In the Vineyard: November 6, 2015

In the Vineyard :: November 6, 2015 :: Volume 15, Issue 21

News from National

We “still” want your crèche photos!
You still have time to send us your crèche photos. We’re repeating our popular online Advent calendar this year, but instead of using stock crèche photos, we want to display yours.

Each day during Advent, you’ll receive an email with a link that will take you to a page on our website featuring Advent-appropriate Scripture, prayers, and reflections.

Please get your crèche or crèches out of storage, set them up and take photos of whole scene, or the Holy Family, or parts of the set, or individual pieces, like sheep, shepherds, angels, wise men, stars, and the like. You can send us as many photos as you want.

You can take your photos with your camera, phone, tablet, or other device and email them to Please include your first and last name, city or town, and state, so we can identify the photo online—or you can remain anonymous if you prefer.

The first Sunday of Advent is Nov. 29, so we don’t have much time to set up everything in advance and make sure it works. The deadline for sending us your crèche photos is Friday, Nov. 13, just a week away.
Walk with us this Advent and let us feature your crèche in our online Advent calendar.

New England Members Alert!!
Watch “Spotlight” movie with us
at the Coolidge Corner Theatre on Nov. 13

VOTF Advance Sale Tickets to “Spotlight” at 2 p.m. on Friday, Nov. 13, 2015, are $10 per person. Click here for instructions for purchasing your tickets.

“Spotlight” is Hollywood’s star-studded film depicting the 2002 Boston Globe spotlight team investigation of clergy sexual abuse within the Archdiocese of Boston. The shock of those revelations led to VOTF’s founding, and importantly, we are part of “what happened next.”

If you can’t make it to Boston, here is a listing of places the “Spotlight” is showing around the world:

Also, here’s a sampling of the reviews published already from Variety , the Wall Street Journal, The Guardian, Entertainment Weekly, Vatican Radio (as reported by — and details from the New York Times about the making of the movie. And here’s another review from long-time clergy sexual abuse survivor advocate Tom Doyle that appears on survivor advocate/attorney Marci Hamilton’s website.

Don’t put priests on a pedestal
“Finally there appears an issue that our divided church can agree on. Catholics of all stripes—conservatives and liberals and in-betweens—are declaring a pox on clericalism. From Pope Francis to the back pew widow, from seminary rectors to lay ecclesial ministers, we agree that clericalism is crippling the pastoral mission of the church.” By Father Donald Cozzens, U.S. Catholic

Quick Thoughts Survey
Publication of two books on Vatican finances have exposed more of the fraud and greed that led Pope Francis to appoint an independent commission and demand reforms. In the U.S., the National Catholic Reporter published results of data research showing that costs of the clergy sex-abuse scandal are at least $1 billion more than previously estimated. It’s difficult to get a final total because dioceses, despite Canon Law dictating annual reports, may present limited reports, show consolidated costs instead of program items, or in some cases don’t bother reporting at all. Even when a diocese does publish its reports, lay people in the diocese quite often are not paying attention or asking questions.

This week’s poll question considers diocesan financial reporting: Do you think the financial reports in your diocese are transparent, accurate, and complete? Click here to answer.

Last Poll’s Results


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


Vatican scandal heats up with revelations of greed, intrigue
“Two new books are deepening a Vatican scandal with tales of mismanagement and greed, such as sainthood causes that can cost a half-million dollars and one monsignor allegedly breaking down the wall of his next-door neighbor — a sick, elderly priest — to expand his already palatial apartment.” By Nicole Winfield, Associated Press, on
— Vatican arrests two in connection with leaked documents, By Elisabetta Povoledo, The New York Times
Vatican leaks scandal grows: Book exposes resistance, waste, By Nicole Winfield, Associated Press
Vatican financial troubles run deep, according to new book, By Gaia Pianigiani, The New York Times

Costs of sex abuse crisis to U.S. church underestimated
“The U.S. Catholic church has incurred nearly $4 billion in costs related to the priest sex abuse crisis during the past 65 years, according to an extensive NCR investigation of media reports, databases and church documents. In addition, separate research recently published calculates that other scandal-related consequences such as lost membership and diverted giving has cost the church more than $2.3 billion annually for the past 30 years.” By Jack Ruhl and Diane Ruhl, National Catholic Reporter
Editorial: The deep, lasting financial cost of sex abuse, By National Catholic Reporter
Researchers find drop in giving in areas hit by sex abuse scandal, By Vinnie Rotondaro, National Catholic Reporter

Pope Francis will weigh in on the synod after all
“The Vatican’s second most powerful figure said Wednesday (Oct. 29) that Pope Francis will pen a document following the recently concluded Synod of Bishops on the family, something that until now no Vatican official had confirmed. Speaking to the ANSA news agency, Italian Cardinal Pietro Parolin, the Vatican’s Secretary of State, said the pontiff will write an apostolic exhortation on the family in the upcoming months.” By Ines San Martin,
Cardinal Wuerl: The Catholic Church is moving from legalism to mercy, By David Gibson, Religion News Service, on

Pope Francis creates Vatican office combining laity, family, life issues
“Pope Francis announced Thursday (Oct. 22) to the Synod on the Family that he has chosen to establish a new office in the Roman Curia that will deal with issues of laity, family, and life, as part of his reform of the curia. ‘I have decided to establish a new Dicastery with competency for Laity, Family and Life, that will replace the Pontifical Council for the Laity and the Pontifical Council for the Family,’ Pope Francis said Oct. 22, according to a communique from the Holy See press office.” By Catholic News Agency
The longtime advocates behind ‘Spotlight
Part two of our ‘Spotlight’ series, in advance of the film’s release Friday (Nov. 6). The film “Spotlight” tells a story that broke in 2002, but started years earlier. Before the Spotlight team investigated allegations of clergy sexual abuse, others — like attorney Mitchell Garabedian and Father Thomas Doyle — were already trying to get justice for the victims.” By Radio Boston WBUR-FM Boston
Click here to listen to part one of WBUR-FM’s “Spotlight” series
Join Us to See “Spotlight” Movie, By Voice of the Faithful
The Church’s sexual abuse crisis is not over, By Margery Egan,
Review: In ‘Spotlight,’ The Boston Globe digs up the Catholic Church’s dirt, By A.O. Scott, The New York Times

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

Affiliate News

The NorthShore – Seacoast affiliate of VOTF Presents
Immaculate Conception Parish Center, Newburyport, MA

Rev. Timothy Harrison, Rev. Scott Euvard, Rev. Michael, Medas, and Rev. John MacInnis lead parishes that are in various stages of collaborative development. Each pastor will share his insights on the development, challenges and successes of his collaborative/parish. Attendees are invited to dialogue with the pastors. Join us to broaden, clarify, ask questions about collaboration and learn about the responsibility of collaborative members. John Leary from Immaculate Conception parish is the moderator. Refreshments available.

Donations appreciated.
For further information, please contact: Mo Donovan-978-518-9882,, ElaineNylander-978-887-0133,

VOTF NJ Retreat with Barbara Fiand, SNDdeN

Registration is Open

Saturday, November 21, 2015 9:30 am – 4 pm
Gloria Dei Lutheran Church
300 Shunpike Road, Chatham, NJ
(Breakfast and lunch provided)

“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 is 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! Forms available after Sunday Liturgies or download the registration form and mail it in.

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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