18 days to the VOTF Convention, “Disciples in Action”
Oct. 19-20 in Providence RI

IN THIS ISSUE: A “call to action” gathering in New York drew broad support from survivors and survivor support groups including VOTF; the work of another prominent theologian – Fr. Peter Phan of Georgetown University – is undergoing investigation by the Vatican and US bishops; actions of the Diocese of Orange CA continue to raise questions and challenge assumptions while the Diocese of Pittsburgh PA takes a step in the right direction; two new books note Voice of the Faithful and one is the Catholic Book Club September Selection; more.

VOTF National Notes

Disciples in ActionGOOD NEWS for those who didn’t make the cut for earlier hotel discounts. We have obtained additional discount rooms for VOTF's Disciples in Action Convention, October 19-20 in Providence RI. The hotel is another Marriott (One Orms Street, Providence RI 02904). The hotel is 1 mile from the convention center BUT there is a tourist trolley that goes by the hotel every 15 minutes from 7 a.m. - 7 p.m. The trolley costs $1.50 per person.

Other good news: parking at this hotel is free. The rate at this Marriott is $159 per night UNTIL OCTOBER 5. To reserve a room call 866-807-2171 and say that you are part of Voice of the Faithful. Click here for everything you need to know about the third national convention of Voice of the Faithful.

WHAT do you think? The current National Catholic Reporter editorial says, “In any larger discussion about the role and direction of the church, we can’t forget that the structure and mystery of the church are actually experienced in the local faith community. The parish is the place where church happens.” Write to pthorp.ed@votf.org. Through the end of September, all readers can access NCR regardless of subscription status. Read more.

DIOCESE/State Watch

Orange CA: Associated Press reports: “Attorneys for a woman who alleges sexual abuse by a lay teacher at a Roman Catholic high school asked a judge Wednesday to hold the bishop of the Diocese of Orange in contempt of court. The motion, filed in Orange County Superior Court in Santa Ana, alleges that Bishop Tod D. Brown sent a key church official to Canada for unspecified medical treatment one week after a judge ordered him to complete a sworn deposition in the case.” Read more.

Read more inside at DIOCESE/State Watch.

Working Group Updates


NEW YORK Action: Cardozo Professor Marci Hamilton, legal advisor to victims of sexual abuse in several noteworthy cases around the country; State Representative Margaret Markey of Queens, NY; State Senator Karen Peterson of Delaware; and Survivors of Childhood Sexual Abuse led a “call to action”, September 25, 2007 FOR STATE & NATIONAL LAWS LIFTING THE STATUTES OF LIMITATIONS ON SEXUAL ABUSE VICTIMS’ LAWSUITS.

VOTF president Mary Pat Fox attended the gathering. Read her comment at Commentary – Providing the Muscle. If you are interested in helping with this effort, contact Bob Kristan at BobKristan@msn.com.

SNAP leader David Clohessy received the Lifetime Achievement in Advocacy Award from the Institute on Violence, Abuse and Trauma. Read more at BishopAccountability.org.

SITE-Seeing, Etc.

  • For the many readers who have followed and benefited from the work of Boston College’s Church in the 21st Century Center, the program’s director of the past two years is returning to his first love – teaching. “Tim Muldoon has joined the staff of the Vice President for University Mission and Ministry at BC, see BC Chronicle. Robert Newton, special assistant to the president, who led the C21 initiative from 2002–2005, has returned as interim director of the center until a new permanent director is selected.” VOTF wishes Tim well in his new post and we thank him for his leadership in helping to present the many issues facing our Church in the 21st Century.

  • Don’t know who or what VOTF is? The book that has garnered significant attention and praise for its objective assessment of VOTF is now available. The Church in the 21st Century Center at Boston College notes: “One of the most interesting developments in Catholic life in the past decade has been the formation of Voice of the Faithful. This remarkable group of devout, active, and loyal Catholics has emerged as the most forceful voice for church reform in the wake of the priestly abuse scandal. This new book presents both the hard statistics about the group’s membership and frank and appreciative analysis of the group’s influence.” The book is Voices of the Faithful, by William D’Antonio and Anthony Pogorelc with a Foreword by William J. Byron, SJ. For details and/or ordering information, click here.
    • And yet another book that considers among others Voice of the Faithful is Finding the Voice of the Church by George Dennis O’Brien. The review appears in America magazine for subscribers. The University of Notre Dame Press also notes O’Brien’s book. AND the Catholic Book Club (a newsletter published by America ) chose O’Brien’s book as their September Selection.
  • National Catholic Reporter is offering all readers a unique opportunity: “During August and September OUR ENTIRE PUBLICATION is open to all readers." Read more. You will find yourself “at the right place to find the relevant spiritual and theological conversations of our day concerning the important issues we face in church and society.”

    • The current issue of NCR reports: “Both the Vatican and the U.S. bishops are investigating a book by a prominent American Catholic theologian, Vietnam-born Fr. Peter Phan of Georgetown University.” The NCR editorial asks, “Is it not possible to accommodate those individuals whose work engages in exploratory theology?” Read more.
    • Also in this issue, “In the latest chapter of a massive financial scandal plaguing the Cleveland diocese, Anton Zgoznik, a former assistant diocesan treasurer, has gone on trial in federal court, charged with participating in a $17.5 million kickback scheme dating from 1997 to 2004.”

QUOTE for our time: “Only because of court-ordered open records and the willingness of victims to speak out about what happened has anyone learned the truth. Only the embarrassment of public disclosure and the fear of lawsuit-induced bankruptcy has caused this diocese and others to change their policies.” from an Orange County Register editorial commenting on the Diocese of Orange CA. See DIOCESE/State Watch above.


In the Vineyard
October 1, 2007

Volume 6, Issue 18
Printer Friendly Version (PDF)

Page One

Office Note: Looking for meaningful volunteer work? The VOTF National office can help! We have a menu of opportunities. Please call Millie Seaborn at 617-558-5252 or email at mseaborn@votf.org.

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