Voice of the Faithful president James Post has issued a statement of VOTF’s goals. It’s still vague on specifics, but there’s enough there to comment on.
Right up front is a mention of the ‘Voice of Compassion” fund. The stated purpose of the fund is to “enable donors to support Catholic ministries and programs but without the risk of donations being misappropriated for secret settlements, legal fees, and public relations.” That’s just silly. It’s no different than those who say the US government should give money to international pro-abortion groups with the stipulation that none of the funds be used for pro-abortion purposes. Of course, the money freed up by the donation for non-abortion uses can then be transferred to pro-abortion uses. What this fund is really about is control.
When you make a donation to the archdiocese you can attach conditions to it even now. If you say this donation can only be used for, say, youth ministry programs, then that’s all they can do with it. That’s all that VOTF is doing, but by aggregating all those funds together, they can make greater demands and force the diocese to do things, like implement their heterodox agenda.
VOTF seems to be filled with its own self-importance. They say that they want to talk to the bishops but they will not negotiate their right to exist, right to be heard, and right to free speech. First, nobody has a right to be heard. I don’t have to listen to you. That’s just typical liberal-speak. You can talk all you want, but no one can make me listen. Second, as a faithful son or daughter of the Church, you should place yourself in humble obedience to the Holy Spirit as it acts through the bishops. Obedience isn’t just for clergy.
The group also envisions a VOTF chapter in every parish in every diocese in the world. Again, there’s that self-importance. As if laymen cannot be effective and vibrant and faithful Catholics without VOTF. It’s just an insulating layer placed between us and the Church. The last thing we need is a “layman’s union.”
The statement discusses self-education. It’s interesting what they include and what they leave out:
- We must have a deeper understanding of our faith and the way the institutional Church operates. We must study canon law. We must read and discuss Vatican II. We must understand our history in order to chart our future. We have to understand the administrative structures of the Church in order to change them.
It sounds like a management course. No discussion of Scripture. No mention of the Catechism. Evidently, magisterial teaching only began in the 1960s since there’s no mention of any Church teaching before Vatican II.
In fact, in this whole declaration, I didn’t see one mention of Jesus, the Father, or the Holy Spirit. There was no call to holiness, to prayer, to faithfulness. It could have just as easily be a manifesto for the Democratic Party to regain power or about restructuring of a worker’s union. That’s the problem with VOTF in a nutshell. The group is more about power and control than it is about faith, salvation, and the will of God. But they just don’t get it.