Monday, October 10, 2005

Voice of the Faithful: The Tiny Pebble Lodged In The Shoe Of The Body Of Christ

This may say something perverse about me, but often the things that make me laugh are also very sad, such as the Voice of the Faithful's gathering in San Francisco last week to discuss the Church's selection of a new archbishop. According to VOTF's web site, "Voice of the Faithful –Northern California will host a Day of Discernment to pray, discuss, reflect and discern the future pastoral leadership of the Archdiocese of San Francisco."

A VOTF press release stated:"Voice of the Faithful points out that this gathering is in the best traditions of the ancient Church wherein the People of God selected their leaders and bishops."

This talking point was dutifully parroted twice in the inevitableSan Francisco Chronicle article although the reporter did work in the reality check that the pope picks the bishop, not delusional lay groups. Unfortunately, the reporter did not report this inconvenient fact until the very end of the article. Like, the last sentence.

The Chronicle should have known better but you can't blame the casual reader for getting the impression that VOTF wanted to make; that VOT's Day of Discernment will determine the selection of a new archbishop to replace William Levada(who is going to Rome to head the Congregation of the Doctrine of the Faith). And from there, it's not a huge leap to believe, as VOTF does, that this bitchfest is a critical development in VOTF evolving from the tiny pebble that could into ... something else!

From The Chronicle with funny/sad parts in bold:

"With their gray hair and their overwhelming preference for decaffeinated drinks, the nearly 100 members of the lay Catholic group Voice of the Faithful who gathered inside St. Matthew's Catholic Church gym in San Mateo on Sunday didn't look intimidating.

But theologian Sally Vance-Trembath of San Francisco said leaders of the Catholic Church see the group as a force to be reckoned with.

Fifty years from now, the Voice of the Faithful will be remembered as the tiny pebble that rolled down the hill and became the biggest thing to hit the church," Vance-Trembath, 51, said before delivering a keynote address to the group, which gathered to discuss its potential role in choosing the next archbishop to lead the San Francisco archdiocese."

No. Fifty years from now, the Voice of the Faithful will not be remembered at all because it is the tiny pebble that rolled down the hill and into a lake where it will remain forever buried in the muck.

The VOTF is serious. They really think they -- not the pope -- but THEY are going to pick the new Archbishop of San Francisco, and that Benedict XVI is quaking in his papal boots over this as history will inevitably prove.

Really.

How funny. How sad.