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"I prefer the monotony of obscure sacrifice to all ecstasies. To pick up a pin for love can convert a soul." St. Therese of Lisieux (1873-97) whose feast day is October 1.

In this Issue:

The National Representative Council draft agenda for their Nov. 10-12 meeting in St. Louis, MO is at National News Update in this issue. In keeping with past practice, the Council meetings are open to all registered VOTF members.

The National Representative Council and VOTF officers have concurred on the following two resolutions; these relate specifically to the Protect Our Children initiative within the ongoing Campaign for Accountability. Contact the closest affiliate in your area to get more involved.

It is the policy of VOTF to support the reform of state and federal laws to strengthen the protection of children from sexual abuse, afford justice for survivors of child sexual abuse, and hold accountable any abuser and any individual or institution that aids or abets child sexual abuse.

Prospectively, VOTF supports legislation either to eliminate civil statutes of limitations on current or new child sexual abuse cases or to extend the limitation to an age when most survivors would be emotionally, psychologically, and financially capable of filing a suit, such as age 50 or older.

  • VOTF National has kicked off a series of Accountability Campaign petition ads on various sites and blogs. See page one of National Catholic Reporter, Commonweal magazine and US Catholic magazine.
  • The Representative Foley affair has drawn a number of comparisons to the Church’s failures in handling priests’ sexual abuse of children. VOTF issued this statement.

The ongoing saga of mismanaged and stolen parish funds continues to underscore the need for VOTF’s Campaign for Accountability. See the Delray Beach, CA follow-up in DIOCESE/State Watch and find out what you can do to make a difference in your diocese by clicking here; also, see Letter to the editor in this issue – a former parish council member in Indiana finds that accountability is also an attitude.

VOTF National will again be present for the bi-annual USCCB meeting, to take place Nov. 13-16 in Baltimore, MD. The bishops’ agenda includes approval of a reorganization plan for their national conference; approval of a revision of the Lectionary for Mass for selected days in the season of Advent, and a directory for music and the liturgy for use in the dioceses of the United States; approval of two documents from their Doctrine Committee - a proposed statement on receiving the sacrament of the Eucharist worthily, and proposed guidelines for ministry to persons with a homosexual inclination; and a document from the Pro-Life Committee offering pastoral guidance on the Church's teaching concerning contraception, linked with a culture of life. The bishops will also elect a new Conference Secretary and several committee chairmen. Read more.

VOTF will not only have a table at the November 3-5 annual CTA gathering in Milwaukee, WI but will offer the ONLY FREE package of seminars available on opening day; check out the VOTF program being offered from 9 am to 2:45 pm on Friday, Nov. 3 under VOTF National News Update.

As noted in the Oct. 5 Vineyard, VOTF National has signed on to the FutureChurch call “Do Not Stifle the Spirit: A Call to Preserve Vibrant Parishes in a Time of Fewer Priests”. To read the statement and sign on yourself, click here.

VOTF INTERNATIONAL Note: The Irish Independent headlined on 10/14: “Pope to grill bishops on sex abuse”; go to VOTF Ireland’s website for more; while you’re out of the country, visit VOTF Australia's website with coverage throughout Australia and New Zealand.

DIOCESE/State Watch: Note in particular the broad and positive media coverage of the documentary film “Deliver Us from Evil”; details are under the Los Angeles, CA item in this section.

St. Paul, MN – One family is reaching out as far as it can to end child sex abuse. Their effort is being called a “long shot” case in which “178 Catholic Bishops have been named as defendants in an unprecedented civil child sex abuse lawsuit brought by the family of a murdered Wisconsin man”; Palm Beach, FL – The sad unraveling of US Representative Foley’s life has focused attention not only on Foley’s statements about sexual abuse he suffered as a child but on what SNAP’s David Clohessy has called “among the most troubled dioceses” with regard to the handling of sexual abuse claims–the Palm Beach diocese where Foley lived nearly 40 years ago; Los Angeles, CA – The furor over Cardinal Mahony’s alleged protection of a fugitive priest has not abated (see the Oct. 5 Vineyard) and has spread to Mexico; Delray Beach, FL – The Palm Beach Post reports a trinity of deception in a Delray Beach Catholic church; Iowa – joining Portland, OR; Tucson, AZ; and Spokane, WA, the diocese of Davenport, IO has filed for bankruptcy; Chicago, IL – $96,000 later, a former seminary comptroller pleaded guilty; Philadelphia, PA – The District Attorney is supporting sex-abuse legislation despite the “powerful lobbies” cries of “unfair!”

AFFILIATE Highlights in KENTUCKY - VOTF Northern KY is reaching out to ALL Catholics in their diocese – with a new blog; VOTF Louisville, KY is hosting a tri-state VOTF gathering on 10/28; also, Vince Grenough of VOTF Louisville Area posts his thoughts on Philadelphia Cardinal Rigali’s outreach to the survivor community.

An uncommon story: The Union Leader, Manchester, NH, reports: “A dozen Roman Catholic clergy are reaching out to fellow priests who are sick, retired or were stripped of their ministry for sexually abusing minors, offering support and financial aid to any who need it.”

SITE-Seeing, Etc.

Want to take a course at Boston College but you live in Paris, Texas? It isn’t too late to register for online courses with Boston College’s Church in the 21st Century program. For a demo course, more information, and registration, go to the website or call 617-552-8057.

Watch the November issues of In the Vineyard for a review of David Gibson’s new book The Rule of Benedict: Pope Benedict XVI and His Battle with the Modern World and an interview with David, an award-winning religion journalist and committed lay Catholic. He has worked in Rome for Vatican Radio, produced television documentaries and writes frequently for the New York Times, Fortune, Boston Magazine, Commonweal and America. Gibson is a loyal supporter of VOTF and speaker at various VOTF conferences and meetings.

On the side: Jason Berry, journalist and co-author with Gerald Renner of Vows of Silence, longtime advocate for survivors of clergy sexual abuse and the work of Fr. Tom Doyle, and VOTF member and supporter, has taken a leap into the world of fiction with a new novel The Last of the Red Hot Poppas. Click here for reviews and readings – Jason is scheduled to be in the Boston area 10/30-31. The Last of the Red Hot Poppas is also available at

LETTER to the editor: Accountability is about more than money

In the Vineyard
October 19, 2006
Volume 5, Issue 18
Printer Friendly Version (WORD)

Sign the Petition for Accountability

Page One

National News

Diocese/State Watch

Letter to the Editor

Affiliate Highlights

Structural Change Working Group

Voice of Renewal/Lay Education

Prayerful Voice

Goal 2 - Priest Support



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