Voice of the Faithful is a lay Catholic organization that was founded this year in response to the scandal in the Church. It is not clear at this early date how the organization will evolve. It wants to help make reforms in the Church. The question is whether the group has an agenda as well. Some bishops say it does and have barred Voice of the Faithful from meeting in church facilities. Other bishops have agreed to meet with representatives of the group.

George Weigel, always a reliable source, has said the following about the lay organization: “If the leadership of Voice of the Faithful would say unambiguously, ‘We accept the Catholic Church’s teachings on contraception, homosexuality, the indissolubility of marriage, and the good of celibacy,’ then VOTF would have a real place at the table in helping lead a genuinely Catholic reform of the Catholic Church.” He added, “I don’t hear that at all.”

Weigel’s remarks were not appreciated at Commonweal magazine. The liberal publication, which takes great amusement in questioning the Church’s teachings on a whole range of subjects, shot back at Weigel: “In other words, ‘genuinely Catholic reform’ will take place around a very small table.” The editorial continued by saying, “Only those who agree with Weigel and John Paul II’s ‘authoritative interpretation’ of Vatican II are invited.”

This is so typical it’s boring. The quotes say it all: Commonweal does not accept anything the pope says as being authoritative. Presumably, he’s just another player in the game. But the magazine’s editors may be on to something real when they imply that the likes of them will not have a place at the table of Church reform.

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