Wednesday, January 15, 2014

Response From A Crack Addicted Catholic Blogger

It seems that my blog has become me answering the charges of "Traditional Catholics" against the Church.  I am really doing this more for myself than for anyone else.  I once completely bought into all of the stereotypical accusations made by Traditional Catholics, such as Vatican II is the root of all evil, the Ordinary Form of the Mass is basically evil, the Church hierarchy are all modernists, etc. And like far too many of those who call themselves Traditionalists, I was convinced that I had all the answers, and all the problems would be solved if they just listened to me.

During the past year, however, I have tried something really radical.  I have started listening to what the Church says through the bishops and the Pope and started reading official Church documents without any other person interpreting the words.  In doing so, I have discovered that it is not at all what I was being told by my "traditionalist heroes."  I have been hearing good solid teaching and defense of the dogmas of the Church from those who are in charge of my soul.  I have come to the amazing discovery that the bishops and the Vatican are not all a bunch of boogeymen out to rob me of my salvation.

By blocking out all of the bombastic rhetoric that I hear from so many "Traditionalists", I have come to the startling conclusion that Jesus Christ is still in charge of His Church and that He doesn't need a sinner like me to be judge and jury of the hierarchy of that Church.  My main concern, as St. Paul wrote, is to work out my own salvation with fear and trembling (Philippians 2:12). If I can do that, I will be doing a lot more for the Church than I will by sitting in judgment of everyone else, most especially the hierarchy of the Catholic Church.

One of my former heroes, Michael Voris, has not learned this lesson.  I don't know if he has gotten worse or if I'm just more sensitive, but he did a Vortex episode on January 14 which I feel is actually sinful in its spread of gossip and attempts at fomenting dissension among brethren.  Voris entitles this, "The Gay Priest Party."  You can watch it HERE

Voris starts out by mocking and insulting those who see anything positive in the current state of the Catholic Church:
So, wanna continue to think that things are improving in the Church? That the New Springtime is busting out all over? That’s what all those crack-addicted Catholic bloggers over in la la land keep portraying. Don’t listen to them. They are either ignorant to the nth degree, or they are lying to you and they want to keep in friendly with the church of nice.

Yes, Michael, there are problems in the Church, major problems. In the Archdiocese of New York, right next door to me, they are planning on numerous church closings this year. That is serious stuff. But at what point in church history have there not been serious problems? That little thing called the Protestant Reformation decimated the Church in Europe, with millions abandoning Catholicism. When King Henry VIII revolted against the Pope, all but one of the bishops in England followed him. Untold numbers of Catholic Churches, monasteries and abbeys were turned into Anglican property. England, once a totally Catholic country, actually outlawed the Catholic Church until the 19th Century. Somehow, the Church survived and actually has a larger weekly attendance now than the Church of England. And as we know, many Anglicans are now returning to Mother Church.

The Catholic Church is currently experiencing what could be called a spiritual forest fire, with lots of apparent devastation and destruction. But real forest fires end up producing new life and new growth. A forest always comes back stronger than ever after a fire because the fire clears dead trees, new growth is low to the ground and accessible to animals for food, some seeds germinate only after a fire, minerals are returned to the soil, the burned areas are suitable for new species of animals, to name just a few benefits.

Every time the Church has gone through a crisis, she has come back stronger than ever.  Church crises have produced our greatest saints.  Doctrines have been clarified and strengthened as the results of spiritual crises.  Fire cleanses, and this is as true for spiritual fire as it is for physical fire.

When Christ was on this earth, He gave us a wonderful illustration of how to act during the midst of a storm. In Matthew 8, we are told the story of Jesus and the apostles out on the lake when a fierce storm came up. This storm was so severe that the apostles, many of whom were seasoned fisherman who had seen it all, were terrified and woke our Lord crying out, "Lord, save us! We’re going to drown!" (Matthew 8:23-25).

The apostles sounded just like Michael Voris and all like him who claim the Church is going to drown. How did Our Lord respond? "You of little faith, why are you so afraid?" Would Michael Voris respond to this statement of Jesus by calling him a "crack addicted Catholic in la la land." Couldn't Jesus see the severity of the storm? Couldn't he see the water in the boat threatening to take it to the bottom of the lake? Couldn't He see the enormous waves threatening to engulf the little boat? Would Voris tell us not to listen to Jesus because he is "either ignorant to the nth degree", or "lying to you"?

Oh ye of little faith, why are you so afraid?

Voris continues:
This story that I am about to tell you was shared with us by a priest who has first hand knowledge of it.
What?  Why is a priest going to Michael Voris and spreading gossip?  This priest, whoever he is, needs to go to confession IMMEDIATELY.

So what is this story about which this anonymous priest, whoever and wherever he is, could not keep quiet?  Michael Voris gives us no names or places, just hearsay and innuendo, facts that would never stand up in a court of law, as follows:
At Christmas time, a Catholic diocese with a long history of dissent and fomenting heresy by its more high-profile career-minded clergy, had its annual clergy Christmas party.

We have no idea who Voris is talking about and therefore, have no way of confirming the truth of these statements.  We just know that Voris is now besmirching anonymous hierarchy in the Church, leading all Catholics who listen to it to wonder if it is their diocese.   This produces potentially damaging and completely unwarranted dissension among the Catholic faithful.

Just what is this must-be-told story?

The anonymous priest tells Voris that he went to a diocesan Christmas party in which "many" (Voris later says a "couple of dozen") of his fellow priests walked up to our anonymous priest to introduce their boyfriends to him.  This anonymous priest supposedly then goes to his chancery the next day to complain, and according to Voris,
So what did he hear from the chancery priest – did he hear, who was there? We need to gather them together and guide them spiritually or consider their dismissal from the clerical ranks?
Was one ounce of concern expressed for the state of these actively homosexual priests’ souls? HA. Are you kidding? Of course not. This is the Church of Nice remember. No Sin. No Hell. Just keep the machinery of the bureaucracy running.
The priest was told to keep his mouth shut and to not say those kind of things out loud, unless he wanted reprisals.

Just what is the purpose of telling this story to the public? Why put these thoughts into the minds of Catholics when you have absolutely nothing to back it up? Whether this did or did not actually happen, what is the purpose of dragging it out into the public? 

Terry Nelson of Abbey Roads, put it very well. You can read his entire post HERE:
It's unsubstantiated hearsay and rumor. It fuels people's imaginations, it causes suspicion and incites unhealthy curiosity and speculation, leading to rash judgement and gossip. If we do not know who, what, and where, how can a story like this be substantiated? What good is accomplished? What if the priest is a disgruntled, marginalized, unpopular cleric in his diocese and just wants to get revenge? How does he know the other priests are gay? And if they happen to be gay, how does he know they are sexually active or promoting homosexuality? How does he know the men with these priests were their boyfriends? Did they introduce them as such? Were they carrying their rent-a-boy receipt book?
So why is Voris putting this trash out there for all to see? Anyone who has ever listened to Voris knows exactly why: to do what Voris does best, which is to once again come down in harsh criticism and judgment on the hierarchy of the church, and oh boy, does he. He does something that not even the Holy Father has the authority to do. Voris actually pronounces judgment on the souls of these anonymous priests and bishops:
Priests and bishops who downplay Hell AND allow or look the other way in the face of one these evils will be among the FIRST to have judgment pronounced on them.
Chanceries will come down like the fire and brimstone did on Sodom and Gomorrah when dealing with an orthodox heterosexual priest who loves his people and wants to get them to heaven, but they throw parties and feather their own career nests with these sons of Satan in roman collars.
Remember, we are given no facts with which to back up this story.  It is all hearsay and as Terry Nelson of Abbey Roads said, we have no idea who this priest is or what his story is.

Voris' tone becomes even more condemnatory:
Does anyone within earshot of this REALLY and TRULY want to stand up and say that the active homosexual priests strutting around with their boyfriends at a Christmas party [as Terry said, we have no proof of this] are not in extreme danger of eternal damnation?
And moreover, does anyone really and truly want to stand up and proffer the insane conclusion that the leadership that knows about this activity, condones it and covers-up for it for political career-advancement motives aren’t standing on the very edge of Hell itself and if they were to die tonight, would be consigned to those flames for all eternity.
What a terribly strange notion of God you all have in the Church of Nice. You have lost, if you ever possessed it, any supernatural faith and you are an eminent danger to the souls in your charge. Leave the priesthood. Leave the Church.
If you can’t recognize your evil, if you can’t smell the noxious odor of hell even now encircling you and come to your senses and repent, then get out now before you corrupt any more souls.

Voris actually judges the minds and hearts of these anonymous priests and bishops and then has the temerity to say to them, "Leave the priesthood. Leave the church." Our Lord did not say this to Judas, the one who betrayed Him! He constantly reached out to Judas, imploring him with love and mercy to repent. And Our Lord knew exactly the state of Judas' soul. Voris is pronouncing judgment on people that he does not even know, and doing so through second-hand information, He then exhorts his listeners to follow his scandalous example.

Earlier in this post, I urged the anonymous priest in this story to go to confession immediately.  I also urge Michael Voris to do the same.  This Vortex episode is one big sin.  He is spreading stories about unnamed people and about which he has no firsthand information.  These are stories designed to destroy the reputations of people. Worse, these are stories which produce public scandal, as Terry Nelson wrote, "It fuels people's imaginations, it causes suspicion and incites unhealthy curiosity and speculation, leading to rash judgement and gossip."  

Unlike his treatment of priests and bishops, I do not judge the soul of Michael Voris.  He may truly believe that he is serving the will of God by condemning the hierarchy of the Church.  But he is sadly misguided.  Proverbs 6:19 makes it very plain that this is most definitely not the will of God, as we are told that of the seven things the Lord hates, among them is "he that soweth discord among brethren."  

I have shown time and again how Michael Voris twists facts and statements to put the hierarchy of the Church in the worst possible light. His mission seems to be to destroy them in any method he can. I urge you, please do not follow Voris or anyone like him.  We live in very dangerous times and Satan is using any way he can to ensnare the faithful.  We are warned that he can appear as an angel of light, but you know something is seriously wrong when the main message is to criticize and condemn Church hierarchy.

Michael Voris is convinced and is trying to convince all the rest of us that the mainstream Catholic Church is teetering on the edge of total collapse. It is his position that, unless we all are in complete agreement with everything he says and stands for, we are on the road to perdition.  But this is not the message of Jesus Christ.  

Remember the apostles in the boat.  Remember what Our Lord said, "Oh ye of little faith.  Why are you afraid?"


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