I have some very good news to report. As some of you may recall on this thread forums.catholic.com/showthread.php?t=51454 I had some concerns about statements quoted in the local newspaper by the parish priest at the church I had started attending. On the face of it, it looked bad, and I mistakenly assumed that he had taken a certain position on the changing of doctrine.
Fortunately, I was advised on that thread to delve further into the matter. Today I met with the very same priest. After telling him about my faith journey, I then asked him about VOTF, the newspaper article, and about RCIA for my husband and me, and about our children’s religious education.
He reiterated what the other priest had told me about the VOTF members who are also congregants at that parish - that they are are very much in tune with the teachings of the church and that their only stated purpose is to help good priests build up the church in any way they can. He smiled when I asked about the newspaper article and said that it is often difficult when dealing with news reporters - that they often don’t get the quotes exactly right!
He said that his view was that the doctrines should not be changed, but that the way they are explained to the people need to be more detailed. For example, when he said, “I don’t think the American nation can just accept the answer no.” he meant that it wasn’t enough just to give the “No”, but that people need to know the reasons why the answer is no. He mentioned a presentation they held recently with a bio-ethics doctor. The doctor showed in great detail the problems with embryonic stem cell research, the alternatives, etc. People came away with a certainty of why embryonic stem cell reasearch is no good, rather than just a “No, because that’s what the church teaches” answer.
He used the metaphor of a parent and child. A parent will sometimes say, “No because I said so.” But once a person has grown into adulthood, they can and should understand the whys of the situation. It was like what Liberian mentioned on the other thread, “If by the latter the good Father means ‘a new explanation of why these things have always been, are now, and will always be against the teachings of the Church’, then he is probably right on target.”
So I feel 100% better about the situation. The priest also gave me some very good advice on my own path, RCIA for my husband and myself in the fall if we wish, and resources for our teenagers should they want to come to the Catholic Church as well.
AND - he said they just decided in the past couple of weeks to bring back the Sanctus bells for the Consecration! (Which may sound like a not-so-critical issue, but I really missed them!)
So thanks to everyone for your help and support. I was so happy after meeting with the priest. And they just installed a new statue of Mary in the church, so I went in afterwards to pray and thank God for this opportunity to talk with the priest and for resolution of my concerns.