Comments and inquiries
are welcome at email@example.com
exultant and sincere hearts they took their meals in
common, praising God and winning the approval of all
the people." Acts 2:47
is on the march - Two
words used liberally by Voice of the Faithful
since 2002 are now common coin in US media
coverage of the abuse crisis in our Church
- accountability and transparency. Conclusion? The
July 9-10 Voice of the Faithful leadership
meeting in Indianapolis, IN: "The Laity Speak:
Accountability Now". VOTF president
Jim Post announced the title of our leadership
gathering in a letter
this week. Here's how Jim defined "leader":
you made the commitment to speak up for change
in our Church, you became a leader.
you used your voice, along with those of so
many others, you became a leader.
when you attend meetings, make donations, send
e-mail messages, and talk about the state of
the Catholic Church with others, you are a
Donald Cozzens said recently, ""We need the
courage to be truthful, the courage to be faithful,
the courage to be present." Be present with
us in Indianapolis. Until then, follow
developments in this publication under "On
Our Way" through July.
ready for Indianapolis in July: In this issue,
the Structural Change Working Group recaps
its nearly three years of work (did you know
the Primer is now in its second edition?)
In the April issue of In the Vineyard the
group will identify its vision for the work
else to talk about in Indianapolis: Priestless
parishes are a fact of many US diocesan lives.
Read Part 2 of Sr. Mary Mazza's experience
as a Parish Life Director in Athens, NY. Sr.
Mary was a guest speaker at the VOTF Seacoast,
MA affiliate meeting.
also included some reading suggestions from
our members. Please add your own and send the
titles to firstname.lastname@example.org
Watch - On March 9, 2002 the brand-new Voice
of the Faithful group attends the Archdiocese of
annual convocation, Cardinal Law presiding. Read
the statement presented.
NATIONAL NEWS - Inside this
step of this difficult way has been forced upon the
bishops who, despite their rhetorical support
for 'fraternal correction,' have taken no collective
steps, none, to hold accountable those bishops who
covered up crimes and knowingly transferred child molesters
from parish to parish. The old boy network is alive
National Catholic Reporter editorial March 4, 2005
The USCCB proposed revisions to the Charter for
the Protection of Children and Young People raise
additional concerns among Catholics everywhere.
were asked to comment on the USCCB proposed Charter
revisions and VOTF's proposals as
they appear in the bishops' Workbook (LINK); we wanted
to provide some "on the ground" context for readers;
Tulsa, OK identifies some cracks in their diocese' "full
compliance"; VOTF Kris Ward notes, "In 2005 the Bishops
will begin 'self-reporting' audits, which Voice of
the Faithful opposes. The John Jay Study showed us
52 years of the failure of self audits by the Bishops";
check out additional coverage from National Catholic
Reporter, SNAP, the Los Angeles Times, and
Coalition of Catholics and Survivors; the value of
access to the bishops' workbook cannot be overstated
as we see in Paul Kendrick's memo about a Maine resident's
request to her diocese for the workbook; Kris Ward
also notes: "You may be puzzled by different sets of
numbers surrounding the audits formally known as the
2004 Annual Report on Findings and Recommendations
on the Implementation of the Charter for the Protection
of Children and Young People." See Kris' numbers breakout.
a regular newsletter published by bishopaccountability.org
is yours for the asking.
It's succinct and informative. Sign up at bishop-accountability.org.
moves to further ensure a commitment to broad
representation: The resolution to re-constitute
the Representative Council as a truly
National Council based on 14 regions received
an overwhelmingly favorable vote. See Representative
Council updates. Identify your region and find
out how to nominate candidates (including yourself)
for your regional representation.
trustees elect new chairman of the board - Read
ALSO In the News
What a month! Another way to find yourself banned
from Eucharist is to be a board member of St.
Stanislaus Kostka parish in St. Louis, MO; another
voice is under siege in the recent Vatican censure
of theologian Roger Haight; MA Attorney General Thomas
F. Reilly to support a bill to eliminate the 15-year
statute of limitations for sexual abuse crimes against
VOTF Regional News - Inside
Practice - All
eight affiliates in VOTF Cincinnati, OH, inclusive
of Dayton (the second largest
city in the diocese), Cincinnati affiliates and Clayton,
have spearheaded an immediate-action campaign around
the annual diocesan appeal - it is this month's VOTF
BEST PRACTICE. Read about "Your Choice, Your Voice";
Kris Ward reports some breaking news in Ohio around
their statute of limitations.
News includes: VOTF
Brooklyn, NY is seeing structural change at work
in their diocese;
of VOTF Atlanta, Georgia reports a listening Archbishop!;
VOTF Natick, MA to sponsor a clergy and laity panel
NOTE: VOTF Long Island, NY has an outstanding
web site at www.votf-li.org and
is holding their second Faith convention on March 19
with the peripatetic National Catholic Reporter Rome
correspondent John Allen and VOTF's first Priest of
Integrity Award recipient Fr. Tom Doyle. See details
on their web site.
Parish Closings: the Chicago Tribune reports
that the Catholic Archdiocese of Chicago will shutter
23 schools and merge or consolidate four more by next
school year; a VOTF member asked: What does an archdiocese
do with money raised from property sales?; in the Boston,
MA archdiocese, VOTF Trustee David Castaldi was asked
to head the Parish Reconfiguration Fund Oversight Committee.
Their first report was released.
sure to check out the lectures and events in the
College program "The
Church in the 21st Century". The program includes
a compilation of analyses and essays on the Church's
crisis and search for renewal in C21 Resources, available
free; an excellent resource for coverage of the larger
nonprofit world is the Non-Profit
Quarterly e-newsletter. The current issue focuses
on "The Responsibility of Leadership."
VOTF On the Road - Jim Post, Kris Ward and
Gaile Pohlhaus will be speaking in New Jersey, Florida
and Kentucky. Find out who is speaking where and on
VOTF IN PRINT: Jim
Post's essay on "Applying
21st Century Leadership to Our Church" was published
by The National Association of Catholic Family Life
Ministers in their quarterly
installment of Jim Keenan's "Rights
of Priests" paper published by the National Federation
of Priests Council
Book Review - Good Catholic Girls - How
Women Are Leading the Fight to Change the Church by
Angela Bonavoglia, Harper Collins (Regan Books),
LETTERS To the Editor - John Seryak, VOTF
Cleveland, OH diocese steering committee wrote to the Akron
Beacon Journal on behalf of S.E.S.A.M.E; a correspondent
feels the Vineyard needs some humor (write to email@example.com)
Prayer and Reflection - "Prayer for the Paschal
Season" from Jack Rakosky and a suggestion from Gaile
Pohlhaus, VOTF national secretary: As we begin the
period of Lenten observance let us renew our pledge
to recite the prayer of Prayerful Voice each noon - Jesus,
Lord and Brother, help us with our faithfulness. Please
hear our voice, and let our voice be heard. Amen.
Our Way! -
to Indianapolis, IN on July 9-10, 2005. See contact
this issue and watch for
updates on our web site.
of the Faithful, VOTF, "Keep the Faith, Change
Voice of Compassion, VOTF logo(s), Parish Voice, and
Prayerful Voice are trademarks of Voice of the Faithful,
of the Faithful is a 501(c) 3 tax-exempt organization.