Reflecting on VOTF after five years

Reflecting on VOTF after five years

Phil Lawler of Catholic World News reflects on Voice of the Faithful’s fifth anniversary (subscription required) and while acknowledging it lasted longer than he thought it would, it’s just as incoherent as ever.

I know that VOTF is still working, but despite scores of public statements I don’t really know that the group is working for. ... VOTF was founded out of concern for the integrity of the Church, and compassion for the victims of clerical abuse. Those were causes that all good Catholics could support, and thousands did. With invaluable help from the Boston Globe—which gave the fledgling group the sort of constant favorable publicity that most organizations can only dream about—interest in VOTF soared and quickly spread across the country.

Yet Phil notes that it wasn’t long before it became clear that if you peeked under VOTF’s covers, you found something very different: an organization whose leaders were closely allied heterodox Catholic groups and whose founding documents and vision statements sounded suspiciously like the same old dissident rubbish in a not-very-new package.

Despite the group’s high-minded rhetoric about not taking a position on controversial public issues—like abortion, gay marriage, women priests, homosexuality, and so on—it has consistently promoted a certain dissident viewpoint. Whenever a VOTF leader was quoted in the media he was usually taking the contrarian, dissident point of view, whether it was gay marriage, gay priests, priestesses, abortion ,what have you.  Eventually, no matter what your official claim, your actual words will reveal your true heart.

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