VOTF speaks only for itself

VOTF speaks only for itself

Voice of the Faithful New Jersey has called off its planned use of a Mass as a protest tool at St. Joseph’s Church in Mendham. To recap, some parishioners were unhappy with their new pastor and upon hearing that the bishop was coming, were going to stand up in the middle of Mass and walk out and protest outside with a variety of signs.

Now the VOTF organizers said the St. Joseph’s parishioners have asked them not to protest after all.

These concerns and how to address them have been, and continue to be, in the hands of St. Joseph parishioners. VOTF initiated the Action Alert at the invitation of St. Joseph parishioners, as a support to their objectives, and as an activity consistent with VOTF’s goals.

But what do they mean by “St. Joseph parishioners”? This is the crux of the problem with a group like VOTF. They claim to speak for “the faithful,” but what faithful? I certainly didn’t ask them to speak for me and I gather that quite a lot of Catholics have never asked VOTF to speak on their behalf either.

How many St. Joseph parishioners asked VOTF to join a protest? One? Five? Twenty? What if the other 1,700 families in the parish didn’t want their “representation”? If VOTF want to claim to speak for itself and its membership that’s fine. We’re free to join whatever groups we want. But it’s their claim to speak for all Catholics that really rankles.

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Written by
Domenico Bettinelli