considered what Catholic traditions might be viable oruture generations.Beore concluding the conerence by saying Mass or theassembly, Fr. James Connell, a Wisconsin parish priest,Canon lawyer, and courageous advocate o abuse survivors,called or Church leaders to reveal the complete truth aboutthe clergy abuse scandal. He took the title o his talk rom the Book o Proverbs 31:8:
“Speak up for those whocannot speak for themselves.”
Fr. Connell addressed urgent issuesand made recommendations. Among his urgencies were loss o voice, theneed to reveal the whole truth, awedreview and audit o allegations, andscandal. Among his recommendations were developing a “keep the pressureon” initiative, an association o priests, restorative justiceinitiative, and prayer.Considering our post-Conerence work, VOF President/Chairman Mark Mullaney set our course:continuing support or survivors; increasing ourunderstanding o clerical culture; promoting women’s rights in the Church, beginning withrestoring the women’s diaconate; ostering fnancial responsibility, according to CanonLaw; and seeking lay input into bishopselection. Jim Post, VOFcoounder and ormerpresident, recently summed up theConerence. “As itnow stands,” he said,“the leadership o theCatholic Church—in the U.S. andin the Vatican—is woeully in need o reorm. o the 500VOF members whogathered in Boston, the mantra still holds:
Keep the Faith,Change the Church.”
VOTF Member Newsletter Fall 2012
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College, spoke next on
What Faith? e Best About Being Catholic.
“Te best is Jesus!” he said. “Te new awareness o the centrality o Jesus to the Catholic Christian aith. Notthe Bible, dogmas, sacraments, church laws, butat the heart, we fnd a Person, the Person o Jesuso Nazareth, the only Son rom the Father, ullo grace and truth ... I hope when we gather orthe 25th celebration o VOF, we say ‘Jesus.’”Next to speak was Fr. Donald Cozzens o JohnCarroll University, recipient in 2009 o a VOFPriest o Integrity Award. He took a priest’s look at VOF at its 10-year mark. “Wouldn’t it be great,” he said,“i above every sacristy door, it said ‘Servants Entrance.’ I[also] pray or a bold indiﬀerence to the question, ‘have wemade a diﬀerence?’ Yes you did. You have. You are. Whatyou have done or the last 10 years is ministry, and ministry should not be judged on any human measure.”David Clohessy, Executive Director o SNAP, the nation’slargest and oldest sel-help group or clergy sexual abusesurvivors, ollowed a lunch-time preview o the HBO®documentary
Mea Maxima Culpa: Silence in the House of God.
His remarks revolved around the scathing view o the Church’s abuse scandal portrayed in the flm. Attendees next heard Jamie Manson, award-winning
National Catholic Reporter
columnist. Considering how important young people are to the Church, Mansonspoke appropriately on
e Church and Young Catholics: Is ere a Future?
She explored the unique impact the clergy sexual abuse crisis has had on young adult Catholics and
B y J a s o n B e r g m a n © V o i c e o f t h e F a i t h f u l
VOTF 10th Year Conference attendees read messages posted on the Lamentations Wall,where they found “in this sacred space whatever form of lamentation ows within you ...”
“I pray for a holy indierence to the question, ‘have we (VOTF)made a dierence? Yes, you did. You have. You are. What you havedone for the last 10 years is ministry, and ministry should not be judged on any human measure.”
Rev. Donald Cozzens, John CarrollUniversity and recipient of VOTF’s Priest of Integrity Award in 2009