Voice of the Faithful Redux

A while back, somebody sent me a link to Voice of the Faithful. Now the Major Media are starting to notice these guys. Andrew Sullivan, reliably confused about all things Catholic, has anointed them as one of the Church’s great hopes, so that’s a warning bell to proceed with caution. Now the New York Times does piece on them. Ding! Second bell. But still, we can’t do the Petersnet thing and assume guilt by association. So have a look at them. When you do, as I did, I think you will find they are more or less what you would expect to happen in a part of the country angered by the incredible stupidity and even wickedness of its pastors. That is, they react against the evil, but do so in a way which is, in fact, profoundly influenced by the very people who shepherded them and taught them, by word and example, to despise the authentic teaching of the Church. It’s a profound irony really. Creeps like Shanley, posing as Cutting Edge Street Priest in Conflict with a Medieval Church, dolloped out a brew of dissent and ignorance of the Faith for 20 years (and did other things in obedience to their principles as well). So what happens? The laity they mistaught for all those long years know only what they were mistaught. When the priest is revealed as a scum and the bishop that did not have the courage or integrity to stop him is shown to have badly failed to teach or uphold the Tradition, what do the laity do? They don’t return to the Tradition of which they know so little. They do what Shanley and his ilk taught them to do: demand power for the People’s Democratic Republic of Heaven.

Yes, there is a place for governance by consensus in the Catholic tradition (a very different thing than the proposed restructuring of the Church along the lines of the US Constitution which the VOTF people seem to be toying with). Dominicans govern themselves by a sort of democratic consensus model and have done so for 800 years. But then, Dominicans have paid attention to the Tradition. Sudden populist movements like VOTF, born in the hatchery of Boston’s (and America’s) wretched, wretched catechesis of dissent have no clue what the Tradition is and tend to speak as though the Tradition is part of the problem, not part of the solution. They are, all unaware, acting as the disciples of the people who betrayed them. It’s terribly sad to see. And not least Because I think they do mean well. “And he had pity on them because they were like sheep without a shepherd.” God have pity on your poor flock in this country. We have been so badly, badly served by our shepherds.