So, conservative Catholics like sausage and scrapple eh?
To: Coleus; ELS
One protester stood up in the middle of the session and began shouting that Massimini was preaching heresy. The man had to be led from the room.
There was an old man who had an illustrious career as a municipal judge in New Jersey. One day several years after he retired he was thrown out of a conference of some sort because he stood up and began shouting that the speaker was preaching heresy.
The speaker was former Archbishop Peter Gerety.
"Kill'em with kindness,"
That should read "Con'em with kindness,"
Bully for Myers.
So, conservative Catholics like sausage and scrapple eh?
At the particular meeting in question, they didn't appear to want any dialogue, since the "conservatives" crowded out all the other speakers.
Ironically, that brings more sympathy to the more moderate and even progressive members of VOTF, who look reasonable in comparison to some guy who has to be hauled out of the meeting.
"If you are looking to believe what the Church believes, then we can readily work together.
This is actually good on Myers' part. Whether or not celibacy should be mandatory for priests is not part of Catholic belief, though it is part of Western Rite practice. If a practice can't stand the light of dialogue, how strong can it be?
"If they want to meet face to face, I give them credit for that," Hudson said when contacted last week at his Washington offices. "I have been a vocal critic of theirs, and it is only fair that if they invite me that I respond."
Maybe Myers ought to meet with them instead of thundering from on high. It's that kind of attitude that the majority of Catholics in the pews are sick to death of.
posted on 11/25/2002 3:47:14 PM PST
From what I've read, VOTF is "riding piggyback" on the sex abuse scandals in an effort to "liberalize" the RC Church - ( Some say, to turn it into what would amount to a Protestant denomination : ordination of women, elimination of clerical celibacy,approval of abortion, etc., etc. )
The fact they get such a warm reception from the Left is enough to raise cautionary hackles.
A big Archbishop Myers bump. He knows what he is doing.
posted on 11/25/2002 4:56:32 PM PST
VOTF is evil.
posted on 04/29/2003 5:40:46 PM PDT
(RU-486 Kills Babies)
"[For an alternate view of what these meetings are like: Another Look At Voice Of The Faithful]"
Another Look At Voice Of The Faithful
by Deal Hudson, Editor of Crisis Magazine
The president of Voice of the Faithful (VOTF), Jim Post, recently issued a letter to its members concerning their "policies and positions." The letter, as Post explains, was meant as a response to criticisms being leveled against the organization, charging it with being a dissident group.
Post even mentions that "one commentator has gone so far as to call VOTF a 'wolf in sheep's clothing.'"
That commentator, of course, would be yours truly. I must admit that I take a little satisfaction in knowing that our report on VOTF forced Post to respond. And I was looking forward to seeing how he was going to explain some of VOTF's more questionable stances.
I shouldn't have gotten my hopes up.
The letter actually does very little to answer our charges. While Post does back off on some of the more contentious issues, the letter doesn't even begin to address the myriad other problems that we raised in our special report.
In fact, I finished reading his letter more convinced of VOTF's dissident status than I did when I started.
Post claims that there has been "a serious misunderstanding, or deliberate distortion, of the mission, objectives, and philosophy of Voice of the Faithful" and that he wants "to set the record straight as to these allegations."
Well, let's see if he succeeded...
I've talked with several people who attended VOTF meetings. Contrary to what Post claims, they didn't find the open and welcoming atmosphere that VOTF touts; rather, when they tried to voice their traditional Catholic views, they were either silenced or booed right out of the meeting. Others found a similar dead-end on the VOTF message board, which was shut down shortly after criticism of the organization was raised. If anyone should be charged with "distortion," it's VOTF itself, whose claims of openness to all opinions are demonstrably untrue.
As for the organization's policies and positions, Post claims that "those who are a part of Voice of the Faithful represent a spectrum of traditional, mainstream, and progressive views on many subjects," but that VOTF itself has "taken no position on the many other issues that divide Catholics in 2002, [including] the end of priestly celibacy, the exclusion of homosexuals from the priesthood, the ordination of women, or any of the other remedies that some have proposed."
It may be true that members of VOTF represent a wide variety of beliefs and positions, and I'm sure that most of its members have joined in a sincere desire to address the painful situation at hand. However, it's simply untrue that VOTF itself hasn't taken a stand one way or the other in these issues. Its official positions are benign in themselves (i.e., support the abused, support good priests, etc.), but its many "unofficial" comments and actions give the organization away.
For example, the VOTF website (www.votf.org) lists some "highly recommended" reading for people struggling with the scandal, including Anthony Massimini's "Discerning the Spirit: A Guide to Renewing and Restructuring the Church." Massimini has an agenda, make no mistake about it. Take, for example, his comments on the defining characteristics of the Church hierarchy. He states that the present scandal has evolved from the hierarchy's "ignorance of the human body and sex; a mindset that degrades women and marriage; [and] a spiritually distorted, psychologically troubled view of celibacy."
If Jim Post wants to see a "deliberate distortion," he doesn't need to look any further than Massimini's comments -- a direct affront to Church teaching.
It's impossible for VOTF to support people like Massimini -- even going so far as to "highly recommend" his writings -- and then to try to distance itself from the dissenting views that these people hold. If it wanted to prove that it takes no sides on this issue, it wouldn't have recommended him, or at the very least, would have provided an authentic Catholic response to his comments.
Case in point: the July 20th VOTF convention. In our special report, we listed the names of several speakers who were invited to the convention, only one of whom is addressed in Post's letter: Debra Haffner, a Unitarian and former member of the Sexuality Information & Education Council of the U.S.
Post now admits that asking Haffner to appear at their convention was wrong. She was invited to speak on how to create a "sexually safe parish" based on her "special expertise regarding the protection of school-age children" -- expertise that involves endorsing a sex-ed program that would make most Catholic parents highly uncomfortable. It's good that VOTF now recognizes their lapse in judgment.
However, as Post admits in his letter, Haffner HERSELF had misgivings about speaking at the VOTF convention, thinking her contributions would be inappropriate for a Catholic crowd. In spite of her concerns, the leaders at VOTF insisted she appear. After the criticism started to roll in, though, VOTF shifted their position and, in the process, hung her out to dry.
Not surprisingly, she's angry. I know, because she called me yesterday. While we disagree over the nature of sex education and sexuality, she's an intelligent and engaging person who deserved better than the treatment she received from VOTF. They should have listened to her concerns at the very beginning, instead of pulling her in and then spitting her out.
Haffner did set me straight on one very important point, though. She pointed out an error in our special report on VOTF. In it, we quoted Haffner as having said that she holds an "anything goes" mentality where everyone "has a right to sex." We got the quote from a column in the Jewish World Review. However, the quote is incorrect and Haffner doesn't subscribe to that position at all. I apologize for the error.
Now, back to Post's letter...
After his two-faced repudiation of Haffner, Post moves onto Thomas Arens, president of the German "We Are Church" -- a group widely known for their dissent. Post explains, "We did not restrict attendance to VOTF members or to card-carrying Catholics. Rather, we invited people who wished to be a part of the 'Response of the Faithful.'"
Once again, they beg the question: Who are the faithful? If your panelists aren't even Catholic, what are they faithful to? How faithful will they be to Church teaching when it comes time to "change the Church"?
If Arens supports the message of "We Are Church," his ideas are completely out of line with faithful Catholicism. Simply calling himself Catholic doesn't make his positions any more valid. Again, a better representation of "centrist" Catholic thought could have been made without resorting to the railings of known dissenters.
To Jim Post and the leaders of VOTF, I say this: You're known by the company you keep. If VOTF wants to entertain the ideas of dissenting theologians and non-Catholics, that's its right. However, it cannot then expect us to overlook these associations when we're forming our opinions of the "mission" of VOTF. I, for one, can't trust an organization that claims to represent all Catholics but limits itself to one ideological view. It would demonstrate far more integrity for VOTF to simply acknowledge and defend their liberal theological agenda.
It's a long-held American value to mean what you say and say what you mean. Unfortunately, thus far, VOTF has done neither.
posted on 04/30/2003 11:56:54 AM PDT
("That government is best which governs least.")
To Myers, the group Voice of the Faithful was "anti- Church and, ultimately, anti-Catholic," and in no uncertain terms he said its members could not meet on church property anywhere in the four counties of the Newark archdiocese.
I like it, a bishop who isn't wishy washy like so many of the others.
posted on 01/11/2004 8:06:21 AM PST
(se habla espanol)
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