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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Written by
Domenico Bettinelli