Tuesday, July 5, 2016

EWTN Slanders and Defames Pope Francis

EWTN, the Catholic network founded by the late Mother Angelica, played a crucial role in my return to the Catholic Church, as it has in the lives of countless others around the world. There is no doubt in my mind that the Holy Spirit guided Mother Angelica to found this network and bring the beauty and wonder of the Catholic Church to the world.

However, in the last few years, EWTN seems to be losing its way.  Mother Angelica, of course, has not been in charge since she suffered a major stroke in 2001.  That was 15 years ago, and I think little of her influence is left in this network.  I watched some of their coverage of Pope Francis' visit to the US last year with Raymond Arroyo and Father Gerald Murray, and I was very disappointed and even somewhat scandalized by their constant disagreement with statements by the Holy Father.

But they reached an all new low with the June 23, 2016 broadcast of the "World Over" in which Arroyo, Father Murray and Robert Royal, denounced Pope Francis by mischaracterizing and distorting his statements and outright slandering him.  Of course, the traditional catholic blogosphere - always quick to condemn Pope Francis - could not be more ecstatic.

(BTW, has anyone ever noticed the striking resemblance between Raymond Arroyo and Pee Wee Herman?)

Raymond Arroyo
Pee Wee Herman
Arroyo starts out by saying that the the Pope has recently opined about, among other issues, "the validity of Christian Marriage." No, that is not the topic of the Pope's discussion. The issue was the validity of individual Christian marriages. Unlike the gross misrepresentation of Arroyo's statement, Pope Francis believes utterly and without reservation in the validity of the holy sacrament of marriage. The Holy Father questions whether those who enter into this holy sacrament have a true understanding of their actions, which could result in an invalid marriage. This is not new thinking. This has been the ruling of the Church in many thousands and thousands of marriages which have been officially annulled. But you wouldn't know it by Arroyo's discussion with his "Papal Posse" consisting of Father Gerald Murray and Robert Royal.  Or would it be better to call them the "Papal Hanging Mob"?

Arroyo starts out by giving us a partial quote from the Holy Father, which takes everything out of context by not allowing us to see the entirety the Holy Father's statement.  Using partial quotes enables a deceitful person to make anyone say anything.  Arroyo also used a translation that was used by the traditional catholic anti-Pope bloggers, such as Steve Skojec (who never misses an opportunity to bash Pope Francis) to discredit Pope Francis instead of using a more official translation which is provided by Zenit, found HERE.  I strong suggest that you read this Zenit article which contains the entirety of the Pope's comments.

The traditional catholic bloggers' translation, with the partial quote used by Arroyo, as opposed to the Zenit or official translation, is as follows:
“It’s provisional, and because of this the great majority of our sacramental marriages are null. Because they say “yes, for the rest of my life!” but they don’t know what they are saying. Because they have a different culture. They say it, they have good will, but they don’t know.”
The Pope made the above statement - as incorrectly quoted by Arroyo - in regard to the following question:
Good evening, Holiness. Wherever we go, we hear today about the crisis of marriage. And so I would like to ask you: what can we point to today to educate young people to love, particularly to Sacramental Marriage, overcoming their resistances, skepticism, disappointments, the fear of the definitive? Thank you
When you read exactly what the Pope is responding to, his answer makes much more sense.  When given to us by Arroyo, it really makes no sense at all, which seems to be Arroyo's goal.

The Zenit translation of the Pope's complete answer is as follows:
I’ll take up your last word: we also live a culture of the provisional. I heard it said that, a few months ago, a youth who had finished his University studies, a good youth, went to the Bishop and said to him: “I want to become a priest, but for ten years.” It’s the culture of the provisional. And this happens everywhere, also in priestly life, in religious life — the provisional. And because of this some of our Sacramental Marriages are null, because they [the spouses] say: “Yes, for life,” but they don’t know what they are saying, because they have another culture. They say it, and have the good will, but they don’t have the awareness.
Pope Francis then gives us examples from his own experience to illustrate his point that many do not understand that marriage is for life:
Once a lady in Buenos Aires reproached me: “You priests are wily, because to become priests you study for eight years and then, if things don’t go well and a priest finds a girl he likes … in the end you give him permission to get married and have a family. And to us laity, who must fulfill the Sacrament our whole life and indissolubly, we are given four conferences, and this for the whole of life!”
In my opinion, one of the problems is this: the preparation for marriage. And then the question is very linked to the social event. I remember, last year, here in Italy, I called a youth that I had met some time ago at Ciampino, who was getting married. I called him and said to him: “Your mother has told me that you will get married next month … Where will it be? …” “But we don’t know, because we are looking for a church that will suit my girl’s dress … And then, we must do so many things: the sweets, and then find a restaurant that’s not far …” These are the concerns! It’s a social event. How can this be changed? I don’t know.
Do Arroyo and his "Papal Posse" mention any of the above? Not on your life! Instead they immediately denounced and condemned the Pope's statement which they took totally out of context and to which they put their own spin.

Arroyo asks Father Murray his reaction "as a canonist." A canonist is one who is concerned only with the letter of the law, and never looks at the heart or the intention of the person. In the view of the canonist, you are either completely wrong or completely right, nothing in between. We need canonists just as we need civil lawyers, but far too often, canonists, like their civilian counterparts, end up obscuring the true intention of the law instead of defending it. It should be noted that that the Pharisees were "canonists" of their time, and we know how Our Lord felt about them.

Arroyo sets up the softball to Father Murray by stating: "This is at odds with the traditional Church on marriage and the nature of that commitment involved." Of course, if Arroyo had given us the entire quote by Pope Francis, including the question to which the Holy Father was responding, and if Arroyo had quoted Pope Francis correctly, we would know what a canard this question is.

Father Murray's answer:
Yes, the great majority of Catholic marriages are not null. They are valid. For the Pope to say that is to express, I think, an unacceptable opinion. I regret he did it because it causes uncertainty among people now: is my marriage valid? The Pope is not following the canonical precision that is present in the law [can we get any more Pharisaical?] about what it takes to get married. In order to be married validly, you simply have to know that this is a relationship between a man and a woman in view of having children and that by nature it is a permanent relationship. You don't have to know all of the ups and downs that are facing you in married life.
The above is a statement that any Pharisee in the time of Jesus would be most proud of.

Is Father Murray kidding us?  First of all, Pope Francis said nothing about needing to know the "ups and downs" of married life.  The Pope clearly stated - in the quote not used by Arroyo- that his concern is that people see getting married more as a social event than as a lifelong commitment.  Can anyone deny that spending $25,000 or more on a wedding is all about the social event, with little emphasis on the spiritual aspect?

Father Murray makes it clear that, unlike Pope Francis, he doesn't place any importance on the state of mind or heart of those getting married.  Father Murray seems to feel that sincerity and understanding is somehow a given, and does not need to be questioned in any way.   He honestly thinks that if we just say the right words, no matter our lack of understanding or what is in our hearts, then poof! we have a valid marriage.  I feel very badly for any married people who have had to endure the counseling of this priest.

Father Murray went on to say "the Pope has a very pessimistic view of this generation and their ability to understand the commitment of marriage."  Oh really? Do you think the Pope's "pessimistic view" has any grounding in reality, like this fact from the American Psychological Association:
Marriage and divorce are both common experiences. In Western cultures, more than 90 percent of people marry by age 50. Healthy marriages are good for couples’ mental and physical health. They are also good for children; growing up in a happy home protects children from mental, physical, educational and social problems. However, about 40 to 50 percent of married couples in the United States divorce. The divorce rate for subsequent marriages is even higher.
Yes, I think the Pope's "pessimism" is, unfortunately, well grounded in reality.  And this doesn't even get into the incredibly high rate of infidelity among married couples.

Father Murray ends by saying:
I strongly disagree with [Pope Francis] and I would love to have a conversation with him to say, 'Holy Father, there is more to this than what you're saying."  
Yes, there is more, much more, but Arroyo and the "Papal Posse" won't tell us!!

Robert Royal, the other member of the "Papal Posse" had this to say:
Well, I would say there is a departure from the tradition here. For him to say this, I would go even a little further. It's rather reckless.  At this moment in history, we all admit that there is a point to what he is saying, that in a way people who are married are in a a very fragile situation. There are any number of influences of culture which are mitigating factors.
What?!  Are the Papal Posse telling us that they think the Pope has a valid point?

Have you lost your mind?

Royal continues:
But to put this out there in such a broad way. . . He initially said the vast majority of people are in invalid marriages.  This in a way sends a paradoxical message that, you know, if you're not happy or you see someone else you're interested in, there's a way out for this.  It just seems to me, and I think a lot of people after hearing that, people who like us - I think all three of us respect the office of the Pope, respect the Holy Father's person, hear that and I think a line, kind of, is crossed here.  You began to hear people say that it was preposterous.  
I would like to know where the Pope said or implied in any way that "if you're not happy or you see someone else you're interested in, there's a way out for this."  That is neither in the incorrect partial quote given to us by Arroyo or in the full accurate quote from the Pope.  These three men are clearly imputing thoughts and ideas to the Holy Father which he never, never, never intended.  It is these three men who are "crossing the line," they are the "preposterous" ones. I do hope these men do a heartfelt confession.

Arroyo then gives us another partial quote from the Holy Father - taken completely out of context - and also incorrectly translated.  This is what Arroyo gives us:
There are boys and girls who are immensely pure and have a great love, but there are few of them. There are good young people in today's culture, but they have to be guided until they are mature enough. That is when the sacrament is celebrated with joy. It takes a lot of patience without getting scared.
The actual, full quote:
I return to what is serious: preparation for marriage must be done with closeness, without being frightened, slowly. Often it’s a path of conversion. There are boys and girls who have a purity, a great love and know what they do, but they are few. Today’s culture presents these youngsters to us; they are good and we must approach them and accompany them, accompany them up to the moment of maturity. It’s there that we carry out the Sacrament, but joyful, joyful! — so much patience is necessary, so much patience. It’s the same patience that is necessary for the pastoral of vocations. To listen to the same things, to listen: the apostolate of the ear, to listen, to accompany … without being frightened… I don’t know if I’ve answered, but I speak to you of my experience, of what I’ve lived as a parish priest.
How different this is than the incorrect, partial quote given by Arroyo.  Who could possibly argue with this statement by the Holy Father, that we must "accompany" young people up to the moment of maturity, and that then "we can carry out the Sacrament, but joyful, joyful! - so much patience is necessary, so much patience."

Pope Francis puts preparing for marriage on the same level as preparing for a priestly vocation, which takes several years and much discernment.  Certainly young people don't need to wait several years before getting married, but they must be given much more preparation than what is now typically given to understand that marriage is more than a social event, more than a "happy ever after" as seen in the movies, and that unlike their worldly counterparts, they have to keep working at it even when they don't want to.

What does Father Murray tell us?
Again, I don't agree with the Pope.  I think most people are naturally capable of marriage, and the fact that you are 18 years old doesn't per se mean you are immature as regards being able to marry.  Historically marriage occurs much earlier in European history.  Now we're more later in general, the 20's and 30's, but this exaggerated notion that the Pope has, in my opinion, that people are unprepared and incapable of marrying because of a lack of maturity - I don't agree.  I would agree with the Pope that we need good marriage preparation courses, but what you need to know to get married is very simple:  boy, girl, a ring, vows, and you consummate the marriage, and you're married!
Do Arroyo and the "Papal Posse" even acknowledge that we have a marriage crisis in our world and in the Church?  Why do they think we needed a Synod on the Family?  Why do they think we have a problem with divorced and remarried in the Church?  What world do these people live in?

The naiveté and ignorance displayed in the above statement by Father Murray is breathtaking.  He most obviously has no idea of the complexities involved in the marriage relationship, the ways in which we must deal with our's and our spouse's emotional baggage, the degree of compromise and give-and-take that is involved, our own inaccurate ideas of marriage and what it involves.  Very few people today have had any kind of real role model of what constitutes a good marriage, having come from broken and/or highly dysfunctional homes.  Again, I can only state that I truly fear for any couples counseled by Father Murray.

Look at the difference between the Pope's statement and that of Father Murray.  The Pope displays great compassion and understanding of the many challenges facing young people today.  He wants to walk with them on this most difficult journey, helping them over all the rough spots, letting them know they are not alone.  Father Murray, the lawyer, wants to put them in a box outlined by the law and basically tell them, sink or swim.  And if you sink, it's your own fault.

Arroyo then, once again, attributes words and ideas to the Holy Father which Pope Francis never said or implied in any way:
But he's saying here . . there are very few people who are pure.  You have to start there.  It's almost as if he is taking into account what is happening in the culture, and he is saying, 'Look we have to kind of lower the bar here a bit and expect less from these people.  They're not that many who are virgins when the process begins.
Arroyo really should be sued for slander.  This is exactly the opposite of what the Pope is saying.  The Holy Father said he realizes where people are, and his goal is to walk with them and accompany them, not to lower to the bar, but to raise people up to the standard they need to be in a successful marriage!!!  Could that not be any clearer?  It would be if Arroyo would deign to give us the Pope's entire statements.

Arroyo then tells us that Pope made some comments about cohabitation which are "more inflammatory than the other comments":
They prefer to cohabitate, and this is a challenge.  Not to ask, 'why don't you marry?'  No to accompany, to wait, and to help them mature, help fidelity to mature. . .I've seen a lot of fidelity in these cohabitations, and I'm sure that this is a real marriage.  They have the grace of a real marriage because of their fidelity.
Once again, Arroyo has done his viewers a grave disservice by giving only a partial, inaccurate quote taken out of context.  Below is the full quote:
Another experience I had in Buenos Aires: when parish priests did courses of preparation, there were 12-13 couples, not more; it did not reach 30 persons. The first question they asked was: “How many of you are living together?” The majority raised their hand. They prefer to live together, and this is a challenge, it calls for work. One must not say immediately: “Why aren’t you married in the Church?” No. Accompany them: wait and let them mature — and let fidelity mature. In the Argentine countryside, in the Northeast region, there is a superstition: that engaged couples have a child; that they live together. This happens in the countryside. Then, when the child must go to school, they have the civil marriage. And then, as grandparents, they do the religious marriage.
It’s a superstition, because they say that to do the religious immediately scares the husband! We must also fight against these superstitions. Yet I can truly say that I’ve seen much fidelity in this living together, much fidelity; and I’m sure that this is a true marriage; they have the grace of marriage, precisely because of the fidelity they have. But they are local superstitions. The pastoral of marriage is the most difficult.
How different the meaning is when you can read everything the Pope says.  He most obviously is not condoning living together without marriage, but like a true pastor, he is meeting people where they are, and then helping them to grow to the spiritual level that will enable them to be in a true sacramental marriage.

The Holy Father's way is that of compassion and true concern.  He sees everyone as an individual, at a different stage.  In the case of the people in his native Argentina, they actually believe it is dangerous to get married.  We can't just ignore that, tell them they're crazy and going to hell.  They must be shown respect and dignity as all human beings deserve.  The truth is, no one will listen unless they are shown the respect they deserve.  They must be brought to the truth step by step.

Pope Francis realizes that we cannot treat people like we are all cut from the same cloth with no differences.  Truly, this is the way of Jesus Christ, as we saw so often in His earthly ministry, when he refused to condemn but rather invite sinners to a higher level, walking with them on the journey.

Royal goes back to the canard that the Pope is trying "not to set the bar too high."  Again, it's just the opposite!!! The Pope is saying, this is where people need to be, but they need help getting there, and they can't do it all at once.  Let's walk with them, accompany them, show them where they are actually doing right things - such as being faithful to one another - but that more is involved.  That is the way of true mercy and compassion, not the judgmental, sink-or-swim approach of Arroyo and the "Papal Posse."

Arroyo makes a truly ignorant statement when he questions the Pope's words that fidelity gives the graces of true marriage even to those who are not sacramentally married.  Arroyo says, "Can you have fidelity for someone you're not bound to?"  Yes, Raymond, you can.  Certainly engaged couples are faithful to one another.  If you understand marriage in the Catholic Church, you know that this is one sacrament that is not administered by the priest, but it is the couple who administer the sacrament to one another.  They sanctify one another in the marriage vow.  Of course, you need a priest present, but it is the couple who make the marriage.  That is why the Catholic Church will recognize marriages performed by other religions.

Arroyo is not done.  He tells us "the Pope was asked by someone in he audience, what was referred to as 'double morality' regarding official church teaching and pastoral practices toward divorced and remarried Catholics and the sacraments".  For some reason, Arroyo does not see fit to actually quote the question, so here it is, which you can find HERE:
Good evening, Holiness, I return to an argument you have already referred to. We know that as a Christian community we don’t want to give up the radical demands of the Gospel of the family: marriage as Sacrament, indissolubility, fidelity in marriage and, on the other hand, full acceptance of mercy in all situations, also in the most difficult. How can we avoid having a double morality in our communities, one exacting and another permissive, one rigorist and the other lax?
Arroyo once again gives us a partial and incomplete quote, completely leaving out the context, as follows:
The Gospel chooses another way:  welcoming, accompanying, integrating, discerning, without putting our noses in the 'moral life'  of other people . . .
This is truly getting tiring.  I can only hope that these three men made a good confession after this horrendous telecast.

Here is the full quote from Pope Francis:
Both are not the truth; neither rigor nor laxity is the truth. The Gospel chooses another way. Hence, those four words — receive, accompany, integrate, discern — without poking one’s nose in people’s moral life.
For your tranquillity I must tell you that all that is written in the Exhortation — and I take up the words of a great theologian who was Secretary of the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith, Cardinal Shoenborn, who presented it — everything is Thomist, from the beginning to the end. It’s certain doctrine. However, very often we want certain doctrine to have a mathematical certainty that doesn’t exist, either with laxity, indulgence or with rigidity.
We think of Jesus: the story is the same; it’s repeated. When Jesus spoke to the people, the people said: “He doesn’t speak as the scribes, but as one who has authority” (Mark 1:22). Those Doctors knew the Law, and they had a specific law for each case, to arrive at the end to some 600 precepts — everything regulated, everything. And the Lord — I see God’s anger in the 23rd chapter of Matthew, that chapter is terrible. Above all it makes an impression on me when it talks of the Fourth Commandment and says: “You, that instead of giving your elderly parents to eat, say to them: ‘No, I’ve made a promise, the altar is better than you,’ are in contradiction” (cf. Mark 7:1013).
Jesus was like that, and He was condemned out of hatred; they always put traps before Him: “Can this be done or not?” We think of the scene of the adulteress (cf. John 8:1-11). It’s written: she must be stoned. It’s the morality, it’s clear, and not rigid, it’s not rigid, it’s a clear morality. She must be stoned. Why? — because of the sacredness of marriage, fidelity. Jesus is clear on this. The word is adultery, it’s clear. And Jesus feigns being somewhat dumb, lets time pass, writes on the ground … and then says: “Begin: let the first one of you who has not sinned, throw the first stone.” In that case, Jesus was lacking in the Law. They went away, beginning with the oldest. “Woman, has no one condemned you? Neither do I.” What is the moral ? To stone her? But Jesus was lacking, He was lacking in morality.
This makes us think that one can’t speak of “rigidity,” of “certainty,” of being mathematical in morality, as the morality of the Gospel.
Pope Francis gives a beautiful example from the ministry of Jesus Christ in the story of the woman taken in adultery.  Certainly there is no doubt she broke the law, and the law plainly stated that adulterers were to be stoned.  That was the "moral" reaction to the situation, and as Pope Francis tells us, Jesus was "lacking in morality" because he refused to condemn her.

Did Jesus ignore the law or bend it in any way?  Absolutely not.  He says, yes, she should be stoned, but he said that only one who had not sinned should cast the first stone.  That excluded everyone but Jesus Christ Himself.  Yet, he refused to stone her.  He refused to "put his nose in her moral life."  Instead, he showed mercy and compassion, and refused to condemn her.  Is this not the way of God's love?

After giving this pathetic "quote" from the Holy Father, Arroyo and the "Papal Posse", without ever referring to the rest of the Pope's answer, tear him apart.  This is truly sad.
Arroyo:  Father Gerry, as a pastor, you hear that and think what?  Should you not ask the questions about, are you cohabitating, has that child been baptized?  Is that sticking your nose into other people's moral lives?
Murray:  I don't think so.  You know, the expression, 'sticking your nose in" is usually meaning "mind your own business and don't have anything to do with what is happening in the other person's life.  If a person is coming to seek a priest, they are not there because they want the priest to know gossip.  They want to know what does Jesus expect of me?  Remember what Jesus told Peter, 'Get behind me, Satan.'  He didn't say, 'Let's have a 10 minute discussion to find out why you think otherwise.'  He said, 'Stop thinking that way.'  The way you think is is as man thinks, not as God thinks.  
We have to understand the Gospel is tough love with a divine origin.  That's what we have in the Gospel.  When I challenge a couple who is living together to not fornicate before they marry, I am doing them a favor, because I am telling them, if you're going to ask God to bless your marriage, you have to say, 'And I value your law, too, Lord.  Therefore, I'm going to live it as best I can before the marriage.  If I'm sticking my nose in there, as the Pope says, that's what I want to do, because I want to help them find the way to heaven, not reinforce this notion, whatever you want to do, that's good for you.
Is there any doubt what Father Murray would have done in the case of the woman taken in adultery? And is there any doubt that he would have condemned Jesus Christ for not stoning her to death? Again, Father Murray and those who think like him see Christianity as a one-size-fits-all box into which we must all fit just as they expect us to, or we will go to hell where we belong.  Pope Francis sees the high levels to which we must all attain, but unlike Arroyo and the "Papal Posse", he does not condemn those who have not yet attained those levels.  Instead, he says we must accompany - not condemn - one another and help one another on this spiritual journey.

I could tear apart almost every statement made on this broadcast, but you should be seeing the pattern here.  The Pharisees condemned Jesus Christ because he would not put the law above the people, but saw them all as individuals and chose not to condemn people but to accompany them so that they could one day live their lives in conformity with the law.  That is the message we get from Pope Francis, and those who refuse to hear it will be left in the dust, not even realizing that they, in their self righteousness, have actually rejected Jesus Christ and the true Gospel Message.


  1. The doppelganger posit was, at least for one, the zenith of an otherwise excruciatingly painful stream-of-consciousness diatribe.

  2. Outstanding post. You wrote what I think but could never express as you have. I often think about Matthew 7:21. Who are these people Jesus refers to? They can't be liberals or atheists or agnostics as Christ says they literally prophesy in His name. Now sure, it could be protestants or other non-Catholic Christians. But I don't think so. I think he is referring to those He mentions in verse 3. Those who judge the speck in the other's eye while ignoring the beam in their own.

    1. I truly feel that Pope Francis is having the same effect that Jesus Christ had on people when He walked the earth. Jesus placed the importance of people above everything else, including the law. The religious elite saw the law as supreme, and could not understand what Jesus meant by such sayings as the Sabbath was made for man and not man for the Sabbath. The religious elite felt threatened by Jesus, and the "religious" of our day feel threatened by Pope Francis. I think it is fascinating that the most vocal enemies of Pope Francis are traditional, right-wing Catholics. We are seeing the sheep separated from the goats.


    2. Archbishop Pozzo : continuing a monologue with the SSPX

  3. It is very much worth noting that Michael Voris has been critical of EWTN in recent years even though he has praised Mother Angelica big time. Christopher A. Ferrara, whom Catholic apologist Dave Armstrong has described as a "radical Catholic reactionary," wrote a book called "EWTN: A Network Gone Wrong." I used to own a copy of that book, but not anymore.

    1. The radical right wing Catholics you refer to reject EWTN because they think it is too modernist, too Protestant. I actually read the book you refer to, and it is terrible. My problem with EWTN is their unfair and libelous attacks against Pope Francis.

    2. One of the things which deeply saddens me is that these extreme right-wing 'Catholics' insult others as though not to do so would be unchristian! Fr. Zuhlsdorf's recent post attacking another author actually refers to the National Catholic Reporter as the "National Sodomite Reporter". Now, we know the NCR is on the liberal side of things, but this is an utterly disgraceful from anyone let alone a priest. Of course, trying to post a comment expressing disapproval is useless as it never passes the censors.

    3. Those who believe they are absolutely in the right, that God is on their side, and that anyone who does not believe as they do is evil, are the most dangerous people in the world. We see it in conservatives - such as Christian fundamentalism and other religious fundamentalists, e.g., Isis, and we see it in liberalism - the flip side of fundamentalism.

      We, as followers of Jesus Christ, while we must have no doubt in our God, must always be filled with self doubt, and we must always see other people not as evil and worthy only of our disdain and rejection, but as fallen human beings for whom Jesus Christ died, just as He died for us.

      It is so tragic that so few Catholic websites reflect these Christian values.

    4. The Ignatian term that I believe should be referenced is "distrust of self" instead of "filled with self-doubt", as that would inevitably lead to state of neurosis.

    5. Definition of distrust of self: “lack of confidence in oneself, in one's abilities, etc.”


      Definition of self doubt: “lack of confidence in the reliability of one's own motives, personality, thought, etc.”


    6. Definition of terms by Jesuits with doctorates in psychology just might carry a tad more weight.

  4. Catholic in Brooklyn, I know you're not a Michael Voris fan anymore. In the latest episode of "The Vortex," however, Mr. Voris says stuff that is relevant to this latest blog commentary of yours. When you get a chance, check out the following link:


    1. This is just one more example of why Michael Voris should be completely ignored. His rant did not cast any clarity on the issue. He never showed - as I have done in the above post - that the libelous words said and written against Pope Francis by "good catholics" are nothing more than twisting and manipulating the true meaning of his statements.

      This horrible Vortex episode was just another excuse for Voris to bash bishops and cardinals and tell us why we should never listen to them. It is more divisive crap coming from a man who is not even allowed to use the word "Catholic" to describe his organization.

      Michael Voris is a sick man who need prayers. Please stop listening to him.

    2. Michael Voris strikes me as a shameless self promoter, an actor who found religion so that he could have his own show. His constant stream of hostile remarks regarding Pope Francis show that he is desperate to find a bigger audience among the right-wing fringe of the Catholic Church at any cost. He should remember that Christ exalts humility.

    3. This comment has been removed by the author.

    4. Bill, keep in mind that Michael Voris has generally refrained from bashing Pope Francis PUBLICLY. According to Catholic apologist Dave Armstrong, Voris has already publicly bashed Vatican II, the "Novus Ordo" Mass, and legitimate ecumenism. If he begins to start bashing Pope Francis publicly (and regularly), he will be known as a full-blown "radical Catholic reactionary" (Dave Armstrong's term).

      By the way, Voris was never a professional actor. However, he did work as a TV anchorman in the secular media.

  5. Good post.

  6. "I truly feel that Pope Francis is having the same effect that Jesus Christ had on people when He walked the earth. Jesus placed the importance of people above everything else, including the law."

    The effect Jesus had on people was **repentance and conversion** --- I am certain that this is not the effect the Holy Father is having on people. Many people are remaining in their sinful ways and they feel they can attribute that to Pope Francis. This is definitely a very different effect from the one Jesus had. Those people whom he called, left everything, changed their ways, and followed him.

    Also, it seems very hypocritical for you to be condemning the people on EWTN who you claim condemned the Holy Father and twisted his words or quoted him out of context or incompletely, yet you do the same in your post. When you cite the example of the woman caught in adultery and that Jesus does not condemn her you wrote:
    ***“Woman, has no one condemned you? Neither do I.” What is the moral? To stone her? But Jesus was lacking, He was lacking in morality.***

    You omitted a very important piece (if not the most important) for the REAL moral of the story and the REAL EFFECT Jesus had on people. You (intentionally, it would seem) omitted: "And Jesus said, 'Neither do I. Go and sin no more.'” SIN NO MORE. There is no judgment is asking or telling people to “sin no more” simply because that offends God and it is against the natural, divine, moral, or ecclesiastical law.

    The woman was TOLD not to sin anymore. For you to omit this extremely essential point betrays an ulterior motive in the writing of your post -- a definite intention and narrative.

    Additionally, when you post that picture that says, “For I have not come to call the righteous but sinners,” you also omitted to specify that the full sentence is “For I have not come to call the righteous but sinners to **repentance**.”

    So, the post is not a good one. It is extremely biased, even more biased than you claim those people on EWTN were. And you are also condemning and leading to detraction from those who participated on that panel. You are intentionally giving the priest (whom you call "The lawyer") a bad name and reputation. Furthermore, you imply that that priest does not know anything about marriage and relationships. A person does not have to be married to know about human relationships, emotions, and difficulties.

    And, yes, we are actually seeing the sheep separated from the goats … but I get this strong feeling that you have the wrong label for which is which. Your posts clearly show that you have no idea who really follows the voice of the real Good Shepherd. Jesus could do whatever he wanted with the Old Law as He, being God was above the Law. No one (no Pope, no Bishop, no layman) is above Jesus; no one is above the New and Eternal Covenant. No one can condone fornication, adultery, active and open homosexuality under the false guide of “not judging” or of “meeting people where they are” without actually bringing them to Christ and to follow His commandments and showing reverence for His Sacraments. Real Mercy and Compassion does not oppose or trample upon any of these things. Jesus did not do it, so no one else is allowed or entitled to do it now either.

    No human being in the time of Christ could say that he remained in his sin because of Jesus or that Jesus did not call him to repentance and conversion.

    1. Please see my next post in which I will answer many of your statements.

  7. It's my understanding that the late Dr. Charles Rice left EWTN because he didn't like the direction the network had taken after the end of Mother Angelica's involvement. Dr. Rice ended up doing stuff with Michael Voris.

    1. I always liked the late Dr. Rice and enjoyed his shows on EWTN. I cannot speak for him and why he decided to follow Voris. But I admit it always concerns me whenever anyone follows Voris.

  8. You seem to have a hate on for Michael Voris. That is not healthy and is unchristian. You tell others not to listen to Voris, yet most of your posts are criticizing Michael Voris, Father Z, etc. I think the best thing for you to do is not watch Church Militant, or not read blogs which you consistently disagree and focus on more positive things. It is YOUR OPINION that Voris is a "sick man" - something I disagree with and consider slanderous. He has sacrificed everything to dedicate his life to God. Everything you accuse him of, you may be guilty of yourself. It is good that you blog about Catholic issues, but if you can't go more than four posts without bashing Voris, Father Z, Cardinal Burke, etc. I think it is time to re-evaluate things.

    1. No offense, Brian STC, but I wonder what YOU would have to say about former soap-opera actress Marcy Walker. Check out the following link and judge for yourself:


  9. Catholic in Brooklyn, do you think Mother Angelica should've allowed EWTN to fall under ecclesiastical control in the early 2000s?

    1. Yes, I read the book by Chris Ferrara. I do not have the authority or right to answer that question. All I can say is that although I do still watch EWTN, I don't always agree with them. You can decide what that says about me.


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