In the Vineyard: October 16, 2017

In the Vineyard :: October 16, 2017 :: Volume 17, Issue 18

News from National

We’d Like Your Crèche Photos!

We are bringing back our popular online calendar this Advent, and we want to use your crèche photos. You might think this is too early to be asking for your photos, but we have to set up the calendar online, so the earlier, the better. Then, during Advent, members will receive an email each day with a link to a web page featuring scripture, prayers, reflections, and photos of crèches that have been sent to us, plus some interesting stories about how those crèches came to be.

Click here to see a page from last year’s Advent calendar …

Click here for more information about how you can participate …

Do You Like the Pope’s New Rules for Mass Translations?

Not surprisingly, the initial results from a survey VOTF has conducted over the past three weeks

Not surprisingly, the initial results from a survey VOTF has conducted over the past three weeks indicate that Catholics overwhelmingly favor Pope Francis’ new rules on translations of Mass prayers from Latin to vernacular (local) languages. By revising Canon Law, Pope Francis has essentially turned over authority for such translations to local bishops’ conferences, requiring only Vatican review rather than approval.

This means that the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops, for example, now has responsibility for English translations of Mass prayers for the faithful in this country. The Vatican imposed the current translation on all English-speaking countries in 2010, and it was implemented on the First Sunday of Advent, 2011. This imposition overrode the 1998 translation that had been approved by more than two-thirds of the English-speaking national conferences.

In an email to members and through a post to its Facebook page, we posed this question: Do you welcome the opportunity for U.S. bishops to determine translations of prayers said during Mass? To date, 94.3% of survey respondents have replied “Yes.”

Many survey respondents commented on their responses. An example of a “Yes” comment reads: “I hope they take the opportunity to reassert their obligation to provide English translations, such as the ones previously rejected by Rome, which truly uphold our right as baptized Catholics to full, active and knowledgeable participation in our liturgy.”

Two examples of “No” responses read: “Current translations are abominable! They get more so each time translations are ‘updated,’” and “Return to the Latin Mass.”

When we close the survey and review results, we will report any “surprises.”


Listen to families on ‘Amoris Laetitia,’ bishops and theologians say
“While much of the debate over Amoris Laetitia, the controversial 2016 document from Pope Francis about pastoral outreach to families, has focused on the question of Communion for divorced and remarried Catholics, more than three dozen cardinals, bishops and lay theologians gathered at Boston College this week (Oct. 6) to explore the broader implications of the letter—and to strategize ways to promote it in the United States.” By Michael J. O’Loughlin, America: The Jesuit Review

Conference weighs how ‘Amoris Laetitia’ rejects ‘infantilization of the laity, By Joshua J. McElwee, National Catholic Reporter

‘Amoris Laetitia’ conference signals big changes, highlights problems left, By Michael Sean Winters, National Catholic Reporter

National Catholic Reporter ‘Amoris Laetitia’ Feature Series

Top Vatican official says ‘tragic experience’ on sex abuse helps Church lead
“At the opening session of a major conference at Rome’s Jesuit-run Gregorian University on the protection of children in a digital world, the Vatican’s number two official, Italian Cardinal Pietro Parolin, said the Catholic Church’s ‘tragic experience’ with clerical sexual abuse allows it to be a leader in the fight against child abuse in other arenas.” By Ines San Martin,

Canadian bishops won’t publish new policy on minor protection till 2018
“In June 1992, the Canadian bishops published a report entitled ‘From Pain to Hope,’ entirely devoted to sexual assaults by the clergy. The bishops proposed ‘ways and means both to eliminate in the church the after-effects of past scandals and to prevent new cases of aggression against children.’ The adoption by the Vatican of new standards for the protection of children made it necessary to revise the standards and policies of the bishops’ conference.” By Francois Gloutnay,

Expert says Vatican botched response to child porn suspicions about envoy
“German Jesuit Father Hans Zollner, who leads a child protection center at a Roman university and serves on a papal commission advising Francis on reform, says the Vatican should have been more transparent about recent reports that an envoy at the papal embassy in Washington, D.C., is part of an investigation for possible involvement in child pornography, seeing it as part of an going struggle to be more ‘up-front.’” By John L. Allen, Jr., and Clair Giangrave,

Vatican needs boots on the ground to promote child safety, expert says, By John L. Allen, Jr.,

How can we protect children from abuse online? A congress in Rome will seek solutions
“A pioneering international congress on the risks and challenges to children in the digital world and how to protect them from online sexual abuse will be hosted by the Jesuit-run Pontifical Gregorian University in Rome, from Oct. 3 to 6. ‘Child Dignity in the Digital World’ is the first congress of its kind and ‘opens a whole new scenario,’ said Hans Zollner, S.J., the president of the child protection center at the Gregorian, at a press briefing in the Vatican.” By Gerard O’Connell, America: The Jesuit Review

Vatican urges online protections for children, By Nicole Winfield, Associated Press, in San Jose Mercury News

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

VOTF Posts Latest Reports on ClergySex Abuse Cases in Australia

In 2017, researchers Desmond Cahill and Peter Wilkinson, under the auspices of Australia’s RMIT University, completed a comprehensive report, Child Sexual Abuse in the Catholic Church: An Interpretive Review of the Literature and Public Inquiry Reports, based on 26 key international and Australian inquiries. We have added their document to our web site under the Government and Academic Reports link from the Survivor Support pages. Also posted are earlier reports that detail investigations of specific dioceses in Australia, as well as a summary of their Towards Healing investigations.

Note that VOTF’s website includes numerous links to the PDFs of academic and government reports, regardless of origin point. We do this so that “aging links” on Internet pages do not frustrate those seeking such information. If you know of a report that is not listed here, please send the report (and its link) to sends e-mail). Note that we are happy to post links to reports in non-English languages as well if an English translation is not available.

Why the Only Future Worth Building Includes Everyone

In this Ted Talk, Pope Francis calls for equality, solidarity and tenderness to prevail. He invites us to pay attention to the changing climate, to growing inequality and to the disruption brought about by technology. And he addresses the diffuse feeling of powerlessness by observing that many people don’t seem to believe in the possibility of a happy future anymore. He warns us that these concerns are to be taken very seriously. But he also insists that they are not invincible, that we can create a different world by re-engaging with and taking care of each other. “Let us help each other, all together, to remember that the ‘other’ is not a statistic, or a number,” he says. “We all need each other.”


St. Susanna Adult Education Program

Although our mission and goals do not extend to program action on political issues, the divisiveness currently rampant in the U.S. not only affects us in our daily lives but also supports the ongoing divisiveness we have encountered within the Church when seeking reform. So if you are in the greater Boston metropolitan area, note this important event to be hosted by St. Susanna in Dedham MA.

Discussion of the Divisiveness in Politics and Religion led by award-winning local author, Roland Merullo, at Saint Susanna Parish in Dedham on Monday, October 16 from 7 PM to 9 PM. Mr. Merullo has developed a unique perspective based on 30 years of reading across the religious, philosophical, and psychological spectrum and meditation retreats at Catholic, Protestant, Buddhist, and nondenominational retreat centers and monasteries. He will share his thoughts about how we should respond to the anger and divisiveness around us and engage your questions and concerns.

Mr. Merullo’s many works include Breakfast with Buddha, about a road trip with a Buddhist monk, and American Savior, which envisions Jesus coming to earth and running for President because he is dismayed at how religious zealots and politicians have distorted his teachings to turn love into hatred and faith into a call for arms. Mr. Merullo’s latest novel is The Delight of Being Ordinary: A Road Trip with the Pope and the Dalai Lama. His website is:

The talk is free of charge and, as always, all are welcome at Saint Susanna (262 Needham Street, Dedham, MA). There is no pre-registration, and the refreshments are free! We do gratefully accept Free-Will Offerings to cover our costs. For more details visit the Faith Formation – Adult Page at the parish website:

VOTF Healing Circle Demonstration at Paulist Center in BostonPlease join us at the Paulist Center for a presentation called “Inside a Healing Circle” on Tuesday, Nov. 7, 2017, 7:00 P.M. (Paulist Center 5 Park St., Boston, Third Floor Library) Hear restorative justice expert and former VOTF Board Chair Bill Casey and former VOTF Trustee Jayne O’Donnell, who have facilitated more than a dozen successful Broken Vessel™ Healings Circles around the country, talk about how Broken Vessel™ Healings Circles can open a pathway towards healing for anyone harmed by the ongoing scandal of Catholic clergy sexual abuse. Mark your calendars!

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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