VOTF’s dissenter’s book club

VOTF’s dissenter’s book club

Here is my perennial question regarding Voice of the Faithful: If they are not a dissident group, as they claim, if they don’t take positions on controversial Church teaching (as if that’s permissible for Catholics), then why is it that they’re always promoting dissenting Catholics like Dan Maguire and Charles Curran? From their latest newsletter:

Professor Daniel C. Maguire at Marquette University has written a thought-provoking essay, “The Church IS a Democracy”. In his comments Maguire quotes theologian Elizabeth Schussler Fiorenza: “While the post-Pauline and post-Petrine writers seek to limit women’s leadership roles in the Christian community to roles which are culturally and religiously acceptable, the evangelists called Mark and John highlight the alternative character of the Christian community, and therefore accord women apostolic and ministerial leadership.”

... Charles Curran’s new book Loyal Dissent – Memoir of a Catholic Theologian is available in paperback. In 1986 Curran was fired from his teaching position at the Catholic University of America after a finding by the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith that he was “neither suitable nor eligible” to be a professor of theology. Curran continues to defend the possibility of legitimate dissent from Church teachings that fall outside the infallible.

Incidentally, the newsletter also provided a valuable, albeit unintentional, service by letting me know that “The Complete Idiot’s Guide to Understanding Catholicism” is a book I should avoid.

The newest Complete Idiot’s Guide to Understanding Catholicism notes VOTF, listed after Opus Dei in a chapter titled “It’s a Big Tent”, says: “Apparently VOTF seems to know its stuff and more than a little about Church stuff, too.” A concluding statement reads, “The spirituality of VOTF follows the prophetic tradition of calling leaders to accountability by speaking out. It also puts universal values to work by protecting the most vulnerable in the flock. Members of VOTF know that whether or not they will succeed in their goals of establishing dialogue with bishops and creating accountability by speaking out they are expressing their faith.”

Apparently, looking at the title of the book, truth-in-advertising laws are getting very strict.

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Written by
Domenico Bettinelli