On the web since 1997
What is the San Francisco VOTF’s Real Agenda?Fred Martinez / -- The pro-gay San Francisco Chronicle recently printed an article about a controversial “Catholic” organization including an email address and phone number on how to get in contact with the group, which the newspaper described as not being “fringe.”
The group is Voice of the Faithful (VOTF) that is opposed nationally by Faithful Voice. Spokeswoman for Faithful Voice, Carol McKinley claims the organization is “profoundly” deceptive.
“VOTF is controversial as a result of the profound deception of the individuals in leadership and teaching positions. While they deny their affiliation with Call to Action, VOTF's founding members Jan Leary, Fr. Walter Cuenin and others are keynote speakers at the Spring Call to Action Conference, right along with Joanna Manning of "Catholics for Free Choice", an abortion advocacy group,” McKinley said.
“In VOTFs meetings with the Bishops, they purport they are "centrist" on the teachings of the Roman Catholic Church. But the agents who act on their behalf, Fr. Ray Schroth, James Carroll, Anthony Massimini, Anthony Padovano, Bishop Gumbleton and many others, are teaching philosophies contrary to the Church.”
As reported in the San Francisco newspaper Peg Gleason and her husband, Ed, begin the first Bay Area chapter of Voice of the Faithful, a national group started in Boston, which claims it wants to end the church sex abuse scandal by ending “medieval” traditions.
“A lot of them [the bishops] want to continue the cover-up. The bishops and their spokesman still want the cover-up,” VOTF Bay Area leader Ed Gleason said. “This is medieval tradition. The only ones who still have this are the Moslems. But some are more open than others.”
Faith Voice claims that VOTF has more on it’s agenda than to end to medieval traditions.
“Their [VOTF‘s] agenda is to create a democratic American church which votes on the acceptance of Divine Law by 2/3 vote, hires and fires its priests, Bishops and in fact Pope,” McKinley said. “Here in Boston, they actually have a "Bishop's Search Committee" who believes they are recruiting for the next Archbishop of Boston. It is delusional.”
The Chronicle however presented VOTF as being mainstream by quoting Theresa Murphy of St. Ignatius Church who attended the Voice of the Faithful meeting at the Jesuit run University of San Francisco on February 4.
Murphy said in the San Francisco newspaper that the leaders starting VOTF in San Francisco such as Ed and Peg Gleason who are members of St. Teresa Parish are"not fringe people; they are the real backbone of their churches."
According to Lesbian Jane Meredith Adams in her article for the San Francisco Magazine Online website she returned to the Gleason’s parish St. Teresa’s Catholic because a teacher at the class for returning Roman Catholics claimed "The church is awful on that stuff [“Rome saying gay people are ‘objectively disordered’.”] Nobody listens to them about sex."
Adams also said recently deceased Father Peter Sammon pastor of St. Teresa’s Catholic “was the reason I’d returned to the church.” The San Francisco Magazine article presented Sammon as a close associate of Rep. Nancy Pelosi who is now House minority leader.
“Later, at the funeral [of Sammon], Congresswoman Nancy Pelosi described how Father Peter gave her hell for not moving fast enough to help the poor,” according to Adams writing for the pro-homosexual San Francisco Magazine.
Homosexual and abortion leader Pelosi even made a congressional floor statement in honor of Father Peter Sammon on April 16, 2002.
The radical national gay & lesbian newsmagazine Web site The Advocate on December 24, 2002 had a headline that said “The Selection of House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi Ensures Gay Rights will Stay on the Agenda”
Also according to the Human Events online November 18, 2002 issue “Few! members of the House over the years have been as zealous in their pursuit of unlimited abortion rights as Mrs. Pelosi, a Roman Catholic who has steadfastly supported partial-birth abortion.”
The Human Events article as well said “Pelosi backed an amendment to the District of Columbia appropriations bill that would have permitted the use of local funds to force the Boy Scouts of America to reinstate two gay leaders and compensate them with $50,000 each.”
When VOTF organizer Ed Gleason was asked what was Father Sammon’s relationship with Congresswoman Nancy Pelosi. He said “Fr. Sammon was the one of the greatest priests in San Francisco. You are way off base.” Then Gleason hung up the phone.
To be fair to Gleason, the question could have sounded to him like a suggestion that Sammon had a romantic relationship with Pelosi. Unfortunately instead of allowing this reporter to clarify the question for him he started name-calling and hung up the phone.
But the question still stands as to why “one of the greatest priests in San Francisco” was so closely associated with one of the top congressional ringleaders of radical homosexuality and abortion.
Is associating with a top leader of the radical homosexual and abortion movement part of the criteria that “mainstream” VOTF Catholics use to judge if a pastor is “one of the greatest priests in San Francisco?”
As stated earlier the Chronicle presented VOTF as being mainstream by quoting Theresa Murphy a founding member and parishioner at St. Ignatius Church who attended the Voice of the Faithful meeting at the California Jesuit run University of San Francisco on February 4.
The pro-homosexual The Jesuit Urban Center website presently has a link to Theresa or John Murphy of St. Ignatius Church in San Francisco. VOTF leader Theresa Murphy was emailed from the Jesuit website link, but declined to be interviewed for this article.
The Jesuit Urban Center director Father Thomas Carroll is a strong supporter of VOTF. He recently attacked Faithful Voice on the Jesuit website for not “dialoguing” with Voice of the Faithful.
“One of the hallmarks of Call to Action and dissenting groups is their use of the word ‘dialogue‘. They wish to bring unity through ‘dialogue‘. The problem is, the dialogue must end in concession to their ideas of the ‘dialogue’ or we are silenced... You use your free will to accept it or reject it - - but the dialogue ends where the Magisterium begins,” Faithful Voice spokeswoman McKinley said.
”The Jesuit Urban Center places the crucifix as a symbol of the Roman Catholic Faith. Yet, its reputation for advocating the virtue of homosexual acts is historical. I suspect this is real impetus for Fr. Carroll's attack on our group.”
Fr. Carroll, a native of San Francisco and member of the California province of the Society of Jesus on April 10,2002 opposed an amendment before the Massachusetts legislature to ban homosexual marriage in that state according to the October 2002 San Francisco Faith.
In the October San Francisco Faith investigative report Maria Kennedy said that “The Jesuit Urban Center seems to be at the center of homosexual activism in the Boston area.”
Carroll’s California province of the Society of Jesus, which allowed VOTF (a self proclaimed anti-sex abuse group) to meet at University of San Francisco on February 4, also has incongruously allowed the pro-homosexual sex abuse play "The Vagina Monologues" to be preformed on the USF campus.
The California Province of the Society of Jesus in Los Gatos while in the middle of its own sex abuse scandal according to a April 23, 2002 San Jose Mercury article reported that Fr. Joseph Fessio, S. J., despite being America's top orthodox publisher of Roman Catholic literature was “forced into an obscure chaplain's job in Los Angeles after he criticized the University of San Francisco as too liberal and sought to open his own orthodox college."
The Mercury said “One criticism he [Fessio] made in February – just before the enforced exiled happened – was about the USF establishment's plan to allow students to enact a production of a play called "The Vagina Monologues.''
E. Michael Jones said in Culture War magazine that "The Vagina Monologues" is a sex abuse play. Commenting on the play when it ran at Notre Dame University, he said, "It also features a graphic description of the lesbian seduction of a minor, which is excused precisely because a lesbian is doing the molesting.”
Faithful Voice claims it isn’t incongruent that VOTF would meet at a campus that promoted a pro-homosexual sex abuse play. McKinley asserts that VOTF’s philosophy is not inconsistent with pro-homosexual activism or amoral theologians and teachers.
“Gays, Lesbians, Bisexual and Transgenders are attracted, naturally, by the VOTF philosophers, theologians and teachers who tell them they may decide what is right and wrong in their own conscience. In fact, it attracts anyone who rather hear that their salvation is independent of their obedience to Divine Law...Now, they wish to "change" it from within. I think they are astounded at our refusal to submit to their demands,” McKinley said.
“This is their American Church and Roman Catholics are extremely offended by it, and are resisting it. Why? Because it makes Christ's Redemptive Incarnation and Crucifixion unnecessary.”
When Gleason was asked if the church scandal is a homosexual problem.
He said “ The evidence isn’t out on that.”
However U.S. News & World Report columnist John Leo reported that studies have shown that 5 percent or less of priests fit the pedophile description. He said, "Most sexual victims of priests are teenage boys [abused in homosexual acts], according to one estimate. A study of Chicago's 2,200 priests identified 40 sexual abusers, only one of whom was a pedophile."
Also according to the News Agency's "The World Seen From Rome," Hastings Wyman, syndicated homosexual columnist, wrote: "[T]he pattern of sexual abuse among Catholic clergy does suggest a gay problem … 90 percent of the cases of sex with adolescents that have come to light in the Church involved teenage boys, not girls. Do the math." (Between the Lines, May 22, 2002)
When Gleason was told most church experts say that 90% of the priests who committed sex abuse are homosexual and then asked if he thought homosexuals should be priests? He said “ I don’t think we have any answer on that.”
But on December 5, 2002 the Catholic World News wrote:
“A leading Vatican official has confirmed the Church's position that men with homosexual tendencies should not be ordained.
In a letter dated May 16, 2002, Cardinal Jorge Medina Estevez-- who was, at the time, the prefect of the Congregation for Divine Worship-- said:
‘Ordination to the diaconate or priesthood of persons with homosexual tendencies is absolutely unadvisable and imprudent, and from a pastoral point of view, extremely risky.’
The letter by Cardinal Medina Estevez, which was a response to a query from a bishop, has now been published in the November-December edition of a bulletin put out by the Congregation for Divine Worship.”
Fred Martinez is staff religion editor of the Conservative Monitor and a regular contributor to the San Francisco Faith, a Northern California newspaper. In addition, he wrote for, produced and hosted the Latino Love Show on Channel 38, San Francisco. His new book Real Axis of Evil is available for a prepublication price of $3.95 if purchased as an ebook from www.therealaxis.com.