Joan Chittitister, the heterodox nun, unintentionally unmasks Voice of the Faithful for what it really is. Even she realizes that VOTF’s goal of declericalization of the Church—giving everybody a vote in every matter, rather than following the hierarchical structure set up by Christ—will bring about the heterodox “paradise” that she and those who think like her want.
She says that their claim to be above any specific theological issues means they are going after the one issue that would undermine the Church as she is today: from whence does authority flow? Does it from from Christ through the Pope and his brother bishops into the Body of Christ or does it come primarily from the laypeople? I would contend that if it were the latter, then the Church would be no different from the thousands of Protestant denominations that are the same and which can’t agree on even the simplest matters of theology.
Clearly, whether they know it or not, Voice of the Faithful is definitely not issue-free. And, whether they realize it or not, their audacity is shaking the foundations of an imperial church that, until this time, has seldom felt the need to explain anything, let alone ask questions of anyone other than those in their own inner circles. Sensus fidelium or no sensus fidelium.
Before this is over, thanks to Voice of the Faithful, issues like a married priesthood, the ordination of women, the use of inclusive pronouns in scripture and the choice of postures during the canon of the Mass will seem to be exactly what they are—very, very minor. That?s why I admire them: They are into the biggest issue of them all.
Even the heterodox recognize VOTF for what it is—an attempt to circumvent the contentious issues and sneak a profound change into the Church by lulling orthodox, but blind Catholics to sleep with their claims of reform. Sometimes it’s the self-revelation by “the other side” that clarifies their dangerousness to the faith of so many.