In the Vineyard: October 16, 2018

In the Vineyard :: October 16, 2018 :: Volume 18, Issue 18

News from National

Progress & Promise: What a Great Time!

Thank you to everyone who helped make October 6 in Providence RI a special day for Voice of the Faithful! From keynote speakers to working group presenters to exhibitor booths to your voices during the Q&As and the mini-listening sessions at lunch, you created a special day for those attending our 2018 conference at the Marriott Hotel in downtown Providence.

We will be publishing more notes about the day in the coming weeks. Today’s report includes highlights from two speakers, some of the comments collected from the listening sessions (see the Voices column below), some photos, and a promise of more to come–as soon as we can divide the clips, we will post videos of each speaker at the conference.

Here’s a snapshot of the day, where we reviewed progress and held open some promise for the future, despite the almost unrelenting negatives we have encountered these past months in the Church. During the day, we:

  • Listened to three moving and meaningful presentations from featured speakers Villanova theologian Massimo Faggioli, survivor and advocate Marie Collins, and Holy Cross professor Rev. William Clark.
  • Heard highlights of VOTF’s Finance Working Groups 2018 review of U.S. dioceses’ online financial transparency.
  • Learned the benefits of VOTF’s Broken Vessel™ Healing Circles in the Church’s recovery from clergy abuse.
  • Took part in listening sessions to compile in conversations with colleagues their reactions to increasing anger over clergy abuse.

We will post summaries of all the presentations on a Speakers page, beginning first with those by Prof. Massimo Faggioli and Marie Collins, and we will post the remaining three by Fr. Bill Clark, Margaret Roylance, and Bill Casey as soon as possible. Full reports on the conference will be on the 2018 Conference page–you will find a summary of Mary Pat Fox’s introductory remarks there already. Also, you will receive an alert and directions to a video page as soon as those are available.

In the meantime, enjoy a few photos from the day, courtesy of Patricia Der, our photographer:

Lining up to get name badges:

Bev Spencer (VOTF volunteer) and Nick Ingala (VOTF Communications Director) show speaker Marie Collins to the Speakers table:

Svea Fraser and Sheila Grove chat with Donna Doucette (VOTF Executive Director) and Marie & Ray Collins:

Mary Pat Fox, VOTF President, opens the conference:

Chris Doyle, Donations Supervisor, and Members Coordinator Alice Campanella collate questions during a Q&A period:

Speakers Massimo Faggioli and Bill Clark enjoy a break:

Jeannette Post, Jim Post, and Clare Keane enjoying a break:

Avidly listening to Margaret Roylance describe the 2018 report on diocesan finances:

Remember, we are posting videos, more photos, and other information on our web pages as we can process them. So check back often!

Voices from the Conference

On the agenda for lunch at VOTF’s 2018 Conference were mini-listening sessions, so that attendees could express their reactions, feelings, and needs in light of revelations about former Cardinal McCarrick, the Pennsylvania Grand Jury report, and other news.

Facilitators at each table moderated the discussion, which focused on four questions:

  • What is heaviest on your heart about the recent revelations?
  • What do you want each other/clergy/bishops to know from you?
  • How can you exercise your rights and power as a lay person?
  • What actions must the hierarchy take in order for you to see credible progress?

Attendees had the option of writing down notes and comments from these table discussions and sharing them with us. Many did! President Mary Pat Fox read some of the notes during her closing remarks. We will be bringing you other comments in this space today and in subsequent issues. We also will collect them for a page linked from our Conference page–to find that page easily, just click the tab Conferences on the Home Page and then 2018.

Here are a few of the remarks collected on October 6 in reference to Question 1 above:

I found the last 2 months about the PA Grand Jury and McCarrick very disturbing, like being punched in the gut.

I feel betrayed and ashamed as a Catholic.

Why don’t they get it? The only way that change can occur is for the laity to be effective in the parish, dioceses and councils, etc. It is up to us!

I spent 5 years in the seminary in the 1960s – gregarious & friendly [place] but no discussion of sexuality. Sexual feelings were taboo. Homosexuality was there but not prevalent – a lot of sexual immaturity.

Everything comes down to the hierarchy being in charge.

Officials in the Vatican don’t seem to be doing a thing about it.

Can I stay in a church that chooses to hide this sin and ignore the pain of victims?

It is my faith, my church. I will be steadfast. We need hope/prayer to have “staying power” and move forward.

My hurt is heaviest for the victims.

I want to witness to my faith but the joy of witnessing is now being overtaken by the need to explain and apologize, etc.

Wealthy conservative catholics want to go back to the 30s and 40s. They oppose Francis’s vision. Cannot grasp the extent of the sexual abuse.

What kind of church have we been attending for all these years?

Boston incident was abhorrent but now the abuse seems systemic.

We will continue publishing excerpts in the next issues.

A Matter of Conscience

Some of you may be interested in a petition circulating online that asks Pope Francis to reinstate Fr. Roy Bourgeois, a priest the Vatican ruled had “excommunicated himself” by preaching a homily at the ordination of a woman as a priest. The organization sponsoring the petition, CORPUS, favors restoring a married priesthood in the western Roman Catholic Church as well as ordaining women. You can find information about the petition on their web site, which includes a link to the petition text.

Catholic Women Religious SuperiorsShould Vote at Synod

Sign the Petition!

Two religious brothers but no religious sisters are voting members of the current Synod on Youth. We urge bishops, cardinals, the Synod of Bishops’ leadership, and the Pope to make a path for women religious superiors to work and vote as equals alongside their brothers in Christ at meetings of the Synod of Bishops …

Click here to read more and sign the petition …


The Global Refugee Crisis and New Humanitarian Responses
Some of you may remember our author presentation two years ago in partnership with Boston College where David Chanoff spoke about his book From Crisis to Calling, which featured as one of its stories the work of Jim and Jeannette Post during the founding of VOTF. David was inspired to examine such stories by the work of his son, Sasha, with refugees who were both stateless and homeless. Sasha co-authored the book.

On Friday October 19, 2018, 3:15 p.m., Sasha Chanoff will be speaking at B.C. again, giving a keynote speech at on on the Global Refugee Crisis and New Humanitarian Responses at the Refugees and Migration: Responding to a Global Humanitarian Crisis Conference.

Here are the details: Corcoran Commons, Heights Room, Boston College, 140 Commonwealth Avenue, Chestnut Hill MA. Attendance is free. You are more than welcome to join for the entire conference or for the afternoon; here is the link with additional details.

On Sunday. Oct. 28, 2018, 2-4 p.m., Anne Barrett Doyle, Co-Director of Bishop Asscountability,, will be speaking on “Documenting the Abuse in the Roman Catholic Church,” at St. Rose of Lima Church, Topsfield, Massachusetts. Refreshments will be served. Free will offering will be appreciated. For more information, please contact: John and Barbara Gould by phone at (978) 535-2321 or by email at


Thirteen states now investigating alleged sexual abuse linked to Catholic Church
“Florida’s attorney general said Thursday (Oct. 4) she is launching an investigation of potential sexual abuse in the Roman Catholic church, making Florida at least the 13th state with an ongoing statewide probe of the church … NBC News has contacted the offices of the attorney general in all 50 states and the District of Columbia, and found that at least 13 states are either currently probing allegations of sexual abuse in the church or about to launch an investigation.” By Anna Thompson, Clare Duffy, Rich Gardella and Cory Dawson, NBC News

Pope orders new inquiry into abuse accusations against McCarrick
“Pope Francis has ordered a deeper investigation into the accusations of sexual misconduct against Archbishop Theodore E. McCarrick, the Vatican said Saturday (Oct. 6), including a ‘thorough study’ of archival documents to determine how he climbed the church hierarchy despite allegations he had slept with seminarians and young priests.”By Jason Horowitz, The New York Times

Bishops’ plan to address abuse falls short on accountability
“After a horrible summer of depressing news about how the church hierarchy has mishandled the sexual abuse crisis and misled the faithful willfully and through neglect, expectations were high for the action plan the leadership of the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops promised to deliver this fall. The four points outlined are, for the most part, good beginnings. Given the intensity of feelings on this subject, probably no plan could satisfy Catholics in pews, but even with that caveat, we had hoped the plan would be stronger and more specific than what was delivered.”By National Catholic Reporter Editorial Staff

Francis removes Chilean abuser Fernando Karadima from priesthood
“Pope Francis has removed notorious Chilean child sexual abuser Fernando Karadimafrom the Catholic priesthood, toughening an earlier sanction of a lifetime of prayer and penance, in what the Vatican said was an invocation of the pontiff’s ‘supreme’ power in the church. By Joshua J. McElwee, National Catholic Reporter

Synod English Groups: Abuse crisis undermines church ‘in practically every way’
“Two of the four working groups for English-speaking prelates at the worldwide meeting of Catholic bishops on young people have spent time considering the impact of clergy abuse scandals on the global church’s credibility. In the first of three reports expected from the working groups during the Oct. 3-28 Synod of Bishops, one of the English groups said bluntly that in the gathering’s expected final document clergy abuse ‘cannot be skimmed over tangentially in a few short sentences.’” By Joshua J. McElwee, National Catholic Reporter

‘Spot fires’ of reaction to abuse scandal pop up across U.S.
Grassroots reactions to the church crises of authority and sex abusehave taken place at cathedrals, parishes, universities, public squares and pubs. Catholic News Service’s Carol Zimmerman recently pulled together a representative list of episcopal or diocesan-organized events — listening sessions, rosaries, novenas, and even a Facebook Live Q-and-A with the Diocese of Colorado Springs’ Bishop Michael Sheridan.” By Dan Morris-Young, National Catholic Reporter

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

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.

Reminder: Please notify if you change your email address.

© Voice of the Faithful 2018. All Rights Reserved.