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"Evangelization first of all means bearing Christian witness.” Fr. Jacques Dupuis, S. J., in 2003 conversation with Cardinal Franz Konig. See March 24 National Catholic Reporter.

In This Issue: VOTF’s Papal visit plans; Bishop Robinson’s U.S. itinerary includes VOTF Philadelphia and Boston; Easter message from VOTF’s Prayerful Voice working group; the state of dialogue considered in the current issue of National Catholic Reporter; Edwina Gateley to speak on “Why the Church Needs Rebels”; death of Focolare founder; SNAP rally to be held on April 13 in Washington DC; and more.


Our campaign to place ads in prominent media during the Pope's visit to the U.S. is gaining momentum -- in just 2 days VOTF members have donated more than $17,000 for the Calling All Catholics campaign. If you haven't seen the ad sample -- or received one of the daily emails in our 8-day campaign -- just click on VOTF's main web page.

Click here to read the VOTF Easter message; read VOTF letter of support to Fr. Jerry Wirth and the Presbyteral Council of the Diocese of Belleville IL for their courageous stance in calling for the resignation of their Bishop, Edward Braxton.

SURVIVOR Community Notes

Survivors of clergy sexual abuse will speak out on April 13 in Washington DC. Survivors, family members, friends and supporters are welcome. Watch the SNAP web site at for details.

Visit SNAP’s web site for details about the upcoming SNAP conference July 11-13 in Chicago IL.

DIOCESE/State Watch

Portland OR: “It may take until October to find out what kind of files the Roman Catholic Archdiocese of Portland keeps on priests accused of sexual abuse.” A U.S. bankruptcy judge will consider whether to lift a protective order sealing the documents. For the full story, click here.

AFFILIATE NOTES: VOTF Boston has a packed calendar – a retreat in April; Bishop Robinson in May; and Boston members recently provided support for CORSAL (COalition to Reform Sex Abuse Laws).

SITE-Seeing, Etc.

Most Rev Geoffrey James Robinson DD, Auxiliary Bishop of Sydney, Australia, will be making many stops during his U.S. visit inclusive of VOTF affiliate meetings and VOTF co-sponsored gatherings. See for additional information. Also note the VOTF Boston notice under AFFILIATE News.

An essay by Sr. Ruth Fox, OB, at the FutureChurch web site is making the rounds. The essay was a subject in a recent VOTF Boston newsletter because so many who read it were unaware of the roles women played in Christ’s ministry – before His death. Click here to read the essay.

“Chiara Lubich, who became one of the most influential women in the Roman Catholic Church as the founder of the Focolare lay movement” died on March 14. See the New York Times story. For more information on the Focolare movement, go to

The current National Catholic Reporter includes a 2003 conversation between Cardinal Franz König and Jesuit theologian Fr. Jacques Dupuis on the subject of inter-religious dialogue. “König, former archbishop of Vienna, had been the only cardinal to publicly defend Dupuis when his writings fell under Vatican scrutiny.” Also note the following occasions for dialogue cited in the same issue (accessible to subscribers and non-subscribers alike) at

  • Archbishop Burke moving toward laicizing Fr. Marek Bozek, the pastor of a church that has refused to abandon its long-established, lay-governing board.

  • Gender-neutral language nullifies baptism, according to a recent statement from the Vatican’s Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith.

  • David Gibson on the Pope’s visit: Will the Pope need language lessons to “hear” American culture?

  • On inter-faith dialogue: “Tensions between Catholics and Jews over a Good Friday prayer in the Latin Tridentine Mass have caused some Jews to take a harder look at their own exclusive prayers and to ask whether Catholics are getting a lopsided share of blame.”

  • NCR offers a “one-stop-shopping” overview of the Pope’s visit and what Americans might expect. Note in particular John Allen’s entry under “Catholic Challenges in America” at and let us know what you think at

June 8/9 Retreat with EDWINA GATELEY at Evensong by the Sea, Retreat & Spirituality Center, Harwich Port MA. Contact: 508-432-0027 or email to Edwina’s talk is entitled “Why the Church Needs Rebels.”

From a VOTF member: Fr. Austin Fleming, pastor of Holy Family parish in Concord, MA has a blog site that might interest readers. Go to

QUOTE for Our Time: “It is not great works that characterize Christians, nor knowledge, miracles or mystical phenomena. If we love one another, then the world will believe.” from the Focolare movement home page of their web site at

In the Vineyard
March 27, 2008

Volume 7, Issue 6
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Page One

Affiliate News

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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