In the Vineyard  ::   September 10, 2009   ::    Volume 8, Issue 16

National News

VOTF National has sent letters of support to various groups of women religious. We have offered our support and asked what we can do to help.


Making our Voices Heard
Hosted by the Long Island Voice of the Faithful

Featuring SR. JOAN CHITTISTER, O.S.B., and

Join in lively discussions as we come together to reflect on the state of our church and how we can be part of the changes that will renew our faith. For registration, check the additional info here.

We are asking affiliates, members and supporters to make their presence known at VOTF's conference on Long Island in October. How? Please consider taking an ad in our conference program book. It's easy; just fill out the ad reservation form and return it to the address on the form by September 15, 2009.

Update from Voices In Action

Want to Change Our Church from the Ground Up?
The “Voices in Action” Local Action Team
Can Use Your Talents

As part of Voice of the Faithful’s Voices in Action campaign, our Local Action team believes that global change begins with local action. The Local Action Platform is working to increase active participation of the lay faithful in the mission and ministries of each parish and diocese.  We call on VOTF members and Catholics everywhere to help with this work.

Our focus is on practical, pragmatic tools that you can use to promote local change. For example...


News from the Affiliates

Boston Area VOTF Calling for Extended Listening Session
The Archdiocese of Boston disclosed on Sunday that Fr. Frederick Barr, currently pastor at St. Patrick’s in Watertown MA, has been removed from ministry and reported to legal authorities for alleged abuse of a child during a period when he served as parochial vicar at St. Luke’s in Belmont MA.


From VOTF  New York 
Please take a moment right now to sign your name to the on-line petition urging New York State legislators to enact the Child Victims Act for the reform of the statute of limitations.

Your action today can help to support past victims, and prevent future victims of sexual abuse.



Happening Today
Marian Ronan, PhD, to Speak to VOTF on September 10th
"In the Shadow of the Cross: From Vatican II to the Global Church" will be the topic of a talk by Marian Ronan, PhD, Research Professor of Catholic Studies in the Center for World Christianity at New York Theological Seminary, NY, NY. The talk will take place at the next Voice of the Faithful in the Diocese of Bridgeport meeting, Thursday, September 10, at 7:30 PM at the First Congregational Church on the Green in Norwalk.


Noted Theologian to Discuss Historical, Religious, and Doctrinal Uniqueness of Jesus at VOTF Meeting In New Jersey on September 10.

All are invited to join us for a challenging and informative talk on The Uniqueness of Jesus by Roger Haight, S.J.

The phrase, "the uniqueness of Jesus" contains a variety of meanings, all contested, and raises some of the most challenging questions in Christian theology today.  In discussing these questions from historical, religious and doctrinal perspectives, Fr. Haight will ask:  How did Jesus represent God? Is Jesus the absolute and only way to salvation? Is Jesus exclusive savior? Inclusive savior? One savior among many? How did Jesus come to be called divine? Can the same logic be extended to other religious mediators?


Site Seeing

Archbishop Daniel E. Pilarczyk explains why he has barred Sister Louise Ackers, S.C. from teaching on behalf of the Church.

VOTF’s Janet Hauter discusses the ad campaign in Chicago designed to encourage Catholics to come back to the Church.

Bishop Martino resigns. Was he too outspoken?

VOTF’s Anne Southwood speaks out about the need to “do more.”

Letter to the Editor

After having read your latest e-mail regarding the scandal in Ireland,
two thoughts come to mind

1)  A comment made to a friend of mine by a priest.  The priest allegedly told my friend that sexual abuses have been known about for a long time and said, "we hear confessions don't we" ?

2)  I have not always been in favor of women priests.  The abuse scandal has changed my mind on this.  I believe the mere presence of women in this capacity would provide better safeguards to protect against abuses perpetrated by religious of the male gender.
James Sowinski

Dear VOTF:

Has the American Council of Bishops come out on a Church policy on the current health care debate. The church is quite vocal on abortion issues , yet, I've heard nothing about church activity on supporting this crucial legislation, particularly in light of Teddy Kennedy's passing.

Bill Cherico

Editor’s Note: The American Council of Catholic Bishops has a website that explains their position. It is

Questions, Comments?

Please send them to Siobhan Carroll, Vineyard Editor at Unless otherwise indicated, I will assume comments can be published as Letters to the Editor.

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Affiliate News

Site Seeing

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