Click here to advertise on CatholicCulture.org

faithful ... to what?

By Diogenes (articles ) | Jun 28, 2004

Nice work by Otto Clemson Hiss in isolating this pearl of VOTF candor from an article on Oakland Bishop Alan Vigneron from the San Francisco Chronicle.

"(Vigneron) claims that Voice of the Faithful is advocating the ordination of women, but we take no position on church doctrine," said Peter Davey, who leads the group's Easy Bay chapter.

Got that? "No position on church doctrine." So what becomes of VOTF's motto "Keep the Faith, Change the Church"? If they pretend to no position on what the Church teaches, their "faith" is entirely devoid of content. These are not Catholics -- to be Catholic means to take a position on Church teaching -- but ex-Catholics who have not yet formalized their apostasy, "defectors in place," in the jargon of Sandra Schneiders. Davey's admission is as final as it is succinct.

It's an occasion of shame, then, that VOTF members in many parts of the country appear to be the only persons publicly calling the bishops and religious superiors to stand accountable for their derelictions of duty. It should be believing, orthodox Catholics -- not dissenters and crypto-apostates -- who are in the vanguard here. Though Davey and (say) Diogenes may deplore the same clerical crimes, our purposes are contradictory. The distinction seems too subtle for many people, but I insist that there really is a difference between the man who objects to Bishop Ziemann's boffing Father Salas because it's intrinsically evil and because it mutilates his episcopal office, and the man whose objections would be withdrawn if Ziemann and Salas were in a "committed relationship." There's a difference in saying, "You're a scoundrel for not doing what you promised us to do," and, "You're a scoundrel for not doing what I've decided you should do." I'm calling for bishops who believe what Irenaeus believed and behave as Irenaeus behaved. Davey's calling for bishops who believe what Davey believes and behave accordingly. Not the same.

An appeal from our founder, Dr. Jeffrey Mirus:

Dear reader: If you found the information on this page helpful in your pursuit of a better Catholic life, please support our work with a donation. Your donation will help us reach five million Truth-seeking readers worldwide this year. Thank you!

Progress toward our April expenses ($17,660 to go):
$35,000.00 $17,340.48
50% 50%
Sound Off! CatholicCulture.org supporters weigh in.

All comments are moderated. To lighten our editing burden, only current donors are allowed to Sound Off. If you are a donor, log in to see the comment form; otherwise please support our work, and Sound Off!

Show 1 Comments? (Hidden)Hide Comments
  • Posted by: - Jun. 30, 2004 8:58 PM ET USA

    "...said Peter Davey, who leads the group's Easy Bay chapter." Apt name for the chapter, I should think.

Subscribe for free
Click here to advertise on CatholicCulture.org

Recent Catholic Commentary

Faith of the Fatherless: The Psychology of Atheism 11 hours ago
Relax; the Pope didn't change Church teaching with a phone call 12 hours ago
Round Trip to the present moment: a Catholic jazz artist's latest offering April 22
Easter with the Pope April 21
Smaller Church, Bigger Faith, 3: Ecclesiastical Discipline April 17

Top Catholic News

Most Important Stories of the Last 30 Days
Pope Francis: Easter Vigil homily (full text) CWN - April 20
Pope Francis's Easter Message 'Urbi et Orbi' (To the City and the World): full text, link to video CWN - April 20