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"In almost twenty years of counseling hundreds of victims of sexual abuse by priests, I can say that the first thing each wanted was to be understood, to be believed, to be nurtured by their church. Not one victim thought first of filing a lawsuit " SNAP Philadelphia quoting Fr. Tom Doyle as the recent legislative win for protecting children moves toward law in Pennsylvania.

In this Issue:

NATIONAL News Update: Accountability Campaign Advent reflection; VOTF National Representative Council pushes for disclosure of clergy abuse cases submitted to Vatican.

DIOCESE/State Watch:
Philadelphia, PA – Despite the hard work of the Pennsylvania Catholic Conference to defeat Senate Bill 1054, the House passed S.B. 1054 by a vote of 191-1. Gov. Rendell expects to sign it into law making its passage a huge win for protecting children; New York, NY/Erie, PA – secret trial is over but the claimant is talking. He refused to sign a statement of confidentiality; Wilmington, Delaware – VOTF Coastal Delmarva is encouraged by the recent “step forward” in the Diocese of Wilmington, which has released the names of diocesan priests accused of sexually abusing children; the diocesan action prompted the O’Connell family to remove Bishop Saltarelli’s name from their pending lawsuit; Los Angeles, CA – once again, what did they know and when did they know it? Questions are mounting around sexual abuse allegations a month before parents were notified by the Los Angeles Archdiocese; Burlington, VT – an archdiocesan attorney has stepped down amid claims that he “hid” Church documents during a clergy sexual abuse case; Rockville Center, NY – Newsday reported the arrest of a priest on child pornography charges. SNAP’s David Clohessy says, “Like so many others, this case shows that the Catholic church's sex abuse scandal is far from over.”

Commentaries :

Book Review on David Gibson’s The Rule of Benedict; SITE-Seeing, Etc. has lots to think about from Tom Doyle, America magazine, the Gloucester News, and more.

VOTF “Cards”: A “Thank you!” to Susan Troy as the founding chair of VOTF Prayerful Voice resigns; and “Get Well!” to Fr. Jim Sullivan, VOTF Rockaway, NY.

SITE-Seeing, Etc.

Visit SNAP’s website for “What to Do When Your Priest is Accused of Abuse."

The Winchester, MA Area VOTF is again selling Christmas cards this year. All proceeds benefit abuse survivors. For further information, contact Bob Morris at The Winchester Area VOTF also wishes to thank the VOTF group at St. Theresa's in Harvard, MA for volunteering to sell cards at their church.

Don’t forget to write! – to What do you think of the following?

  • Many readers have asked for information about the bishops’ recent statement on the reception of Eucharist. That statement is available at the USCCB website;
  • The Nov. 30 issue of America magazine featured a commentary by Fr. Curry on the current state of the Church “The best and worst of times”;
  • Read Fr. Tom Doyle’s new comments on the abuse crisis “Reflections on Clergy Abuse: Where We Are Today.”;
  • Eileen Ford (VOTF Cape Ann, MA) is worth reading in the Gloucester Times “The power of good example." (See excerpt from Quote for our Time).
  • Watch for the new movie “The Nativity” – exceptionally well done and a worthy holiday respite. Visit for special screenings information (your parish, perhaps?) and other details.

Something to think/talk about: As VOTF approaches the fifth anniversary of our 2002 founding, it is rewarding to re-visit some of the papers submitted for the July 2002 convention in Boston. Visit and let us know what still resonates with you – write to  

QUOTE for our time:
”The collateral damage of the crisis includes good priests and faithful Catholics disgusted and disillusioned by bishops who continue to defy rational rules that govern the rest of us. Those who disagreed with church teachings left a long time ago. It's the hypocrisy of the hierarchy that continues to drive people away from the church today. If the hierarchy understood the power of good example and the limitations of dictatorial arrogance, churches would be overflowing each Sunday.” Excerpt from Eileen Ford commentary in the Gloucester Times.

In the Vineyard
November 30, 2006
Volume 5, Issue 21
Printer Friendly Version (PDF)

Page One

Diocese/State Watch

National News Update


Dissent: Watching our Language" - Editorial

“Thomas Merton on Ecclesial Reform and Renewal” - (second installment) – Fr. Patrick Collins, VOTF

Servants of the Gospel; Servants of the Church” VOTF vice-president Sally Vance-Trembath and VOTF secretary Gaile Pohlhaus

BOOK Review: David Gibson’s The Rule of Benedict

Structural Change Working Group

Voice of Renewal/Lay Education

Prayerful Voice

Goal 2 - Priest Support



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