In the Vineyard: August 7, 2015

In the Vineyard :: August 7, 2015 :: Volume 15, Issue 15

News from National

Spotlight” trailer previews movie about The Boston Globe clergy sexual abuse investigation
Investigative reporting by The Boston Globe that revealed clergy sexual abuse of children in the Boston Archdiocese is now the subject of a major motion picture. The Globe’s Spotlight Team stories led to a 2003 Pulitzer Prize and broke open the abuse scandal in the Church—some 17 years after Fr. Tom Doyle, attorney Ray Mouton, and Fr. Michael Peterson warned the Vatican that hundreds of priests could be involved and the Church could lose millions in lawsuits and settlements.

Movie producers released the “Spotlight” movie trailer last week. It premieres at several film festivals later this summer and is scheduled for wide release toward the end of November.

Reportedly the movie ends at the point when The Globe publishes the series detailing the abuse and the coverups. But what happened next—how Catholics first in Boston and then across the world responded to the revelations—is critical for understanding how despite such horrible crimes, we can still speak of hope for the reforms needed to guard against it happening again. Voice of the Faithful grew out of those revelations, as a response to our anger, astonishment, and feelings of betrayal. Our “VOTF: A Retrospective” film, from the 10th Year Conference, captures some of those remembrances (here’s a short sample). We’re still working to address the harm and to lead reforms that “keep the faith, change our Church.”

Prepping for Pope’s U.S. Visit

Help us deliver important messages about the need for healing, the need for reform, and the needs of lay Catholics around Pope Francis’ September U.S. visit.
We’re extending a special invitation to Pope Francis, though an ad in the National Catholic Reporter special edition in September.

But placement depends on YOU, as do expenses for teams we’ll send to promote VOTF’s message in the cities he visits.

Help us raise funds for the ad, for actions related to the Pope’s visit, and for VOTF President Mark Mullaney to carry our Family Synod responses to Rome in October, along with descriptions of our work to help renew and reform the Church:

  • Healing Circles to address wounds from the clergy sexual abuse experienced by survivors/victims, families, and our faith communities;

  • Financial Accountability web portal to help Catholics see where their donated dollars go so that theft, fraud and payoffs to sex abusers don’t go unchecked; and

  • Wider lay input into bishop selection, support for a married priesthood, return of female deacons, enhanced child protection policies, and much more — all aimed at increasing our voices in the governance of the Church.

Click here to donate today, or send your check to VOTF, P.O. Box 423, Newton, MA 02464.

Affiliate News

News from the Winchester Affiliate
By Frances Shawcross

Looking for some progam ideas for things to do at affiliate meetings? Following is an update from the Winchester affiliate on meeting agendas when there are no invited speakers and some programs that were held last fall. Does your affiliate do anything that might inspire other affiliates? If so, please let us know – affiliates are always looking for ideas!

Our group has a tradition of meeting every Monday evening from September through June, but this winter we did something different. Instead of formal Monday meetings in January and February, we offered an optional hour of Spiritual Maintenance: prayer, scripture, and faith-sharing on predetermined topics, e.g. Courage, Forgiveness, Truth.

The format for the meetings, which were attended by 6 – 8 people, can be found here.

In March, 13 members met to discuss and submit the surveyPreparation for the 2015 Family Synod. A very good meeting!
In April, one meeting was devoted to Prayers and Reflections for the 50-day Easter Season. Members brought and shared a favorite prayer, Scripture passage, or inspirational reading. (We had a similar meeting last December for the Advent season). Incidentally, every December, we devote a meeting to the Christmas Anticipation Prayer Service, found on the VOTF website at

We have programs with and about survivors. Last November, survivor David O’Regan, Worcester-Boston SNAP Director, talked about the impact of WAVOTF on his life (he first spoke to us in 2004) and survivor Alexa McPherson shared her story and her gratitude. The following week, John and Susan Michalczyk presented their documentary A Matter of Conscience about Catholic whistleblowers.

More recently, we spent a meeting discussing the proposed Francis Forum, an initiative of STTOP. The plan is to provide an opportunity for survivors and their advocates to share their thoughts with Pope Francis.


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


Milwaukee archdiocese settles for $21 million with abuse victims
“The Roman Catholic Archdiocese of Milwaukee said Tuesday (Aug. 4) that it will pay $21 million to more than 300 victims of clergy abuse in a settlement that would end a four-year bankruptcy proceeding … Attorney Jeff Anderson, who represents 350 of the approximately 570 people with bankruptcy claims, criticized the archdiocese for trying to have hundreds of claims thrown out of court before a November bankruptcy hearing. As a result, the creditors’ committee was forced to prevent the case from being drawn out any longer, Anderson said.” By Scott Bauer, Associated Press, in The Boston Globe
Milwaukee archdiocese to give $21 million to survivors of clergy sexual abuse, By Marie Rohde, National Catholic Reporter
330 to share $21 million in abuse settlement with Milwaukee archdiocese, By Mitch Smith, The New York Times
Milwaukee’s rancorous Catholic Church abuse case may finally be settled, By National Public Radio

Victims’ advocates hope pope looks into Newark archbishop
“Priests, nuns, and canon lawyers who advocate for molestation victims urged Pope Francis on Wednesday (July 29) to use the new Vatican tribunal he formed on negligent bishops to investigate the archbishop of Newark, who has long been accused of sheltering abusive priests.” By Rachel Zoll, Associated Press, on, also in The Boston Globe
Abuse whistleblowers seek Vatican inquiry of Newark Archbishop Myers, By Brian Roewe, National Catholic Reporter

In search of Cardinal Bernard Law
“When Bernard Cardinal Law, Archbishop of Boston, fled to the Vatican in 2002, he left behind a trail of human and financial wreckage: 550 victims abused by parish priests and court judgments that eventually topped $85 million. Meanwhile, Law was assigned a comfortable post in Rome, where he disappeared from the headlines.” By Phillip Martin, WGBH-FM

Trailer debuts for ‘Spotlight’ film on Boston Globe sex abuse investigation
“The first trailer released Wednesday (July 29) for the film ‘Spotlight,’ which follows the Boston Globe’s investigation into clergy sexual abuse in the Boston archdiocese in the early 2000s. The investigation began in 2001 and published its first stories in January 2002. The reports ultimately led to the resignation of Cardinal Bernard Law in December of that year … The investigation won the newspaper the 2003 Pulitzer Prize for Public Service.” By Brian Roewe, National Catholic Reporter

Do the U.S. bishops get it?
“It’s been 30 years since Jason Berry broke the Catholic sex abuse story by courageously reporting on the case of serial abuser Fr. Gilbert Gauthe in Louisiana … The National Catholic Reporter immediately took the plunge and before long the mainstream media lost its fear of reporting how bishops systematically put the protection of their clergy and their church’s reputation ahead of the protection of minors.” By Mark Silk, Religion News Service

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

Join FutureChurch for a Teleconference with Astrid Lobo Gajiwala
August 26, 2015
11:00 AM (eastern time)

Join Future Church from the comfort of your own home or office as they welcome Astrid Lobo Gajiwala, one of the chief architects of the 2010 Bishops’ Conference of India Gender Policy. Astrid will discuss the creation and implementation of this policy and how it may be used as a “blueprint” for similar policies in other countries. Free to participate. Register today!

Astrid is actively involved in creating policies in the Indian Church for women who form the anawim or “poor ones”—vulnerable, exploited, marginalized. She brings hope not only to the women of India, but to women throughout the world. Astrid is a fascinating woman, actively involved in science and theology at the same time. She has also committed much of her time to throwing the spotlight on the challenges faced and posed by interfaith marriages, as she encounters them on a daily basis.


VOTF NJ Retreat with Barbara Fiand, SNDdeN
Registration is Open Saturday, October 3, 2015
9:30 am – 4 pm at
St. Mark’s Lutheran Church
100 Harter Rd., Morristown, NJ

“Know thyself” is a plea that has stirred human questing ever since it is claimed that Socrates challenged his followers to do so thousands of years ago. But what s our true self, and how can we approach it and embrace it in our time with the insights that have been given to us in our age, especially in the area of holistic spirituality? During our time together we will reflect on this fascinating question especially in the light of what science tells us today about our fundamental interconnectedness, about the unfathomable Mystery to which even the most sophisticated scientific research must yield, about universal consciousness and the broadening of human awareness and the effects our intentionality has on the environment.

All are welcome!

Letter to the Editor

For about two years or so, quite a number of churches have started using Latin for the “Holy, Holy” and “The Lamb of God” in their Sunday liturgies. Why?

Even the election of Pope Francis has not stopped this trend. Is any group watching the liturgy and addressing apparent attempt to bring back Latin?
P. Hardiman

Questions, Comments?

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

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