VOTF Watch

Can it survive a disinformation campaign?

The lay Catholic reform group Voice of the Faithful has garnered many supporters (see "Voices of the Faithful," August 16) as well as some significant critics. Bishop William F. Murphy banned VOTF from meeting in his Rockville Centre, New York, diocese, as did Bishop William E. Lori in Bridgeport, Connecticut, and Bishop Joseph J. Gerry, of Portland, Maine. (Bishop Emilio Allue, an auxiliary bishop of Boston, has ordered one of his pastors not to allow VOTF to meet in a parish, citing VOTF’s "hidden and open issues.") Bishop Murphy, Boston’s former vicar general, told the Long Island Catholic (September 18) that he sees no need for VOTF because a diocesan synod is being planned. He expressed doubts about VOTF’s goals, questioning how "a group of lay persons or any group can announce that they are going to care for the victims of sexual abuse"; and he queried the meaning of "supporting priests of integrity." VOTF’s motto also came under scrutiny: "’Keep the faith’ and ’change the church’—I don’t know what that means....we’re not naive—we know that in the church today there are people who disagree with things that the Holy Father teaches and which it’s necessary for a person to believe." "I made a judgment," Murphy concluded: VOTF "should not be setting the agenda for the good people in the Diocese of Rockville Centre."


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About the Author

Grant Gallicho is an associate editor of Commonweal. You can follow him on Facebook and Twitter.