Why is VOTF National being so low key in Walter's case?
Glory Days are gone VOTF is still meeting at St. Eulalia in Winchester.
VOTF - OLHC Newton said that they would coordinate all efforts ,marches,
petitions ,and protests to reinstate Walter as if it was a grass roots effort
by the humble parish folk of OLHC - Newton.
Glory Days are gone
VOTF is still meeting at St. Eulalia in Winchester.
The crowd has dwindled to 35 regulars from 10 surrounding parishes.
The over flow Glory Days are gone . Their mantra is he same.
Keep the Faith. Change The Church.
I went to the 3 October meeting. Bob Morris started exactly at 7:30PM .His hair
has a little tinge of grey but the rest of the audience was awash in white.
Bob Morris has been elected to The National Representative Council of VOTF.
Only three were under 50.
58 women,10 men.
The increase this Monday is due to a very important speaker from VOTF
Ray Joyce , VOTF executive director , one of only two full time employees all
the rest are part time or volunteers.
The VOTF operating expenses for 2004 were $ 714,015.00 .
Salaries were $339,105.00
Ray Joyce , VOTF executive director spoke briefly then answered some questions.
Highlights from the meeting follow :
1. They have to change their style to attract more recruits.[ see #4 ]
Every one is put off by the bad karma given off by VOTF.
They are held in low esteem by most Catholics across the country.
[ I was shocked to hear him admit this ]
2. There is a 10 year plan.
It is unclear except that they are after our children and our grandchildren.
over the ten years.
3. Financial strong arm tactics are the only way to get the hierarchy's
4. The Church has to change because VOTF will not change.
There was no indication as to what was to be changed .
[Everyone in the audience has their thoughts on what is to change.]
5. How many priests support Walter ?
Fr Cuenin was the center of most commentary and was always refered to as Walter.
Seemingly , on a first name basis with many in the assembly.
6. Why isn't The Priests' Forum doing anything ?
Ray Joyce , VOTF executive director reported that he had had a discussion with
the Forum's leadership and it seems that they too are weak and held in low
regard by the Faithful in general.
7. A summit meting was suggested and the crowd roared approvingly . Again , all
present seemed to have insider info as to what was to occur at the Summit
8. Why is Walter trying to remain beyond his 12 years?
One question that caused the 70 angst .
The Chancery will be called to find out how many others have stayed beyond their
There must be " Clarity around Facts."
[ They must sit around a think up slogans for media purposes. ]
9. A suggestion was made to not go to the Bishop directly but to a local priest , then
the vicar , then the regional Bishop, Then the BIG "O".
I am sure they meant Bishop O'Malley.
10.Directives were given to go home and approach their parish finance committees
for info as to how each parish is handling their finances.
11. Structural change has not been defend as of 4 years.
This third secret is a very sticky point with the gathering at St Eulalia's.
When the question was posed BY VOTF loyalists ,Ray Joyce , VOTF executive
director immediately segued to the Grand Jury report in PA.
This prompted a follow up question from the same woman.
Who wags the tail?
Is the tail wagging the dog?
Ray Joyce , VOTF executive director responded
that " IT IS NEITHER . IT IS A GROUP WAG."
From here Ray Joyce , VOTF executive director proceeded to explain that
VOTF has no hierarchy.
All decisions are made at the grass roots level and implemented by those in
positions of authority. [ VOTF HAS NO HIEARCHY ]
The operating procedures were then explained.
6 Trustees never change
4 officers do change
14 regions across the country have 28 reps that change
Bylaws are evolving.
12. Why is VOTF National being so low key in Walter's case?
Ray Joyce , VOTF executive director said
that VOTF National as asked to keep out of the frey.
Ray Joyce , VOTF executive director said
VOTF at OLHC asked them to NOT get involved .
Ray Joyce , VOTF executive director said
That OLHC -VOTF says that VOTF National carries too much bad publicity.
Ray Joyce , VOTF executive director said
VOTF - OLHC Newton said that they would coordinate all efforts ,marches
,petitions ,and protests to reinstate Walter as if it was a grass roots effort
by the humble parish folk of OLHC - Newton.
13. VOTF is always attentive to the spirit.
[ there will be no meeting on Halloween ]
14. Although 97.6 % of sexual abuse in Boston was homosexual pedophilia
Ray Joyce , VOTF executive director said that homosexuality plays no role in the sex abuse crisis.
Commentary from Paul Anthony Melanson Faithfulvoice NH
You can see more from Paul at his Blog: La Salette Journey
Writing to the Ephesians, St. Paul said, "Putt off the old man who is corrupted according to the desire of error, and be renewed in the spirit of your mind: and put on the new man, who according to God is created in justice and holiness of truth" (Eph. 4:22-24). And as Dr. Von Hildebrand explains, "These words of St. Paul are inscribed above the gate through which all must pass who want to reach the goal set us by God. They implicitly contain the quintessence of the process which baptized man must undergo before he attains the unfolding of the new supernatural life received in Baptism." (Transformation in Christ, p.3).
Dr. Von Hildebrand goes on to explain in this work of critical importance that there is a certain type of man, "who, while not lacking a certain elan, refuses to take account of his limitations and is thus driven to magnify his stature artificially." He continues: "Suppose he is present at some discussion of spiritually relevant topics: he will take part in the debate as though he were fully equipped to do so; he will claim impressions as deep as the others; he will not yield to any other man as regards intellectual proficiency or even religious stature. Thus he works himself up, as it were, to a level which he has not reached in reality - and which he may not even be able to reach, so far as it is a matter of natural capacities. He is not without zeal; but that zeal is nourished at heart by pride. He misjudges the limitations of the natural talents which God has lent him, and consequently lapses into pretense. He is fond of speaking of things which far transcend the limits of his understanding; he behaves as though a mere mental or verbal reference to such subjects (however poorly implemented with actual knowledge and penetration) would by itself amount to their intellectual possession. This cramped attitude of sham spirituality is mostly underlain by an inferiority complex, or by a kind of infantile unconsciousness. Stupidity in its really oppressive form is traceable to this pretension to appear something different from what one is in fact, and by no means to a mere deficiency of intellectual gifts." 9Transformation in Christ, pp.23-24).
Why am I relating all of this? Because, Dr. Von Hildebrand teaches us that such false self-appraisals actually hinder our readiness to change or to "put on the new man" as St. Paul instructs us to do. And what Dr. Von Hildebrand refers to as a "cramped attitude of sham spirituality" was clearly in evidence at the recent VOTF meeting held at St. Eulalia Parish.
My editor here at Faithfulvoice.com secretly attended this meeting and reported that the crowd has dwindled to 35 regulars from 10 surrounding parishes and that "their mantra is the same: Keep the Faith. Change the Church." This even though it was acknowledged that VOTF is held in "low esteem" by most Catholics across the country and despite the fact that everyone in the audience had their own thoughts as to what is to change.
The people who were in attendance at this meeting may have their own thoughts as to what must change. But this is because they fail to listen to the Word of God as given to us by the Apostle to the Gentiles. Insisting that it is not they who must "put on the new man" in Christ Jesus but that it is the Church which must change, these intellectually and spiritually cramped characters evaluate the abuse crisis within the Church and issue an arrogant vestra culpa (your fault) while refusing to issue a humble mea culpa (my fault). These sophomoric souls, anxious to assign blame to the Church for the sins of some of Her members, forget the words of the great Cardinal Journet: "All contradictions are eliminated as soon as we understand that the members of the Church do indeed sin, but they do so by their betraying the Church. The Church is thus not without sinners, but She is without sin. The Church as person is responsible for penance. She is not responsible for sins...The members of the Church themselves - laity, clerics, priests, bishops, and Popes - who disobey the Church are responsible for their sins, but the Church as person is not responsible...It is forgotten that the Church as person is the Bride of Christ, 'Whom He has purchased with His own Blood' (Acts 20:28)."
VOTF members will no doubt continue to live in denial while loudly proclaiming the need for "structural change" within the Church even while remaining unsure as to what this actually means. This is why their movement is fast becoming a rotting corpse. But there is another and no less important reason for their movement's decay. And it is this: most Catholics in this country understand what they themselves do not: namely, that the Church founded by Jesus Christ the Incarnate Word is a perfect society which is immutable.
They know and understand this because such is the teaching of the Church. It was Pope Pius XII, in his encyclical letter Mystici Corporis, who taught that: "..The Church, which should be considered a perfect society in its own right, is not made up of merely moral and juridical elements and principles. It is far superior to all other human societies; it surpasses them as grace surpasses nature, as things immortal are above all those that perish...The juridical principles, on which also the Church rests and is established, derive from the divine constitution given it by Christ.."
Such authentic Catholics accept the teaching of Vatican I that, "...the pastors and the faithful of whatever rite and dignity, both as separate individuals and all together, are bound by the duty of hierarchical subordination and true obedience, not only in things which pertain to faith and morals, but also in those which pertain to the discipline and government of the Church which is spread over the whole world, so that the Church of Christ, protected not only by the Roman Pontiff, but by the unity of communion as well as of the profession of the same faith is one flock under the one highest shepherd. This is the doctrine of Catholic truth from which no one can deviate and keep his faith and salvation." (Dogmatic Constitution I on the Church of Christ, Session IV).
VOTF rejects this clear and unambiguous teaching of Holy Mother Church. This is why the movement is held in "low esteem" by most Catholics in this country (and beyond) and why their working papers are probably now being used to line bird cages.
Paul Anthony Melanson
The following is a letter of desperation from Jim Post of VOTF.
Read THROUGHIT AND SEE THE DESPERATION.
Funds ARE DRYING UP.
Membership HAS DWINDLED.
VOTF is hitting the panic button
Read and then write to Ray Joyce , Executive Director of VOTF
He will give your message to Jim Post.
To paraphrase Thomas Paine, these are the times that try our souls.
These words once stirred people to stand together and proclaim their values. Perhaps they will do so again. Sixty five million American Catholics have good reason to be riled up today.
The Catholic Church in America is at a tipping point. The future of our Church, and our faith, is in the balance. Recent events are shining the moral spotlight on all of us:
€ Last week, a grand jury in Philadelphia documented the cases of 63 priests who committed hundreds of acts of sexual abuse. These crimes were aided by the actions of two former cardinals whose efforts to cover up were condemned by the grand jury. As the report states, "... in its callous, calculating manner, the Archdiocese's 'handling' of the abuse scandal was at least as immoral as the abuse itself." Astonishingly, the current archbishop of Philadelphia, Cardinal Justin Righali, defended his predecessors and attacked the grand jury for telling the truth.
€ In Boston, Fr. Walter Cuenin, an outspoken and much-admired priest, has been dismissed as pastor of a parish on trumped up charges of financial impropriety. This smear was committed by those whose own financial misdeeds include diversion of assets from the archdiocesan priests' retirement fund. Neither the parish council nor the canonically-mandated finance council were informed of Fr. Cuenin's impropriety or the intended action. Archbishop Sean O'Malley has refused to meet with members of the councils, which staunchly defend their pastor. Adding insult to injury, Cardinal Bernard Law's former spokesperson has been named pastor in a further affront to the parish community.
€ In Chicago, eleven priests were removed from ministry because of sexual misconduct with children. However, these priests will not be barred from living with their brother priests. Rather, Cardinal Francis George has pledged to keep the priests that have been found guilty under strict supervision. It is a promise Catholics have accepted -- and regretted - before. Notably, the names of the eleven priests have been made public.
€ In St. Louis, the first of more than 200 American seminaries was visited as part of a review and assessment by a hand-picked investigative team led by an auxiliary bishop of Philadelphia. One purpose of the reviews is to identify any gay seminarians and to deconstruct factors that could theoretically promote a homosexual atmosphere in the seminary. There is no scientific studycorrelating pedophilia with homosexuality. Meanwhile, the research study of the causes and consequences of clergy sexual abuse that was promised by the US Conference of Catholic Bishops (USCCB), has yet to be funded. The seminary visitation initiative has further increased the climate of fear and intimidation among those men who are celibate regardless of their sexual orientation.
Is this the Church of the 21st Century?
These events are not taking place in isolation. These are the "signs of the times" that move us to ask difficult questions about what to do in reversing so many ill-conceived policies. At this time more than ever, "Accountability Now!" must remain our collective focus. Voice of the Faithful is working to ensure that sexual abuse is ended in our Church, and that justice is done for survivors of abuse and priests of integrity. But achieving accountability in our church is going to take much more from all of us.
The bishops in Philadelphia, Boston, and Chicago think the laity can be ignored in dealing with substantive issues, even when effective parish and finance councils are in place, as in the Boston parish noted above. What are these bishops' saying to the 35,000 lay ministers now working in parishes across the US, the 18,000 preparing to assume leadership roles in their parishes and dioceses, and the 100,000 catechists already filling the ranks of a declining priesthood? Let these bishops know what kind of church you believe Christ meant for us to be. Ours can be a Church of Fear and Repression or a Church of Tolerance, Charity, and Justice.
Catholics must stand up and speak out because our Church is at a crossroads. We can let it go down the road of clericalism, repression, and fear, or we can follow the road built on a vision of tolerance, charity, and justice. One is darkness, the other is light.
I believe the actions we take in the months ahead will determine whether our Church will make it possible, or impossible, for children and grandchildren to practice the Catholic faith. We must be better Christians, stronger Catholics, and architects of a restored faith for our children. If we fail to act now, we fail them.
Several months ago VOTF began the process of building a national campaign for Accountability Now! We need you -- every one of you -- to work in this campaign for accountability in our Church. Current events make the case for accountability even more compelling. The action plans we are creating together will help us to unite more powerfully in the months and year ahead, and to stand together for specific outcomes and a common purpose.
These truly are the times that "try our souls" and measure our commitment. We are not powerless. We have choices. What choice will you make?
P.S. VOTF affiliates in Philadelphia, Boston, Chicago and other communities are developing action campaigns. And be inspired by the message of Archbishop Oscar Romero, who left these words of wisdom for all of us:
"A gospel that does not unsettle,
A word of God that does not get under anyone's skin,
a word of God that does not touch the real sin of the society in which it is being proclaimed. What gospel is that?
- Archbishop Oscar Romero, April 16, 1978