In the Vineyard: March 3, 2017

In the Vineyard :: March 3, 2017 :: Volume 17, Issue 4

News from National

Resignation of Marie Collins from Vatican Commission

Marie Collins’ resignation this week from the Vatican’s Pontifical Commission for the Protection of Minors is a blow to the Church’s child protection efforts.

The lone clergy abuse survivor left on the Commission, she expressed her frustration at the inability of the Commission to move the Catholic Church to more universal and effective child protection measures and healing from its clergy sexual abuse scandal.

VOTF has known Collins to be dedicated to the protection of minors and a stalwart force against the Church’s intransigence in addressing clerical sex abuse. As the featured speaker at VOTF’s 2015 National Assembly, she expressed hope in the Commission’s work and a willingness to be patient while the Church worked to implement child protection measures globally. She also has supported VOTF’s Broken Vessels™ Healing Circles that offer a path towards healing for abuse victims/survivors …

Click here to read the rest of VOTF’s statement, and click here to read VOTF’s blog discussing a National Catholic Reporter editorial and the clericalism underlying the abuse scandal.

For VOTF quotes regarding the resignation, see the Focus links to The Boston Globe and New York Times reporting. Also read the National Catholic Reporter opinion column and note their words on clericalism, an issue VOTF has long cited as a central cause of the sex abuse coverups.

UPDATE: In a follow-up report, Cardinal O’Malley said he shared some of Mrs. Collins’ concerns, called her an “extraordinary contributor” to the Commission’s work, and expressed his gratitude that she will continue to work in a program to teach bishops about protecting children.

Thank You!

We thank the Concord VOTF affiliate for their generous donation to the our Healing Circles program. The Circles are professionally facilitated conversations that offer opportunities for healing from harm caused by the Catholic clergy sexual abuse scandal. Sharing one’s truth and listening to another’s truth connects participants’ stories of broken trust, suffering, and frustration into a shared journey toward healing.

Find out more about VOTF Broken Vessel™ Healing Circles …

Join VOTF Concord in supporting this healing program …

Resources for Lent

Here are three resources you may find helpful for your Lenten meditations and actions: a message from the Pope, reflections twice a week from VOTF members, and weekly “GodPods” from Prof. Thomas Groome, Director of Boston College’s Church in the 21st Century Center.

Pope Francis shared a special Lenten message.

In his message for Lent 2017, Pope Francis reminded the faithful that they should heed the Scriptures and treat each human person they encounter as a gift.

“Lent is the favorable season for renewing our encounter with Christ, living in his word, in the sacraments and in our neighbor,” he said. “May the Holy Spirit lead us on a true journey of conversion, so that we can rediscover the gift of God’s word, be purified of the sin that blinds us, and serve Christ present in our brothers and sisters in need.”

From VOTF…

During Lent, Voice of the Faithful will send you emails with links to short reflections written by VOTF members and links to the daily liturgical readings. Look for the emails twice each week, on Wednesdays and Sundays. Click here to read these thoughtful reflections.

From Boston College’s Church in the 21st Century…

Professor Thomas Groome, Director of Boston College’s Church in the 21st Century Center, will share his thoughts on the season and the importance of passing on the faith. A new Reflection will be posted on Friday for each week of Lent. To listen to this wonderful resource, use C21’s GodPod page.

Help VOTF Get FREE Advertising in The Boston Globe

The Boston Globe has announced the return of its GRANT Ad program. Subscribers can select the non-profit they believe most deserves free advertising space in the paper. Thanks to you, VOTF received a GRANT Ad the last three years in a row.

Naturally, we hope you’ll choose VOTF again this year.

The Globe recently started mailing and emailing subscribers vouchers for free ad dollars. When you receive your voucher, please apply it to VOICE OF THE FAITHFUL, INC. (just start typing VOI … and the drop-down selection menu should take you directly to that choice).

We will earn free advertising space based on the voucher dollars we earn. And the more voucher dollars, the bigger our ad.

This is a great opportunity to spread the word about VOTF, and you can make the difference. Each year since the Globe started this program, Globe subscribers have recognized more than 3,000 charities in New England, and more than 400 have received free ad space.

Send in your Globe GRANT voucher marked for VOICE OF THE FAITHFUL, INC., just as soon as you receive it, so you don’t forget. If you don’t receive a voucher, click here and follow the instructions on the Globe website to cast your vote for VOTF.

Book Review

In the Image of Christ: Essays on Being Catholic and Female

Reviewed by Donna B. Doucette

Phyllis Zagano’s writings are always crisp, clear, well-reasoned, and so filled with common-sense logic that one imagines “the hierarchy is always right” adherents stuffing their ears with cotton and donning blindfolds to avoid the obvious that she so matter of factly exposes.

Phyllis has in years past been an occasional contributor to National Catholic Reporter and other media; she has written and co-authored more than a dozen books about women deacons and her research on the female diaconate, on Catholic spirituality, Catholic women pioneers, and more. But since accepting appointment to the Vatican’s Study Commission on the Women’s Diaconate, we have had limited access to her voice. One can imagine that perhaps all Commission members have been asked not to speak or write publicly about their work until the Commission completes its tasks.

Fortunately for us, we can still hear Dr. Zagano’s voice, especially on the issues of women in the Church, through a collection organized by ACTA Publications. In the Image of Christ: Essays on Being Catholic and Female (Chicago IL, 2015) collects some of the columns she wrote for National Catholic Reporter, Religion News Service, and others. Although different from formal academic writing, Phyllis says, her columns still return frequently to the theme of women in the Church. “The few columns printed here were selected by ACTA publisher Greg Pierce … [these] carefully selected few coherently present my case and my views.”

If you need a reminder about why the Commission is so important, and even if you don’t, this is a good compilation of why the Church must confront its women problem—and it is, indeed, the male hierarchy with the problem—or risk losing all that Christ expects from us, the People of God.

NOTE: If you purchase this book or others by Phyllis from Amazon and use our VOTF link to do so, you not only help spread the author’s work, you also do a little good for VOTF, which receives a percentage of each purchase made through our coded Amazon link.


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


Abuse victim quits Vatican Commission, citing ‘resistance’
“A high-profile member of a commission advising Pope Francis on ways to protect minors from sexual abuse by the clergy resigned from the panel on Wednesday Mar. 1, citing what she called ‘cultural resistance’ from the Vatican. Marie Collins, who was molested by a priest in Ireland when she was 13, expressed frustration over what she called reluctance among the Roman Catholic Church’s hierarchy to implement the commission’s recommendations — even those approved by the pope.” By Elisabetta Povoledo and Gaia Pianigiani (Story quotes Voice of the Faithful)

Sole abuse survivor on a Vatican sex-abuse panel quits, by Lisa Wangsness, The Boston Globe (Story quotes Voice of the Faithful)

Pope quietly trims sanctions for sex abusers seeking mercy
“Pope Francis has quietly reduced sanctions against a handful of pedophile priests, applying his vision of a merciful church even to its worst offenders in ways that survivors of abuse and the pope’s own advisers question. One case has come back to haunt him: An Italian priest who received the pope’s clemency was later convicted by an Italian criminal court for his sex crimes against children as young as 12. The Rev. Mauro Inzoli is now facing a second church trial after new evidence emerged against him.” By Nicole Whitfield, Associated Press

Survivors denounce handling of Peru abuse case, By Associated Press on

Is Francis actually backsliding on punishing abuse? By Michael Sean Winters,

‘Criminally negligent’: Catholic archbishops criticize church’s handling of abuse scanda
“Australia’s most senior Catholic leaders have conceded that the church’s handling of the child sexual abuse crisis was ‘hopelessly inadequate,’ had catastrophic consequences, and amounted to ‘criminal negligence,’ Five of Australia’s metropolitan archbishops appeared before the child abuse royal commission and were asked to explain how the church had allowed the abuse of at least 4,444 children between 1980 and 2015.” By Christopher Knaus, The Guardian

An opportunity for deep reform in the church
‘Sad to admit, the evidence is clear that the church in Australia is sick to its institutional core. It has a nasty, though treatable cancer that is being fed by a pervasive clericalism’ … Australia might also become a test bed for what needs repair and how it can be done in the Catholic Church. The facts are friendly. Those reported in La Croix International by Frank Brennan on Feb 14 are staggering statistics. Some of them are new and some are have been in the public domain for some years.” By Peter Day, La Croix International

The Catholic wrap-up at the Australian government’s abuse inquiry, By Frank Brennan, La Croix International

Cardinal Burke presides over trial investigating Guam archbishop
“Cardinal Raymond Burke, a church law expert and former head of the Vatican’s highest court, arrived in Guam Feb. 15 as the presiding judge in a church trial investigating allegations of sexual abuse leveled against Archbishop Anthony Apuron of Agana. The Vatican press office confirmed a ‘tribunal of the first instance’ was constituted by the Vatican Oct. 5 and its presiding judge is Cardinal Burke.” By Cindy Wooden, Catholic New Service, in National Catholic Reporter

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


Saint Susanna’s Adult Faith Formation, Dedham MA

Presentations run from 7:00 to 9:00 PM at the Parish Hall, 262 Needham Street, Dedham. There is no pre-registration requirement, there is no fee, and the refreshments are free. Free Will Offerings are gratefully accepted to cover the costs of our program.

March 6, 2017 – The Sacraments in the 21st Century, with Father Peter Folan, SJ, PhD Candidate at Boston College School of Theology and Ministry.

The Sacraments have not always looked the same over the 2,000 years of the Church’s existence. One example, it is no longer our usual practice to submerge people in a running river for Baptism. Another example, for a thousand years the Sacrament of Marriage had no ceremony at the church at all, and for a few hundred additional years, the sacrament was celebrated outside the front of the church.

Prior to the start of the Second Vatican Council, much of sacramental theology amounted to little more than the application of the Code of Canon Law to the church’s liturgical life. Practically speaking, this meant an outsized reliance on a mechanistic understanding of the sacraments, seeing them almost exclusively through a cause-and-effect lens. It was almost like a set of rigid instructions for assembling a piece of furniture. The vocabulary of form, matter, validity, and whether it was done in accord with Canon Law, to name only a few key terms, was the pre-conciliar grammar of sacramental theology.

With the dawn of the 21st century, however, things have changed.

This talk will explore one of those innovations, namely, the construction of a sacramental theology around the idea of “symbolic exchange,” for which the concept of gift serves as a foundation. Father Folan will discuss this change as part of a variety of new ways to think about the sacraments in the church today. Prior to coming to Boston College, he held a faculty position at the University of Scranton, and is a contributor to America, the national Jesuit magazine, and The Jesuit Post.

March 13, 2017 – Carmelite Spirituality – Joanne Mongeon will speak on Carmelite Spirituality as part of a continuing series on meditation and spirituality in different faith systems (e.g., Buddhism, Eastern Centering Prayer). Carmelite Spirituality is Christian Spirituality accessible to all. It centers on prayer, understood as loving friendship with God, and contemplation as a free gift of God.

This interactive workshop will focus on the source of Carmelite spirituality and the Rule of St. Albert as well as on the writings of the founders of Discalced Carmel, Sts. Teresa of Avila and John of the Cross. You will be invited to pray and to share during this workshop, which will also explore the apostolic nature of Carmelite spirituality.

Dr. Joanne Parnell Mongeon, OCDS, has been a Secular Carmelite for 30 years and, for much of that time, was Director of Formation or Director of Ongoing Formation for the Secular Carmelites of the Barrington RI Carmel. In that capacity she gave monthly talks on Sts. Teresa of Avila, John of the Cross, Therese, Elizabeth of the Trinity. She has been a director of RCIA for more than 30 years, and is a published author with Sadlier and Benziger Publishing Companies. Her most recent books are Chatting With Mother Mary, for 23rd Publishing Co. and St. Teresa of Avila: A Journal. She prefers an interactive teaching style to a lecture style presentation.

Letter to the Editor

I agree with the whole article about the Waynesville parish (North Carolina ‘Church in Exile’ battles restorationists). I am a retired priest of the Diocese of Charlotte (54 years this year). The situation is scandalous. Where are the rights of the people to have a spirit as well as a liturgy and collaboration in accord with Vatican II? ​

The only part of the article with which I disagree is the part dealing with a negative and punitive reaction of Bishop Jugis. Bishop Jugis does not face the issue of the numerous parishes which are going through similar behavior. He, in my estimation, would not retaliate against any priest who expressed the feelings of priests in the diocese. I hope sincerely that the Waynesville parish, as well as others, would be addressed and changed.

E. Sheridan

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Questions, Comments?

Please send them to Siobhan Carroll, Vineyard Editor, at (link sends e-mail). Unless otherwise indicated, I will assume comments can be published as Letters to the Editor.

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