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In this issue: VOTF awards Bishop Robinson the Priest of Integrity Award and more on Bishop Robinson’s US tour; Fr. Tom Doyle reviews The Power and the Glory; VOTF National Representative Council minutes from the April 2008 meeting in PA; the end of an era arriving with the upcoming retirement of CTA’s founders and co-executive directors Dan and Sheila Daley (see SITE-Seeing, Etc.); “With gifts large and small, parishes across the sprawling Roman Catholic Archdiocese of Los Angeles are answering an appeal from Cardinal Roger M. Mahony to help the archdiocese dig out of the financial hole resulting from its multimillion-dollar legal settlements with victims of clergy sexual abuse” (see DIOCESE/State Watch); see your invitation from the VOTF National Prayerful Voice Working Group; VOTF New Hampshire audit finds “improved tone at the top” (see Carolyn Disco recap in Affiliate News).


VOTF president Dan Bartley presented Bishop Geoffrey Robinson with the VOTF Priest of Integrity award, noting the powerful source of encouragement that Bishop Robinson’s witness provides the Church (click here for full text of the award and here for the award’s definition and history).

The VOTF National Representative Council semi-annual meeting was held in April in Philadelphia PA. Click here for a summary of the minutes.

Need to catch up on our occasional one-pager “Focus”? Click here.

SURVIVOR Community Notes

Barbara Dorris of SNAP notes the award of The Seal of Excellence by the Independent Charities of America. Read more about the award.

PRAYERFUL Voice Working Group Invitation

The readings for the Mass on the Ninth Sunday of Ordinary Time have a theme that should jump out at us in VOTF. The first reading from Deuteronomy reminds us to get our priorities straight. The second reading from Paul’s letter to the Church in Rome tells us in a straightforward manner that it is our faith that saves us. The gospel reading clearly says our actions must be based in our faith so that they will bear fruit.

On what, then, should our actions in VOTF be based? Easy answer—our mission statement: To provide a prayerful voice, attentive to the Spirit, through which the Faithful can actively participate in the governance and guidance of the Catholic Church.

This will lead us successfully to our goals: To support survivors of clergy sexual abuse; to support priests of integrity; to shape structural change within the Catholic Church.

This invitation is for you to join the Prayerful Voice Working Group. The first commitment of the group is to recite faithfully the Prayerful Voice prayer each day at noon: “Jesus, Lord and Brother, help us with our faithfulness. Please hear our voice, and let our voice be heard. Amen”

If you or anyone you know is willing to make this commitment from their heart, please contact


Bishop Gerald Barbarito met with VOTF Palm Beach shortly after the papal visit. Why is this important? In part, this meeting matters because “VOTF National keeps the lines of communication open between Catholics in a diocese like Palm Beach and those in other parts of the country and the world. . .” where similar challenges may exist. Click here for the complete VOTF message distributed to all members.

See Affiliate News – New Hampshire for Carolyn Disco’s report on the third annual audit of the NH diocese. New Hampshire Attorney General Kelly Ayotte and Associate Attorney General Kristin Spath spoke at a Voice of the Faithful meeting last month

DIOCESE/State Watch

Los Angeles CA: Cardinal Mahony’s plea for help with the diocese’s multimillion-dollar legal settlement found generous response. “Blessed with a nest egg of nearly $1.5 million, a Woodland Hills parish donated almost all of it, leaving just $1,000 in its savings account. An Encino church offered a $100,000 interest-free loan. And a Boyle Heights parish decided it could spare $500 after ruling out the idea of raising money with tamale sales.” For the full story, see the Los Angeles Times.

NOTE: Several readers were unable to open the “Vineyard change” page in the last issue at The “change” referred to is that Peggie Thorp is stepping down as editor of In the Vineyard, effective June 30. The Vineyard will continue to be the VOTF communication channel it has been since 2002.

Book Review and Books to Note

The Power and the Glory: Inside the Dark Heart of John Paul II’s Vatican by David Yallop. Reviewed by Fr. Tom Doyle, O.P., J.C.D. Tom makes the following note about his review: “I was asked to review The Power and the Glory by David Yallop for a prominent independent Catholic publication. After completing a requested revision and shortening of the review, I heard nothing for weeks. Upon inquiry I was advised that it had been rejected because it was thought to be "biased." The review may well be biased but then most book reviews are. On the other hand this is a review of a book that is critical of the papacy of Pope John Paul II. The review is not critical of the criticism but is a positive assessment of a book that should be an integral part of any history of the Church under the late pope. TPD

ALSO note:

Confronting Power and Sex in the Catholic Church: Reclaiming the Spirit of Jesus by Bishop Geoffrey Robinson [first run sold out but can be pre-ordered at].

Holding Bishops Accountable: How Lawsuits Helped the Catholic Church Confront Clergy Sexual Abuse by Timothy Lytton. Harvard University Press, 2008. For a review of this book, go to You may also want to visit

Surprised by Hope: Rethinking Heaven, the Resurrection and the Mission of the Church by N. T. Wright. Harper, 2008. The Anglican bishop and biblical scholar is studied internationally for his New Testament expertise. This book is a “popular” overview of his lengthier and more academic treatment of the Resurrection. In Surprised by Hope, Wright fills a void in Christian conversation about “life after death and reveals how most Christians get it wrong – and why it matters.”

SITE-Seeing, Etc.

Call to Action, in many ways the secular response to the promises of Vatican II, will have its first change of leadership since its 1976 founding by Dan and Sheila Daley. The couple will retire this year. Click here for more information.

VOTF Prayerful Voice chair Gaile Pohlhaus discovered this link to “Catholic Australia: Using the Media to Proclaim the Good News”.

Donald Cozzens speaks again in favor of optional celibacy for the Roman Catholic priesthood. See

QUOTE for our time:If the Catholic Church is to regain some credibility after the many scandals of sexual abuse, it must first learn to speak with humility, intelligence, realism and compassion about all aspects of human sexuality.” VOTF president Dan Bartley noting one of Bishop Robinson’s prescriptions for a healthier Catholic Church

In the Vineyard
June 5, 2008

Volume 7, Issue 11
Printer Friendly Version (PDF)

Page One

Book Review

Bishop Robinson's Tour

Affiliate Notes

NRC Minutes

Prayerful Voice

Survivor Support Working Group

Priest Support Working Group

Structural Change Working Group

Voice of Renewal/Lay Education

Protecting Our Children



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