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In the Vineyard

April 2003
Vol 2, Issue 5

"Jesus came to His own people, and they did not accept him." (John 8:21-30)

If there are any lingering doubts that VOTF is, and has been, changing our beloved Church and the way it has operated to date, surely events of the past ten days have laid those doubts to rest. The dialogues that have taken place between leadership and bishops as well as VOTF affiliates and their bishops are unprecedented in content and direction. These meetings signal not only a fresh understanding of Gospel values and the role of the laity in the protection and invigoration of those values but a promise of continued witness to the crimes committed and a growing expectation for a full "telling" by those clerics who engaged in what appears to be a widespread, decades-long cover-up. While the work is endless for VOTF, the energy in the organization is inspiring.

  • Each week brings an increase in the number of VOTF affiliates around the country, a testament to the continuing need for dialogue with each other, including Church leadership. While eight of over 190 dioceses nationwide have banned VOTF from meeting on church property, Catholics in those dioceses gather elsewhere. Follow these developments under Parish Voices on our website and note the Cape Ann, MA response to the bannings.

  • Catholic Charities, the social services arm of the Archdiocese of Boston, is the largest non-government social services provider in Massachusetts. The organization was given a choice, as VOTF member Luise Dittrich said, between "mission and submission" - pursue its mission to service the needy or abide by Bishop Lennon's directive to refuse VOTF contributions. (Bishop Lennon is the Interim Administrator of the Boston, MA archdiocese appointed after the resignation of Cardinal Law. Earlier, Bishop Lennon had turned down the same monies offered to the Archdiocese.) Fortunately, for the neediest among us, the board of Catholic Charities voted with near unanimity to follow its mission and accept this quarter's VOTF Voice of Compassion donation.

  • Dr. Jim Muller's two-hour meeting with Cardinal Francis George of Chicago and president Jim Post's meeting with Archbishop Daniel Pilarczyk of Cincinnati sound a clarion call to Catholics everywhere for active engagement with local and regional Church leadership. That call is being heard coast to coast - over 20 US bishops have met with VOTF representatives, underscoring the place and the need for continuing mutual education and honest discussion between laity and hierarchy.
  • Passionate commitment is becoming a hallmark of VOTF activities in vigils and marches that model Christ's ministry for justice.
  • Energy, of course, moves in different directions. VOTF National says good-bye to our first Press Secretary, Mike Emerton.

As a people of Promise, it would be counterproductive not to hold dear the promise among us, struggling as it is. Please support that promise by your membership, your voices! and a donation to VOTF.

Peggie L. Thorp, ed.

Find of the Month
The Winchester, MA Affiliate shared these words of Carlo Carretto, the great Italian spiritual writer of the 20th Century. They were written in 1984.

"How much I must criticize you, my church and yet how much I love you! You have made me suffer more than anyone and yet I owe more to you than to anyone. I should like to see you destroyed and yet I need your presence. You have given me much scandal and yet you alone have made me understand holiness. Never in this world have I seen anything more compromised, more false, yet never have I touched anything more pure, more generous and more beautiful."

Voice of the Faithful, VOTF, "Keep the Faith, Change the Church,"
Voice of Compassion, VOTF logo(s), Parish Voice, and
Prayerful Voice are trademarks of Voice of the Faithful, Inc.

Voice of the Faithful is a 501(c) 3 tax-exempt organization.


In the Vineyard
April 2003
Volume 2, Issue 5

Page One

VOTF and
Bishops Speak

Saying Good-bye to Mike Emerton

Support News

Working Groups

Voices, Voices Everywhere!

By the way…

Announcements and Events of Note

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