In the Vineyard: August 14, 2023


In the Vineyard :: August 14, 2023 :: Volume 23, Issue 14

National News

Your Feedback Is Needed

The Vatican’s child protection commission is inviting the public to provide feedback on Church safeguarding principles for the creation of updated diocesan guidelines.

The responses will be used to formulate an updated Universal Guidelines Framework (UFG). The final version of the UFG will be approved at the end of 2023 and distributed to Catholic dioceses and territories around the world with the request to update their current safeguarding guidelines according to the local culture.

To take the survey, please click here.

To learn more about VOTF’s work protecting children, click here.

We hope you can find the time, while coping with the heat, to donate to our ongoing work in child protection.

What Do Younger Catholics Think About the Catholic Church?

A new report, the product of a multi-year project undertaken by the Church in the 21st Century Center at Boston College, summarizes what more than 4,000 young people in U.S. Catholic high schools and colleges think about their faith and the Catholic Church. According to the co-directors of C21’s Student Voices Project, the findings, in some cases, are contrary to the popular narratives about this younger generation of Catholics.

Asking for things such as a greater call for lay participation and expressing disappointment in the Church’s treatment of LGBTQ+ people, the study provides insight into young Catholics’ feelings about the Catholic Church today.

As the Pope returns from World Youth Day and readies for the Synod, the hopes of young people are also on his mind. As Pope Francis said at his first World Youth Day in Rio de Janeiro in 2013, they (young people) are sometimes called to “make a mess.” The Church’s job is not to clean up after them but to harness their restless, creative energy in service of the kingdom.

Read this article from America Magazine on ways the Catholic Church can listen to young people.

To read the report from the Church in the 21st Center, click here.

Top Stories

Huge billboard in Lisbon puts spotlight on clergy abuse as pope arrives
“A huge billboard raising awareness of sexual abuse by clergymen was put up overnight in Lisbon, just hours before Pope Francis was due to arrive in the Portuguese capital for the world’s largest gathering of young Catholics. The World Youth Day event was devised by the late St. Pope John Paul II for Catholics in their teens or early 20s and is held every two or three years in a different city.” By Catarina Demony, Reuters

Vatican’s child protection commission invites public feedback on safeguarding principles
“The Vatican’s child protection commission is inviting the public to provide feedback on Church safeguarding principles for the creation of updated diocesan guidelines. Anyone can participate in an online survey, which is available in four languages, including English and Spanish. The responses will be used to formulate an updated Universal Guidelines Framework (UFG), the Pontifical Commission for the Protection of Minors said last week.” By Hannah Brockhaus, Catholic News Agency

Pope Francis meets with survivors of clergy sex abuse in Portugal
“Pope Francis met with survivors of clergy sexual abuse in Portugal on Wednesday (Jul. 26) and blasted members of the country’s Catholic hierarchy for their response to the long-ignored scandal, which he said had marred the Catholic Church and helped drive the faithful away. Francis dove head-on into the crisis roiling the Portuguese church on the first day of a five-day visit to Lisbon for the Catholic Church’s World Youth Day festival.” By Nicole Winfield, Associated Press, on PBS News Hour,

English Catholic bishop’s installation models synodality with abuse victims
“The installation of the new bishop of Hexham and Newcastle in the northeast of England was very different from the usual ceremonies to inaugurate bishops. It included a moment, without obvious precedent, that points to how a synodal, listening church can respond to the clerical sexual abuse scandal. Thirty minutes into the liturgy, Bishop Stephen Wright, the new leader of the diocese, came down the sanctuary steps to greet three abuse survivors who presented him with prayer ribbons representing victims of abuse. These ribbons were then tied to the bishop’s episcopal chair.” By Christopher Lamb, National Catholic Reporter

Catholic church seeks to stop family’s lawsuit over George Pell child abuse allegations
“The Catholic church is seeking to challenge a legal ruling in Victoria that would allow the father of a choirboy to sue for damages over allegations of child sexual abuse by Cardinal George Pell. The father, who cannot be named for legal reasons, filed a claim against the Catholic archdiocese of Melbourne and Pell. He claims to have suffered nervous shock after learning of allegations that Pell sexually abused his now deceased son in the mid-1990s.” By Australian Associated Press in The Guardian

Click here to read the rest of this issue of Focus …

Review of Just Church

Catholic theological ethicist Maureen O’Connell discusses Phyliss Zagano’s book, Just Church and its importance as we approach the Synod. “In her trademark no-nonsense style, Zagano mines the Catholic tradition for the insights that arise when we enter more fully into tensions and contradictions of our current reality — most notably the contradiction of women’s simultaneous peripheral status within the church despite the fact that we are its very center through our disproportionate presence in the pews and labor in serving its mission. Most important for me, as an emerging community organizer in the church, was Zagano’s “power mapping” of clericalism — e.g., its canonical sources, who is exercising it and how, Pope Francis’ own evolving sense of it, and women’s motivations for interrupting it.“

To read more, click here.

To read more about VOTF’s work regarding Women’s Voices, click here.

Letter to the Editor

I just wanted to tell you that I thought this was a great issue of the Vineyard. It was brief and to the point and all of the information was of interest. It is exactly what I am looking for in a busy world.


M. Roylance


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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