In the Vineyard   ::    October 8, 2008   ::    Volume 7, Issue 18

National News

Bartley Speaks at Winchester VOTF
VOTF President Dan Bartley spoke on Monday, October 6, at the weekly Winchester MA VOTF meeting. Dan spoke about where VOTF is now and the challenges and opportunities the organization faces going forward. Dan also spoke about the leadership and membership surveys VOTF has been conducting and how the information being collected will be reflected in VOTF’s strategic plan. In November Dan is scheduled to speak in Bridgeport CT at another VOTF affiliate meeting.

New Degree in Church Management
Offered By Boston College
In response to the sex abuse scandal in the Catholic Church, bishops and pastoral administrators are recognizing the necessity at various levels of church administration for lay and ordained personnel educated in the arts of business administration and knowledgeable in the areas of Catholic theology, ecclesiology and policy, and social teaching. Boston College is meeting that need with a new degree program.

“Essentially I started this program because the Church is clearly in need of better management,” said Dr. Thomas Groome, Chair of the Institute of Religious and Pastoral Ministry, now a Department within Boston College's new School of Theology and Ministry. “(There were) many causes to the clergy sex abuse scandal but a prime one was bad management - of personnel and resources.” Read more. . .

Site Seeing

Boston Archdiocese Reviewing Financial Relationship
with Parishes
According to a recent report in the diocesan newspaper, Boston’s Cardinal Sean O’Malley is considering a change in the way the Archdiocese collects funds from its parishes. This new proposal would eliminate all fees and taxes charged by the archdiocese -- including the cathedraticum -- as well as the two annual collections currently devoted to the central administration. It would replace them with a new model for the Catholic Appeal and a single parish tithe to the archdiocese. For details. . .

David Gibson on VOTF’s Call to Review Mandated Celibacy
Award winning religion writer David Gibson comments on VOTF’s recent letter to Cardinal Sean O’Malley, which asked for a review of mandatory celibacy for diocesan priests. Read more.

Cardinal George in Kerry Kennedy’s New Book
Justice Anne M. Burke, an Illinois Supreme Court justice who chaired the National Review Board for the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops from 2002 to 2004, a lay review board investigating the Catholic sex abuse scandal, blasts the church and prominent cardinals in Kerry Kennedy’s new book, accusing them of dishonesty.

In Kennedy’s book, Being Catholic Now, Justice Burke says, “Bishops got away with concealing crime” and singles out Cardinal Francis George of Chicago. She later tempered her remarks, saying that the interview with Kennedy happened a year ago and that she appreciates his more recent actions.

To read more,


Open Visions Forum at Fairfield University
October 18 - 9:30am to 12:00noon
It is part of the Living Theology Workshop series and is FREE and open to the public.  It is in the Library multi-media room.  Women in the Church: Where are We Now?  A panel discussion twenty-years after Mulieris Dignitatem.

October 26, 2008
Volusia Voice of the Faithful
Speaker:  Marty Zeitz 
Marti Zeitz heads the Victim Assistance Ministry for the Tampa-St. Petersburg Diocese, and will address the first full meeting of the 2008-2009 Year of Action for Volusia Voice of the Faithful.

The meeting will be at 3 p.m., Sunday, October 26, at Ormond Beach's Anderson-Price Memorial Building.

Affiliate News

Tampa VOTF Views Robinson DVD
The Tampa VOTF recently gathered to view a DVD of Bishop Robinson’s talk which he gave on Long Island (available for purchase at: with a lively discussion ensuing. Tampa members also are working alongside state senator Rhonda Storm to seek extensions on the Statute of Limitation on Child Sexual Abuse.

Update from LI’s Faith Convention
Long Island VOTF’S 5th annual Faith Convention was held September 13th at the Hilton Hotel in Melville NY.  The theme of the conference was “The Emergence of the Laity in the 21st Century”.  The morning session consisted of a panel with representatives from several other organizations. Leonard Swidler, professor of Catholic Thought and Interreligious Dialogue at Temple University discussed Church governance during the afternoon session.
Read more about both sessions.


Voice of the Faithful lost a good friend and American Catholics lost an eminent scholar when Dean R. Hoge passed away on September 13, 2008, in Baltimore MD. 

Dean was Professor of Sociology at the Catholic University of America in Washington DC. In 1999, he was named director of the Life Cycle Institute at Catholic University, and he served in that capacity until 2004.  He was well-known for his research on the Catholic priesthood, including studies of critical problems such as the shortage of priests, the challenges priests face in their first five years, the aging of the priesthood, and the morale of priests.

Former VOTF president Jim Post met Dr. Hoge in 2003, and they discussed Hoge's understanding of the factors that may have contributed to the protection of sex offenders within the priesthood. As Jim said, "Dean was generous with his time, his insight, and his moral support for VOTF's mission and goals. We counted him as a real friend of our movement and we extend our sympathy to Dean's wife, Josephine, and the entire family."  

Obituaries for Mr. Hoge can be found in the New York Times (9/24/08) and Washington Post (9/19/08). 

Letter to the Editor

Reader Dan  Sparapani, wonders why bishops are not doing more to make Eucharist more readily available. “If Eucharist is really this important and central to our faith, then if the bishops fail to take action to make Eucharist readily available, are they not also guilty of serious sin in failing to do so?”
Read more.

Help us raise money without giving a cent!
Are you willing to donate your extra football tickets, trips to the theater, or a week at your vacation home?

Voice of the Faithful is looking for raffle or auction items for upcoming fundraising campaigns.  Please contact Jessica at if you would like to help us out.  All donations are tax deductible.  

Questions, Comments?

Please e-mail
Siobhan Carroll
Vineyard Editor

Page One

Church Management Degree

Site Seeing


Affiliate News

In Memoriam

Letter to the Editor

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