Sunday, April 14, 2013

Michael Voris Declares War On Timothy Cardinal Dolan

Joseph Biden receiving communion at St. Patrick's Cathedral,
New York City
A few weeks ago, on Palm Sunday, Vice President Joe Biden attended Mass at St. Patrick's Cathedral in New York City. Cardinal Dolan was the celebrant. It is reported that Biden, an ardent abortion and same sex marriage supporter, received communion at this Mass and then had "coffee" afterwards with Cardinal Dolan.

Michael Voris, who has appointed himself the bulldog of the Catholic Church, did a "special report" concerning this incident on his website. He titled this report, "Dolan and the Dolanites," and basically declared war on Cardinal Dolan. You can watch this report here.

Voris described the incident in a very condemning tone:
What a fantastic way for a Prince of the Church to begin Holy Week .. to deliver Jesus into the hands of Judas.
That is exactly what happened in St. Patrick’s Cathedral on Palm Sunday as anti-Catholic pro-abortion pro same-sex marriage US Vice President Joe Biden strolled up the aisle and received the Body and Blood of Jesus Christ right under the nose and with full knowledge of Cardinal Timothy Dolan.
Strip away all the harsh rhetoric and these statements do represent the facts. I do agree, of course, that pro-abortion, pro-same sex marriage and in essence, anti-Catholic Catholic politicians like Joe Biden should not be receiving communion. However, that is where my agreement with Michael Voris ends. At the risk of being labeled a Dolanite by Voris and all who support him (are they "Vorisites"?), I believe Voris has gone way over the line in this video in attacking Timothy Cardinal Dolan and basically telling any Catholic who will listen that we need to jettison Cardinal Dolan out of the Church, along with anyone who dares to support him.
Pope Francis greeting US Vice President
Joseph Biden
I think it is well to remember that just one week prior to the incident at St. Patrick's Cathedral, both Joseph Biden and Nancy Pelosi received communion at the Mass Installation of Pope Francis in Rome. Neither Pope Francis nor any other cardinal, bishop or priest came flying off the altar to try to stop this. Yet Michael Voris never mentions this incident at all. Why go after Cardinal Dolan but not Pope Francis, or any one of the many other princes of the Church who were present at the Mass installation?

We don't know what Vice President Biden and Cardinal Dolan talked about after the Mass at St. Patrick's Cathedral, but it could have very well been Cardinal Dolan's displeasure with Biden for presenting himself for communion both at the Mass at St. Patrick's and the Installation Mass, and Cardinal Dolan could have given him a very strong rebuke. We don't know and we won't know. Neither Cardinal Dolan nor Biden are talking. But a statement Cardinal Dolan once made to a reporter in which he said that he prefers to try to persuade rather than impose sanctions by withholding communion from a pro-abortion politician, could give us a hint about the conversation he had with Mr. Biden.

After describing the incident in his own terms, Voris then made an ad hominem attack on Cardinal Dolan, one of many in this "special report":
Cardinal Dolan who apparently never misses the opportunity to publicly associate himself with the rich and powerful of the world .. gave Biden a big shout out from the altar.
So much for following Pope Francis’s example of detaching from the rich and powerful and associating with the poor. There was no shout out for the homeless guy in the back bench.
Cardinal Dolan distributing meals to the homeless
I live in New York City and I have personally seen Cardinal Dolan in action. I have certainly had my problems with his approach to certain things in the past, but to accuse him of snubbing the "poor" is truly disingenuous. Just this past Ash Wednesday the Cardinal was distributing meals at a breadline. He is very down to earth and easily approachable. He regularly says the 7:00 a.m. Mass every morning at St. Patrick's Cathedral. Yes, as bishop of New York and as head of the US Bishops Conference, he does often associate with the "rich and powerful", but he is just as comfortable with the average guy in the pew as well. To accuse him of snobbery and not "associating with the poor" is unfair and false.

Cardinal Dolan has also not hesitated to speak out in defense of the unborn and in the presence of pro abortion politicians. Here is an excerpt of a description of Cardinal Dolan's homily at his installation Mass in St. Patrick's as reported by Fr. Joseph F. Lorenzo, O.F.M., of the Church of St. Anthony of Padua in New York:
Later on in his homily there was an exhilarating and somewhat embarrassing moment. Archbishop Dolan reiterated the church’s traditional stand concerning human life by quoting Cardinal Terrance Cooke, who said: "Human life is no less sacred or worthy of respect because it is tiny, pre-born, poor, sick, fragile, or handicapped."

Archbishop Dolan went on to say, “Yes, the Church is a loving mother who has a zest for life and serves life everywhere, but she can become a protective "mamma bear" when the life of her innocent, helpless cubs is threatened.” The congregation erupted, first in applause and cheers, and then standing. I think every eye in the Cathedral was on the pro-abortion politicians in the front pew, who, at first, sat there, kind of stunned, and then eventually stood up without applauding. It was truly something everyone will remember for a long time.
You can read Father Joe's entire report here. One other comment Father Joe made was: "Archbishop Dolan again greeted people outside of the Cathedral, and stopped to talk to people on the street before heading back to the residence." So much for associating only with the "rich and powerful."

Back to Voris. He then coined a term, "Dolanism", to describe Cardinal Dolan and those who support him, a term which I hope will not catch on anywhere, as Voris basically accused Cardinal Dolan of apostasy:
And it’s good in one way that this happened. The lines are finally being drawn publicly and the quiet battle going on between bishops about giving Jesus Christ to murderous politicians is finally at last on show for the world to see.
What Cardinal Dolan did is a disgrace. Call this constant pandering Dolanism. There is no other way to say it. Dolanism .. the subordination of the Catholic faith to the prevailing cultural mores.
And whatever the Dolan loving quasi-conservative establishment crowd in the Church wants to say simply cannot erase this. Call them the Dolanites.
Later on in the video, Michael even uses the words "beyond disgusting and reprehensible" to describe Cardinal Dolan's actions. Voris goes on to tell those who support Cardinal Dolan:
You breathe one word in defense of his actions and you sacrifice ANYTHING you ever say about the pro-life cause again! Don’t show up at pro-life functions. Don’t write articles, give guest appearances .. appear on stage .. jump on the radio or television airwaves. Nothing.
How does Michael Voris know what was going on behind the scenes? As I stated, just one week prior to this Biden had received communion at the Installation Mass for Pope Francis. No one from the Vatican or anywhere else tried to stop Biden at that time. Does anyone wonder why?

Cardinal Dolan is the top bishop in the United States. He is the archbishop of the largest archdiocese in the United States and the head of the US Bishops Conference. Could it be that he may have been instructed by someone in the Vatican to do exactly as he did, to invite Biden to Mass at St. Patrick's, not make a scene if Biden presented himself for communion, and then give him a strong rebuke afterwards? We know for a fact that Cardinal Dolan is very pro life and against same sex marriage. Do we really believe, as Voris says, that he would sacrifice his beliefs just to hobnob with the rich and famous?

Voris then goes on to present a litany of what he perceives to be Cardinal Dolan's faults and failings, starting with a Re-dedication Mass at St. Francis Xavier Church in New York in 2010. St. Francis Xavier Church admittedly is very friendly and welcoming to homosexuals, and I would even say that they are "too welcoming" of homosexuals. This is what Michael Voris says about that Mass:
In the summer of 2010 .. he sent shock waves around the United States and beyond by openly cheering a gay club that was introduced to him during Mass at the notorious St. Francis Xavier parish in New York .. a parish widely known for its no holds barred gay liturgies and functions.
Below is a Youtube video of a report on this Mass, excerpts of which ran without the audio behind Michael Voris as he spoke in this "special report". At 5:30 to 6:00 in the video, you will see the "Catholic Lesbian Group" and "Gay Catholics Men Group" being introduced. The camera is focused on Cardinal Dolan who looks very serious. His face lightens up considerably when the speaker says, "These groups helped LGBT Catholics return to the sacraments and find an adult place in the Church of their youth." That is what Cardinal Dolan was "cheering", the fact that these men and women had returned to the sacraments, which would imply that they have left their sinful lifestyle. Right after this we see Cardinal Edward Egan, former archbishop of New York, praising St. Francis Xavier Church. Why doesn't Voris attack Cardinal Egan as well?

Michael Voris also doesn't tell us that just one week after Cardinal Dolan was "cheering a gay club" as Voris describes it, His Eminence disciplined this same church when he became the first New York prelate in 12 years to forbid them to carry the banner of the church in the notorious New York City Gay Pride Parade. You can read that story here. So please, Michael, stop with the implication that Cardinal Dolan supports sexually active homosexuals in the Church, because it just ain't so.

Voris then brings up Cardinal Dolan's reaction to same sex marriage being made law here in New York. From Voris:
Then a short while later .. he barely lifted a finger to fight .. or even speak out about gay marriage becoming law in New York.

After it passed he conveniently blamed the church’s advisors who he claimed had given him and his fellow NY bishops “bad advice”. Meanwhile .. somehow .. the entire rest of the country knew same-sex marriage was going to become law in New York.

Immediately following the midnight passage of same-sex marriage by the New York state legislature .. Dolan was mute from the pulpit the following Sunday .. saying nothing at all about it .. but did find time with the New York press crops after Mass to apologize to gays and lesbians whose feelings might have been hurt by the Church
"He barely lifted a finger to fight or even speak about gay marriage becoming law in New York," No, Michael, this is not true. Shortly before the bill was passed in New York, then Archbishop Dolan called into a local radio show to say that the "proposed legislation posed an 'ominous threat' to society" according to an article on a New York Times blog which you can read here. According to this article:
Archbishop Dolan, speaking on Fredric U. Dicker’s radio program on WGDJ-AM (1300), repeatedly made it clear that he strongly opposed gay marriage, which he called “unjust and immoral,” “detrimental for the common good” and “a violation of what we consider the natural law that’s embedded in every man and woman.”
Acknowledging that supporters of same-sex marriage need just one more vote to prevail in the Senate, Archbishop Dolan said that “we are still working for the defeat of this bill,” but that “we’re realistic to know the forces pushing this are very strong, they’re well oiled, they’re well financed.” However, he said: “It’s not a done deal. There is a good chance that this is not going to pass this year.”
Archbishop Dolan argued that the passage of same-sex marriage in other states and countries had at times led to problems for clergy and religious organizations who remained in opposition. “You’ve got couples now in England who are now told they can’t adopt children because they’re not open to same-sex marriage,” he said.
Archbishop Dolan also rued what he called “the presumptive omnipotence of the state” in considering allowing gays to marry, and decried a “new religion of secularism that feels it’s going to come to a theocracy and impose its values on society.”
As can be seen from this article, although Cardinal Dolan was his usual optimistic self that the bill could be defeated, he was also very realistic in saying that there were "strong forces" pushing for passage of the bill. Also, according to this article, His Eminence was not able to be in Albany at that time because he was in Seattle for a bishops conference, but he sent Brooklyn's Bishop Nicholas DiMarzio to Albany to fight the bill that was being voted on at that time.

I have written about this myself, very upset with Cardinal Dolan's seeming lack of resistance to this legislation. However, as shown here, Cardinal Dolan was strongly opposed to this bill and did not hesitate to voice his opinions in the media. But Michael Voris either is not aware of this fact or conveniently leaves it out of his "special report."

Voris may not feel that Cardinal Dolan is vehement enough in his opposition to homosexuality and same sex marriage, but the homosexual community does not share that opinion. Here are excerpts from a post from in regard to Cardinal Dolan's closing prayer at the Democratic National Convention in 2012. The article is entitled, "Archbishop Timothy Dolan’s Ugly Assault On Gay Marriage In Prayer While Guest Of DNC":
Archbishop Timothy Dolan last night launched an attack on same-sex marriage equality and abortion in his closing prayer while an “invited” guest in the Democrats’ home, the Democratic National Convention. Yes, Dolan, who initially had offered himself to deliver the opening prayer to both the Republican and the Democrats, but was gently rebuffed by the DNC, settled for delivering the closing benediction at last night’s ceremonies.
. . .
Dolan’s “happiness is found only in respecting the laws of nature and of nature’s God,” is his way of calling gay people “unnatural” and in violation of “the laws of nature and of nature’s God.” Then, to pound his point home, Dolan adds “resist the temptation,” (which is always code for “pray away the gay,”) “to remake those institutions you have given us for the nurturing of life and community,” which is code for “no gay marriage!”
Democrats had just spent the better part of a week approving language supporting same-sex marriage equality in their platform, along with supporting a woman’s right to choose, but Dolan saw fit to be not only a bad guest, but a forced guest in what was home to a celebration of women, the LGBT community, and minorities the likes of which America has never before seen on a national stage.
As can be seen above in the reaction of homosexuals to Cardinal Dolan's prayer at the DNC, Cardinal Dolan is not only unafraid to defend the Church's teachings, he goes right into the belly of the beast, as he did at the Democratic National Convention. Here is my post praising Cardinal Dolan for the prayers he gave at the Republican and Democratic conventions.

The next point in Voris' litany:
He sat on a network news show on Thanksgiving two years ago and .. in reference to God and giving him thanks he said .. “he .. or she or whatever your belief is.”
I saw this program, and was upset by it also. It was not the best choice of words by His Eminence, but let's face it, we live in a pluralistic society that sees God in many different ways. That is what Cardinal Dolan was speaking to. Even Michael Voris cannot honestly think or imply that Cardinal Dolan sees God as anything less than the Holy Trinity. What was the purpose of bringing this up? It only proves that Cardinal Dolan makes mistakes in his choice of words. It does not prove that he is not a strong defender of the faith.

Next from Voris:
In April .. he told the Wall Street Journal that he and his fellow bishops did not preach what they should have preached about the Church’s sexual teachings because they were – his words now – gun shy. Based on the deafening lack of NOW issuing those teachings – apparently he still is.
I wrote about this article last April, applauding the Cardinal for making this heartfelt admission. You can read my post here. Michael Voris is being totally disingenuous with his statement, "Based on the deafening lack of NOW issuing those teachings - apparently he still is." Cardinal Dolan has been up front and center in defending the teachings of the Church. Voris is twisting facts to suit his own arguments, and doing a great disservice to Cardinal Dolan and more importantly, to Voris' own listeners, many of whom hang on his every word and take it as gospel truth.

The next charge by Voris:
Two years ago .. he stood in front of annual Knights of Columbus dinner in Denver and openly mocked the idea that there was a crisis in the Church. He was cheered loudly by the Dolanites.
I have looked this up, and although I find references to Cardinal Dolan's speech, I cannot find the speech itself, so I can't answer this charge. But since it has been shown that Voris tends to skew his facts, I have to wonder about the truthfulness of this statement and the context in which it was made. I guarantee you that Michael Voris will never tell us.

Of course, no criticism of Cardinal Dolan would be complete without reference to the Al Smith dinner in which he invited President Obama.
Then there was the beyond the pale invitation of child-killer in chief Obama to the Al Smith dinner a couple of weeks before the presidential election where tens of thousands of Catholics all over America begged and pleaded with him to rescind the invitation and where he offered in his defense a comparison of his actions to Our Blessed Lord.
I was definitely among those voices calling for Cardinal Dolan to withdraw his invitation to President Obama. I admit that I still think it was a mistake. As I posted shortly before the dinner, it was reported that even Cardinal Dolan was having second thoughts about this decision. You can read this here. But do we follow the lead of Michael Voris and just throw Cardinal Dolan over and claim he is not fit for the job, or do we pray that His Eminence will learn from this mistake and realize that there are enemies of the Church who must be recognized and treated as such. Personally, I think Cardinal Dolan did learn from this mistake, and I don't think it will be repeated.

The next in Voris' litany:
Then there is the history before his time in New York .. where he slapped on a cheesehead .. yep .. an NFL Green Bay Packer cheesehead at his installation Mass as archbishop of Milwaukee.

None other than Father John Zuhlsdorf has defended Cardinal Dolan in this action. Yes, the same Father Z who was all set to go with Michael Voris on a Lenten cruise until the papal conclave got in the way. From Father Z in a post entitled, "I want to put a stop to something":
Back in 2002, right after he arrived in Milwaukee, the new Archbishop, very aware of the relationship people in Wisconsin have with the Green Bay Packers, momentarily put on a ‘cheesehead’ hat at the beginning of his sermon time.
He did not say Mass wearing a ‘cheesehead’ hat.
Should he have done that? I wouldn’t have. To my mind it was infra dignitatem, both for the moment, the congregation and his person.

But I am not the brand new Archbishop of Milwaukee, just arrived after years and years of mismanagement under Weakland and the scandal at the end. Facing these circumstances, he made a decision at the moment to brighten the atmosphere in a time of pain and uncertainty. It is hard to fault his reasoning.
One lives and one learns.
Even bishops have to have some on the job training. They must learn from reactions to their decisions. They make mistakes and hopefully, with grace, grow in their ministry.
So if you are really upset about the ‘cheesehead’ hat thing, I suggest that you cast your first rock at yourself.
Unless of course you have never made a mistake you eventually learned from.
Good luck to Archbishop Dolan! He’ll need both luck and prayers.
Thank you, Father Z. 'Nuff said on this one.

Voris then complains about Cardinal Dolan's "incessant carrying on about joy and laughter."
And then there is the incessant carrying on about joy and laughter .. well do forgive some of us Your Eminence if we find it hard to extricate the joy out of a situation where you are aiding in a sacrilege in your own cathedral.

And for the record .. there are many of who believe that Jesus Christ is not amused as you participate in the profaning of the body and blood of Our Lord.

Joy and laughter? Voris is actually criticizing and condemning a prelate of the Church for "too much joy and laughter"? Did I miss something or is there a canon law against laughing? I agree that there is nothing funny about profaning our Lord, but again, I must repeat that we don't know what is going on behind the scenes, and why no one tried to stopped Biden at the Pope's installation Mass, either. We also know that Cardinal Dolan is not afraid to step up to the plate to defend church teachings, despite Voris' accusations. We have to stop being so quick to sit in as judge and juror.

Then Voris gets into matters which are nothing more than hearsay. If Voris was trying to admit these facts into court, they would immediately be thrown out.

From Voris:
It is a well known issue in the Archdiocese of New York that Cardinal Dolan has no qualms whatsoever about flexing his mighty ecclesiastical muscle in private against his priests who want to say the Traditional Latin Mass.
Oh really? Is that why the Traditional Latin Mass is so easily accessible in the New York Archdiocese? "Una Voce Westchester" is a traditional group devoted to the Latin Mass. Una Voce has groups throughout the United States. On their website they have posted the following, which you can see here:
The traditional Latin Mass is offered every Sunday at 3:00 p.m. at Immaculate Conception Church in Sleepy Hollow. Una Voce Westchester offers its thanks to His Holiness Pope Benedict XVI, the Most Reverend Timothy M. Dolan, Archbishop of New York, and Monsignor Louis Mazza, Pastor.
Doesn't sound like Cardinal Dolan is fighting them on the Latin Mass.

Voris' next statement is completely out of bounds:
His well known and much feared .. but little talked-about-openly angry temper is vented with all its fury on such priests. They are threatened and brow beaten by him personally .. made to feel the lowest of the low .. all for offering the ancient Mass .. again in disobedience to the wishes of Pope Benedict.
His Eminence might be well served to vent that temper which is well known to New York Archdiocese insiders against fake Catholic politicians.
Voris gives nothing to back up this libelous statement. He is smearing the character of a prelate of the Catholic Church with no evidence whatsoever. Voris not only needs to apologize for this outrageous statement, but he needs to take it into the confessional as well. This is gossip, pure and simple, and this is what our Holy Father, Pope Francis, recently said in regard to gossip:
“When we prefer to gossip, gossip about others, criticize others- these are everyday things that happen to everyone, including me – these are the temptations of the evil one who does not want the Spirit to come to us and bring about peace and meekness in the Christian community"
Who is Michael Voris really serving when he makes such slanderous statements? I'm sure he thinks he is serving God, but maybe he needs to think about it a little more.
Voris sums up this "special report" with these harshly critical statements which skirt the truth at best:
Who could seriously look at Cardinal Dolan and even entertain the thought that this man is serious about the Faith. He puts on a cheesehead during Mass. He defies canon law along with many of his brother bishops .. a majority of whom elected him to the head of their bishops’ conference.
He scandalizes the faithful by continued association with murderous politicians who in addition to spilling the blood of innocents have aimed their guns at the Church herself.
He further scandalizes the faithful by aiding and abetting in sacrilege. What exactly does he not understand? How is any of this defensible by anyone in the Church?

Cardinal Dolan is quickly becoming the poster boy for all that is wrong with Church leadership these days – an almost wistful disregard for the solemnity of the Mass .. a refusal to buck the trends of a secularist culture not by filing lawsuits claiming infringement on legal rights .. but by announcing the EVIL of the object of the law itself.
Dolanism .. the subordination of the Catholic faith to the prevailing cultural mores.
Why does Michael Voris think he has a right to sit in judgment of arguably the most preeminent bishop of the United States? I think Michael Voris is stating exactly how he feels, but he is not serving the Church by putting out such scandalous statements. And yes, I do label them as scandalous because they cause division both inside and outside the Church.
If you do a web search, you will find many Catholics who are cheering Michael Voris and his slander of Cardinal Dolan. Here are just a couple of reactions:
"Thank God for the courageous and honest analysis of Michael Voris and ChurchMilitant.TV"
"This report is not "bishop-bashing"; it is an act of charity."
"I have been saying many of these things about Cardinal Dolan for quite some time now. He is not the answer."
"The Cardinal Dolan cheerleaders and fan club need to re-think everything."
And how is this being perceived outside of the Church? This is from an Anglican blog called Reformed Anglicanism which shows the dangerous consequences from Catholics attacking Catholics, especially the leaders of the Church:
If you are a Roman Catholic who disagrees with Voris, you are a "Dolanite." Ironically, Voris' own bishop has forbidden him from using the term "Catholic" to describe his own activities.

Voris tries to appeal to Pope Francis' supposedly hard line against pro-abortion politicians, but Biden was also given communion at Pope Francis' inaugural mass together with Nancy Pelosi.
And the folks at "Called to Communion" want me to join this communion with the supposed benefit being visible unity? No thanks.
Timothy Cardinal Dolan is not perfect. He makes mistakes. But so do all of us, even Michael Voris, although he never seems to admit to any. When I was still a "Vorisite", I had the same kind of judgmental attitude displayed in this "special report", and this judgmental attitude unfortunately shows in many of my past posts, especially those concerning Cardinal Dolan. Michael Voris and I and all other Catholics need to heed the words of St. Paul from Galatians 5:15: "But if you bite and devour one another; take heed you be not consumed one of another."

Michael Voris' main shtick is attacking the Church. What? Michael Voris, self proclaimed loyal Catholic to the death, attacks the Catholic Church? He most definitely has some very good Catholic teaching on his website, and says beautiful things about the Catholic Church. But what good is that when he, in effect, sets about to destroy loyalty and unity in the Church by presenting slanted, one-side "special reports" as we see here. He seems to feel no qualms whatsoever about attacking the ordained leaders of the church and calling them out as apostates and heretics. And as can be seen from this post, he tells the truth very selectively. He is excellent at what he does, unfortunately, and has seduced many good Catholics (including yours truly) into following his lead, which is basically pitting the laity against the authority of the Church.

These are undoubtedly some of the main reasons why the bishop of Detroit, Archbishop Allen H. Vigneron, forced Voris to remove the word "Catholic" from his organization. At the time, I thought this was nothing more than persecution. I sadly realize now that Archbishop Vigneron was absolutely correct in his decision.

As I have stated before, we live in very evil times, and the Catholic Church is under major assault. Cardinal Dolan and the other prelates of the Catholic Church are not just another guy in the pew. They have been specially ordained to lead the Mystical Body of Jesus Christ. They deserve respect, and even more importantly, they deserve and need our prayer. They are on the front lines of the church and are being constantly attacked, both by the physical world and the spiritual world. We need to prayerfully support and stand behind them, and unless it's a matter of blatant and unequivocal apostasy, we shouldn't be going on the worldwide internet to denounce them and stand as their judge and juror. I am saying this to myself as much as to anyone else because I have most definitely been guilty of this. We should certainly not be listening to and supporting spurious attacks such as this one by Michael Voris.

Always look at the entire picture, and don't let others tell you what to think. "Be ye wise as serpents and harmless as doves." People have a way of painting the truth to fit their point of view, and it can be very misleading.

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