Voice of Faithful takes on priestly celibacy

“Voice of the Faithful” the lay Catholic group that got started in response to the sex-abuse crisis, has had a shrinking public profile the past few years.

The group had its national convention this past weekend in Providence, R.I. Father Richard McBrien, the always provocative and outspoken Notre Dame theologian, was featured. Even he said that VOTF is at a “crossroads,” as it moves toward endorsing optional celibacy for priests and other controversial positions.

Until recently, VOTF sought to avoid such issues that have long been associated with liberal reform groups like Call to Action.

McBrien thought that optional celibacy was a good idea. According to the Providence Journal, he said:

Can you imagine what kind of candidates we would attract to the U.S. Senate, for example, or to any other high-ranking political, corporate or academic office if a commitment to lifelong celibacy were an essential, non-negotiable requirement.

Although VOTF has a very small presence in the Archdiocese of New York — fewer than a half dozen parishes have chapters — a Westchester chapter has started its own blog.

You can check it out “here.”:http://votfwny.blogspot.com/

Gary Stern

Gary Stern covered education in the Lower Hudson Valley for several years during the early 1990s. Now's he back on the beat. He believes that schools are one of the main reasons that people live around here and that educational issues -- from curriculum to financing -- are among the most challenging things that journalists can write about. He continues to be amazed by the complexity of educational jargon. Gary got his B.A. at SUNY Buffalo and his M.A. from the University of Missouri Journalism School (where his master's thesis was about the best ways to cover education). He lives in White Plains with his wife and two sons, who attend public schools.