Has VOTF promoted anything demonstrably orthodox?

Has VOTF promoted anything demonstrably orthodox?

The Catholic Action League of Massachusetts has sent out a press release describing the Voice of the Faithful conference yesterday as further evidence the group’s claims of fidelity to the Church’s teachings as false. He provides specific examples.

  • The election of the leader of a religious institute is not the same thing as the election of bishop. I never used the word Protestant and never said it was. Yes, bishops and popes have been selected and appointed using various methods in the past, but I think what we’ve seen is that those methods don’t work. Just look at what popular elections have done for our separated brethren.

    I can reliably predict when I’m writing a post that you will be commenting on it and making an erroneous conclusion. As the Catholic League release says and I have pointed out all the time, it isn’t one speaker at one conference, it is every speaker at every conference. Even in this post it mentions Deborah Haffner. Why don’t you look her up in Google and see how she promotes adult-child sex? Rather than make assumptions based on incomplete readings of what I say, I challenge you to find one orthodox talk given at a VOTF conference. You can’t because it hasn’t been done.

    Lefebvre didn’t make the whole Church feeble-minded traditionalists, but it did make those who followed him schismatics. VOTF will fade not because it’s wacky ideas have taken root, but because their ideas are heterodox and the Lord promised that only Truth will prevail in His Church. Hopefully we can start real reform despite their distraction.

  • You assume too much. You may not understand VOTF but I do. I have spent plenty of time getting to know it. So I take great exception to your inference that I am an ignoramus attacking something he doesn’t understand.

    And you reveal everything in your own comment. You may want to go outside the Deposit of Faith, but I want to stay in it, especially since the Deposit was given to us by Jesus Christ. I trust him more than I trust you, sorry.

    As for your proposals for selecting a bishop, I think that while it may sometimes be okay for a bishop to come from within a diocese, I think that often it’s good to expand the “gene pool.” Archbishop Charles Chaput is a wonderful priest and bishop, but the people of Denver would have been denied his leadership had they only looked to their own priests. And as most organizations know, sometimes promoting from within causes the new leader difficulties because those who were once his peers may have a hard time treating him as their leader. And what if the best candidate isn’t from that diocese? Also, what about all the good religious priests who make good bishops, like the aforementioned Archbishop Chaput?

    Your second point: I don’t think a bishop should be linked to a diocese for life. I think it’s good for a bishop to get experience running a small diocese before being put in charge of a large archdiocese. I don’t want the new archbishop of Boston to be promoted right from being a pastor to archbishop. The job is too complicated and most men would be overwhelmed by the sudden immersion in the office.

    I don’t see why a “diocese” should have a right of refusal. What do you mean by “diocese”? In practical terms, the only people who would know enough about a particular candidate are the few who spend time immersed in Church affairs. And they bring their own agendas to the party. Then you’ll have internecine squabbling, political campaigning, and all the junk we get in our secular governance as factions fight over whether to accept him or not. Imagine an election where the bishop wins approval by 1 vote; how well do you think he will be able to lead the diocese then?

    No, I’m sorry, but your idea doesn’t hold up.

    In principle I have no problem with the College of Cardinals including lay people, including women. There have been lay cardinals in history.

    Mother Teresa would have made a fine cardinal. So would Mary Ann Glendon or Mother Angelica. But since the Pope is selected from among their number, it creates an awkward situation. And if it were done today, it would create the false expectation of priestesses, which isn’t going to happen.

  • Training from within runs the risk of creating clerical cliques representing one particular viewpoint. I think it is no accident that some dioceses had successive home-grown Bishops with serious judgement problems.  It seems to me that certain priests are put on a fast tract for Church leadership that involves school in Rome and years spent learning the workings of the dioceses from the diocesan offices. The only problem with this model is that it is all books and administration and not enough in the trenches spirituality.  No wonder we have administrator bishops who are dedicated to the kind of stewardship that manages resources, preserves assets, and reduces financial liabilities rather than the steward ship that saves souls.  If more emphasis were on the latter, there is no way a verified multiple offender would have never have been allowed to minister anywhere near children again.  The bishops would have seen the potential harm to people’s faith most especially the children. Judging by SNAP and its actions, survivors are hideously scarred spiritually—the gift of forgiveness that can free them from their pain will sadly not soon be welcomed with open arms by these poor souls.

    Bishops that put spiritual liabilities first would never have allowed these children of God to be so scarred.

    The question is how do you develop a system that puts being a spiritual shepherd above all else?

  • The Pharisees were not orthodox. They distorted the Church’s teachings to fit their own preconceptions and prejudices and in order to get people to follow them. they sound more like “progressives” or “traditionalists” to me. (Trads, as in those who split from the Church over Vatican II)

    Since “orthodox” means correct belief, that’s precisely what Jesus wants. He wants belief who believe and then do—orthopraxis—according to the Truth He’s given us.

    Any other meaning assigned to the word is an accretion by those with a political agenda.

  • Jackie,

    Did you even bother reading what I wrote? Orthodox means correct belief. If the Pharisees were orthodox (correct belief) then Jesus would be the heterodox which is impossible. Therefore it was the Pharisees who had to have been heterodox.

    As Jesus said they put man-made rules and regulations ahead of everything rather than taking God’s Word as it was. If they had, they would have seen the Messiah when he came. Today’s orthodox put God’s Word ahead of the man-made proscriptions of the heterodox.

  • The agenda is not so hidden. Despite the claim of accepting the teaching authority of the Church, they also include materials that contradict the Church’s teachings:

    They say that the papers are the views of the authors, and not necessarily those of VOTF, but there isn’t a single one from a distinctly orthodox point of view. In fact, they contain points of dissent.

    That would be like setting up a web site, claiming to be a Republican, and then posting position papers that outline a Democratic point of view. Should I believe what you say or what you do? Hmmm, where have I heard that before?

  • “re there far-out supporters of VOTF? Sure. But some Latin Mass advocates are schismatics. That doesn’t sink the whole traditionalist movement in liturgy.”

    Bad analogy. The schismatic groups are rejected wholesale by even Latin Mass-loving, but faithful Catholics. Just as those organizations that give comfort and support to heretical ideas should be shunned by faithful Catholics.

    No matter how much you protest it, Todd, the male-only priesthood has been definitively defined as dogma. The Pope said, the CDF confirmed it. Of course, there are those would say that the say-so of those two authorities doesn’t make it so, but then that leads one even further from Catholic orthodoxy.

    And calling something a discipline doesn’t make it any less required. Catholics are required to give “religious assent” to the ordinary teachings of the magisterium as well, not rail against it and call that reform. Despite some historical revisionism, celibacy as a norm has been the rule throughout the Church’s history. Married priests were the exception right from the beginning, and those who were married prior to ordination were generally required to abstain from marital relations as a sign of being a “eunuch for the Kingdom.”

    And even in those rites within the Church and our separated Orthodox brethren, bishops, who represent and receive the fullness of the Sacrament of Holy Orders, do not marry.

    That this was supposedly an open issue is false, since it was only recently that the heterodox began to demand it. Only then was it required by the Magisterium to make explicit what was implicit. Just because there isn’t an ex cathedra dogma published about something doesn’t make it up for grabs.

    Christ appointed the apostles and their successors as guardians of the faith and orthodoxy, not a bunch of gray-haired housewives and professionals from suburbia, and certainly not me or even theologians in academia. The examination of what is essential and what is not, does not belong to you or me or VOTF.