The Diocese of Bridgeport, Connecticut, has embarked on an evangelization campaign, and all that Voice of the Faithful can do is kvetch. As part of the campaign, the diocese has printed 400,000 booklets that offer information on the Catholic Church.
It’s one thing to talk about whether a particular aspect of a campaign will be successful or whether the emphases are right, but to dispute the appropriateness or efficacy or importance of evangelization itself betrays a particular kind of mindset.
Norwalk resident Jim Alvord, the Fairfield County regional coordinator of Voice of the Faithful, a national organization of Catholics with the goal of helping victims of sexual abuse by the clergy, said the booklet is “just like the newspaper they put out,” referring to the Fairfield County Catholic. “It’s just public relations and a reaction to all of their bad publicity.”
VOTF apparently suffers from what a lot of critics, both on the left and the right, eventually come down with: “They can’t do nothing right” syndrome.
Okay, even if this were the worst diocese with the worst bishop and the worst history of coverup and abuse (which it is not), even if the diocese announced it was going to feed orphans, VOTF and its fellow travelers would immediately send out press releases denouncing the move as a cynical public relations action. This begs the question whether any diocese and any bishop (apart from those who have kowtowed to the VOTF crowd) could do anything that wasn’t immediately dubbed as cynical and insincere. I suppose if the diocese completely ceded control to VOTF that would qualify.
bk_keywords: Catholic evangelization.