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“Quick from the dead, my Risen Lord is seen:
Love is come again, like wheat that springeth green.”
J. M. C. Crum verse from “Now the green blade riseth”

HIGHLIGHTS in this issue:

The VOTF National Representative Council is finalizing the agenda for its semi-annual Council meeting (slated for June 2-4 in Chicago); beginning discussions on potential new strategic and policy issues; and voting on four formal policy statements dealing with statutes of limitation and windows reform associated with protecting children from sexual abuse through legislation. See NRC Update.

National Catholic Reporter asks, rightly, “How did it come to this?”
If you or someone you know has never read a grand jury report on sexual abuse by clergy; if you know someone who still doesn’t believe the survivors’ stories; if you know someone who is swayed by Denver Archbishop Chaput’s scaremongering (see Diocese/State Watch), consider the tragic tale told in the April 26 issue of National Catholic Reporter “Shining light on a cover-up.” And if anyone doubts the desperate need for Church reform, that story and the editorial in the same issue “A look into a hidden culture” will dispel any uncertainty. See Diocese/State Watch (Phila., PA).

Accountability Now Campaign - Focus committees have been established to help guide each of our two campaigns; also, VOTF will keep Pentecost 2006 (June 4) true to its earliest meanings – first fruits. See Accountability Now Campaign Update.

AFFILIATE Updates – VOTF Northern Virginia: Frequently, several members from all over the US will identify/pass along the same particular news item. This time it’s the tragic story of an abused priest and the cost to him of telling the truth. VOTF affiliates and Fr. James Moran speak for themselves. See Commentary – “Case Study: Punishing the Victim”; the VOTF Bridgeport, CT conference on bishop election was a resounding success. Notre Dame theology professor Fr. Richard McBrien in his address to over 200 attendees noted, “In fact, the church elected its bishops, including the Bishop of Rome for much of its history." For more, go to the Bridgeport, CT web site; cautious optimism in NH after March 30 results of independent audit (Vineyard April 6) alarmed many. See more in Diocese/State Watch and additional updates from Pa., Ohio, Mass., N.Y., and Colo.

What brings a Special Mention to Bishop Fabian Bruskewitz (see Special Mention) and Member Recognition to VOTF Tennessee members Linda and Jim Zralek? (See Commentary – “VOTF Member Recognition: Linda and Jim Zralek, VOTF Tennessee”).

Fr. Tom Doyle on “Dialogue with Bishops” – Part II

In the NEXT ISSUE of In the Vineyard 5/18: VOTF Northern Virginia performed their own diocesan audit (Arlington Diocese) on the implementation of the USCCB Charter for the Protection of Children and Young People. Their findings and observations were noted in a letter to Bishop Loverde.

NATIONAL/International News

VOTF Ireland web site is launched: Mary Ann Keyes planted and nurtured this seed over a year ago and VOTF Ireland’s Sean O’Conaill took it from there. We encourage our readers to visit the site and share the address at with all of your “friends and relations” in Ireland.

VOTF is inviting nominations to our Board of Trustees. See details here. The Board of Trustees in consultation with the Officers and the NRC has been working on new by-laws that provide for the election of trustees. The new by-laws are in their final cycle of review by the lawyers and will be posted on our web site as soon as possible.

SITE-Seeing, Etc.

SPECIAL Mention April 2006: Lincoln, Nebraska Bishop Fabian Bruskewitz embodies a rare good news/bad news profile. The good news is that he is an exception in the USCCB; the bad news is that he is an exception in the USCCB. The Bishop has managed this achievement by being the only bishop in the US to refuse last year’s diocesan auditors as called for by the USCCB’s own National Review Board. Click here.

Publication Alert: US Catholic, May 2006 – “Let’s pray, pay, and have our say” confirms what VOTF members already know and includes four proposals for how consultation with the laity might work. Let us know what you think at Visit the US Catholic web site.

Yet another learning opportunity provided by Boston College and you don’t have to leave your desk. To explore the four Gospel passion narratives, click here for an online self-paced tutorial, written and narrated by Philip A. Cunningham, Executive Director of the Center for Christian-Jewish Learning at Boston College. It is a collaborative project of C21 Online and the Center.

BOOK Alert: Sex, Priests, and Secret Codes: The Catholic Church’s 2,000-year Paper Trail of Sexual Abuse by Thomas P. Doyle, A.W.R. Sipe and Patrick J. Wall, Volt Press. For review, see May 5 posting in NCR.

QUOTES for our time: “The world of hierarchy has come to an end. Don't fight with it. Let it disintegrate.” Eugene Kennedy, professor emeritus at Loyola University of Chicago, at the third annual convention of VOTF Long Island on April 22.

"This is an ancient, rigid, secretive, top-down, all-male monarchy. It always has been. It always will be. The answer is not to reform them, but to go around them and to contain them." SNAP’s national director David Clohessy at the third annual convention of VOTF Long Island, April 22.

In the Vineyard
May 4, 2006
Volume 5, Issue 9
Printer Friendly Version (PDF)

Page One

Diocese/State Watch

NRC Update

Accountability Now Campaign Update


Structural Change Working Group

Voice of Renewal/Lay Education

Prayerful Voice



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