parishes; Oregon federal judge has ruled that sex abuse lawsuit against the Vatican can move forward; cautious optimism in Boston – the Apostolic Signatura has advised vigiling parishes that they will not be closed until their appeals are heard in Rome; Bridgeport, CT’s astounding tale of reckless financial “management” in a Darien parish is a cautionary tale for all Catholic parishes; and Excommunication Update.

What do you think – of the bishops’ approval of language changes in our liturgy? Bishop Donald Trautman of Erie, Pa., chair of the Bishops' Committee on Liturgy, told NCR’s John Allen, “To date, what has been missing in all of this is the lay voice. It's just not in the process. Some bishops on their own have sought it out, but at least formally it's missing. In the United States, we have outstanding scholars in liturgical theology, and we should be using these experts. That needs to be done for the next steps.” See National Catholic Reporter, June 23 posting.

Site-Seeing, Etc.

  • From St. Anthony Messenger - US Bishops Must Follow Through”: “Distressing is the first reaction to the third audit measuring how well U.S. dioceses have implemented provisions of the 2002 Charter for the Protection of Children and Young People. This audit raises questions for two reasons: The rate of full compliance actually went down, and one diocese and one eparchy refused to participate.”
  • OpEd published “What Happened to the Bishops?” from Debby Bodkin of An excerpt from Debby’s excellent consideration of the USCCB meeting: “A Survivors Quilt with hundreds of pictures of clergy sex abuse survivors was handmade and placed on display for the Bishops to view sometime during the three days they were in Los Angeles. Yes, an invitation was delivered with the hope of some type of dialog or communication with Church Bishops and leaders. However, not one Bishop, of the approximate 300 Bishops attending the USCCB conference, found the time to walk across the street to view the Survivors Quilt, meet the survivors, supporters and families that anxiously awaited a visit from one of the Bishops. What happened to the Bishops?”
  • VOTF 2004 Priest of Integrity Award recipient Fr. James Scahill (East Longmeadow, MA) speaks out again, with courage again. Read Fr. Scahill’s letter to the editor in the June 25 Republican. In part, the letter reads, “Why are the churches of all denominations so silent on the possibility of legislation that would better protect our young and hold more accountable their abusers and enablers? What could be more pro-life than the better protection of children?” and, “Instead of addressing this issue, at the recent convocation of bishops in Los Angeles, its main achievement was to change certain familiar prayers so that they would better approximate their Latin translation. Hollywood could not produce a more tragic comedy of errors.”
  • HEADS UP! Cardinal George will deliver a lecture in Chicago “The Role of Dialogue in the Life of the Diocesan Church” on August 11 at Loyola University, Chicago, IL. It is sponsored by the National Pastoral Life Center to commemorate the 10th anniversary of Cardinal Bernardin’s Catholic Common Ground Initiative. Given the recent breakdown of the USCCB Charter and VOTF’s subsequent meeting with the Cardinal, the gathering promises to shed some light on the common ground of dialogue. Watch for details.
    • The National Pastoral Life Center is the guardian of Cardinal Bernardin’s legacy, the Catholic Common Ground Initiative. Their current quarterly newsletter Initiative Report recaps the Initiative’s annual conference held in March; the gathering was devoted to an assessment of the Initiative as it approaches its 10th anniversary (in August). The questions asked, the ensuing dialogue noted, and the talk delivered by Sr. Mary Forman are recommended reading for VOTF members. Initiative Report is free; to subscribe, send your name and mailing address to
  • The web site has had a superb facelift.
  • From the current issue of America magazine: “Cardinal Avery Dulles, S.J., [a convert from the Presbyterian tradition], said his journey to the faith has been a ‘wonderful adventure’ and expressed hope that Anglicans received into the full communion of the Catholic Church will enrich their new church with their Anglican traditions.” That may prove difficult given the other news in America – "Cardinal Walter Kasper, president of the Pontifical Council for Promoting Christian Unity, has warned the Church of England that a move to ordain women as bishops would destroy any chance of full unity with the Catholic and Orthodox churches. If the Church of England adopted such a resolution, the ‘shared partaking of the one Lord’s table, which we long for so earnestly, would disappear into the far and ultimately unreachable distance.’"
  • Timeless reading in National Catholic Reporter, June 16: “Spin without end in abuse scandal” responds to the Catholic League’s remarks in a New York Times ad. Subscribers can access the editorial here. VOTF also responded on our web site.
  • The current Boisi Center Report is a publication of Boston College’s Boisi Center for Religious and American Public Life. The May 2006 issue (it is published twice a year) summarized a talk delivered March 15th by Ann Braude, director of Harvard University’s Women’s Studies in Religion Program, “Faith of the Feminists: Religion in the National Organization for Women.” Braude’s presentation “explored the ways in which religions was both absent from and an important part of the creation of NOW.” To receive the report or to read it on line, go to
    • A Women’s Justice Coalition is about to assemble a nationwide report card on the status of women in US dioceses. The coalition includes all organizations that support the equality of women in the Catholic Church, inclusive of women’s ordination. For more information, email or visit

    QUOTE for our time: “The chaos that happened in the Diocese of Bridgeport could happen in any diocese and it happened in one of the richest communities in the northeast and the Darien, CT, parish has both a parish council and a finance council. Does this not show the need for structural change in the Church?” VOTF member Joe Byrnes; see more on this story in Diocese/State Watch in this issue and the May 4 issue.

    Editor’s Note: Apologies to all of our June 8 Vineyard readers for the misprinted date of death for Sr. Jeannette Normandin who died on May 30 (not tomorrow June 30, as stated). In the mix of offers of employment from bettors, fortune tellers and obit writers, came this message from a priest: “You must have been very fond of the good sister to keep her with us another month.” Humor is always appreciated.

In the Vineyard
June 29, 2006
Volume 5, Issue 12
Printer Friendly Version (PDF)

Page One

Diocese/State Watch

Survivor News

Affiliate News


Structural Change Working Group

Voice of Renewal/Lay Education

Prayerful Voice

Goal 2 - Priest Support




Contact Us 



For an overview of press coverage of VOTF, click here.
©Voice of the Faithful 2006.All Rights Reserved