comments and inquiries to email@example.com.
Spirit sent Jesus out toward the desert. He stayed
in the wasteland forty days,
put to the test there by Satan.” First Sunday
of Lent, Mark 1:12-15; see Lenten
NATIONAL VOTF anniversary:
Four years ago today, twelve members of the new Voice
the Faithful group attended the Archdiocese of Boston’s
annual convocation for parish leaders in Boston. This
was the meeting held by Archdiocesan leadership (Cardinal
Law) with the various regions and parish representatives
of the archdiocese. The original agenda had been derailed
by the insistence of priests and parish administrators
to focus on the newly emerged clergy sexual abuse crisis.
At the diocesan-wide meeting, VOTF read a statement
that for the first time publicly identified the organization
by name, as well as our new group’s goals. Read
the 2002 statement and let us know what you think
of those words today. Write to firstname.lastname@example.org.
FOCUS – Eyes on Chicago, Il
Protecting our children in Chicago failed after
four years of talk and commitment by US bishops.
VOTF Chicago affiliates wrote a letter to Cardinal
George and discerned their way to consensus
on a response to the failure of Cardinal George to
protect children. Read the letter and “VOTF
Chicago in Discernment” under Commentary and More.
you’re just catching up on the Chicago situation, go
to NCR for Robert McClory’s
March 3 story “Abuse scandal erupts in Chicago”;
see VOTF president Jim
Post’s letter to Dr.
Patricia Ewers of the National Review Board.
VOTF members discerned the breakdown of the USCCB
Charter to Protect Children and Young
in Chicago, National secretary Gaile Pohlhaus
wrote and distributed a timely prayer. See “Discernment
in Chicago” under Commentary.
- According to the Boston Globe, Boston
where it should be, either – on protecting children.
failure to protect a minor in New Mexico is reported.
Begin at the National Catholic
Campaign 2006 Update – VOTF ads for the 2006
campaigns for accountability and protecting our children
have begun to appear in National Catholic Reporter, which
also features two articles about VOTF. Subscribers
can visit www.ncronline.org.
- The evolving
campaign web page is ready for visitors; to
view our ads for the campaigns, click on the campaigns;
to use these ads locally, contact John Moynihan
Please put Campaign Ads in your subject line.
- Reminder: Area coordinators, affiliate
and affiliate members’ training weekend is
coming up – deadline for registering is March
10. Check the VOTF web site at Campaign for
and contact Susanna Gregory at 617-558-5252
or by email at email@example.com.
Representative Council Notes – Confused
about statutes of limitations and “windows”? NRC representative
Frank Douglas has identified an outstanding
reference tool adding, “It’s well organized and
written in understandable, straightforward English.
It has information about civil statutes of limitations
(SOLs), criminal SOLs, tips for talking to legislators,
phone scripts for talking to legislators, easy questions
and answers (FAQs), links to editorials and columns,
- Another excellent resource is www.answers.com.
Catholic Reporter: March 3 editorial – “Of
Business Practices and Accountability” and cover
story “Churches for sale.”
forget the Protect Children Through Legislation
Yahoogroup website/listserv. See the Feb. 23 Vineyard for
Working Group Updates
SURVIVOR Community News – with thanks to Steve
Sheehan for survivor-related news and developments.
ALERT: Help SNAP help survivors and place
an ad in the SNAP Support Survivors Ad Book. Go to www.snapnetwork.org for
does it happen that priests have hurt so many
children? Experts will say that access to
is a first. One victim’s suit against the diocese
where the priest allegedly abused him highlights
this particular priest’s access. Go to Survivor Community
News in this issue – “One priest’s resume”.
- Joliet, IL: A painful and graphic story to tell
and to read comes from columnist Tim Placher of the Daily
Southtown, following the deposition of Joliet
Bishop Imesch. It is re-printed with permission
of the author in Commentary – “Bless me father, for
you have sinned”; a follow-up article calling
for the resignation of Bishop Imesch is here.
they have done at Christmas time, VOTF Winchester,
MA is selling note cards. These are designed
by affiliate members Harvey D. Cote and Francis
I. Baratta, both of Arlington. All proceeds will
benefit clergy abuse survivors. The cost is $10
for a package of 8 cards, with two cards each
different designs. To view the cards and order,
go to their web
site. Print the order form and mail in with your
Goal #3: STRUCTURAL CHANGE Working Group – Independent
Judicial Review of Actions by a Diocesan Bishop? Diocesan
Mutual Visitation as a Mechanism for Renewal? See “Structural
Change, Anyone?” in Working Group Updates.
LENT – Click here for current readings and reflection
(Feb. 23 In the Vineyard). Be sure to share
your own Lenten reflections at firstname.lastname@example.org.
- Retreats – Graymoor
Spiritual Life Center, Garrison, NY/March 24-26.
Go to www.graymoorcenter.org.
- March 6 America magazine
is the “Lenten
Spirituality Issue”; the Feb. 27 issue takes another
look at laypeople and parish leadership in “A Prediction
Fulfilled.” To visit their site, go to www.americamagazine.org.
Ireland - Washington Post - "Wide
Abuse Disclosed in Dublin Church"
CO: A Denver
Post story “Child
protection has to take precedence” said, “It's
astonishing when a champion of morality protects
those who have violated our most sacred trust,
caring for our children. Denver Archbishop Charles
Chaput delights in chastising Catholic politicians
who disagree with him on moral issues, claiming
they must be held accountable for disobeying
Archbishop Charles Chaput is striking back – at
Senate Bill 143; SNAP’s David Clohessy says, "There's
no state in the union where the bishop has been as
hard- nosed and vicious as in Colorado. None. I wouldn't
even be able to name the second-worst." Go to www.snapnetwork.org for
additional details; the Denver
Post reports, “The
Colorado Catholic Conference has hired a high-powered
lobbying firm with ties to Gov. Bill Owens in
an effort to defeat bills that would give victims
childhood sex abuse more time to file lawsuits.”
- Rocky Mountain News reported
on March 2: “A
sex-abuse bill in the legislature was endorsed
Wednesday by Colorado's three Catholic bishops.
HB 1088 gained
their approval after Rep. Rosemary Marshall,
D-Denver, axed a provision that lengthened the
statute of limitations
for filing civil cases against sexual predators
of children and their nonprofit or church employers.
Now, the amended bill addresses only the issue
of lifting the statute of limitations on crimes
children committed on or after July 1, 1996.” The National
Catholic Reporter Abuse Tracker is following
- The Denver archdiocesan web site is www.archden.org.
Joliet, IL– The stunning story of one victim’s
abuse has riveted attention on Joliet’s Bishop Imesch.
Read Tim Placher (Daily Southtown of the Chicago
me father, for you have sinned” – reprinted
in Commentary with permission of the author. See more
in Survivor Community News.
New York, NY:
Signs of the times among in-the-pew Catholics – A Scarsdale, NY parish withheld enough
money from Sunday collections to draw Archdiocesan
attention and a subsequent re-assignment for their
pastor. The parish “crisis committee” had concerns
over the pastor’s alleged financial mismanagement and
alienation of staff. Read
more in the Journal News.
- The New York Times reported, “New York's
highest court refused yesterday to waive the statute
of limitations and allow dozens of old sexual abuse
claims against the Roman Catholic Church to go to
trial.” Subscribers can access this Feb. 22 story
MA: Statute of Limitations: “State House
Hearing Tuesday, March 14th – On Tuesday, March
14th, at the State House, there will be a
hearing on Statutes of Limitations repeal bills.
It is scheduled
for 1:00 p.m. in Room B1. Let’s get those
bills out of the State House Judiciary Committee
and moving. For details, contact Dorothy Kennedy
for the VOTF Boston newsletter – email@example.com.
Moines, Iowa – Earlier optimism after an “unprecedented” meeting
between Iowa bishops and survivors’ groups is waning.
The meeting concerned questions about now-retired Bishop
Soens. See the March 3 National
Peter Davey of VOTF Oakland, CA alerts us to the results of a “Survey
of the laity” conducted in June and September 2005 by VOTF East Bay, CA. Go
- Another survey currently in the works invites your
participation. See Site-Seeing, Etc. below.
Also, visit the outstanding web site of VOTF
Atlanta, GA at www.votf-atlanta.org and
check out other affiliate web sites under the Parish
Voice directory on our National web site at www.votf.org;
see VOTF Winchester, MA’s survivor fundraiser initiative
in Survivor Community News.
the Church we want to be has been engaging Catholic
interest for decades. Recently,
such as Boston College’s Church in the 21st Century
Center (C21) (“Envisioning the Church Women Want”)
are being replicated in a variety of ways and
settings. If you are new to this kind of consideration,
excellent starting point is the FutureChurch
- VOW – Voices
of Women: This is a small group of VOTF women
and men interested in exploring
educate ourselves on the role of women in our
Church. If you would like to be part of the conversation,
please write to Peggie Thorp at firstname.lastname@example.org and
please put VOW in your subject line.
Tony Ercolano’s commentary “Letter to my family
and friends” in the Vineyard (Oct. 20,
2005 issue) drew dozens of appreciative responses.
might want to visit Tony’s new web site at www.tonyercolano.com.
- BOOK WATCH: Good Catholic Girls by Angela
Bonavoglia is now available in paperback. Check amazon.com
and your bookstores. See Vineyard review
(March 2005) and check Angela’s web site at www.angelabonavoglia.com.
- Keep an eye on US Catholic magazine at www.uscatholic.org
for our time: "The great need today is
for Christians who are active and critical, who don't
situations without analyzing them inwardly and deeply...
We want persons like fruitful fig trees, who can say yes
to justice and no to injustice and can make use of the
precious gift of life, regardless of their circumstances." Archbishop