Support Community announces Truth and Recognition
Priests' Support Working Group preparing survey for
distribution to priests nationwide; Christmas
cards on sale - proceeds to benefit survivors.
of the Faithful will again bear witness at the upcoming
USCCB meeting in Washington, DC; VOTF 2005 Convention
update; VOTF officer elections 2005 update
(are you registered to vote?); Parish Voice announces
more affiliates (now 211!); updates on the fast-moving
leadership training program; watch for the VOTF
the December 3 issue of Commonweal magazine.
England Regional conference Nov. 13 - we're
holding your ticket!; VOTF in British Columbia,
with their area press; VOTF East Bay, CA honors an
extraordinary survivor; Dayton, Ohio's newly
appointed member of USCCB
National Review Board to speak at VOTF meeting; VOTF
Westford/Chelmsford reaching out to closing parishes;
VOTF Louisville, KY meeting with priests councils; Parish
Closings Watch - vigils and appeals are increasing
and a visitor reflects; Gaile Pohlhaus has a message
for Maine VOTF. Read More.
Ward, VOTF vice president, wrote a "Prayer for Survivors";
VOTF Baton Rouge, LA artist Billie Bourgeois reflects
on "Amazing Grace"; Recap of Dr. Anthony Padovano's
address before October Council meeting - "Hope in
the Church"; Jim Post at St. Joan of Arc, Minneapolis,
MN; Two opportunities in December for spiritual
- see October In the Vineyard under Events,
Etc. Read More.
October 29, 2004 National Catholic Reporter
editorial offered one perspective we share
with readers in the spirit of thanksgiving
for all our members worldwide. We quote excerpts
are some signs that Boston's awful ordeal could
be the wider church's gain. No one knows what
will grow in the wake of the turmoil that resulted
in the Boston archdiocese being labeled the
epicenter of arguably the most damaging episode
in US Church history.
starters, the wider church was given Voice
of the Faithful, the lay group with the motto
'Keep the faith, change the church.'
fact that you have experienced about the worst
of it in terms of betrayal, in terms of victims
and in terms of the consequences for your diocese
means that you have a certain credibility before
the rest of the church. So we watch as you
continue to push for accountability in the
sex abuse crisis, in the finances of the church
and in the rational for closing parishes."
editorial concluded with, "Boston, in the end,
could be developing some needed models and
wisdom for the church at large."
you know the VOTF genesis story? Get your copy
Faith, Change the Church Donald Cozzens'
book Faith That Dares To Speak has been published
- it can be pre-ordered at amazon.com. Watch future
Vineyard issues for review.
Do You Think? VOTF president Jim Post wrote
"When Churches Fail the Public Trust" for the Fall
issue of Nonprofit
Quarterly . In
the article, Jim said, "There is too little discussion
of how a religious institution ought to behave
the community and the civic life of which it is a
part." What do you think? Write to email@example.com.
do you think of the new look for In the Vineyard?
More/Less user-friendly? Let us know at firstname.lastname@example.org.
yourself the gift of voice and donate
to Voice of the Faithful
Voice of the Faithful
The VOTF postal address is P.O. Box 423, Newton Upper
Falls, MA 02464-0002
Please send comments and inquiries to email@example.com
of the Faithful, VOTF, "Keep the Faith, Change
Voice of Compassion, VOTF logo(s), Parish Voice, and
Prayerful Voice are trademarks of Voice of the Faithful,
of the Faithful is a 501(c) 3 tax-exempt organization.
Volume 4, Issue 10
Printer Friendly Version
without works is dead." James 2:26
one week in this election year, we heard James 2:26 quoted
by an archbishop (Denver, CO Archbishop Chaput) in the October
22, 2004 New York Times as well as a presidential candidate
(Senator John Kerry) on national television during the presidential
debates. That's a lot of press for James. What do we make
of the Faithful members and supporters are surely evidencing
the work behind our lived faith; it is documented monthly
in these pages and elsewhere ( the National Catholic Reporter
has its editorial eye on Boston Catholics' faith at work
- see boxed excerpt on this page). Our Church leadership also
documents its many good works. However, James would be not
a little disconcerted by the earthly judgment rendered by
one against the other in our religious climate. He cautions
against judging each other - "If you judge the law you are
no observer of the law, you are its judge. There is but one
Lawgiver and Judge …. Who then are you to judge your neighbor?"
Many American Catholics part ways on this very issue, from
each other and from their bishops. Who should judge your works
versus mine? Whose moral authority is so clear and how do
we recognize that authority? How do we balance our obligation
to defend against injustice and our obligation to love those
we see as the perpetrators of injustices? If, as James says,
"Faith without works is dead," what are we to do about faith
WITH works, if those very works are questioned, challenged,
dismissed, even banned?
we "keep on keepin' on" - and bear witness again at the bishops'
bi-annual meeting, where we are not invited.
among each other - and learn from the teachers among us. And
we look around for "extraordinary" help. Billie Bourgeois
of the Baton Rouge, LA affiliate identifies one invaluable
source of support on this journey - grace - and where to find
it. Her reflection in this issue is our Thanksgiving prayer;
the November 13 Worcester conference will offer, among many
other opportunities for education and spiritual growth, a
workshop on Lectio Divina ("divine reading") - it is
the meditative reading of Scripture, much practiced in Christian
communities into the Middle Ages; and the extraordinary support
for the parishioners of closing parishes is its own spiritual
we also read, "The harvest of justice is sown in peace for
those who cultivate peace." Thanksgiving brings Americans
face to face with the twin acts of gratitude and sharing.
It is a day that has brought the atheist and the believer,
the child and the adult, the saint and the sinner, the wise
and the foolish, the fed and the hungry, to the same table.
We are thankful. Whether we bless ourselves and pray our thanks
or just appreciate our "good luck," we are sharing bounty.
Voice of the Faithful wishes all of our readers and supporters
a peaceful harvest.
L. Thorp, ed.