In the Vineyard: August 26, 2016

In the Vineyard :: August 26, 2016 :: Volume 16, Issue 16

News at National

Crucible Moments and the Role of Conscience

Please join us for a conversation about refugee crises and profiles of others’ “crucible moments” with authors David and Sasha Chanoff, sponsored by VOTF and the Boston College Church in the 21st Century Center. Sunday, Sept. 11, 2016, 2:30 p.m., Church of St. Ignatius of Loyola, 28 Commonwealth Ave., Chestnut Hill. Reception follows discussion. Free.

Click here to RSVP for “Crucible Moments and the Role of Conscience.”

If you’ve already RSVPed, thanks very much.
Click here for a “Crucible Moments” flyer you can print and distribute.
Click here for book review, “Jim Post Profile in Book on Moral Choices.”
Hope to see you Sept. 11 at St. Ignatius Church.

Supporting Women Deacons

Reiterating a call first made in 2013, the Association of U.S. Catholic Priests has praised the creation of a papal commission to study the ordination of women deacons on behalf of their 1,000 members. “We believe the ordination of women deacons will enhance pastoral ministry and serve the common good of the People of God.” The statement is below:

Association of U.S. Catholic Priests Statement Regarding
Ordination of Women Deacons, August 22, 2016
We who are entrusted with leadership on behalf of the one thousand members of the Association of U.S. Catholic Priests, welcome with praise and prayer the recent decision by Pope Francis to establish a commission regarding the possible ordination of women deacons. We praise the openness of this discussion and offer our prayers that the Holy Spirit will guide the members of the commission. We are pleased to learn that Professor Phyllis Zagano from Hofstra University in Hempstead, NY, is one of the six women who have been named to serve with six men as members of the commission.

We enthusiastically welcome these developments.

We believe the ordination of women deacons will enhance pastoral ministry and serve the common good of the People of God. Our association has supported the ordination of women to the diaconate with a resolution adopted in our 2013 assembly and with a letter to the U.S. bishops in 2014. We noted that many priests “find ourselves very stretched in ministry with more and more demands being made on us daily … One way to help assist us in our duties would be to allow the ordination of women to the diaconate, a practice that was familiar to the early church, in order to help us better serve the people entrusted to us.

Read more

Light Years from 1984: Where Are We Going from Here?

By Thomas P. Doyle, J.C.D., C.A.D.C. Doyle is a priest, canon lawyer, addictions therapist and long-time supporter of justice and compassion for clergy sex abuse victims. Tom has a doctorate in canon law and five master’s degrees. Since 1984, when he became involved with the issue of sexual abuse of children by Catholic clergy while serving at the Papal Embassy, he has become an expert in the canonical and pastoral dimensions of this problem—working directly with victims, their families, accused priests, and high-ranking Church officials. He recently distributed this written version of his report to the SNAP conference in June 2016.

Part 1 of a 5-part series

The present era of awareness of sexual violation by Catholic clerics began in 1983 in two Catholic dioceses: the Archdiocese of St. Paul and Minneapolis and the Diocese of Lafayette in Louisiana. This was not the start date of the problem of sexual violation but the beginning of widespread public awareness.
The reality of sexually dysfunctional clerics preying on minors and adults goes back through the centuries. In our lifetimes, it has been covered with a thick blanket of secrecy. It was unknown to the vast majority of lay persons and clerics as well. Many bishops knew about it but when they had to confront real cases they did so in secret with only a very small number of their closest advisors, all clerics, involved. Although they knew about sexual violation of minors in general, they were incapable of comprehending both its deeply pathological nature and its disastrous effects on victims.

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The Pope’s Prayer Intention for August

As the Olympics finishes up, the Pope prays that sports can be used as a path to peace.

Book Review: Are you Still a Priest?
By Svea Fraser

The title of this book is written with a question mark.
It could also be written with an explanation point!
Gerry Kleba is a parish priest whose book definitively answers the question “Are you Still a Priest?” in the affirmative.

I had the great pleasure of meeting Gerry at the Chicago convention of the Association of U.S. Priests at the end of June. A tall lanky man with bright blue eyes, his enthusiasm and spunk belie his nearly 50 years in the priesthood. He was eager to share his book “Are You Still a Priest?” True Stories of Tension and Trust and gave me a copy to read. In exchange, I offered to write this review.

I wasn’t prepared for the hope and joy it gave me as I got to know Gerry through his ministry. Ordained just after the close of Vatican II in 1967, Gerry was ushered into his ministry on the fresh wind of the Holy Spirit that blew through the Council. By asking himself the question “Am I where our Lord would have me be?” (quoting George Bernanos’ book The Diary of a Country Priest), he met people where they were and was a model of servant ministry.

Read more

If you would like to buy Are You Still a Priest?, please click here:
Purchases from Amazon made through this link will result in a small donation to VOTF


Highlighting issues we face working together to Keep the Faith, Change the Church

Cardinal Marx in Germany faces accusations over his handling of sex-abuse cases. Pope Francis is getting requests to ordain married men and some speculate the next synod may focus on this question and others affecting the ministry. Everyone seems to be writing about women deacons and the work expected from the new commission. Click here for these stories and others we are following.

Pope Francis and Syrian Refugees

Yesterday, Pope Francis has lunch with 21 Syrian refugees. He gave the children gifts and the children, in turn, gave the Pope drawings they had made. Watch the video, here.

Letter to the Editor

I am following with interest the discussion on Women Deacons. I believe that women should be Deacons and for that matter Priests. I note with concern the debate between ordained and non-ordained women deacons. Do women obtain any meaningful improvement in their status and dignity in the Church if we end non-ordained Deacons?

K. Booth

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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