send comments and inquiries to email@example.com.
we sought ways to care for the victims of sexual abuse
and for priests in ministry, we came of age as adult
Catholics and are taking our responsibility in seeking
the changes needed for the healing of the Church.” Marie
Doyle of VOTF Winchester MA, on the occasion of VOTF
Winchester’s fifth anniversary. See Affiliate
in Action” 2007
Convention update from Sally Vance-Trembath.
Leadership Statement of Identity - Introductory
remarks follow; read
the full statement.
Board of Trustees, Officers and most National Representative
Council members recently adopted a statement to guide strategy
and decision-making in the context of VOTF's experience
since it was founded in 2002 and in light of the Church
environment today and moving forward. The Statement of
Identity reaffirms and clarifies VOTF's mission and three
overarching goals. It provides a common foundation
for developing strategic direction and for gaining consensus around the content
and priority of proposals submitted for consideration and action. The statement
reflects a balance of VOTF's three goals, it is grounded in the sexual abuse
crisis, and it is reflective of VOTF's Catholic identity. It also replaces
the Statement of Beliefs found on
the VOTF website under the link Who We Are. The leadership team envisions this
statement as a key framework in exercising leadership responsibilities in a
productive, effective and collaborative fashion as we confront the challenges
National applauds VOTF Winchester MA on their fifth anniversary!
If you have ever asked or been asked, “Why VOTF?” – here’s
your answer. [As VOTF National marks its fifth anniversary,
we invite all affiliates to share their own anniversary
reflections. Send to firstname.lastname@example.org.]
SNAP National Convention July 20-21 in
Washington DC. Get details at snapnetwork.org.
diocese/state watch updates – VOTF Greater
Cincinnati conference a great success; diocese
of San Diego CA confronting parish ownership; Spokane
WA diocese trying to block access to records; a
New York parish is suing the diocese; Norwich CT
editorial encourages the diocese to welcome VOTF.
NH: The Union Leader notes: “In
its second court-mandated audit of the diocese,
the state cited a lack of ‘acceptance or
commitment’ on the part of church leaders.
Attorney General Kelly Ayotte said progress has
been made, but she remains concerned about the ‘tone
at the top,’ particularly in regard to the
Rev. Edward Arsenault, who heads the diocese's
efforts to prevent and report sexual abuse.” Read
Disco chair of VOTF NH Survivor Support wrote an
op-ed that appears on the Voice
from the Desert blog. Disco says, in part: “The
diocese is refusing to participate in two more annual
state audits and the matter will likely end in court.
The Agreement called for five ‘annual’ audits
through 2007, but the diocese delayed release of
the first state audit until March 2006 by objecting
(unsuccessfully) in court to audits that evaluated
effectiveness over a checklist compliance with policies
and procedures. The state then reduced its request
to four audits.”
can help toward a win for protecting children throughout
the US. Learn
more about the Coalition to pass the Child
Victims Act in Delaware. As VOTF Representative
and Minnesota SNAP director Bob Schwiderski said
just before SB 29 was to be taken up by the House: “The
most striking message from this bill is direct
response to the civil justice rights of victims
of sexual abuse – not a message about criminal
law, the ‘Worst of the Worst,’ or a
focus on bad people --- this bill focuses on victims.” Bill
Synopsis: This Bill would repeal the statute
of limitations in civil suits relating to child
sexual abuse cases and provide a two-year “window” in
which victims can bring a civil action in cases
previously barred by the current statute.
coverage details the politics, the people and the
promise of bringing many voices to bear on this important
legislative effort. The legislature is on recess
until June 5 and supporters are readying for what
Senator Karen Peterson calls “the next round.” Read
Nebraska diocese is trying to regain the “fiscal
faith” of its constituents. “Tamper-proof
bank bags for collection proceeds, frequent audits
of parish books and online accounting wired to
Omaha Archdiocese headquarters are … among
the most recent of several measures the archdiocese
has ordered in an effort to tighten financial controls
in parishes and other Catholic institutions.” See
recommendation from Fr. Tom Doyle: THE
POWER AND THE GLORY: INSIDE THE DARK HEART OF JOHN
PAUL II'S VATICAN by David Yallop. Carroll and
Graf Publishers, New York, 2007. 530 pages.
Us from Evil” is now available for sale on DVD
at www.amazon.com. Boston Globe coverage is
at the Voice from the Desert web
Catholic Reporter’s Rome
correspondent John Allen provides his own take on Pope
Benedict XVI’s book Jesus of Nazareth. Much of
what Allen notes is evident in the Pope’s recent
remarks during his visit to Latin America. For Allen’s
April 27 column, click
here. [Allen has posted daily accounts of the Pope’s
Brazil visits May 9-13 to São Paolo and Aparecida,
in conjunction with the Fifth General Conference of
the Bishops of Latin America and the Caribbean (CELAM).
Read Allen's daily reports at his Daily News and Updates
column on NCRcafe.org.]
opportunity to listen will be noted in the
VOTF Boston Area newsletter: An upcoming Corpus conference
will be held in Providence RI on June 22-24. Corpus,
the national organization in support of an inclusive
Catholic priesthood, will hold its conference "Prophecies,
Dreams and Visions: Keeping Hope Alive.” Those
interested in attending may register online at www.corpus.org or
observers know by now that the abuse of children by Roman
Catholic clergy is not only an American problem. From
its beginning, VOTF recognized that the behavior leading
to these crimes is part of a systemic breakdown. Numbers
speak more clearly, at times. See a recent ABCNews
note about Dublin, Ireland.
Sullivan of VOTF Bridgeport CT found
a web site of Detroit MI priests speaking out.
Their aptly titled site is “Elephants
in the Living Room." See the group’s mission
statement in QUOTE for our time, below.
for our time:
“We are an organization of priests of the Archdiocese of Detroit, strongly
supported by participating laity, who seek renewal of the Church of Detroit.
We do this by offering opportunities for education and creating an open forum
for discussion and dialog that will lead to developing and advocating more collegial
solutions to the challenges we face. We firmly believe these efforts will contribute
to a greater solidarity among priests and a renewed Church of Detroit.” Mission
statement of Elephants in
the Living Room.
issue of In the Vineyard: June 7.