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Register NOW for VOTF's 2015 National Assembly

VOTF's 2015 National Assembly takes place on Saturday, April 18, at the Connecticut Convention Center in Hartford.

Register for the assembly by midnight Jan. 31, 2015, and you'll be entered in a drawing for a delectable Legal Sea Foods dinner for two delivered to your door.

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Millions of dollars each year slip through Roman Catholic collection baskets

The Vatican recently reported finding hundreds of millions of dollars “tucked away” off the official balance sheet. This is only one dimension of the Roman Catholic Church’s need for financial accountability. In the United States, theft, fraud and embezzlement occur at every level, with parishes alone losing millions of dollars each year from Sunday collections.

Catholic Church reform movement Voice of the Faithful® is urging parishes and dioceses to adopt simple security procedures that can protect weekly collections, which are the primary source of income for most parishes, and has developed a simple test to assess the effectiveness of current security procedures.

Click here to read the rest of VOTF's news release on Parish Financial Accountability and VOTF's simple parish self-test. You also can visit VOTF's Parish Financial Accountablity web page for more information.

The Vatican also still has a long way to go regarding financial reforms, as evidenced by continuing press coverage, e.g., "Calls grow for reform in Catholic Church financal affairs."

Pope criticizes "disease, malfunction, and infirmity" in Curia

The National Catholic Reporter posted news of the traditional papal pre-Christmas meeting with Curia officials in Rome and said the message was anything but traditional.

Instead, Pope Francis detailed 15 "diseases" to which Curia members are prone. He urged the prelates to reflect on the failings and make a "a real examination of conscience."

Among the "diseases" Francis cited: a feeling of indispensability and narcissism that often "stem from a pathology of power"; a "heart of stone"; "spiritual Alzheimer's"; "existential schizophrenia"; gossip and backstabbing; and the deification of superiors -- 15 in all.

The list would suggest that reforms planned for the Vatican Curia include more than simply consolidating and renaming offices.

Vatican Report Conciliatory Towards Nuns, But VOTF Joins Call for Removal of LCWR Mandate

Nuns in the United States can get on with their missions to those on the margins of society in keeping with the best traditions of their religious orders without undue Vatican interference—sort of.

The Vatican issued today, Dec. 16, a report on its six-year apostolic visitation to religious women in the United States.

Roman Catholic Church reform movement Voice of the Faithful® joins in solidarity with its U.S. sisters first in being encouraged by the report’s conciliatory tone and second in decrying this investigation in the first place and the mandate against the Leadership Conference of Women Religious.

VOTF would like that mandate removed as soon as possible.

Click here to read Voice of the Faithful's full statement.

Affiliate Meeting Model

 Each of our affiliates develops a particular form of meeting that best matches their purposes and members' preferences. From time to time, we share those models with others. Many are suitable not just for a VOTF affiliate meeting but also for a parish gathering, a faith-sharing group, a day of reflection.

This month we feature a model from the Coastal Delmarva affiliate based in Bethany Beach DE. Their meetings, and their "ministry of reconciliation," include song, Scripture readings, prayerful silence, and shared reflections. We are sharing as a model the 2014 November meeting (you will recognize the autumn harvest graphic). Both are presented as PDFs: one designed to be folded twice to create a four-page booklet, and the other the guide for the meeting's leader. Our thanks to Skip and John Sullivan for sharing the affiliate's work with us.

Meeting handout

Leader's guide

Bishop Murphy's comments on SOL reform are only latest Church salvo against abuse survivors

The Catholic Church has long sought to deny victims of clergy sexual abuse one of their only means of seeking justice--civil lawsuits. By fighting reform of state statute of limitations (SOL) laws, the Church helps prevent survivors from bringing suit against perpetrators and those who cover up abuse ...

Click here to read the rest of this statement from Voice of the Faithful®.

Inching Toward Accountability?

The Catholic Church seems to be inching closer to holding bishops accountable for involvment in covering up clergy sexual abuse. According to National Catholic Reporter, Cardinal Sean O'Malley has commented on a CBS News "60 Minutes" interview that Pope Francis is aware the Bishop Finn situation must be addressed. Cardinal O'Malley is the head of the Pontifical Commission for the Protection of Children and a member of Pope Francis' council of cardinal advisors. Bishop Finn is the leader of the Kansas City-St. Joseph Diocese who was found guilty of improperly handling the sexual misconduct of a priest convicted of producing child pornography. Click here to read the NCR article. Click here to read a post-intervew story on Cruxnow.com, which includes a link to the "60 Minutes" segment.