I know I'm risking making myself into the anti-Voris blog, but it's my blog, and I'll blog what I want to (my apologies to the late Leslie Gore). Michael Voris is so completely over the top that I feel someone needs to be calling him out.
Credit:Therefore you have no excuse, O man, every one of you who judges. For in passing judgment on another you condemn yourself, because you, the judge, practice the very same things.Romans 2:1
Michael Voris has made his living from attacking and condemning Church hierarchy. He, on a regular basis, calls priests and bishops evil and destroyers of the faith. He warns them that they are all headed to hell. He tells them they should "Get Out!" as I recently blogged. He calls them "homosexualists" and makes statements that they are either actively homosexual or promote homosexuality. He says they should either resign or be fired. He constantly accuses our priests and bishops of not believing the faith, of being apostates. In other words, he tells priests, bishops and cardinals of the Catholic Church to shut up!
Recently, however, Voris went after someone else who did exactly what he does all the time: tell a cardinal to shut up! As Voris explains,
Father Timothy Scott, spokesman for the Basilian Order, re-tweeted one of the articles and most importantly sent his tweet to Cardinal Burke where—get this—a priest publicly, for the whole world to see, blatantly declared to a Prince of the Church “STFU.”Here is a screen grab of Father Scott's tweet:
I want to make it emphatically clear that I do not support or defend Father Scott's actions in any way. There is no defense to his blatantly disrespectful and scandalous action. However, as even Voris admits, Father Scott realized how wrong he was and followed up with this tweet:
Voris wasted no words in condemning Father Scott:
That’s the language associated with gangs and thugs in drug-selling prostitution rings— not a man of God. To think it is bad enough; to say it out loud is appalling; to issue it publicly for the world to read means he should be immediately removed from his job as spokesman for the order.
Of course, Voris went over the top as he usually does in comparing Father Scott to "gangs and thugs in drug-selling prostitution rings." It wouldn't be Voris if he didn't use this kind of inflammatory language. But this rhetoric aside, Voris was obviously correct in his overall assessment of the situation, and Father Scott has been removed from his position as spokesman for the Basilian Order.
As far as Voris is concerned, admittedly he has never used the actual words, "STFU" when speaking of priests, bishops and cardinals. But that is most certainly the spirit of his venomous attacks against priests and prelates.
In one example, on March 12, 2014, Voris did a Vortex entitled, "Stop With The Interviews", in which he castigated Timothy Cardinal Dolan after the interview in which Cardinal Dolan said "Bravo" to Michael Sam for coming out. As Voris said in that Vortex episode:
There’s no real polite way to say this without someone somewhere saying, you’re being mean or rude or whatever, so we’ll just say it. Would some please tell Cardinal Timothy Dolan of New York to stop granting on camera interviews or doing anything involving a video camera – particularly when the topic .. which it always seems to be – involves morality, especially sexual morality.Again, Voris admittedly did not use the term "STFU", but it comes down to the same thing. Further in this Vortex episode, he says:
What is it that Cardinal Dolan is thinking? Can he not see the destruction he is reigning down on the Church in New York by continual, non-stop confusion. It’s like he’s so disconnected from reality that he thinks just BEING on TV is the most important thing – that they LIKE him – and in his mind, by extension, the Church.These are all just nice words for:
If we may offer one piece of media training for Your Eminence – your duty is to your sheep, not the cameras. Grant one last on camera interview, have the humility to admit that you have caused deep confusion among the faithful by your words, set the record straight and walk off the set for good.Walk off the set for good? What else is this but:
"Quite frankly, Cardinal Dolan, you need to get a clue. I'm sorry, but that's the most respectful thing I can say here. How dare you get on and present this as something acceptable in the eyes of the church. You are a prince of the Church. You help elect the pope. You are leader of probably the most at least notable archdiocese in the world. And you sit on this thing in English unfiltered, on TV, saying these kinds of things. Shame on you."
Can anyone honestly say with a straight face that this is anything other than:
I personally find it amazing that Voris can condemn a priest for doing exactly what he does all of the time. And the above is only one example. I have written many times of the many attacks Voris has made against priests and prelates, all calling for them to be silenced.
This blogger's recent attacks are nothing new. He has been doing this a long time, and I guess Father Rosica just got fed up with him. But if Father Rosica has a problem with this blogger, he needs to contact him personally, not take this to a public forum. However, I also understand from Father Rosica's point of view that, judging from past actions, this would most likely only spur the blogger to attack him even more in public.
But back to Voris and his condemnation of Father Rosica. Voris states:
Suing bloggers, publicly attacking cardinals with coarse and vulgar language—what in Hades is going on?Well, we might ask Mike "what in Hades is going on" with your constant attacks and attempts to silence our priests and bishops? We know that his excuse would be that these priests and bishops are trying to destroy the church, and therefore he has a right to call them out. Well, both Father Scott and Father Rosica, in their actions, feel exactly the same way. I say that both sides need to just cool it. They are causing far more damage than any good they might accomplish.
However, in attacking Father Rosica, Voris makes completely unfounded accusations in the form of questions. He makes these accusations with no knowledge of the facts or circumstances. Voris first brings up the sponsor of Salt and Light Communications:
Salt and Light TV for years has largely been bankrolled by one man: a wealthy elderly and now infirm Sicilian gentleman by the name of Gaetano Gagliano, who founded St. Joseph’s Communications in Canada in the 1950s.
Why would Voris even bring up this fact? We could bring up the fact that Voris is "bankrolled" by Marc Brammer. In fact, when Voris was ordered by the Detroit bishop to remove the word "Catholic" from the name of his organization, then "Real Catholic TV", Voris appealed to the fact that his organization is not really a part of the Detroit archdiocese, since the owner of "Real Catholic TV" was Marc Brammer, who lives in Indiana. Mark Shea reported on Marc Brammer back in April 2012 via a reader:
I thought you might be interested to know that Marc Brammer, the Opus Dei supernumerary who funds RealCatholicTV, is starting a new think tank, the Institute for New Media, for which he plans to hire E. Michael Jones.
Yes, that E. Michael Jones. The one who claims St. Paul’s authority when he calls Jews “enemies of the entire human race.” Brammer’s fondness for him perhaps helps to explain why he funds videos like Voris’s SSPX-style rant claiming the Jews are a race, not a religion.
Brammer made this announcement in a radio interview in October 2011–you can hear him mention Jones at 45:55:
It sounds like Brammer, at the time of this interview, was already planning his exit strategy from RealCatholicTV. If you continue listening after 45:55, you will hear him explain that the Institute for New Media will not quote the Bible or the Catechism, and so–he says this explicitly–it will not need to be under the jurisdiction of abishop. At about 54 minutes in, he says that this institute will be in the form of an Internet content-delivery platform, a la RealCatholicTV.
I recommend listening to the interview in its entirety, as Brammer describes his Opus Dei membership, his friendship and financial support of Voris, and his planned new institute in great detail. Among other things, he claims to have a mandate from the Vatican to first “purify” the Church and then change the world. He also says that his new institute will explore how to reform capitalism, and he sees a connection between Islamic banking and Catholic social teaching.
About 50 minutes into the interview, Brammer goes into detail about why it is not in his interest to be in a bishop’s jurisdiction. He believes he can have more influence on people without having to work within the institutional church.The last paragraph gives some insight into why Voris is always attacking the "institutional church", which Voris claims is no longer "Catholic" and is dying.
Back to Voris's attacks against Father Rosica. Voris makes insidious accusations against Father Rosica concerning the law firm he has hired:
The law firm which Fr. Rosica employed to threaten suit against the blogger is one of the most prestigious and costly in Toronto—which raises the disturbing question:How is Fr. Rosica paying for his civil action?
That’s a very fair question. He is under a vow of poverty as a member of a religious order, no? Is Mr. Gagliano funding this legal action? Are funds being diverted from Salt and Light TV? Word on the street is Rosica’s law firm charges a hefty retainer to even walk in the door, on the order of thousands of dollars. Who is paying that bill?I have worked at top law firms, and I know how they operate. All law firms - especially the largest, most prestigious firms - do a certain amount of pro bono work every year. This means they volunteer their services for no payment. I remember one case in particular at a law firm where I worked in which we represented a Chinese man who was seeking political asylum in the United States. Our law firm, which normally charged anywhere from $500 to $1,000 per hour, represented this man at no charge. We also represented men on death row for no charge, and many others. It is more than likely that Father Rosica is being represented by his law firm on a pro bono basis. But of course, Voris doesn't even take this into consideration.
Rosica is, as is well known, papal spokesman. Is someone at the Vatican picking up the tab for this? Where is the money coming from? Has Fr. Rosica’s boss at the Vatican Fr. Federico Lombardi given the green light to all this?By involving Father Lombardi in this accusation, Voris is accusing the Vatican itself. He does all of this without any basis in fact whatsoever. Voris is doing what he does best: smearing by innuendo, which is then taken as fact by his listeners.
Voris continues with this smearing:
And larger questions loom. Are the overreaches by two top Basilians part of an orchestrated plan, or is it merely a coincidence? Whom do these two priests answer to within the Basilian community for their appalling actions?
Do their religious superiors have nothing to say in all this—publicly hurling vulgarity at a cardinal and suing lay bloggers? Father Scott is also on the Theological Commission of the Canadian Religious Conference, an organization which bills itself as being in the service of religious life and of the leaders of Catholic religious orders in Canada.
Since Cardinal Burke is not in Canada, then presumably Fr. Scott thinks it’s okay to publicly tell him to “STFU.”
Do the directors of this outfit not feel the least bit uneasy about their theological commission member publicly telling a Cardinal to “STFU”?
Father Thomas Rosica is President and Vice Chancellor of Assumption University in Windsor Ontario in Canada. Are the directors of the university not a little put off with their Vice Chancellor suing a Catholic blogger?
Do both of these priests feel they have license to behave in such unpriestly ways in these matters? If so, how are they under such an impression? If not, who is going to rein them in?
First of all, Father Scott has already been removed and disciplined for his actions. Secondly, although I agree that Father Rosica should not be suing a Catholic blogger, he has every right to do so. Father Rosica is not breaking any kind of canon law, and therefore the Church cannot stop him.
It is unfathomable to me that someone who makes his living accusing and condemning Catholic hierarchy would have the gall to call out someone else who is guilty of the same thing. As St. Paul wrote in Galatians 5:15: