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“The chief problem in my view, however, is that Benedict typically focuses on the sin of the abuser to the exclusion of the sins of the overseers—the bishops—whose actions enabled those abuses to propagate like a virus.” David Gibson, author of The Rule of Benedict. See Interview with David Gibson in this issue.

In this Issue:

NATIONAL/Global News

Pope Benedict XVI speaks out with force on clergy sexual abuse: "It is important to establish the truth of what happened in the past, to take whatever steps are necessary to prevent it from occurring again, to ensure that the principles of justice are fully respected and, above all, to bring healing to the victims and to all those affected by these egregious crimes." For the complete text, click here. See more about the context of the Pope's remarks under DIOCESE/State Watch - Ireland.

Fall Actions in the Accountability Campaign are touching most parts of the U.S. Find out what’s going in your state. If your state’s not listed, contact your affiliate leader.

In Brief: VOTF welcomes a new affiliate in the diocese of Youngstown, Ohio with the addition of the Mahoning Valley Affiliate; VOTF withdraws participation at the upcoming annual gathering of CTA – VOTF president Mary Pat Fox explained the officers’ decision in a letter to leadership on 10/30; CORRECTION – The 10/19 issue of In the Vineyard moved Delray Beach to California (in DIOCESE/State Watch). Delray Beach remains in Florida. Thank you to Ed Hill for the catch and apologies to readers.

The Congressional scandal around Rep. Foley is advancing a global consciousness of the impact of the Catholic Church’s handling of clergy sexual abuse. The Mediterranean island of Malta is only the most recent country to join this never-ending story. See more in DIOCESE/State Watch.

  • Visit our website home page for recent VOTF statements, including a joint release with SNAP calling on legal authorities to investigate former Congressman Foley’s abusive priest; and the VOTF statement on the Congress/Church parallel.

Churches might be going back to school to learn Financial Accountability. “Roman Catholic universities are offering management courses to lay church workers and clergy. Read the story at Chicago Tribune website.

  • Speaking of financial accountability, parishes around the U.S. continue to grapple with financial “blind spots.” The Chicago Tribune updates one such instance in Chicago where bail has been set for a pastor accused of parish theft: The Palm Beach Post noted the difficulty of parish oversight..

The breakdown in communications between priests and Cardinal Egan in the Archdiocese of New York is indicative, arguably, of the greatest hurdle for the Church in the 21st Century – the absence of dialogue. (See New York coverage under DIOCESE/State Watch.) Meanwhile, Bishop Ricardo Ramirez addressed that very subject and its critical place in the life of the Church. The bishop made his remarks at the 10th Anniversary celebration of the Catholic Common Ground Initiative. See Quote for our Time in this issue.

Setback for lay ministers?: Catholic News Service reports: “At the direction of Pope Benedict XVI, extraordinary ministers of holy Communion will no longer be permitted to assist in the purification of the sacred vessels at Masses in the United States.” Read more and at EWTN. A 2004 response on the EWTN site clarifies terminology: Also, see the USCCB site.

“US bishops will vote next month on a proposal to release one-third of the money earmarked to study the causes of clergy sexual abuse of minors in the States.” Go to the USCCB website for more information.

DIOCESE/State Watch: VOTF Ireland stated their expectations from their bishop (as he headed to Rome for his ad limina visit) to the vocal objections of fellow Catholics; Malta – the Maltese diocese will investigate the priest involved with US Rep. Foley; tragedy continues to unfold in Mexico and Los Angeles, CA;VOTF New York responded to the noise heard ‘round the world when Cardinal Egan, Archdiocese of New York, received an anonymous letter from priests in the diocese critical of the Cardinal’s diocesan leadership; Springfield, MA – Fr. Scahill (2005 VOTF Priest of Integrity Award recipient) and VOTF’s John Bowen of Longmeadow, MA address what the Church might learn from the Foley scandal; VOTF was a participant in a collaboration of voices at a recent Ohio Parishes United gathering; Los Angeles, CA - $10 million later, abuse cases are settled; Boston, MA – Cardinal O’Malley breaks a rule and wins applause from the community; Louisville, KY – the Courier Journal reports that the Archdiocese of Louisville has released its final accounting of more than four years of sexual-abuse related litigation to the cost of $29.7 million. AFFILIATE NOTE: Need some ideas for your gatherings? Visit the VOTF Winchester, MA website for a recent lay-led faith-sharing group discussion and much more, including VOTF note cards (Christmas cards will be available soon).

BOOK Notes: David Gibson’s much-discussed book The Rule of Benedict: Pope Benedict XVI and His Battle with the Modern World. David and his publisher HarperSanFrancisco (a division of HarperCollins Publishers) have provided Vineyard readers with an interview about this first critical look at the current papacy. Look for a VOTF book review on The Rule of Benedict in the 11/16 Vineyard.

QUOTE for our time: “Basically, I have learned the importance, yes, the necessity for the Church to be always in dialogue. The bishop has to be the model, the catalyst and the one who promotes dialogue in his diocese. The challenge is how to be an authority without being authoritarian. For the bishop, dialogue happens in the balance of listening and teaching, engaging and leading, to establish a community of justice and love in the name of Jesus Christ.” Bishop Ricardo Ramirez speaking in August at the Tenth Anniversary of the Catholic Common Ground Initiative. Click here for the full text of the address and to learn more about the work of the National Pastoral Life Center.

In the Vineyard
November 2, 2006
Volume 5, Issue 19
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Page One

Diocese/State Watch


“Conflict/Confrontation as Tactics” – Donna Doucette, VOTF Boston

“What Bishops Can Do to Help” – Fr. Tom Doyle

"America magazine and the bishops: Response to Archbishop Chaput" - Carolyn Disco, VOTF NH

Interview with David Gibson, author of The Rule of Benedict: Pope Benedict XVI and His Battle with the Modern World.

Structural Change Working Group

Voice of Renewal/Lay Education

Prayerful Voice

Goal 2 - Priest Support



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