Thursday, July 10, 2014

Michael Voris Discredits Himself

Michael Voris recently did a Vortex entitled, "How Is This Happening" in which he issued a challenge:
This is a direct shout out to the Church of Nice Catholic Establishment and its media lapdogs – both official on traditional media outlets AND their wannabe allies in the internet world –

Listen to sound bites from this interview we conducted with a young homosexual who goes to daily Mass in the archdiocese of New York and frequently attends Mass at St. Francis of Assisi parish on 31st in midtown.

At the end of the clips – be prepared to answer how this young man, this soul that God loves infinitely, is capable of giving responses like he gives.
So I am taking Voris up on his challenge, and I will use his own video to show just how deceptive and manipulative he is.

After Voris issues the above challenge, he then goes to a clip of his interview with Jason, a young, gay Catholic man, in front of St. Francis of Assisi Church in NYC.

In the first part of this clip, Jason gives his own explanation of the meaning of I Corinthian 13. Jason gives us the worn out explanation that God created him as a gay man and God doesn't make mistakes.

He then makes a very interesting statement:
. . .so that is how I understand it so I mean honestly the Church is wrong in that the Church has gotten things wrong before.
Voris follows up Jason's statement with this:
Now Church of Nice, US Hierarchy, support staff, Catholic Establishment Media – explain this.

This is your doing. You have spent so much time avoiding telling the truth of the entire catastrophe of Catholic catechesis in this nation for the past 50 years that you have ignored young men like this.

You have sacrificed his spiritual well being for the sake of your own comfort. From bishops to priests to the Catholic Establishment Media, so much time has been spent been protecting the status quo – meaning their own rear ends and reputations, that they have allowed young souls like this to drift into a world of delusion.

Why? How is it possible that a man who goes to Mass everyday can have such an incorrect understanding of Catholic truth? We’re waiting for an answer.
Explain this? Michael Voris, didn't you hear what Jason said? Jason made it very clear that he knows exactly what the church teaches, and he is willingly and voluntarily rejecting this teaching.

Look at his words:
"The Church is wrong in that the Church has gotten things wrong before."
This means that, contrary to Voris's repeated statements that no one is teaching Catholics the truth, Jason has been taught the truth of the Church and he has chosen to reject it.  This being the case, how can "bishops to priests to the Catholic Establishment Media" be responsible for a man who knows church teaching and chooses, on his own, to reject it?

In fact, Voris confirms this fact with his own words:
He is no dummy. He shared with us that he went to Notre Dame and actually submitted an extensive paper SUPPORTING the Church’s teaching .. you heard right, he once understood and agreed with the Church’s teaching on homosexuality
It seems that Jason was taught the dogma of the Church so well that, as Voris reports, Jason wrote "an extensive paper SUPPORTING the Church's teaching."  And there is no other place Jason could have learned this other than IN the Catholic Church. But Voris just glides right over this fact and says:
But somewhere, some how over the intervening years, he threw in the towel, he listened to the prevailing gay-friendly propaganda coming from pulpits and priests and bishops affirming doubts he may have had .. and now he is transformed into a Church teaching denying Daily Communicant.

Jason seems to be a very young man, most likely still in his 20's. So he learned Catholic dogma, which he once wholeheartedly embraced, during the 90's into the first part of the 21st Century. This was most definitely during what Voris would call the reign of the "Church of Nice."

Yet Voris blames the Catholic Church, who had taught Jason very well, for the fact that Jason now rejects this truth? Voris doesn't think for a moment that the influence of our corrupt society, a society that endorses and promotes homosexuality, had any part in the fact that Jason now rejects Church teaching? Really? And just what would Voris have the Church do to Jason for rejecting her teachings? Go back to the methods of the Inquisition and put him on the rack?

Jason has fully admitted that his beliefs are in direct contradiction to church teaching. He is under no delusion about what the Church teaches. How much plainer can that be that it is not the fault of the Church that he has come to reject her teachings?

Voris then goes on a familiar rant about how corrupt the "Church of Nice" is:
How pathetic is it that all the Church of Nice and church leaders can muster up for a young man like this and all the rest who have to carry the cross of same-sex attraction is to quietly condone their acts.
They provide a false safety net, the APPEARANCE or pretense of charity when all the while the real truth is they are just cowards and even worse – selfish cowards who care more about themselves than this young man.

That say much much more about the state of their souls an their own lack of faith than it does about the souls of same-sex attracted Catholics.

And again, you will never ever hear stories like this – reports like this on EWTN or other mainstream Catholic Media outlets.
Blah, blah blah.  The same old same old from Michael Voris.

I have one question for Michael Voris.  Did he, Michael Voris, do anything to try to bring the "real truth" to Jason which Voris says was not given to Jason by the "selfish cowards who care more about themselves than this young man"?

Voris tells us this:
It’s the very last exchange we had with him – he said, lets pray for each other. And so we shall.
No, it seems that Mike just let Jason go on his merry way without saying anything to him.  Why didn't Voris do what he blames "the Church of Nice" for not doing? Why didn't you educate this young man as to the truth of the Church? Could it possibly be because you knew he wouldn't accept it and that your words would be falling on deaf ears? Or were you more interested in just using Jason to attack the Church and not really interested in his spiritual well being at all? You say the "Church of Nice", the Church which actually taught him very well, doesn't care about Jason. Do you? Only you, Mike, can answer that question.

Voris wants us to "answer how this young man, this soul that God loves infinitely, is capable of giving responses like he gives." The answer is right in your video, Mike. But you are so driven in your efforts to tear down Church hierarchy that you can't even see how you discredit yourself.

Michael Voris was at the "Pre Pride Mass" at St. Francis of Assisi Church along with Jason.  I am assuming he listened to the sermon, which is the same sermon that Jason heard. As I have reported, the celebrant gave a sermon in which he urged young men like Jason to let go of his "preconception, hardheartedness, and prejudice."

Jason was warned in the sermon that day at St. Francis of Assisi Church, just minutes before the interview with Voris, that not to be in communion with the Church was to put his soul in peril.  I was there and I heard these words preached.  But Voris gave only a very edited version of this sermon (basically the last two sentences) to make it seem that the priest was condoning homosexuality.  Then Voris goes on a rant accusing the Church of not caring about men like Jason.

Who is really providing "a false safety net, the APPEARANCE or pretense of charity when all the while the real truth is they are just cowards and even worse – selfish cowards who care more about themselves than this young man"?  Is it the hierarchy of the Catholic Church, or is it Michael Voris?

Before you get all upset with me for using these words on Michael Voris, please understand that I am using his own words which he uses to described the ordained hierarchy of the Catholic Church. Maybe you could get just a little upset over that.

Yes, we most definitely need to pray for young men like Jason. We also need to pray for the soul of Michael Voris. He is surely in need of it.

Wednesday, July 9, 2014

Is It A Mistake For Catholics To Trust The Catholic Church?

Many people, both readers and friends, have shown a lot of concern about the direction I have been taking in my writings on this blog lately.  It seems that I am on the wrong side of every issue about which I have been writing.

I am wrong about Father Wylie's sermon at Holy Innocents when he chastised the Archdiocese of New York [HERE].

I am wrong for disagreeing with the parishioners of Holy Innocents when they decided to partner with the New York Times as a place to air their grievances against the Archdiocese for putting them on the potential list for church closings [HERE].

I am always getting under the skin of Michael Voris fans because I refuse to accept his rantings and ravings against Church hierarchy. But I really incurred their wrath when I wrote about the Vortex episode in which he encouraged all of his listeners to stop financially supporting their local dioceses and parishes, and I called it for what it was: "Michael Voris Calls for the Destruction of the Catholic Church" [HERE]. Pewsitter picked this up and kept the link there for a few days so that Voris fans could come here and let me have it for making such an "outrageous" accusation.

Lately I have been incurring everyone's wrath because, after attending and seeing it for what it was, I am supporting the "Pre Pride Mass" at St. Francis of Assisi Church in Manhattan [HERE, HERE and HERE]. As one blogger said of me, I am "clueless."

One friend said in an email that my posts "do not seem to be solidly grounded in a foundation of charity, and even more seriously, they seem to involve you in 'spirits' of conflict and anger."  Wow.  I guess this is so serious I might be in need of an exorcist.

All of the criticisms aside, does anyone notice a recurring theme in all of these issues?  I am taking the side of Church hierarchy, and I am getting blasted by other Catholics for doing so.   Catholics are attacking a Catholic for supporting the Catholic Church.

Could there possibly be something wrong with this picture?

How have I become so "radical"? Why don't I see, like everyone else apparently does, that the Catholic Church hierarchy has gone completely off the rails and it is up to us few faithful still in the pews to bring them back to their senses? Why can't I understand that the vast majority of bishops and priests (and let's be honest, even the Holy Father) hate the Catholic Church as it has always been for 2000 years and want to remake it into a church in their own image? The fact that I do not accept this kind of thinking proves that I am just as evil as the Church hierarchy.

Believe it or not, my initial gut reactions to all of these issues is pretty much the same as those who criticize me. Father Wylie, a good and holy priest, is disciplined by the Archdiocese? A Catholic Church offering a "Pre Pride Mass"? Surely these things cannot be right.

So how has my initial reaction to these issues evolved to the exact opposite conclusion?

I have learned a few things since I started blogging, and I want to share these lessons. First, as a Christian, I have come to realize that the first thing we must do is rid ourselves of pride. That's a big order, and I think it takes a lifetime to truly accomplish. Pride is the king of all sins. It was the sin of Satan.

Pride will block the Holy Spirit faster and more effectively than any other sin, because we are, in effect, setting ourselves up as our own god. We are saying, I know what is right. I have all the answers and anyone who disagrees with me is wrong. We have become that "rich man" who cannot enter the Kingdom of Heaven. We are so filled with ourselves that there is no room for the Holy Spirit.

Look at an example from Scripture to see what true obedience and trust is. Think of how Abraham felt when God came to him and said, you need to leave your family and your country and go to a completely foreign place. Why would this be necessary? Why couldn't he follow God's Will right where he lived? 

And if that made no sense, think of the confusion and questioning in Abraham's mind when God told him to sacrifice Isaac, the son upon whom all the promises rested. First of all, how could it be right to sacrifice a human being? Secondly, how were the promises to be fulfilled if the one through whom they were promised was dead?

Yet Abraham, who is called the father of the faithful, followed the commands of Gold without hesitation. We, like Abraham, need to follow the command of God even when it makes no sense to us.

Many will argue that those in Church hierarchy are not following God's commands, so we cannot follow them. We need to ask ourselves, do we believe the Catholic Church is the true Church founded by Jesus Christ? Do we believe Our Lord's words that the gates of hell will never prevail against this Church? Do we believe that the bishops are the direct spiritual descendants of the apostles? Do we believe that the pope sits in the Chair of Peter?

If we truly believe these things, it then follows that when we hear what we perceive to be confusing and conflicting statements from Church hierarchy, our first reaction should never be to question the Church. We need to ask such questions as what is the source of this information? Is there an agenda from this source? Does what we hear actually conflict with Catholic teaching, or do we just not like what is being said? Just how complete is our understanding of the subject? Do we have the whole story? Do we know all the facts involved?

These are the questions I ask in each story I have written about on this blog. When I hear or read something that indicates Church hierarchy is teaching or promoting something heretical, I take a few steps back and ask all of the above questions. I have learned never to trust my first reaction. I try to always defend the Church, the Mystical Body of Christ. Sadly, I do not see this very often in other Catholics. Too many are quick to believe the very worst, to sit in judgment and condemnation. Then when someone comes along and tries to tell them differently, presenting them with the true facts, they don't listen. They just continue to attack.

Pope Francis gave what turned out to be a very controversial interview to America Magazine last year [HERE], which I would urge everyone to read. He made some truly profound and wise statements in that interview. Below is one of them:
“But I am always wary of decisions made hastily. I am always wary of the first decision, that is, the first thing that comes to my mind if I have to make a decision. This is usually the wrong thing. I have to wait and assess, looking deep into myself, taking the necessary time. The wisdom of discernment redeems the necessary ambiguity of life and helps us find the most appropriate means, which do not always coincide with what looks great and strong.”
If you study Scripture and Church history, you will see that Our Lord never works in ways that we would expect. Who would think He would choose the greatest persecutor of the Church, the one who wanted every Christian dead, to be the greatest evangelizer of the Gospel, namely St. Paul? Who would think Our Lord would choose a cowardly, impetuous and sometimes just plain stupid man to be the leader of the Church, St. Peter? Who would think that the first person the Risen Jesus appeared to would be an outcast of society, Mary Magdalene, a woman from whom Christ cast seven devils? It goes on and on. 
We should never, never presume to know the mind of God. As such, we must always give the benefit of the doubt to His Church. We must always be willing to say, this doesn't seem right to me, but I have very limited understanding and I don't know how Our Lord will use this situation or this person. So let me just step back until it become clearer.

It is most definitely possible for a priest or bishop to act against Church authority. Certainly we need to speak up in such cases. But it has been my experience that this is a very rare occurrence. Priests and bishops don't always speak and act the way I would like them to, but that doesn't mean I don't have to listen to them. Again, we should never trust our first reaction. We should always "wait and assess" as Pope Francis counsels.

If you will read my posts without prejudice, you will find nothing in them that goes against Church teaching or attacks Church hierarchy in any way. In fact, you will see just the opposite. I truly love Our Lord and I love the Mystical Body of Christ.

You will notice that I often use Scripture and the saints to support what I am saying. By doing this, I am showing you how I came to the conclusion I did. I don't start out with a conclusion and then look to see how I can support it. I go to Scripture and to the Church, and I allow that to lead me. I also listen to and read directly what the bishops and the Holy Father actually say instead of allowing someone to interpret them for me. That is essential to knowing what is true.

In short, I have learned that we must trust Our Lord, Jesus Christ. We must trust His Church, His Mystical Body against whom the gates of hell will never prevail. At the very bottom of the list, we can trust ourselves only to the extent that we are submissive and obedient to Christ and His Church.

I am sure most will find fault with this post as well. That's okay. I think I'm getting use to it.  And it certainly does keep me humble.

Sunday, July 6, 2014

New York Times: Abortion Is A Terrible, Traumatic Event, And It Must Remain Legal

There is a really interesting editorial in the Opinion Section of the New York Times.  It is an intensely personal piece written by a woman who had an abortion 20 years ago.  She had become pregnant as the result of an affair with a married man.  She had always been very supportive of abortion rights, and she actually planned to film her abortion and show what a good option this is.

As she writes, she was in for a rude awakening.

You can read the article HERE.   Below is the text of her opinion piece.

I Couldn’t Turn My Abortion Into Art

I’d had only one serious boyfriend by this time and recently had been asked for the first time, “Can I buy you a drink?” by a man. (He was an actor in a film I’d worked on the summer before; he asked everybody that question, but still it felt like progress.) Somehow, by that tender age, I had convinced myself that I should take what I could get. So I took the married sound mixer. I had just turned 22 and I had the self-esteem of a squashed toad. This may explain why I was having an affair with a married 36-year-old sound mixer whom I’d met on a film shoot a couple of months earlier.
And then, a few months later, I rolled out of bed at an unreasonably early hour and vomited.
This didn’t seem as big a problem to me as it might have for other young women. This was the mid-1990s. Reared on protest marches, I had a NOW poster affixed to my bedroom wall. I was an unwavering believer in the fierce rhetoric of pro-choice. And now: a poster child.
In addition, in college I had essentially majored in experimental feminist video. I could make art out of anything.
I called my boss — a pretty, perpetually single 35-year-old art director — and confided my situation. She gave me the name of a clinic on Park Avenue. “Whatever you do, don’t go alone,” she said. 
I called. I made an appointment for the next day and checked the price: $350 — slightly more than a week’s pay.
The money intimidated me but the mission didn’t. Not only was this the right I’d marched for, it was an opportunity. It could provide material for the kinds of film I’d voraciously consumed in college, in which women transformed their most traumatic experiences into emotionally stirring and awareness-raising images: Margie Strosser’s “Rape Stories” or “The Body Beautiful” by Ngozi Onwurah, about a mother undergoing a radical mastectomy. An abortion today, a debut at Sundance tomorrow.
The next day was perfect movie material. A blizzard had hit New York City, shutting down the trains. I did something that I considered extravagant at that time: I called a car service. I added it to the mental tally, the bill I’d present to the married man when he returned from working on a film overseas.
I stuffed my Ricoh Hi8 video camera in my backpack, and I went alone.
The driver was Middle Eastern, from some hot and weather-less country, but he did a fair job of steering into the skids. He kept asking me why I was going out in such weather.
“I have to go to the doctor,” I kept telling him.
“Why? You don’t look sick.”
“I have to have a procedure.”
“What? What procedure?”
Finally, I told him. Why not? I was proud and un-conflicted. I was exercising my right. I was making a video.
He pulled over to the side of the road, right there on the Brooklyn Bridge — not only illegal but dangerous. “Please don’t kill the baby,” he said. “Please don’t kill the baby.”
“What are you doing?”
“Don’t kill the baby.” He wouldn’t move the car, though horns blared all around us.
“Keep driving! I have an appointment!” I shook his headrest. This was not part of the script.
“Please don’t kill the baby,” he said again, turning around to face me. He had beautiful big brown eyes — almost black. “I will take care of you and the baby. I work two jobs.”
“Drive,” I told him.
“You are going by yourself?” he asked.
I said, “Drive.”
He drove. The camera wasn’t on. I didn’t have any of it on tape.
At the clinic’s counter, the receptionist asked me what I’d come for. I said, “Um …”
“Termination of pregnancy?” she asked in her best would-you-like-fries-with-that voice. I nodded.
They gave me pamphlets, a paper gown and paper slippers. They sat me in a room filled with women, one of whom told me she’d been there eight times before. “They used to have terry cloth,” she said, lifting her toes in the paper slippers. It had never occurred to me that people had serial abortions, but it confirmed my expectations: abortion — safe, legal, no big deal.
Yet as I looked around the room, my expectations began to shift. This wasn’t the liberating environment I’d expected to enter. The uncomplicated message of those protests led me to think that legal abortion would be light. Lite. I wasn’t prepared for the saturnine cloudiness of the room, all those sad-looking women burying their faces in tabloid magazines.
The video camera stayed sleeping in my lap.
Nurses led me and 10 other women into a room where they talked to us about our anesthetic options — local or general — and had us sign forms. Everyone opted for general except for me. “I want local,” I said. I showed the woman from the clinic my video camera. “I want to be awake and I want to record it.” I said this with a now wavering smile.
She took me aside and informed me that I could not use my video camera in the operating room for legal reasons, and that they did not approve of local anesthesia.
“Why are you giving me the option, then?” I asked.
“We have to,” the woman said. For legal reasons.
My hands shook, the camera wobbling in my grasp. I was freezing inside my paper gown. I checked the “general” box on the form. I put the camera in my bag.
The first thing I thought when I awoke from the anesthesia was that I’d never be pregnant again, that I had just squandered my only chance at motherhood. I was sobbing — I had arisen from the depths of the medication this way — as they rolled me into the recovery room where the other women were lying, almost all of them with a friend or partner or relative to brush their hair back or offer them ice chips. I could not stop crying, big heaves and gulps of it. The nurse came over at first to soothe me and then to quiet me.
“You’re upsetting the other girls,” she said.
“It hurts.”
She sent the doctor over. “Sometimes we have to massage the womb,” he said, inserting his hand inside me and pressing. This did not stop the crying, but eventually it stopped the pain.
Or, at least, it stopped the physical pain. The begging cabdriver and the woman on her ninth abortion and the shocking suction in my womb: It was too traumatic for me to make art of. Or maybe it was just that I wasn’t a good enough artist to transform that level of trauma into something that others could learn from and use. I had been taught that a woman’s right to choose was the most important thing to fight for, but I hadn’t known what a brutal choice it was.
I took a car service home, too, where my brother and his girlfriend met me and we ordered in. “We would have gone with you,” they said, “if you’d asked.”
“I was going to make a video,” I said. Reacting to the way my hands still shook, they tended to me as if I’d just walked miles in that blizzard. I knew then I’d never be a filmmaker.
About motherhood, though, I was wrong. Fifteen years later, happily coupled with a wonderful man, I gave birth to my first daughter; I now have two. I don’t wish I had a 20-year-old. I didn’t want that baby, with that man. Abortion rights, yes, I’ll always support them, but even all these years later, I wish the motto wasn’t “Never again,” but “Avoid this if there’s any way you possibly can, even if it’s legal, because it’s awful.”
I wish that someone had alerted me to the harshness of the experience, acknowledged the layers of regret that built and fell away as the months and years passed. I want my daughters to have the option of safe and legal abortion, of course. I just don’t want them to have to use it.
This opinion piece clearly illustrates the cognitive dissonance that is necessary to hold to a pro abortion position.  As this writer tells us, having an abortion "is awful."  She has illustrated very clearly what a degrading and horrific experience it is to have an abortion.  Yes, she still wants her daughters to have the option of "choice", but she never wants them to use that option. The conflict in the mind of this woman must weigh on her every moment.

The fact that this piece is written some 20 years after the abortion shows that, as Msgr. Philip Reilly often says, having an abortion doesn't mean you're not a mother.  It means you are the mother of a dead baby.  Abortion is performed once, but it never ends in the life of the mother.

Please pray for the direct victims of abortion - the babies.  At the same time, realize that although these little martyrs died horrendous deaths, their suffering has ended.  But the suffering of the mothers and fathers of these babies will continue for a lifetime, and will actually be much greater than the pain experienced by their babies.  Pray that the parents of the babies will seek the forgiveness and mercy which they need and which can only found in Jesus Christ.
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