Saturday, March 21, 2015

Michael Voris: Faithful Catholic


The façade must be maintained at all costs. You can never be allowed to see the man behind the curtain because once the light is shined on all this, it all comes tumbling down – immediately recognizable for the joke that it is.
Michael Voris
Sleight of hand is a trick used by magicians.  Free Dictionary defines it as, "The performance of or skill in performing juggling or magic tricks so quickly and deftly that the manner of execution cannot be observed." It is also defined as " Deception or trickery." A good magician directs your attention away from what he is actually doing and fools you into believing something that did not, in fact, happen. David Blaine and David Copperfield are two of the best.

Another expert at sleight of hand is Michael Voris, and he had this on full display in his latest Vortex episode in which he allegedly exposes Cardinal Dolan as a thug.

Voris shows video taken right after his failed questioning of Cardinal Dolan in which we see the Cardinal say something to Joseph Zwilling, NY Archdiocese Communications, who then says something to another man.  This man then walks over and orders Voris and his cameraman out of the press area.


Now, one does wonder why it took two days to find this video. Why didn't they see it along with the video that was produced on the day of the parade? Was this somehow hiding and then just suddenly popped up? It seems somewhat suspicious, but nonetheless, I accept Voris's account as factual.

After showing us this video, Voris then says:
Is this how the archdiocese of New York, Cardinal Dolan and his staff treat faithful Catholics?
This is where the real sleight of hand comes in.  Did a "faithful Catholic" ask Cardinal Dolan the question that got him kicked out?


Let's see.  One day before the incident with Cardinal Dolan, "faithful Catholic Michael Voris" produced a video in which he called the Cardinal's actions "deplorable and despicable, ensconced in evil."  Voris talks about the history of St. Patrick, and how fitting it is to honor him.  Voris then says:
What is not fitting is that a Prince of the Church, a bishop who follows in the ancestral and religious footsteps of Patrick, should betray him by giving a nod to the very evils Patrick fought against by leading the descendants and heirs of that very evil in a parade dedicated to the great saint.

It would appear that the demons are once again circling around Patrick—yet this time, instead of finding an enemy in the bishop, they have found a willing ally.
So "faithful Catholic Michael Voris" judges and accuses a direct descendant of the apostles, who is in good standing in the Church, of being in league with the demonic.  Are these the actions of a "faithful Catholic"?

On the day of the St. Patrick's Day parade, a few hours after the press incident, "faithful Catholic Michael Voris" produced another video in which he said:
As prelates more and more tend to go out of their minds, it becomes all the more glaringly obvious that they have lost the faith, that what they are promoting is not the true faith at all, but some weird, distorted facsimile of Catholicism. 
The more they engage in this lunacy, the more they reveal their true selves and the horrible formation they have received. 
And this doesn’t just apply to the archbishop here in New York. He is simply making himself the poster boy for all the ecclesiastical tomfoolery, hijinks, and shenanigans that have been visited on the Church for decades. 
This spiritual evil—leading a parade supposedly dedicated to a giant of the Catholic faith, a parade which denied pro-lifers’ requests to march in it while at the same time rolled out the red carpet to men having sex with men—how much more obvious can this be?
"Faithful Catholic Michael Voris" doesn't condemn just one descendant of the apostles.  He accuses the vast majority of the hierarchy of the Catholic church of having lost the faith.  "[W]hat they are promoting is not the true faith at all, but some weird, distorted facsimile of Catholicism."

Of course, "faithful Catholic Michael Voris" never wants you to look at the statement of Jesus Christ found in Luke 10:16.  This is the statement of Jesus Christ to the apostles, and in turn to all of their direct descendants (the bishops of the Catholic Church) which says, "Whoever listens to you listens to me; whoever rejects you rejects me; but whoever rejects me rejects him who sent me."

Ah, you say, we only have to listen to those who are obedient. Really? Certainly this is what "faithful Catholic Michael Voris" wants you to see.  And "faithful Catholic Michael Voris" is very deft at directing our attention away from the lesson in obeying authority given to us by Jesus Christ.  At the time He walked the earth, the religious authorities were Scribes and Pharisees. Jesus condemned them as hypocrites.  However, in spite of this, He told his followers (Matthew 23:1-3):
The scribes and the Pharisees sit in Moses' seat: All therefore whatever they bid you observe, that observe and do; but do not you after their works: for they say, and do not.
Nowhere did Our Lord tell his disciples to rise up against the religious leaders of the day and demand they be thrown out. Nowhere did Our Lord tell his disciples to stand in public places and condemn them.  

"Faithful Catholic Michael Voris", with great sleight of hand, directs your attention away from his actions which are in direct contradiction to the plain teaching of Jesus Christ and says, look over here, "At last there is irrefutable video of evidence of how the Church of Nice operates – which is to say, like thugs."

"Faithful Catholic Michael Voris" would also never want you to look at a blog post written by a personal friend of his from his days in the seminary. The post, written by Dr. Gerard Nadal, is called, "The 'Authentic Catholic Uprising' of Michael Voris." You can read it HERE.  Dr. Nadal wrote his blog post shortly after release of a Vortex episode entitled, "Wicked Bishops." In this episode, Voris once again condemned Cardinal Dolan, calling him evil and in the grip of the demonic, and once again, called for him to be removed.

From Dr. Nadal's post:
Calling for the abdication of Cardinal Dolan and many other non specified bishops, coupled with the stern admonition that the time has come for an, “authentic Catholic uprising,” has the potential to incite passions in those who might not be as stable as one would hope. Consider this line from his commentary:
“Do not think the punishment visited on you will not be of the most severe sort when you die, perhaps even before you die, if you do not change.”
Dr. Nadal followed that up with this statement:
Michael needs to walk this one back: Way, WAY back. At this point Cardinal Dolan would be right to wonder at the intention behind that statement. It sounds like a veiled threat.

Dr. Nadal writes further:
When one poses with a sword, critiques constantly, and starts calling for authentically Catholic uprisings, it is time for some soul-searching. This is most especially true in light of Canon Law:
Can. 1373 A person who publicly incites his or her subjects to hatred or animosity against the Apostolic See or the Ordinary because of some act of ecclesiastical authority or ministry, or who provokes the subjects to disobedience against them, is to be punished by interdict or other just penalties.
No, "faithful Catholic Michael Voris" definitely does not want you to look at that. Instead, he wants you to look at the video where he is "snubbed" by the Catholic authority whom he has constantly and consistently judged and condemned, and against whom he has even made veiled (or not so veiled) threats. 

 "Faithful Catholic Michael Voris" does not want you to see this statement from his personal friend, Dr. Nadal:
Calling the faithful to non-specified acts of uprising for the sake of a bishop’s soul places the souls of those engaging in uprising in danger: hence the reason for Canon 1373. It places Michael’s soul in equal peril.
"Faithful Catholic Michael Voris" directs your attention away from this scripture from I Thes. 5 quoted by Dr. Nadal:
[12] But we beseech you, brethren, to respect those who labor among you and are over you in the Lord and admonish you,
[13] and to esteem them very highly in love because of their work. Be at peace among yourselves.
[14] And we exhort you, brethren, admonish the idlers, encourage the fainthearted, help the weak, be patient with them all.
[15] See that none of you repays evil for evil, but always seek to do good to one another and to all.
[16] Rejoice always,
[17] pray constantly,
[18] give thanks in all circumstances; for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus for you.
[19] Do not quench the Spirit,
[20] do not despise prophesying,
[21] but test everything; hold fast what is good,
[22] abstain from every form of evil
Instead of looking at this teaching of Jesus Christ, "faithful Catholic Michael Voris" says, "At last there is irrefutable video of evidence of how the Church of Nice operates – which is to say, like thugs."

And as I have pointed out repeatedly, "faithful Catholic Michael Voris" definitely does not want you to see this excerpt from St. Catherine of Siena's dialogue with God the Father, in which she quotes Him:
Christ on earth, then, has the keys to the blood. If you remember, I showed you this in an image when I wanted to teach you the respect laypeople ought to have for these ministers of mine, regardless of how good or evil they may be, and how displeased I am with disrespect. . . .
These are my anointed ones, and therefore it has been said through Scripture, "Dare not touch my christs."  Therefore, a person can do no worse violence than to assume the right to punish my ministers.
As quoted by St. Catherine of Siena:
And if you should ask me why I said that this sin of those who persecute the holy Church is graver than any other sin and why it is my will that the sins of the clergy should not lessen your reverence for them, this is how I would answer you:  Because the reverence you pay to them is not actually paid to them but to me in virtue of the blood I have entrusted to their ministry.  
"Faithful Catholic Michael Voris" does not want you to look at the mystical nature of the Catholic Church. Yes, we have flesh and blood men, capable of great sin, who are physically in charge of the Church. And yes, they can and definitely do fall down on the job. But "faithful Catholic Michael Voris" does not want you to realize that although we obey these fallible men, our obedience is really to the Trinity - God the Father, the Son and the Holy Spirit - who are the true Leaders of the Church. As told to us through St. Catherine of Siena, our reverence paid to the hierarchy of the Church is really reverence paid to God. 

"Faithful Catholic Michael Voris" also directs your attention away from the fact that his own bishop will not even allow him to identify his organization as "Catholic."  Voris had to change the name of his organization from "Real Catholic TV" to "Church Militant TV" as stated in the following press release from the Archdiocese of Detroit in December 2011:
The Church encourages the Christian faithful to promote or sustain a variety of apostolic undertakings but, nevertheless, prohibits any such undertaking from claiming the name Catholic without the consent of the competent ecclesiastical authority (see canon 216 of the 1983 Code of Canon Law). For some time, the Archdiocese of Detroit has been in communication with Mr. Michael Voris and his media partner at Real Catholic TV regarding their prominent use of the word “Catholic” in identifying and promoting their public activities disseminated from the enterprise’s production facility in Ferndale, Michigan. The Archdiocese has informed Mr. Voris and Real Catholic TV, RealCatholicTV.com, that it does not regard them as being authorized to use the word “Catholic” to identify or promote their public activities. Questions about this matter may be directed to the Archdiocese of Detroit, Department of Communications.
And what does Canon 216 say:
Can. 216 Since they share the Church's mission, all Christ's faithful have the right to promote and support apostolic action, by their own initiative, undertaken according to their state and condition. No initiative, however, can lay claim to the title 'catholic' without the consent of the competent ecclesiastical authority.
So, again with great sleight of hand, "Faithful Catholic Michael Voris" directs your attention away from the fact that he is not allowed to use the word Catholic in promoting his media, and instead directs your attention to how "unCatholic" the Catholic hierarchy is.


I have written many, many posts on the deceptive nature of Michael Voris's "apostolate."  Why?

I was at one time a devout follower of Voris.  I faithfully sent in my $10 every month.  I thought his was one of the most authentically Catholic of all organizations.  I thought he was one person I could trust.  I was completely taken in by his sleight of hand.

I slowly began to realize that although I believed in the doctrines of the Catholic Church, I was not really Catholic in my thinking. Although raised Catholic, I was in a small protestant church for most of my adult life. There are many very good and devout Protestants. I knew many of them personally. But the problem with the Protestant mindset is that each person is ultimately his or her own authority. They see the leadership of their churches as flawed sinful men (which, of course, they are), and therefore each person has to ultimately make his own judgments about living his life. 

Protestants do not have the promise of the infallible guidance of the Holy Spirit over their churches. Their leaders are not direct descendants of the apostles.  Protestants actually must constantly question their leaders because their leaders have no more graces than they do.  Their leaders do not have the ability to change bread and wine into the Body and Blood of Jesus Christ.  Their leaders do not have the ability to absolve them of their sins. 

We, as Catholics, have been given something unique. Despite the fact that the leadership of our church is as susceptible to sin as anyone else, that does not change their ability to hand down the faith. A priest in mortal sin can still validly celebrate Mass. He can still absolve you of your sins, baptize your children, marry and bury you. In fact, our Church cannot exist without our hierarchy because they are the ones through whom God works.

Our bishops are the direct descendants of the apostles. It is through them that our priests receive the authority they have. No bishops, no priests. No bishops, no salvation. When we attack our bishops, we are attacking the very heart of the Church. When we attack our bishops, we are attacking God Himself.

That is Catholic thinking.  That is realizing that the men in the hierarchy, as individuals, are irrelevant.  It is their position, their authority that we reverence and respect because it comes directly from God. 

One of our greatest saints, St. Francis, would never criticize a priest, no matter the spiritual condition of the priest, because he knew that God was acting through the priest.  There is a story of a man who went to St. Francis and complained of the local pastor who was living in sin.  The man said, "Must we believe in his teaching and respect the sacraments he performs?"

In response, Francis went to the priest's home and knelt before him saying, "I don't know whether these hands are stained as the other man says they are. [But] I do know that even if they are, that in no way lessens the power and effectiveness of the sacraments of God... That is why I kiss these hands out of respect for what they perform and out of respect for Him who gave His authority to them."

I believe the reason I was so drawn to Michael Voris when I first returned to the Church is because he confirmed my protestant way of thinking, which is to constantly question and scrutinize those in authority.  Only a person with a protestant mindset could see validity in withholding financial support from his Catholic diocese and parish.  Only a person with a protestant mindset could reject a Catholic parish, in which Jesus Christ resides in the tabernacle, because it does not meet his standards.  Only a person with a protestant mindset could call for the ouster of validly ordained Catholic bishops and priests instead of praying and sacrificing for them.  Only a person with a protestant mindset could judge the hearts and minds of the majority of his fellow church members and dismiss them as a part of a false "church of nice."  


As a follower of Michael Voris, I was guilty of all of this. However, through the grace of God, my mind has slowly evolved from protestant to Catholic.  I have learned that being Catholic means completely and totally submitting your will to God. It means denying yourself in every way. I still have a long way to go before I have truly achieved this, and I will probably never be totally successful in this life. But I have learned the importance of respect for Church hierarchy. And with that, I have been given faith in God, which will protect me from falling as long as I continue to trust in Him. I see little of that respect for Church authority and faith in God coming from Michael Voris and those who follow him.

You think that just might have something to do with the events on St. Patrick's Day?

Voris directs our attention here:  "At last there is irrefutable video of evidence of how the Church of Nice operates – which is to say, like thugs."  But the reality is:  "At last there is irrefutable video of evidence of how Michael Voris and ChurchMilitant.tv operate – which is to say, like thugs."

Michael Voris, faithful Catholic?  No, I just don't see it.  


15 comments:

  1. Sometimes, I think Voris views the Catholic Church as a club. He seems to think he can apply a political spin to it and lobby to have a member of the hierarchy kicked out of the club if Voris deems him unfaithful. I don't think Voris has a good understanding of the Sacrament of Holy Orders. He has a Protestant mindset about clergy.

    As I mentioned under your previous blog entry, I've now been blocked from commenting on the CMTV Facebook page since I made my comment on your blog. I've made less than 10 comments on blogs over the years yet someone from CMTV saw my comment under your blog a few days ago and deemed me unfit to comment on the CMTV page even though I've never commented there. Does Voris have someone assigned to scour the internet and ban anyone who disagrees with Voris from commenting on the page? Is he that paranoid?

    On the other hand, why would Voris think it's permissible to ban people who disagree with him from commenting on his page yet think there's something wrong with him being escorted out of the media box at the parade where Cdl Dolan was Grand Marshal? As Dr Nadal noted, Voris has gone overboard with his invective against Cdl Dolan so why does Voris feel Cdl Dolan is wrong to prevent further verbal abuse when Voris is on Cdl Dolan's turf? Isn't Voris doing the same thing when he has people who disagree with him banned from commenting on his page?

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  2. You make excellent points, assuring your place on the Voris Enemies List.

    Voris believes that unless you agree with him 100%, you are not a faithful Catholic and probably on your way to hell, and he will be the first to tell you. And all of the people in his organization are just like him.

    Scary stuff. Does anyone wonder why he is not allowed to use the word "Catholic" to describe his organization?

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  3. Whoah baby. This freak show obsession with trashing Voris stinks of somebody out for revenge.

    Mark Shea?
    Joe Swilling?

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    1. Revenge? I don't get that at all. I just see far too many Catholic bloggers posting in favor of Voris, and so I am giving a different perspective. The only real arguments I get from Voris supporters is basically, "And so's your mama!!", such as you have written. No one really shows that I am in error in anything I have posted. I'm not just giving my opinion. I am showing from sound Catholic teaching that Voris is a scandal to the faithful. The very fact that he is not allowed to use the word "Catholic" in his organization's name should tell you everything you need to know.

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  4. If Voris corrects the FSSP priest would he be wrong for you?

    Priestly Fraternity of St.Peter (FSSP) has changed Church teachings on family catechesis, religious education, salvation, mortal sin, ecclesiology...

    http://eucharistandmission.blogspot.it/2015/03/priestly-fraternity-of-stpeter-fssp-has.html

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    1. This is way above my pay grade. It is not up to me or to Michael Voris or any other lay person to correct a priest. First talk to the priest, and if you still have a problem, take it to the bishop and let him handle it.

      The Church will fall into complete chaos if and when lay people start becoming the authority and judge of our clerics. And yet that is exactly what Michael Voris is advocating.

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    2. You've got it all wrong Mary...listen to the Saints and Doctors of the Church:

      "If the faith is in imminent peril, prelates ought to be accused by their subjects, even in public." -St. Thomas Aquinas

      "According to their knowledge, competence and prestige which they possess, [the Christian faithful] have the right and even at the times the duty to manifest to the sacred pastors their opinion on matters which pertain to the good of the Church and to make their opinion known to the rest of the Christian faithful"
      - Canon Law 212 Section 3

      "Not to oppose error is to approve it; and not to defend truth is to suppress it; and indeed to neglect to confound evil men, when we can do it, is no less a sin than to encourage them." -Pope St. Felix III

      "The greatest obstacle in the apostolate of the Church is the timidity or rather the cowardice of the faithful."-Pope St. Pius X

      In Christ,

      Julie @ Connecticut Catholic Corner

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    3. Julie, again you are not arguing with me. You are arguing with words of God the Father as given to us by St. Catherine of Siena 600 years ago.

      Look closer at what you have written: "If the faith is in peril." Do you really believe that the Catholic Church is in peril? I believe that our western culture is definitely in trouble, and there are many elements in the Church that have been affected by the culture. Yes, there are problems. But the Holy Spirit continues to work and the Church continues to grow, as can be seen here:

      http://www.catholicnews.com/data/stories/cns/1501270.htm

      When you make the judgment that the "faith is in peril," you are doing so as a lay person with no authority in the church. Are you able to see the full picture? Do you really understand everything that is happening? Do you know exactly how the Holy Spirit is working? Think of the story of the Israelites in the desert. If you read the Breviary, you have been reading about their rebellion against Moses in the desert. They looked at the situation and didn't like what was happening. And they rebelled. God responded by destroying a good number of them, and when Moses intervened, God relented.

      And again, if the "faith is in peril", do you really think that going on the worldwide internet and exposing the sins of the hierarchy is the answer? Holy Mother Church has given us ways to address those in the hierarchy who may have gone astray. And the first step is not to expose them to the whole world.

      Julie, the Catholic church is not like other churches. We were founded by Jesus Christ. He gave the keys to the kingdom to Peter and all his descendants. Our Lord promised he would never leave us, that He would send the Holy Spirit to guide us into all truth. You either believe that or you don't.

      You are going to do what you want to do. If you want to continue bashing bishops and cardinals of the church - then go ahead and do it. But I would give it serious thought and much prayer if I were you.

      As far as opposing error, I do see great error in what Michael Voris is doing, and that is why I oppose it. I see him leading many people astray and causing foment and rebellion in the church. He is not a priest or bishop. He is just an ordinary lay person like you and me, and as long as I see him misleading people, I will continue to expose it.

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  5. Julie, you've omitted an important part of the Canon law in your citation. I've noticed that those who routinely engage in disrespectful public criticism of clergy often fail to acknowledge the last part of the law. It's misleading to cite that law without quoting it in its entirety.

    212 §3. According to the knowledge, competence, and prestige which they possess, they have the right and even at times the duty to manifest to the sacred pastors their opinion on matters which pertain to the good of the Church and to make their opinion known to the rest of the Christian faithful, without prejudice to the integrity of faith and morals, with reverence toward their pastors, and attentive to common advantage and the dignity of persons.

    Michael Voris has been irreverent and shown flagrant disregard for the dignity of these men in his public chastisement of Cdl Dolan and Fr Barron. He also proclaims that the majority of today's bishops do not have supernatural faith. He says that Catholics who don't agree with him on this point "need to lose your Pollyanna spirituality". If you don't agree with Voris about his grossly exaggerated claim that the majority of bishops don't have faith, he dismisses you as being naive and overly optimistic.

    Voris had this to say about Cdl Dolan today. It's a despicable, threatening statement that, no doubt, Cdl Dolan could use to justify obtaining a restraining order against Voris.

    "Cdl Dolan needs to publicly repent of his evil while there is still air in his lungs. Until he does, his Eminence should be quite nervous when he hears something go bump in the middle of the night because, like all of us, one of these nights is going to be his last."

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    1. I didn't hear that. Voris may have finally gone too far. I think the Church will be forced to take some kind of action now. Thanks for the update. Things should be interesting in the next few days.

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    2. Today's Mic'd up at about the 8:00 minute mark. I stopped listening at that point. That's going too far. And he wonders why he got escorted out of the press area at the parade. If anyone said those words about me, I'd have a restraining order filed against them quick and probably sleep with one eye open. Does Voris really think Christ would endorse how he speaks about one of His ordained men? And I shudder to think how our Blessed Mother must feel about such disrespectful words.

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    3. I think Canon Law would definitely apply in this case. The problem is that as soon as the Church takes action against Voris, all of his followers will rise up and who knows what will happen. But here is Canon Law which I think applies to this situation:

      Can. 1373 A person who publicly incites his or her subjects to hatred or animosity against the Apostolic See or the Ordinary because of some act of ecclesiastical authority or ministry, or who provokes the subjects to disobedience against them, is to be punished by interdict or other just penalties.

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  6. I think that does fit this situation. Considering some of the comments made by Voris's fans against Cdl Dolan, Voris is irresponsible to make such a remark. Of course the remark is wholly uncharitable, as well. It's a remark we shouldn't make about anyone, much less a priest.

    I hope some priests will contact Voris and advise him that he's gone off track. I've doubled down on my prayer for Voris and his followers. What he's doing isn't good.

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  7. I think it is safe to say that if Voris had made this remark about the president of the U.S., the Secret Service would be pounding on his door. We will see what, if anything, will happen. If some action is not taken, Voris will only get bolder in his statements. I'm not sure what this will lead to. You are very right about offering prayers. This has become a very serious matter.

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  8. It is not easy nor wise to argue with "The VORISteriate", where Truth & Orthodoxy are "Trapped & Deleted."

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