VOTF’s last gasps

VOTF’s last gasps

Voice of the Faithful held its national meeting in Boston last week, specifically at its birthplace at Our Lady Help of Christians parish in Newton.

Reading the summary of the meeting I come away with the renewed conviction that this dissident group is dead and all we’re waiting for is the twitching to end.

It doesn’t take a whole lot of reading between the lines to find that (a) it sources of funding are drying up and (b) membership is declining.

On the fundraising, they try to make a silk purse out of a sow’s ear by noting that the number of individual donors if up while the amount of donations is down, leaving them with a $100,000 deficit in the next fiscal year. What that means is that the organization was relying on large donations from a few individuals, people motivated to ensure that VOTF was around to promote its heterodox vision. It doesn’t mean much to say that the number of individual donors has increased when there weren’t many to begin with.

And while they don’t come out and say that membership is declining, you have to understand that since VOTF counts as a member anyone who has ever attended a meeting or signed up for a mailing list, that number is deceptive. What they do say is that fewer and fewer people are bothering to participate in their activities.

In addition to the financial crisis facing VOTF, Bill Casey identified a crisis in leadership. Evidence of this comes from the low response rates (a range of 1% to 5%) when members are asked for input on proposals.

Frankly the rest of the summary makes for dry reading. It reads like the transcript of a board meeting for a Fortune 500 (a badly declining Fortune 500), and not an evangelical apostolate of the Catholic Church.

Surest sign of a group in collapse

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  • The prayer brought this to mind:

    “Two men went up into the temple to pray;
    one was a Pharisee, and the other was a tax collector.
    The Pharisee stood and prayed to himself like this:

    ‘God, I thank you, that I am not like the rest of men, extortioners, unrighteous, adulterers, or even like this tax collector.
    I fast twice a week. I give tithes of all that I get.’

    But the tax collector, standing far away, wouldn’t even lift up his eyes to heaven, but beat his breast, saying,

    ‘God, be merciful to me, a sinner!’

    I tell you, this man went down to his house justified rather than the other; for everyone who exalts himself will be humbled, but he who humbles himself will be exalted.”

  • A couple years ago, I filled out a web survey, only to sway it with orthodox answers.  Somehow, that landed me on their mailing list, and I get crap from them in the mail all the time now.

    Naturally, whenever a piece of their mail includes a postage-paid return envelope, I never neglect to send it back to them, at their cost, completely empty.  I figure I cost them a couple bucks a month, at least smile

  • Thanks for telling us about this, Domenico.  I think you’re right.  This is the last gasp, or at least the penultimate.

    CSSprague, nice job.  I also love the envelopes with pre-paid postage from dissident groups.  Either they get empties back or they pay more for fancier materials to defeat it.  wink  Make dissidence cost, my motto.

  • As far as the envelopes go, why not stick a prayer card or pamphlet on Catholic teaching.  It will likely not be received, but it might plant a seed that will lead to conversion.