VOTF message

VOTF message

The other day I received a letter at my parish addressed to the “co-chair of the parish pastoral counci.” (Co-chair? We don’t have a co-chair. I am vice chairman; the pastor is chairman.)

Anyway, it was from the local Voice of the Faithful chapter asking me to put in the parish bulletin an announcement of some inane lectures. What takes me aback is that they sent it to me. I’m not the pastor. When you want something in the parish bulletin, you send it to the pastor. The lay members of the parish council are not officials or officers of the parish with administrative duties (or shouldn’t be).

What I think it shows is an anti-clerical bias, trying to work around priests, especially those who might not be sympathetic to their views. Sorry folks, but not going to work in my parish.

Written by
Domenico Bettinelli
4 comments
  • Dom:

    Set aside getting your title wrong. Do you know that it WASN’T sent to the pastor? After all, the chairman of any body might not be in during a given week or he might delegate this or that particular decision.

    As I’m sure you know, Dom, it’s pretty much SOP when compiling mailing lists, since the marginal cost of another name is pretty small, to carpet-bomb … to get everybody potentially possibly relevant once in a blue moon. I myself get all kinds of stuff sent to me that also gets sent to the Times’ national editor (my boss; I’m the deputy national editor).

    When dealing with mass mailing lists, stupidity, not perfidy, should be the first and last hypothesis. Victor’s favorite ‘brainless mailing list’ story:

    In September, I received a signed photo of John Kerry and John Edwards at the Democratic National Convention holding up their clasped hands in the standard “nomination night” pose. It said “Dear Victor: Thank you for helping us bring about a Democratic victory in November.”

    I took it into work and scotch-taped it in a prominent place in my cubicle. Even if faux, the personal touches (the signatures, my name) made it the source of much election-season mirth. I don’t remember what I actually did to get on the DNC’s mailing list, but I am in fact on it.

  • Oh, I know he didn’t get a copy too. It was hand-addressed and placed in my mailbox, which is right next to his, and there wasn’t a corresponding one there for him. (He’s was out this week and so there’s no way he got his before I got mine.)

    Love the photo story.

  • Lord knows how much I hate being cynical BUT… there is little difference in a lot of the pastoral councils in parishes and the membership of VOTF. Running the pastoral councils is the way VOTF got in a lot of parishes or at least increased the impact of their ‘Parish Voices’.

    I forget the details but didn’t some guy ‘invent’ new norms for the “Parish Pastoral Council” which was originally hooked up with VOTF – then there was some sort of dust-up between this guy and the guy who dreamed up VOTF (power struggle) they parted ways but then reconciled later on? [if I only had a brain]

  • Colleen,

    I am very bad at remembering names, but I recall that that guy had a name like “Zalzic” or something similar.

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