In the Vineyard: March 5, 2016

In the Vineyard :: March 4, 2016 :: Volume 16, Issue 5

News from National

Join Us March 19 for “Spotlight on Spotlight”!
Featuring The Boston Globe’s Spotlight Reporters

Spotlight on Spotlight will feature a panel Q&A with Walter Robinson and Michael Rezendes, two of The Boston GlobeSpotlight reporters who exposed the abuse coverups. We’re meeting at the spectacular Shalin Liu Performance Center in Rockport MA.

Our special fundraising event features a Q&A panel discussion and a reception with the reporters—and for those who wish to refresh their memory about Spotlight, the film will be shown before the Q&A.

Spotlight on Spotlight will focus on Voice of the Faithful’s ongoing efforts in child protection and survivor support, which are among our overall mission and goals along with supporting survivors of clergy sexual abuse, supporting priests of integrity, and increasing the laity’s roles in the governance and guidance of the Church.

When: Saturday, March 19, 2016 (1 p.m. Spotlight showing; 3:30 p.m. Panel Discussion; 4:15 p.m. Reception in the third-floor panorama room)

Where: Shalin Liu Performance Center, 37 Main St., Rockport MA: (click here for directions and parking)

Cost: $50.00 (includes panel discussion and reception; if you wish to refresh your memory about Spotlight, attend the 1 p.m. showing)

Tickets: Click here for tickets (All tickets are being sold through the Shalin Liu Performance Center website and at the box office on the day of the event.)

Please invite your friends for this special event!

For the Lenten Season, VOTF is running daily reflections, which you can access from the “carousel” at the top of the home page. Below is today’s Reflection.

Nothing is more practical than finding God,
than falling in Love in a quiet absolute, final way.
What you are in love with,
what seizes your imagination, will affect everything.
It will decide what will get you out of bed in the morning,
what you do with your evenings,
how you spend your weekends,
what you read, whom you know,
what breaks your heart,
and what amazes you with joy and gratitude.
Fall in Love, stay in love,
And it will decide everything. (Pedro Arrupe, SJ)

Readings for Mar. 4, 2016, Friday of the Third Week of Lent
Reading 1 — Hosea 14:2-10
Responsorial Psalm — Psalm 81:6C-8A, 8BC-9, 10-11AB, 14 and 17
Verse Before The Gospel — Matthew 4:17
Gospel — Mark 12:28-34

To see today’s readings, click here for USCCB’s Daily Readings …(link is external)
Click here to go to Mar. 5 Reflection …

Thinking More About Lent?
Jesus, fully human and fully divine. A Lenten Mystery, by Father James Martin discusses the mystery of Jesus’ two natures.

‘Spotlight’ movie receives Best Picture Oscar, VOTF assesses scandal
The critically acclaimed movie “Spotlight” received the Best Picture Oscar Feb. 28. The film about how The Boston Globe investigated and brought to light clergy sexual abuse of children and its coverup in the Archdiocese of Boston has brought renewed awareness to the scandal worldwide.

But many Catholics have had a heightened sense of the crisis all along. Some of those Catholics, determined to remain faithful while addressing the scandal, formed Voice of the Faithful only a couple of months after the Globe’s sensational January 2002 story appeared.

VOTF continues its work more than a decade later because the scandal remains “a mass psychological dysfunction hidden in plain sight, which has stretched back decades or even centuries and will, unchecked, do precisely the same in the future,” according to Peter Bradshaw’s “Spotlight” review in The Guardian. (National Catholic Reporter published an earlier version of this statement on Feb. 25.)
(Read the full statement.)

Before Spotlight – Some Background Memories
By Thomas P. Doyle

March 1, 2016
Part 1 of a 2-part series

I have learned over the past 32 years to be skeptical about much that surrounds the constant reality of clergy sex abuse. Much of my skepticism is rooted in the non-stop statements of bishops and popes. Its been mostly hot, foul air created by P.R. consultants and clever writers that bears resemblance to the truth only by default.

I have been overjoyed and grateful that “Spotlight” has been receiving accolades since it came out and was even more so when it was nominated for best picture but I admit that my skepticism got the best of me and I was preparing to be disappointed right up to the moment Morgan Freeman opened the envelope. Then…Whammo! When the “stun” wore off and I realized what had just happened I knew that this crusade so many people have been involved with for over a quarter of a century had just been raised to a whole new level.

Will Women Be Allowed to Preach?
(RNS) A series of essays in the semiofficial Vatican newspaper is urging the Catholic Church to allow women to preach from the pulpit at Mass, a role that has been reserved almost exclusively to the all-male priesthood for nearly 800 years.


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


‘Spotlight’ receives Best Picture and Best Original Screenplay Oscars and Voice of the Faithful assesses scandal
“The critically acclaimed movie ‘Spotlight’ received Best Picture Oscar Feb. 18. The film about how The Boston Globe investigated and brought to light clergy sexual abuse of children and its cover up in the Boston archdiocese has brought renewed awareness to the scandal worldwide. But many Catholics have had a heightened sense of the crisis all along. Some of those Catholics — determined to remain faithful while addressing the scandal — formed Voice of the Faithful only a couple of months after the Globe’s sensational January 2002 story appeared.” By Donna B. Doucette, National Catholic Reporter.
Editorial: Best Picture win for ‘Spotlight’ is fitting humiliation for church, By National Catholic Reporter Editorial Staff
Cardinal O’Malley lauds role ‘Spotlight’ played in exposing clergy sex abuse, By Kathy McCabe, The Boston Globe
‘Spotlight’ triumphs with best picture Oscar, By Ty Burr, The Boston Globe
‘Spotlight’ takes home best picture honors at Oscars, By Brian Roewe, National Catholic Reporter
‘Spotlight’ actor Mark Ruffalo joins survivors protest, By Mark Shanahan, The Boston Globe

Pell admits ‘enormous mistakes’ in church’s abuse handling, calls it ‘absolutely scandalous’
“One of the Catholic church’s highest ranking cardinals, Vatican official George Pell, faced four hours of questioning about his role in the clergy sexual abuse crisis in his native Australia in an extraordinary overnight hearing Sunday (Feb. 28), in which he admitted the church ‘has made enormous mistakes’ in its handling of dangerous priests.” By Joshua J. McElwee, National Catholic Reporter
Cardinal Pell has to resign, or Pope Francis must act, By Joanne McCarthy, The Sydney Morning Herald
Catholic Church official testifies during Australian abuse inquiry, By Associated Press in The Boston Globe
Cardinal George Pell blames former bishop for letting abuse fester, By Rachel Browne, The Sydney Morning Herald

Pennsylvania diocese leaders knew of sex abuse for decades, grand jury says
“Over four decades, at least 50 priests and other church employees molested hundreds of children in a small Roman Catholic diocese in central Pennsylvania, and in many cases their superiors knew of the abuses but did not remove the priests or notify law enforcement, according to a grand jury report released on Tuesday (Mar. 1).” By Richard Perez-Pena and Laurie Goodstein, The New York Times
Grand jury report reveals decades of clergy sex abuse in Altoona-Johnstown diocese, By Brian Roewe, National Catholic Reporter
Grand jury: Altoona diocese concealed sex abuse of hundreds of children by priests, By Peter Smith, Pittsburgh Post-Gazette
Pennsylvania grand jury finds widespread sex abuse by priests, By Reuters on Religion News Service

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

Selecting Australia’s Bishops: Finding a Role for All
“By 31 December 2016 one third of Australia’s bishops should be new. But if the past is any indication, all appointments by that date are unlikely, for the process of selecting and appointing Australian bishops has usually been dogged by massive delays.”

The following article, written by Peter Wilkinson which first appeared in SWAG magazine, details the history of how Australian bishops were chosen, and puts forth reforms for going forward. Wilkinson details the history of Australia’s process for selecting bishops, as well as the justification for the way things were done and could be done going forward.


Simplicity and Prayer: A Lenten Twilight Retreat
March 9: Join us for an evening of quiet contemplation, sensory prayer, and group reflection on the invitation of simplicity this Lenten season. The retreat will take place on Wednesday, March 9, 6:30-9:00pm in the Paulist Center Chapel. Light snacks and refreshments will be provided. Please register by March 7 via email or phone (617) 742-4460. A suggested $10.00 donation is appreciated.

Questions? Contact Paulist Seminarian Ryan Casey, CSP at or Pastoral Intern Jaclyn Newns at

The Paulist Center
5 Park Street
Boston, MA 02108

Upcoming VOTFNJ Events:
Palm Sunday, March 20, 2016: Community Meditation & Eucharistic Celebration; 4:30 PM at St. Mark’s Lutheran Church, 100 Harter Rd. Morristown NJ. ALL ARE WELCOME!!

Listen and Learn
CBC Sunday Edition in Canada recently aired this excellent interview with Walter Robinson.

Thank you to VOTF supporter Dan Daly for bringing it to our attention!

Letter to the Editor

In the Vineyard has links to earlier stories about John Gallagher, but to understand them you really need to read the Palm Beach Post’s follow-up of last Sunday. In it, priests from the personnel committee and parish employees who served as his bartenders have been freed to speak by the bishop. And boy! Do they! although I could add even to what they said. Fr. Gallagher was my pastor-presumptive during the period under discussion. I wouldn’t trust even his “good morning’s.”

I think Vineyard readers need to know about this story, too.
T. Blackburn

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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