News at National
VOTF Helps Win Justice for Fired Fordham Assistant Dean
A recipient of a grant from the Voice of the Faithful Emily & Rosemary Fund for Women in the Church has settled her discrimination suit against Fordham University after six years of litigation in what, she says, may be the first settlement without a confidentiality agreement in Fordham’s history.
In 2010, VOTF awarded Carolyn Johnson, Ed.D, of Chestnut Ridge, New York, a $10,000 Emily & Rosemary Fund grant to help pay her legal fees and living expenses after Fordham fired her from her position as Graduate School of Religion assistant dean. In her lengthy grant application, Johnson said that, after four months of sex discrimination and mistreatment, she filed a complaint with Fordham’s equal employment opportunity office and was fired a week later.
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Did You Know?
VOTF provided training in July for additional Healing Circlesfacilitators—a step that allows us to deliver more services when requested. Noted trainer Kay Pranis led the three-day training at Suffolk University’s Center for Restorative Justice. We covered the costs for nine attendees, and we remain committed to hosting Circles free for all participants.
And did you know that we are co-hosting the 3rd International Conference of Priest Movements and Reform Organizations in October, along with FutureChurch and the Association of U.S. Catholic Priests? It’s a key opportunity to consider the ways we can build momentum for necessary reforms within the Church—and a chance for us to bring your voices to the table.
That’s two reasons we hope, as you sip lemonade this summer at the beach—or in a nice air-conditioned cottage—you take the time to click this link and donate to VOTF.
Summers are always our toughest months, when funding dips its lowest even while demands like the Circle training remain high. We could use your help.
Save the Date! Sept. 11, 2016
VOTF and BC’s Church in the 21st Century are co-sponsoring an afternoon with David and Sasha Chanoff, authors of From Crisis to Calling: Finding Your Moral Center in the Toughest Decisions which features a profile of Jim Post and the founding of VOTF. The topic is especially pertinent to the theme for C21’s next two semesters of programming: Conscience.
We’ll have more details soon, but mark your calendars for 2:30 pm and the hall at St. Ignatius church next to Boston College. We’re planning a discussion on “crucible moments” and a small reception.
James Joyce and Church Reform
This past spring, Dr. William Mottolese, of Sacred Heart Greenwich, a K-12 Catholic school in Connecticut, gave a talk to the Bridgeport VOTF chapter on the ways that James Joyce in his novel Portrait of the Artist as a Young Man diagnoses the ills of the turn-of-the century Church in Ireland in a way that anticipates the reforms of the Second Vatican Council.
James Joyce has become one of Ireland’s most beloved writers, famous because he both celebrated and criticized the Irish culture that he knew so well. At the center of Joyce’s critique is his rejection of the Catholic Church.
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VOTF at Priests Assembly … More on the Event
In the last issue, we reported to you on our visit to the 2016 assembly of the Association of U.S. Catholic Priests, held in Chicago. Here’s a bit more on that meeting: reports from two of the speakers at the meeting—Sr. Carol Zinn, SSJ, and Dr. Massimo Faggioli—and the handout we used for the Clericalism colloquium.
Check the VOTF web site for a roundup of the entire event.
Highlighting issues we face working together to Keep the Faith, Change the Church
Documents show Vatican official allegedly stopped Minnesota investigation
“A Vatican spokesman says the release of documents alleging its former ambassador to the U.S. stopped an investigation of a Minnesota archbishop ‘is a very complex issue’ that will require further study. ‘We need more information before we can make any comment,’ the Rev. Federico Lombardi said.” By Emily McFarlan Miller, Religion News Service
— Minnesota priests’ memo says Vatican ambassador tried to stifle sex abuse inquiry, By Laurie Goodstein and Richard Perez-Pena, The New York Times
Criminal charges dropped against Twin Cities archdiocese after it admits wrongdoing in abuse case
“Criminal charges against the St. Paul-Minneapolis archdiocese were dropped Wednesday (Jul. 20) after it agreed to a revision of its civil settlement that added ‘direct and public admission of wrongdoing’ for its role in the sexual abuse of three minors by a former priest. The charges, brought last summer by Ramsey County Attorney John Choi, alleged a ‘failure to protect children’ on the part of the archdiocese in relation to three minors sexually abused in 2010 by former priest Curtis Wehmeyer.” By Brian Roewe, National Catholic Reporter
— Criminal charges against Minnesota archdiocese dropped, By Catholic News Service on Philly.com
Francis mandates changes for contemplative women religious, requests revision of constitutions
“Pope Francis has issued a new wide-ranging set of guidelinesfor how the tens of thousands of Catholic women religious living in contemplative communities around the world should regulate their lifestyles, calling on them to implement changes in 12 diverse areas from prayer life to work habits.” By Joshua J. McElwee, National Catholic Reporter
A dicastery for the laity
“A new department of the Roman Curia will come into existence on Sept. 1, called the Dicastery for the Laity, the Family and Life. The pontifical councils for the laity and for the family will cease to exist then, and the Pontifical Academy for Life will come under the umbrella of the new dicastery. There was some surprise, however, that in the statute signed by Pope Francis on June 4, this new body is called a dicastery.” By Gerard O’Connell, America: The National Catholic Review
Pennsylvania high court denies appeal, Msgr. Lynn set for second prison exit
“A decision from the Pennsylvania Supreme Court Tuesday (Jul. 26) opened the door for Msgr. William Lynn to exit state prison as he awaits a new trial for his role in the supervision of a sexually abusive priest of the Philadelphia archdiocese. The state Supreme Court rejected a petition from the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania to review an appeal court’s overturning of Lynn’s 2012 conviction for endangering the welfare of a child. Lynn, the archdiocesan secretary for clergy from 1992 to 2004, was the first U.S. church official convicted for his handling of sexual abuse allegations.” By Brian Roewe, National Catholic Reporter
Click here to read the rest of this issue of Focus …
Loving the Poor – Catholic Social Teaching
The USCCB and Catholic Relief Services has put out a video series on Catholic Social Teaching. Watch Cardinal Luis Antonio Tagle, Fr. James Martin, SJ, Kerry Weber, and Thomas Awiapo discuss the Preferential Option for the Poor and Vulnerable. Watch Option for the Poor and Vulnerable.
A Meditation on the Good Samaritan, the Other, and the Cycle of Violence in Our Country
Father James Martin recently recorded a video about understanding the deeper, more threatening, and more radical, meaning of the famous parable of the Good Samaritan. Watch his mediation on the famous Gospel reading here.
LETTER TO THE EDITOR
What would the Catholic church be like now if the emphasis had been on mercy and love instead of stomping on heretics and demanding strict obedience? Heresy: Women were at Last Supper at the institution of the Eucharist. Would Yeshua, a good Jewish boy, exclude His Jewish Mother from the Passover just to be with the boys? What about the women who followed Him from Galilee? Did not the disciplines on the road to Emmaus recognize Yeshua in the breaking of the Bread? Were more than just the apostles at the Last Supper?
A Vineyard Reader
Please send them to Siobhan Carroll, Vineyard Editor, at Vineyard@votf.org. Unless otherwise indicated, I will assume comments can be published as Letters to the Editor.