Cardinal Sean O’Malley will meet with leaders of Voice of the Faithful next week. Before we deal with the actual meeting, let’s look at the article itself. In it, the reporter refer to VOTF as “the lay reform group that has energized a group of active churchgoers” while those who say that VOTF is just another heterodox group are said to be “some conservatives” and we are accused of “demonizing” them, a word that bears the connotation of a false accusation.
While VOTF is characterizing the meeting as symbolically significant, and they say they hope it will mean official acceptance, including an end to the ban on their meeting on church property, Cardinal O’Malley is simply reaching out to a group of Catholics. He sees them as earnest people, if misguided, and wants to bring them into the fold. Unfortunately, the way this is being played in the media, it looks—and could look even more after the meeting—like an official change of heart and endorsement.
In case, anyone at the chancery has forgotten, could someone forward to the cardinal’s office copies of the following:
- Various articles on the “Educating Ourselves” page of the national organization’s web site. Although VOTF claims not to take a position on controversial Church teachings—which in itself is taking a position, if you think about it—all of the articles are written either by well known dissenters and/or include serious dissent from Church teaching.
- Take a look at the “Suggested Readings & Resources” page: “Constantine’s Sword”, by James Carroll; several by Sr. Joan Chittisters; a number of others that dispute the Church’s teaching on the male and celibate priesthood; Hans Kung; and on an on with dissenters from the Church. The orthodox offerings are well outweighed by the heterodox ones and are basics like the Catechism and St. Thomas Aquinas.
- How about the proposal before the national VOTF council to push for women priests?
- At the same link, you can see that they’re preparing a conference with several schismatic and Protestant groups to discuss “Emerging Models of Church.” Yes, emerging right into schism.
- There was the VOTF chapter that kvetched that the Diocese of Bridgeport was conducting an evangelization campaign instead of attending to VOTF’s priorities.
- Let’s not forget their “Palm Sunday Vigil for Accountability” at which they taught that Jesus had originally come only to save the Jews, but the Caananite woman in Matt 15:27 changes his mind; thus if Jesus could change His mind about “doctrine,” surely the Church can change doctrine.
- Let’s not forget the call from VOTF members and leaders alike that Cardinal O’Malley allow for married priests and say that gay adoptions are okay (which he couldn’t do even if he wanted to.)
- A VOTF group in LA joined a vigil in support of gay priests.
- VOTF also protested the Vatican’s Instruction on homosexuality and seminarians.
- It doesn’t take much sleuthing to find in fact that VOTF seems to associate itself with all the usual heterodox suspects: Call to Action, FutureChurch, Rent-A-Priest, and so on.
- Here they are promoting a women’s ordination conference.
- Don’t forget the early plan—long since hidden away by VOTF but saved by some of us—to re-structure the Church along the lines of the US Constitution. No really.
- A VOTF group in Chicago protested the cardinal’s order that gay protesters at Masses were not to receive Communion as unnecessarily divisive.
- And since this getting long and I already did a convenient round-up at about this point, here’s a list of other entries on VOTF’s heterodoxy.
The reality is that Voice of the Faithful has shown time and again, despite its protestations to the contrary that at its heart it is a group of people pushing heterodoxy in the Church, and while some well-meaning people may have been taken in by its stated mission to stop the abuse of kids, it has moved well beyond that original aim and become just another heterodox group of dissidents along the lines of Call to Action and Future Church and the like.
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