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“There is nothing concealed that will not be disclosed and nothing hidden that will not be made known. What you have said in the dark will be heard in the daylight and what you have whispered in the ear in the inner rooms will be proclaimed from the roofs.” Luke 12:2-3 is the inscription on an Iowa monument to survivors of sexual abuse. Follow the photos below.


CONVENTION 2007 Update – VOTF vice president Sally Vance-Trembath frames the upcoming VOTF Convention in Providence RI October 19-21. See the Convention Update page.

WORKING Group Updates:
John Ryan, chair of the VOTF National Priest Support Working Group, is one of two VOTF members managing a VOTF booth at the annual National Federation of Priests’ Councils conference in Tampa, FL. See the Priests Support Working Group Update for impressions from Day #1.

AFFILIATE Highlights: Three states, three VOTF affiliates, three windows into Church operations in this issue. The VOTF Bridgeport CT/Fairfield University conference Follow the Money” considers parish and diocesan finances that continue to plague Catholics in the pews; the Philadelphia PA gathering focused on church finances; and the Long Island NY Faith Convention provided an opportunity to learn more about our faith community. The Book Review in this issue is another window into the workings of our Church.

On the fifth VOTF anniversary, the bi-annual National Representative Council meeting was held in MA April 27-29 bringing representation from 11 states -- Fl, IL, ME, MD, MA MN, NY, OH, PA, TX and VA -- in good, ol' pre-email style. Hospitality was provided by Boston VOTF. Read the meeting recap here. (Note the prayer written by Bud Bretschneider on Sunday morning for the Council's closing sesssion.) NRC minutes will be posted on our website over the next two weeks.

SURVIVOR Support, Anyone? SNAP is holding its annual convention July 20-22 in Washington DC. Visit the SNAP web site for registration information and/or to see how you might help. Survivor Community News: Read the story behind this photo.



See OFFICE Notes: VOTF welcomes Michael Rafferty to the Development Office; the Executive Director Search continues. Recent VOTF press releases are here.

DIOCESE/State Watch: (See inside pages for follow-up items on San Diego bankruptcy; Rockville Centre NY diocese abuse trial; Spokane WA settlement; the recent VOTF Long Island NY Faith Convention; VOTF Bridgeport CT conference; Phila. PA meeting; and more.)

Boston MA: Financial transparency in the Boston archdiocese is becoming even more transparent, read more. The web site reports: “The release of financial information, which is voluntary but arrives after considerable public pressure and a failed attempt last year by some legislators to mandate financial disclosure by religious organizations, largely fulfills a pledge by O’Malley to share financial details with area Catholics. Some other big-city archbishops are now doing the same, but others, most notably Cardinal Edward M. Egan of New York, have declined to do so.” Read more. By contrast, note Cardinal Egan’s remarks on the front page of the New York Times (subscription required). When asked why the archdiocese of NY doesn’t release financial documents as is being done in other dioceses, he replied, “I am transparent to the best possible people,” he said in a rare interview in his 20th floor office on First Avenue in Manhattan. “So when you say, ‘We don’t know,’ well, my ‘we’ knows.” (NYT April 23, 2007)

The VOTF Bridgeport CT and the chair of Catholic Studies at Fairfield University presented “Follow the Money: Financial Accountability in the Catholic Church” on Saturday April 28. Dan Sullivan provides a recap (see DIOCESE/State Watch page) and excerpts from Joe O’Callaghan’s presentation, which will be on the VOTF Bridgeport web site in the upcoming weeks.

Portland OR: From the Portland Tribune: “The Archdiocese of Portland in Oregon plans to release to the public internal documents about church personnel accused of child abuse over the last 50 years as part of its recently approved bankruptcy settlement, church officials and lawyers for sex abuse claimants announced Tuesday.” Read more.

SITE-Seeing, Etc.

Two items in the Monday April 23 issue of the New York Times – a front page piece on Cardinal Egan of the Archdiocese of NY as he submits his pro forma resignation to the Pope and a David Gibson Op-Ed on Pope Benedict XVI on the Pope’s second anniversary – are worth reading. Subscribers may access here and here.

  • Also note an Associated Press item in the April 17 issue of the Washington Post.

Fr. Tom Doyle has assembled a bibliography on clergy sexual abuse in the Roman Catholic Church. It is available at “Voice from the Desert."

A National Catholic Reporter editorial sees “little genuine progress on sex abuse."

  • The current issue of NCR focuses on priests and their particular challenges over the last five years.

QUOTE for our time: To paraphrase poet Gerard Manley Hopkins, “The just person justices.”

In the Vineyard
May 3, 2007
Volume 6, Issue 9
Printer Friendly Version (PDF)

Page One

CONVENTION 2007 Update - October 19-21 in Providence, RI

DIOCESE/State Watch

Priests Support Working Group Update

Survivor Community News

Once There Was a Parish Rich” from Betty Claremont, VOTF Atlanta GA

“Following the Money” – VOTF/Fairfield University conference recap

BOOK Review: Hinze B. 2006. Practices of Dialogue in the Roman Catholic Church: Aims and Obstacles, Lessons and Laments. New York, Continuum, 326 pp. With thanks to reviewer Thomas F. Malone, Greater West Hartford, CT VOTF

Structural Change Working Group

Voice of Renewal/Lay Education

Prayerful Voice

Goal 2 - Priest Support

Protecting Our Children



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