In the Eye of the Vortex

More evidence of the wedge being driven between the Benedictine and Franciscan pontificates can be seen in the recent disclaimer/clarification of Michael Voris in which he refuses to publically criticize Pope Francis.  In itself this is only a small example of the difficulty, but it is also another instance of a mounting problem manifesting itself at various levels: doctrinal, liturgical, pastoral.  Voris knows he is on the cutting edge of the problem.

You might legitimately ask why I think his refusal to publically criticize Pope Francis is a problem.  I don’t.  But Voris does find himself to be part of the wedge between Pope Benedict and Pope Francis, and in my estimation he has not really got himself out of it.  Let me explain.

First off, I should give credit where credit is due.  Voris has drawn a line that he will not cross and I believe he is right to do so.  I may not agree with him on where the line ought to be, but hats off to him for having taken a stand on this point.  But I also think he have done better by producing a Vortex episode on the matter, because it is the Vortex more than anywhere else that Church Militant TV takes up the sword against the princes of the Church.  He should have done it himself on camera where it counts. Still, at least Church Militant TV did something.  That being said, I do not believe Voris has gotten himself out of the problem he is trying to address.

Michael Voris finds himself in the midst of a difficulty experienced by many who have gone before him and have “evolved” in their traditionalist thought.  Sedevacantists will point out the inconsistencies of other traditionalists, like the Lefebvrists who wiggle around the issue of “papal heresy,” while the Lefebvrists point out the inconsistencies of those who complain about the postconciliar Church but refuse to publicly lay the guilt at the doorstep of the pope.  What each of these groups criticizes are positions that many of their members previously held and then abandoned as inconsistent and hypocritical.

During the dialogue of the SSPX with Rome, Voris was singing the Levebvrists’ praises and now he refers to them as “soft sedevacantists.”  Part of the reason is most likely because he sees the failure of the SSPX to sign the doctrinal preamble as a real fault on their part.  But part of it may also be because he sees his friend and former fellow supporter of the SSPX Louie Verrocchio (and perhaps others) evolving a little too quickly in too dangerous a direction for his taste.

So it would seem to me that public criticism of Pope Francis is the Rubicon that for the moment Voris refuses to cross.  But by what logic would he stop at the banks of that river?  If the bishops are not off limits, why should the Pope be?

To answer this we must first be frank about an objective problem that has no clear-cut answer, regardless of what the extremists on either side of the matter claim.  What are we to do about prelates that are teaching heresy, or otherwise giving grave scandal? Anyone who is familiar with the theology of St. Thomas Aquinas ought to have no doubt that subjects have a right to correct their “prelates” when it is a matter of the faith being denied or falsified.  They also may do it publically when it becomes necessary to resolve an issue of public scandal.  But one must also be clear about the adverse effects this has on ecclesial communion, when on the one hand, there is dereliction of duty on a grand scale, involving many prelates over a significant period of time, and a resulting reactionary resistance or counter-revolutionary movement that begins to operate outside of ecclesiastical oversight and sometimes directly against it.

One has only to meditate on the writings of St. Ignatius of Antioch, on the unity of the Church based on obedience to the bishop, or remember the habits and exhortations of St. Francis of Assisi, regarding his refusal to criticize priests, to know that we are speaking of a delicate problem.

In an extended period of crisis, in the face of the dereliction of duty, men feel themselves justified in policing the magisterium, and the longer this goes on there progressively develops an anti-ecclesial habit of mind.  When the operative principle in regard to one’s consideration of the responsibilities of the magisterium is that of suspicion and criticism, something like a parallel magisterium comes to power.  To point this out is not to apportion blame.  There is plenty of blame to go around.  I only wish to show that the matter is not as simple as some think.  And there are real dangers to the Church in the toleration of self-appointed heresy hunters.

I believe Michael Voris’ decision reflects his acknowledgment of this danger.  Taking it to the Pope, in his opinion, is taking it too far.  But the problem is that Church Militant TV’s lengthy explanation only serves to confirm that they see many reasons to criticize Pope Francis, just as they see many reasons to criticize the bishops.  In a way, Church Militant TV makes this their one criticism to absolve themselves of criticizing any further. And in the process they make sure we all know that, like good traditionalists, they are definitely not “ultramontanists”—what other traditionalists would “papolaters.”

It seems to me, though, that along with these assurances there is a bit of blindness as well.  Take for instance, this—and yes, this really is from Church Militant TV:

Faithful Catholics need help in persevering through their anxieties and doubts, not continual reinforcement and encouragement of those troubling states.  Less faithful Catholics form their judgments of “traditional Catholics” through the lens of perceived dissatisfaction and unhappiness with the Church and the Holy Father.  Those who relentlessly criticize the Church, Her leaders, and especially the Holy Father, do immense harm to the Church Herself and discourage both potential converts and those struggling to stay faithful through the crisis that is all around us.  The sad reputation of “traditional Catholics” as angry dissidents from virtually everything in the Church today is as well deserved as the reputations of those rightly described as modernists.

If I weren’t me, I would be speechless.  Are they really that blind over there?  Does Voris watch any of his videos?  Maybe the video editor at Church Militant TV, who watches the Vortex clips over and over again, ought to say something to his associates.  Anyway, I completely agree with the paragraph.  I just have a hard time believing that it is being used as an argument by Church Militant TV to justify stopping short of criticizing the Holy Father.

Well, maybe this represents a change of heart.  I hope so, but I suspect it does not.  I would like to think this is the devolution of traditionalist thought.  I hope it is, but it may more likely be an after the fact hesitation of Voris & Co. as they watch the vortex they have created rip the faithful apart and leave them without any trust in the magisterium.

Unfortunately, Bishop Fellay stated many times that his hope was that trust in the postconciliar Church would disintegrate as a result of his dialogue with Rome and the new traditionalist advent resulting from Summorum Pontificum.  Mission largely accomplished.

H/T Mary Griffin


64 thoughts on “In the Eye of the Vortex

  1. With respect Father, I think you are pointing the finger at the wrong people. While I often disagree with Voris and his style and disagree with the SSPX, they are symptoms of a real problem. Namely the tolerance of heterodoxy and the failure of our bishops to lead.

    • Also with respect Andrew, I acknowledge that the problem is not a simple one. But I also acknowledge that the real dangers are not only in one direction and that there are some inconsistencies in the disclaimer.

  2. With all due respect Father, I think you should be the next Pope because you are always the one with all the truth when it comes to discernment or should I say the disection of others; West, Voris, Father Z, and if I recall you once even had the truth on Mother Angelica when she was having issues with the bishop. With all the problems within your own community you should focus more attention to healing those divisions before speaking about Catholics not under your care. I’m actually tired of coming to this blog and reading your rants and raves about others, and would appreciate it if you were to provide more shepherding!!!! Has the Pope put you in charge of correcting everyone? Time for some good self reflection Father, you’ve been the cause of enough division within families, church communities, religious orders!!! No ax to grind, just tired of your childish bickering!!! Our Lady must be disgusted with this behavior!!!! Oh, and please do delete this after your censorship!!! That’s how they do it in the USSR.

  3. I don’t think that Voris or the SSPX have undermined trust in the Church. They are quite marginal in their influence. A greater problem is the seduction of modern secularism which dominates contemporary culture combined with disillusionment arrising out of the sexual abuse scandal. On the latter, note Zmirak’s column today on The American Conservative website.

    Kirt Higdon

    • Kirt,

      Zmirak is smart and I agree with him most of the time, but obviously I don’t agree that the right is a marginal problem compared to the left. Extremists of whatever stripe are dangerous and when it is dressed up in the trappings of orthodoxy and piety it is less apparent.

  4. We surely have a mess on our hands. I feel as though Satan has scored big here — he has managed to weaken those who love their faith beyond measure. He has divided us. He has gotten us to take our eye off the ball and to focus on all of the details. It’s not that the details are entirely unimportant but they are not what’s most important. We are spending our time looking at all that’s wrong, so much so that we now start disagreeing on what’s wrong and lose our focus on what’s right! The fact that we have NO PEACE should be a huge sign that Christ is far, far away from all of this bickering. What’s the answer do you think?

    I struggle with the answer being to publicly bash (or criticize) our bishops who have failed. I think of bishops like Chaput who admits to making decisions in his past that he now regrets. Do they not all deserve (as fellow human beings) to be allowed to grow in wisdom as the rest of us are allowed? Yes, they are bishops and have more public roles than most of us — yet they are human. Are we not supposed to present their mistakes in private to them at first? Somehow I feel that part of the answer lies in here somewhere. Those who should have reined in these bishops privately, failed to do so. Our checks and balance system has been defunct. The Voris-style naming and bashing of specific bishops (even if what is said about them is true) still seems like the sin of defamation to me. Perhaps I am not understanding the teachings on this subject appropriately.

  5. Kirt,

    I was also thinking that Zmirak’s opinions on illiberal Catholicism and on the Catholic subcultural undermines his own argument against Pope Francis’s criticism of the right. If only five percent of Catholics are actually qualified by their orthodoxy to hand on the faith, and it is also necessary that the five percent neither sustains its status as a weird subculture nor allows itself to treat the ninety-five percent as reprobates to be cast off, then what happens to the five percent is quite important.

    The trads are a growing subculture of the orthodox subculture. A little yeast spoils the whole loaf, and it is a very small loaf indeed.

  6. I greatly appreciate your analysis of this subject, Father. I especially appreciate this paragraph:

    “In an extended period of crisis, in the face of the dereliction of duty, men feel themselves justified in policing the magisterium, and the longer this goes on there progressively develops an anti-ecclesial habit of mind. When the operative principle in regard to one’s consideration of the responsibilities of the magisterium is that of suspicion and criticism, something like a parallel magisterium comes to power. To point this out is not to apportion blame. There is plenty of blame to go around. I only wish to show that the matter is not as simple as some think. And there are real dangers to the Church in the toleration of self-appointed heresy hunters.”

    I think this is exactly what is happening. Everyone is setting him or herself up as their own magesterium and “self-appointed heresy hunters” as you write. They are deciding for themselves what and who is right and wrong, or letting people like Voris or Verrecchio tell them, instead of just trusting the Holy Spirit to lead the Church. I think of Uzza who was with King David when he moved the ark to Jerusalem. God had warned the people that no one was to touch the ark. But when Uzza thought it was falling, he reached out to steady it, not trusting in God to take care of the ark. As a result, Uzza was struck dead. People in the church today think they personally need to “steady the ark”. I fear for the consequences.

    Yes, there are times when a prelate needs to be corrected, but people like Voris do this on an every day basis. The bishops cannot make a move without harsh criticism from the right. Voris has even criticized Cardinal Dolan for smiling and laughing too much! He makes up terms like “Dolanites” in an attempt to completely discredit Cardinal Dolan in everything he does. I have done posts on my blog showing how Voris will manipulate facts and leave out important information in order to discredit bishops.

    I think one of the reasons Voris has drawn the line at criticizing the pope is the influence of Father Paul Nicholson. He is a Canadian priest who has worked with Voris on various occasions, including last year on Voris’ Lenten cruise. Father Nicholson has recently done several posts and video homilies in which he has criticized the SSPX and warned people to stay away from them. You can look at Father Nicholson’s blog here:

    Just a couple of months ago, Voris was still making videos with Verrecchio, Michael Matt and Chris Ferrara, people he now denounces. It’s a hard one to figure out, but I still don’t trust him. As you write, it seems unlikely that this truly represents a change of heart.

    In the meantime, he continues on spewing hatred and turning faithful Catholics against the hierarchy of the Church. Very dangerous stuff.

  7. Mary Griffin – It’s the ‘new’ Protestantism. If the Magisterium cannot be trusted as the Chair of St. Peter, then all hell breaks loose — literally. People say we should use our brains to discern for ourselves. Well, whose brain is right? And never mind your brain vs my brain. What about my brain 20 yrs ago versus my brain today? No. This is protestantism in a whole new light. The parallel magisterium issue, mentioned by Father Angelo, that divides a church first in two, will soon divide again and again and again until there are thousands of sects.

  8. We ought to be very careful about what we say. Words uttered today live on, perhaps for decades, in the minds of others. No one knows the consequences that may be unleashed, because once pronounced or published our words are beyond us and outside our control. They can drift from one person to another, day by day, month by month, perhaps for years, awakening profound echoes, plucking sensitive chords in other men which will lead them to work for good or to do evil. He who utters these words, writes them or publishes them, becomes partly responsible —whether he likes it or not—-for all the good or evil consequences which will arise from them for years to come.
    Joseph of Nazareth, 2 A Quiet Man Federico Suarez

  9. “I don’t think that Voris or the SSPX have undermined trust in the Church. They are quite marginal in their influence.”

    I agree! I don’t think many Catholics even know who they are?

    Anyway, the wisdom of one of many saints –

    “As I follow no leader save Christ, so I communicate with none but your blessedness, that is with the chair of Peter. For this, I know, is the rock on which the church is built! This is the house where alone the paschal lamb can be rightly eaten. This is the ark of Noah, and he who is not found in it shall perish when the flood prevails.” St. Jerome, Letter 15

    I am not worried.

    In Christ,

  10. “The trads are a growing subculture of the orthodox subculture. A little yeast spoils the whole loaf, and it is a very small loaf indeed.” (Father Angelo)

    Here is another example with the “institute of the Good Shepherd” – always the same schema : old mass as a weapon, sin of pride, internal conflicts, rebellion against Rome (seat of the Antichrist), decay, splintering and collapse (of the institute).

    “They are quite marginal in their influence.” (Kirt Higdon)

    But their influence is evil.
    You will recognize them by their fruits.

  11. Voris is right to expose the lack of teaching concerning the dangers that now face the Church. The hierarchy needs to teach much more clearly concerning the evil of contraception, divorce, and sexual immorality in a time when these evils have become the norm for our secular societies and are also quickly becoming the norm for professed Catholics. Many souls wander and are severely damaged and may even be lost due to the lack of courage shown by those called to courageously teach the truth. When our priests and bishops fail to do this, the laity and society as a whole, suffers the consequences, which is sadly, the overall situation we find ourselves in today.

    If I say that Pope Francis hasn’t seemed to truly tackle these issues with much concern as of yet, and the moral slide of the Church and the world continues on unabated, that statement is not by way of disrespect for the Magisterium or for Pope Franics, but out of concern and love for the Church and for my neighbor.

    Mr. Voris may not get it all 100% right in his approach, nor perhaps in working his way through the the various factions found within the Church, but I am thankful that he is present and that ChurchMilitantTV is calling out Catholics, clergy and laity, to face up to what has happened to the Catholic Church in the last several decades of dissidence, disobedience, and fluffy moral and spiritual wanderings. And I do not think that the Pope, whether Francis, Benedict, or whomever, should be beyond earshot of this call to actively cleanse the Church and lead lost souls back to Jesus Christ, the way, the truth, and the life. As Our Lady is reported to have once said, many souls are falling into hell due to these sins of the flesh. More fluff and ambiguity is only going to add to the number of lost and damned souls and to the degrading moral slide within and outside of the Church. The truth needs to be proclaimed clearly, unambiguously, and the time of attractive sophistry, redirective rhetoric, and self-indulgent navel-gazing must come to an end.

    Children are perishing for lack of clear teaching. And if the pope will not teach clearly on these life-threatening moral matters, then it is not out of disrespect that this is noted, but out of concern for Holy Mother Church and our of love of neighbor. The Magisterium need not be so delicate as to be threatened by this type of activity. It will survive and, more likely, be strengthened by it. If some occasionally overstep in areas of criticism, then let us return to what is necessary to right the course of the Barque of Peter. But righted she must be, and more souls, I should think, are being lost and damned for lack of clear teaching, than those who are slightly confused when exposed to criticisms of the hierarchy’s moral disengagement and lack of courage.

    So, good for you, Michael Voris and ChurchMilitantTV. Pope Francis has told us to go out and make a mess, yet he also calls for unity among the faithful. It appears that achieving that unity is going to be a somewhat messy endeavor.

  12. Let me get this straight, the homosexual agenda is rampant and being forced down our throats, contraception and sexual immorality have saturated our culture, the U.S. Government is on the verge of forcing Catholic institutions to contradict Catholic teaching in the name of Health Care, and our biggest gripe is with someone who states that they will not criticize the pope but instead focus on theological fallacies of shepherds who are neglecting their duty? As the old adage goes, “divide and conquer.” It just feels like we are making the job easier for the enemies of the Church.

  13. Jay and Paul,

    Voris’ real position is essentially that of his friends Louie Verrecchio, John Vennari, Michael Matt and Chris Ferrara, all of them radical traditionalists whose work he is now calling “ecclesiastical porn,” and using logic to defend his silence that apparently you don’t even agree with. I would suggest that there is a connection between the habitual public flogging of bishops–like it or not–in good standing with the Holy Father and the positions of radical traditionalism.

    Apparently, Voris accepts this in principle but has somehow managed to contort his way into to thinking that everyone is a legitimate target but the Pope. In a way, his argument presented in the quote above is in agreement with me, rather than you, but his application is inconsistent.

    If one agrees with The Remnant, Catholic Family News, and Tradition in Action, why not just say so?

    And Paul, nothing I say here suggests that anyone should be silent about the evils of the homosexual agenda, abortion, contraception or the governance connivance in an anti-Catholic agenda. I have fought against all these things and it is simply absurd to suggest that trads like Voris have a monopoly on the defense of Catholic principles.

  14. Paul E.,
    I am sure if Father had it in his power to correct all the evils you mentioned above he would do so in a heart beat…but then, isn’t that God’s job?

    Michel Voris, Bishop Fellay, and all the others, who have drummed up an audience to listen to their ‘I know better than the Pope and priests’ mantra, will be shocked I am sure when they hear Jesus say, “Be gone, I know you not.”
    God’s will is for us to “be perfect as He is perfect”. That message is to be merciful to one another!!
    Just so the readers understand the real definition of mercy:
    It comes from the Latin word, misericordia…’miser’..which means a man who is poor and in need of support or compassion, and ‘cor’…denoting the heart, a symbol of feeling, love and goodness.
    Mercy is a moral attitude towards another person, particularly towards someone who is in special spiritual or material need.
    From Bl. John Paul II’s “Rich in Mercy”…
    “The true and proper meaning of mercy does not consist only in looking, however penetratingly and compassionately, at moral, physical or material evil: mercy is manifested in its true and proper aspect when it restores to value, promotes and “draws good from all the forms of evil” existing in the world and in man.”

    I don’t see mercy from those in the blog sphere. ..I see many little ‘popes’. And they are teaching the flock to doubt in authority…hmmm..doesn’t this sound familiar? Book of Genesis- satan casts doubt in the mind of Eve and the doubt causes disobedience! Then comes the blame game with Adam and Eve…
    the problem then and is now that we don’t have our eyes on or trust in God! There was no contrition for their sins. How did God respond? With his justice (leave the garden an all its benefits). He also felt sorrow for Adam’s and Eve’s weakness…He promised a redeemer and the victory of athe woman (the Immaculate!).

    We are called to mercy just as God is merciful. That is our perfection. That is every man, woman, and child’s salvation!

  15. I forgot to mention:
    God told St. Faustina that His greatest attribute is mercy. Many saints affirm this, including St. Augustine.
    Is it no wonder Bl. Pope John Paul II, the Mercy Pope, is being canonized on the feast of Divine Mercy? And one day before the feast of saint Louis de Montfort( April 28th), the saint who taught the world about ‘true devotion to Mary’? Totus Tuus!

    JPII’s modus operandi throughout his life was this sentence, found on back of the prayer cards quickly passed out after his death:
    “Trusting fully in Your infinite mercy, and in the maternal interessions of Mary”.

    This daily practice brings about great peace in the soul. And that is where Christ dwells….not in combative souls.

  16. Marie,
    I appreciate your lecture on mercy. But if you are such an advocate of God’s divine mercy, why do you categorize the blogosphere as “many little ‘popes’” and then go on to state that Michael Voris et. al., “will be shocked I am sure when they hear Jesus say, “Be gone, I know you not?” Sounds to me like a pontifical and judgmental statement.

    Regardless, I feel that the problem in the Church is a crisis of authority. Traditionalists deny the authority of the modern Magisterium post Vatican II, and progressives deny the linear continuity of the tradition of the Church Pre-Vatican II. It would seem that everyone views the pontifical reign of a given pope as a presidential term rather than a continuation of the line of Peter. As a result, we view Catholicism much like American Politics. We replace God and the divine authority of the Holy Spirit with our own intellect, believing that “we know what is best for the Church.” As a result, pride permeates the liturgical air.

    Satan reigns when pride is present. Pride is what got him cast out of heaven. Pride is what led Eve to taste the fruit. Pride is what led Luther to revolt. Pride is what afflicts and divides the Church today. It is in obedience, humility, and supplication that we will find true unity in the Church. Mary bowed humbly to God’s petition in the annunciation. Let us pray that we can at least strive to imitate a fraction of her humility.

  17. Paul,
    ‘I appreciate your lecture on mercy. But if you are such an advocate of God’s divine mercy, why do you categorize the blogosphere as “many little ‘popes’” and then go on to state that Michael Voris et. al., “will be shocked I am sure when they hear Jesus say, “Be gone, I know you not?” Sounds to me like a pontifical and judgmental statement.”

    I consider myself reproached for the ‘judgemental statement’. I am not the Judge. The only part that I wrote for you was the first sentence….I’m afraid I was caught up in the moment after that. :/
    But, having said that, is it not fair to say, based on what is written in scripture, that he who does not do the will of the Father is not My disciple? And is it not fair to say, too, that ‘we know the tree by the fruit it bears’?
    “if a souls does not exercise mercy somehow or other, it will not obtain My mercy on the day of judgment (Diary. 1317) ~~~ God is mercy.

    He who does not imitate Him will live without Him for all eternity. So long as every blog owner/author, who bad mouths the Pope, Church, bishops, clergy, who intentionally (or unintenionally) harms souls with their teachings…draws breath he has the opportunity to change his heart and be converted; like St. Augustine.
    They commit the words of the epistle of St James, Chapter 3:1-2 to memory (perhaps placiing a little holy fear in their hearts) ….”Not many of you should become teachers, my brothers, for you realize that we will be judged more strictly, for we all fall short in many respects.”

    I pray daily for the conversion of all these people.

    Regards to your parents.

  18. Hi, Good discussion. May I suggest that we all remember that we battle against powers and principalities. I just ceased my auto-donation to the Vortex because of what I sense is a divergence from their original intent which was to expose lies and falsehoods in the Church, meaning the “structural” church. When they return to that effort then I will gladly continue to donate to them. (I also donate to airmaria.)

    An analogy: if certain members of my family weren’t involved in sinful lifestyles and worldly pursuits it would be much easier to a.) communicate truths to them; b.) participate in holy discussions and wholesome family celebrations. That’s how I see the Church right now.

    I believe that Things here in LA (aka LaLa land) are to the point of breakdown. I have stopped trying to communicate to local bishops, as they are nuttier than fruitcakes because the demonic that passes for spiritual around here is what is prevalent. The Archbishop has to have bodyguards, for goodness sake.

    We all need to have a reality check, humbly look into the very frightening circumstances that Satan has (with God’s permission) managed to pull-off. In the Immaculate and Sorrowful Heart, we shall persevere.

    Never the less, Truth must be revealed for the purpose of winning souls. The question is how do I hear Our Lord and what is He telling me to do.

    All I know is that arguing isn’t working, as He keeps telling me that it’s useless. “Why keep hitting your head against that brick wall?”

    P.S. I think that Pope Francis has the Holy Spirit for sure, but the evil one is mincing his words or perhaps communication/public speaking is his weakness. May St. Paul help him.

  19. Father Angelo, your defense of Catholic principles concerning abortion, the evils of the homosexual agenda, and contraception is appreciated and respected.

    I think Voris’s point, much of the time though, has been, ironically, supported by Cardinals O’Malley and Dolan themselves, when they stated during public interviews that they have “rarely” given sermons concerning these grave matters.

    When Pope Francis was quoted, around the world, as saying we need not be obsessed with these issues as Catholics, it left a lot of the faithful somewhat stunned. And, as was supported by the words of Cardinals Dolan and O’Malley, far from being “obsessed” with these issues, most Catholics never hear anything, or very rarely hear anything, about them from their priests or bishops. On these difficult issues they have been practically silent.

    I think that to criticize that silence is not only justifiable, but commendable. And if the Pope too, is going to be silent, or “rarely” utter a word, concerning these grave matters that have the world and unfortunately in many ways now, the Church, in a stranglehold, then as loving and good sons and daughters of the Church, it is right I believe, to cry out for help, for help to defend us all from these evils and to overcome them. People do indeed lose faith and trust in pastors, shepherds, who won’t fight for them and with them against the wolves. And so very many are slaughtered, we know this to be true, and left with no one to defend, protect and strengthen them in the truth. If each one of the fold is left to fend for themselves in these dangerous times, many, many of them will fall, and have fallen, and are left to the wolves.

    The arguments concerning the merits of the mass of Paul VI vs the TLM seem to be in many ways to me, a distraction. We can be just as nasty and proud and selfish while attending, promoting, and supporting either one. Just as we could be just a humble and holy and loving at one or the other. It is difficult though, to imagine any of the craziness we at times have had to endure with the Novus Ordo, being given any avenue to take place within the TLM. But even that observation, at this time, is more of a distraction than anything else, from the real dangers that need to be faced.

    Contraception, the destruction of families through the divorce mentality, the homosexual agenda working in opposition to the Church, sexual immorality — all these evils are destroying so many within and outside of the Catholic Church. Perhaps we must not become “obsessed” concerning these issues, as our one “obsession”, so to speak, should be the love of God and our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ and His Church. But that love must be protected and defended and at times fought bravely for. To “rarely” speak and fight against these evils which are so prevalent today even within the fold, and certainly dominating the world we live in, might rightly be seen as a type abandonment of one’s own children.

    And the children cry out to Papa, and their shepherds, to defend them, and to fight for them. So many of us are ready and eager to love and support our shepherds, and to love them as our fathers, but have been abandoned time and time again by them when the wolves come looking for blood. We are to obey our superiors, our parents in the faith if you will, fair enough. But our “parents” must then behave in ways that instill real trust and filial love and they must protect us from these evils.

    Contraception, destruction of families through divorce and sexual immorality, the the homosexual agenda and its attack upon the Church, all these wolves that are tearing the faithful to pieces. Not matters to be placed in the category of “rarely spoken about”.

    It is more than a great failure to teach. It is an abandonment of children in the Church, and throughout the world.

  20. @ Jay,

    “We should not allow our faith to be drained by too many discussions of multiple, minor details, but rather, should always keep our eyes in the first place on the greatness of Christianity.

    I remember, when I used go to Germany in the 1980s and ’90s, that I was asked to give interviews and I always knew the questions in advance. They concerned the ordination of women, contraception, abortion and other such constantly recurring problems.

    If we let ourselves be drawn into these discussions, the Church is then identified with certain commandments or prohibitions; we give the impression that we are moralists with a few somewhat antiquated convictions, and not even a hint of the true greatness of the faith appears. I therefore consider it essential always to highlight the greatness of our faith – a commitment from which we must not allow such situations to divert us.”

    Pope Benedict 2006-11-9

  21. @ Gaudium. We are so very far from that scenario in this discussion. We are not commenting on what the secular press et al expect of us as a Church, nor the issues they take with Her doctrines.

    We are talking about a failure to teach those doctrines to those who are within the Church, to protect the flock from the wolves. That abandonment of the children is decimating and dividing the Church. Those doctrines are what the “greatness of the Church” are built upon. If those within Her do not adhere to them, or even properly understand them, then the “greatness of the Church” becomes a mere facade, a false picture of beauty, a type of “white-washed tomb.”

  22. Jay…almost every book store sells the bible, and most sell the Catechism of the Catholic Church. There is no excuse for people not to know the Faith.
    As they say, ” you can lead a horse to water but you can’t make it drink”!

  23. When Michael Voris first began, I was THRILLED. I felt like someone finally got it and was able to articulate things for the typical layperson. I was hooked. I had become constantly discouraged in my own Church — rarely hearing the hard truths spoken. Actually, NEVER hearing the hard truths spoken. I felt like the typical priest (and bishop) seemed to leave the typical orthodox parent hanging out on a tree limb. My own kids as they aged would tell me that the ‘hard teachings’ within the Church were MY teachings — it was MY version of the Catholic faith since they never heard it anywhere else except at home. I was angry and scared. Michael Voris got it. Michael also appealed to my laziness — the Vortex is in short, sound-bites. I don’t have to read through long articles looking up every other term which I shamefully never learned myself. I could listen while chopping carrots for dinner. He was easy and convenient. However, over time, I became uncomfortable with the amount of bashing he did. It was really uncharitable. I also felt this self-righteousness in him. On top of it, I was becoming very angry and realized that his vortex shows were bringing out the WORST in me. My husband would say, “People like him will always have work because his work is to find what’s WRONG wtih the world. There’s always some wrong so he’ll always have a job.” Or, as Fr. Angelo would say, he’s a bottom-feeder. I also didn’t like how he seemed to imply that all the woes in the Church would be resolved by going back to the TLM. That meant that the popes after Vatican II were defunct — no way.

    HOwever, I continued listening to him because he’s easy — but I had no intention of paying a monthly fee. Most of my opinions of him come from the Vortex. I know that he puts out a lot of other stuff and this other stuff may be very good. I’ve heard some of his Mic’D up stuff and some of his other lectures. They were okay but sort of dragged on and he starts to keep chanting the same ol’, same ol’.

    The above quote: “Those who relentlessly criticize the Church, Her leaders, and especially the Holy Father, do immense harm to the Church Herself and discourage both potential converts and those struggling to stay faithful through the crisis that is all around us” really does take one by surprise since HE relentlessly seems to criticize the Church and Her leaders. So, perhaps he really is having a change of heart. Perhaps he’s seeing the fruits of his efforts and realizing that he doesn’t like what he sees. I actually think Michael Voris could be a huge service to the Church if he could soften out his edges and re-evaluate some of his tactics. But, who does he reach? He doesn’t reach those who aren’t on the computer —- my parents, for instance. I also don’t think he attracts the typical casual Catholic. They would just roll their eyes. He attracts the already converted Catholic who is frustrated. If he could give us some LOVING tools and help educate us in a charitable way, that would be HUGE.

  24. I would r26ther see Voris and his associates shut down their media outlets altogether. Then maybe the unsavory practice of ‘it’s open season to bash the pope and clergy’ would diappear with them.

    “We will be held accountable for every word we utter….”

  25. Voris just did a program on the Philipines, lamenting the way in which decadent Western culture is taking over there and that those who identify themselves as Catholics is dropping. But then he has to end his Vortex with this zinger:

    “The diabolical is advancing on every front, albeit perhaps in fits and starts, because of a deadly combination of horrible leadership exercised by cowardly weak men as bishops and priests and laity more concerned about finding shopping deals in the mall than their own salvation.”

    Voris couldn’t function if he couldn’t bash the Church. BTW, I usually read his scripts to save myself from having to actually watch the video. That is sometimes too much to take. Why do I even bother? Because I know a lot of people who swear by Voris and everything he says, and I see him quoted on many “traditional” blogs. Voris is a prime example of appearing to someone he is not. He appears to be a faithful supportive Catholic but his words are just the opposite.

  26. I have a young friend who has a kind heart, but very much absorbed into the rad trad ideology. He frequently sends links to Sancto Audio, and media for me to watch to get me ‘hooked’…..And that happens as soon as anyone begins to doubt that God is in charge of all things.
    Satan cast doubt in Eve’s mind…and it led to disobedience!

    When feelings of slightest doubt in God’s Providence come upon us we need to run full tilt into Jesus’ and Mary’s arms!! “And She will crush his (devil’s) head! 🙂

  27. I had never heard of Michael Voris until somebody in MIM recommended him. I listened to perhaps 5 of his Vortex segments at most and that was enough. There are other resources out there that are better quality and faithful to the Magisterium. But God works in mysterious ways and wouldn’t it be great if Michael Voris is beginning to see the error of his own ways. Let’s pray!

    In Christ,

  28. Voris and the others like him are similar to Cornelius Jansen, the heretic who wrote his own doctrines against the Church and spread Jansenism throughout Europe. He recanted at the end of his life, and was brought back into the folds of Holy Mother Church. ..but many souls did not follow him…they continued to believe the errors he taught.
    God had to raise saints to help eradicate, as much as possible, the fallicies being embraced, and then retaught to young children. One of those saints was St. Louis de Montfort. He was a preacher of trust in Mary, the rosary, the catechism, and absolute trust in God’s will. He never questioned the authority of any superior! Ever. He was a shabbily dressed priest, and never gave consideration to the malicious gossip spoken against him. He was much like St. Francis before him.
    He became a Third Order Dominican because he believed St. Dominic, who fought the Albigensian heresy, would assist him greatly in his efforts to clean up the grave errors in his own day. I believe we will see him declared a great Marian Doctor of the Church one day.

    Another observation:
    Consider how often truth is twisted into doubt in scripture. Begin with the Fall. Satan used truth as a question to cast doubt into Eve’s mind. And she saw that it was good… disobedience enters because trust in God’s love for her left. That’s all it took. Voris and his ilk are never going to be able to repair the damage they are doing to souls and Holy Mother Church.
    God is raising saints now, as He always does, to distroy heresy with truth, fasting, prayer ( the rosary is the chain that binds Satan), and mortification.
    And since the devil is using multimedia to trip up as many souls as possible God will use the same device to win them back… 😉

  29. Well, there is quite the little following here: 4loveofgod, marie, gaudium, etc. and I can see that you are well set in your dislike for Voris and the exposure of evil within the Church. Nonetheless, the hits just keep on coming, and the Church is being brought to her knees by its cowardly refusal to stand up to the homosexual agenda and the powers of the secular media, etc. But what is most discouraging about this lack of courage and unwillingness to be salt and light in a world, and now even in a church, that is rife with sexual immorality, is their careless attitude toward all the innocent children who are being twisted and jaded by the onslaught of immorality inside and outside of the Church.

    It is those who do nothing, and refuse to “criticize” the immorality that is strangling the Church, who will be held accountable for every word you didn’t speak, when it was necessary to speak them in order to protect the children from the onslaught of the ravenous wolves bringing the sexual immorality of the times fully into the heart of the Church.

    Perhaps it will be you to whom our Lord sadly must say, “Away from me you evil doers, I never knew you.” Just as much chance of that happening, as your predictions concerning Voris, I should think.

    So sit back in your safe little seats within whatever parish you go to, and watch as the wolves continue to devour the children, while you criticize freely those like Voris, who at least have the courage to stand up and be counted for when the sexual immorality of the age tears away at young souls.

    You are so concerned with not saying anything critical about priests and bishops yet relatively unconcerned about the damage their lack of fortitude and leadership is doing to souls that look to them to be shepherds to teach and protect them. Just throw them a Bible and a Catechism (which ones btw?) and let them fend for themselves. Brilliant, solution. And then you can get back to the Rosary, all being well in your safe little world where the boat doesn’t rock unless someone like Voris stands up and gives it a shake revealing the carnage within the walls.

  30. Jay,

    1. the Church will never be ‘brought to Her knees’ as you put it. Jesus Christ assures us all that the netherworld (evil) will not prevail against it.; to not believe His words is to call Him a liar!
    2. Yes, the world seems saturated with people who choose to embrace evil living…but then so did people in Sodom and Gomorrah. History has a way of repeating itself…or should I say, remaining constant against loving God.
    3. You speak as though no priest is doing all in his powers, with the help of God’s grace, to right wrongs inside and outside of the Church. Father Angelo, for example, uses his blog to open the readers eyes to the heretics of our day. He does it in an intellectual fashion…nothing I could hold a candle to. There are thousands of good and holy priests and bishops doing all they can to help souls find their way to Christ, and lead moral lives. You are intent on witnessing to the minority of corrupt clergy. That isn’t the way of Jesus who said from the cross, “Father, forgive them for what they do.”
    Holy Mother Church is eradicating the pedophiles from the Church as soon as they are found out. My guess taking their faculties away.
    4. You commented on Marie’s quote. She considered herself reproached when she was called out on it by Paul E.
    5. Jay, God gave every human being the gift of ‘free will’, a gift He will not tamper with. HE waits like a Good Father for us to come to our senses and run back home to him, much like the prodigal son in the bible. Many souls do find their way back, and many others are happy to embrace evil. Our Lady has reminded us that many souls will perish, because there is NO ONE TO PRAY FOR THEM. I don’t see where she says stuff doctrine down anyone’s throat. Everything must be done for love of God, seeing our neighbor in God, and show them the same mercy God does. God continues to send graces at every moment to souls around the world! Do you really think He’s taking a siesta? Do you really think any type of conversion happens by our power alone? I should say not.
    6. If one wishes to see a bishop or priest change his ways then it should be done privately, or though personal and charitable correspondence. Not through the multimedia as Voris and the others are doing.
    Jesus Christ is the high priest. Those ordained belong to Him and His Mother. She comes down in apparitions and implores us to pray for priests….not belittle them. My Lord,….this is so wrong.
    7. The Catholic Church is the only Church with a catechism. Douay-Rheims is my preference, but any Catholic bible will do.
    To bring you a little history about the power of the Most Holy Rosary…I would suggest reading the life of St. Dominic, Bl. Alan Roche (sp?), St. Bernadette, and St. Louis de Montfort.

    Jay, I live my every day, from the moment I rise to the time I retire, never needing to refer to Church documents or instruction beyond what I was taught as a child. My faith is steady because I pray, because I do read the bible, and because I try hard not to distrust God’s Wisdom in anything.
    “Pray, that you may not enter into temptation.” ~ Our Lord’s words to his apostles in the garden….because He knew Adam and Eve did not pray and stay close to God when they lived in their garden!!!!

    May Christ peace be upon you!

  31. The options are not to do nothing or Voris, and Voris is not the only one doing something about the problems. Pope Francis is doing incalculably more in terms of saving souls than any of us, as was Pope Benedict before him. And there are many who are respectful of the Church who are doing very much for souls, and against sin, including sexual immorality, contraception, abortion and the homosexual agenda. I did not say never criticize. If you had read my post with a modicum of openness you would know that.

    It is always telling that when someone criticizes a sacred critic he is then criticized as “perhaps” a reprobate destined for hell. God bless you too, Jay.

    This is exactly why I do not belong to anyone’s cult and why I am not afraid to say so.

  32. Jay – I don’t think anyone who reads (or writes) on the MaryVictrix blog can be lumped in with those who ‘sit back in (their) safe little seats within whatever parish (they) go to, and watch as the wolves continue to devour the children’. I think everyone here is fighting! But be careful. First of all, as with all battles, there are multiple fronts on which multiple people fight. There are those who work on strategy. There are those who make and repair weapons. There are those who help with the wounded and there are those who are on front lines, spying, etc. They are all vital. It’s easy for someone to say that if you’re not on the front line then you’re not fighting the battle, but that would be just stupid naivety. So it is with spiritual warfare. You could say that Michael Voris is one arm (a vocal arm) of the warfare. The only thing is is that sometimes some warriors can go off and start fighting a front that the tactical squad has not suggested and more damage can be done that way. As much as I have learned from Voris, I still say he’s very dangerous and I think he is possibly doing more harm than good. Like that warrior who goes off and starts to do his own thing, Voris probably REALLY REALLY wants to help! Yet his tactics are actually dividing the forces entirely! He is bashing his commanders, if you will, and throwing them under the bus on a regular basis. More than once I have heard him say ‘bits and pieces’ of something but, after digging deeper on my own, found that he was leaving out a critical chunk in order to make his point. So now, although I still listen and still learn things, I listen VERY carefully and take some of it with a grain of salt. He has not proven himself to be reliable. Yet, perhaps he is changing his tune as Fr Angelo wondered. That would be wonderful because, as I said earlier, I think that Voris can do a lot of good if he tempered himself appropriately.

  33. And it is quite telling, dear Father, that when your little following here suggests that Michael Voris et. al., and we quote, “will be shocked I am sure when they hear Jesus say, “Be gone, I know you not,” there is not even the slightest peep from you, Father, concerning the heavy-handed assignment of Voris and his companions being branded as “reprobates from Hell”, those actual words being written here only by you, dear Father.

    Talk about inconsistency. Look in the mirror, Father. And may God bless you, too, and I mean that, I trust, in the same spirit in which you have blessed me.

    Lord, have mercy.

  34. Jay, I did not say that, another commenter did. Thanks for pointing this out.

    Everyone please be advised that ad hominems, particularly those which suggest that others are going to wind up in hell are out of bounds.

    I have no following and do not want one. My blog is a hole in the wall.

    I have asked before and asked again that I not be defended. I do not need defending and I do not want anyone’s loyalty in matters that pertain to my opinions. I have tried to make the distinction between what is clearly Church teaching and what is my opinion, what the Church asks of us and what I thing ought to be done.

    Jay you have had your say. You think I am heavy-handed and a soft on heresy and immorality. I got it. I disagree with you, but you have had your say. If you have anything else of substance to say about the post then fine, otherwise, enough.

  35. Jay and Fr. Angelo. ..

    As I stated to Paul E. “I consider myself reproached” for what came across as a judgemental statement.

    I also think it hypocritical that people like Michael Voris, traddy priests. al are able to infer the same about modernists, and the every day sinner and no one says anything to correct them. Seems one-sided. But as I said, “I am not the Judge”.

  36. “But one must also be clear about the adverse effects this has on ecclesial communion, when on the one hand, there is dereliction of duty on a grand scale, involving many prelates over a significant period of time, and a resulting reactionary resistance or counter-revolutionary movement that begins to operate outside of ecclesiastical oversight and sometimes directly against it.”

    I think this is what is in play here with the decision to draw a line at criticism of the Pope. Although all analogies limp, It’s one thing to attack diseased parts of a body, even amputate parts if the health of the body requires it. It’s quite another thing to attack the head and encourage people to think that separation from the head could be a good outcome. If you attack the Pope, you are on a trajectory that leads away from unity with the Church, the most extreme examples of which can be seen in sedevacantism and the SSPX. If you attack “diseased” parts of the body, you are working for the health of the body. If you attack the head, well, life apart from one’s head is … problematic.

    The Pope is not the Church. But the Church is not the Church without the Pope. As the referenced statement says clearly: “Errant priests and bishops can be replaced. The Pope cannot. It may make us cringe at times but it always was and always will be true that ubi Petrus, ibi ecclesia.”

    One can, and should, call pastoral shepherds to accountability for failure to care properly for their flocks. But when you engage in relentless attacks against the Rock of Unity upon which the Church is built, when you regularly demoralize the faithful with reason to doubt the indefectibility or even orthodoxy of the Church, you weaken the structure of the Church Herself. Attacking the Pope has far more potential for “adverse effects” than telling Bishops and Cardinals to be faithful to their vocations as Successors to the Apostles. Hence the line drawn.

  37. Terry Carroll from Church Militant TV,

    In the post on your website to which I refer you say the following:

    While we greatly admire and are the beneficiaries of the work of those on whose shoulders we stand in the work to help restore the Catholic Church to its authentic glory, we can neither support nor encourage their ongoing, unnecessary and harmful attacks on the Church and the Holy Father. Most Catholics are not even aware of the many disconcerting words and deeds of Pope Francis and his predecessors. Most Catholics have no idea that there were ecumenical events at Assisi or that Pope John Paul II kissed the Koran. Most Catholics, including most bishops and priests, don’t even know that there is a crisis in the Church today. They do know, however, that the Pope is the head of the Catholic Church and, presumably, the guardian and protector of Catholic orthodoxy. Who benefits from attacks on the Rock on whom Our Lord established His Church (Matt 16:18)?

    Faithful Catholics need help in persevering through their anxieties and doubts, not continual reinforcement and encouragement of those troubling states. Less faithful Catholics form their judgments of “traditional Catholics” through the lens of perceived dissatisfaction and unhappiness with the Church and the Holy Father. Those who relentlessly criticize the Church, Her leaders, and especially the Holy Father, do immense harm to the Church Herself and discourage both potential converts and those struggling to stay faithful through the crisis that is all around us. The sad reputation of “traditional Catholics” as angry dissidents from virtually everything in the Church today is as well deserved as the reputations of those rightly described as modernists.

    First off, I do not believe that Pope Francis and his predecessors are the scandal you think they are, but that being said, if that is what you believe then you ought to also believe that the problem with the bishops who are not teaching the faith is a papal problem. When you rebuke them, you know this to be true.

    Contrary to what Jay suggested above, I have did not say that a public rebuke of one’s prelate is never in order. What I did say is that all the problems you admit accrue when the Holy Father is attacked also mount up with the continual public flogging of bishops.

    In fact, many come to know about the scandals within the Church not through the actions of the bishops but through the megaphone of the professional heresy hunters who have branded and marketed themselves for that purpose. I am just applying your logic to the situation at hand. Many also come to have their “anxieties and doubts” reinforced and their “troubling states” encouraged, not only by the public humiliation of the Holy Father, but also by the perception that they can have more trust in internet blowhards like us than the bishops who have been appointed by the Holy Father and are called to carry out the apostolic mission entrusted to them by Christ. Yes,

    “[t]hose who relentlessly criticize the Church, Her leaders, and especially the Holy Father, do immense harm to the Church Herself and discourage both potential converts and those struggling to stay faithful through the crisis that is all around us. The sad reputation of “traditional Catholics” as angry dissidents from virtually everything in the Church today is as well deserved as the reputations of those rightly described as modernists.”

    I agree entirely with the last paragraph. There are assets and liabilities in all of this. My point is you really should not be so sure of yourself in this. David thought better of putting his hand on the anointed of the Lord, and for that, among other reasons, God found him worthy to King. There is a great measure of providence here that has nothing to do with calculation.

  38. “professional heresy hunters”

    “internet blowhards”

    Fr. Geiger,
    Your language clearly shows your animus towards Michael Voris. And considering you were so quick to jump on the “anti-semitic” bandwagon last year against him–which was pure slander–and refused to retract such calumny when I asked you to–I have a hard time taking any of your criticism seriously.

  39. What never ceases to amaze me is that the devotees of the sacred heresy hunters get so upset about a little incoming invective, when then the grand armory of invective is Church Militant TV.


    BTW, I applied “internet blowhard” to myself as well.

    I am sure MV will survive my little quip.

    And the highly nuanced bit about the Jews from him was boilerplate SSPX. No apology forthcoming. No one is forced to make videos and call themselves Real Catholic TV or Church Militant TV. That is elective. He can buck up and keep marching. He has gone to war by his own choice.

  40. “the devotees of the sacred heresy hunters”

    Gee, Father, what a charitable and fatherly way to respond. Could you make your ill will any more obvious?

    Oh, MV will survive, all right, just as he survived your schadenfreude over his “beat down” (in your words) by Simcha Fisher’s husband–a truly puerile and detestable piece of slander for which Fisher was privately rebuked by National Catholic Register, but which you, a Catholic priest, considered so fine piece of journalism that you went out of your way to link to it. Yes, he will survive this, and all the missiles fired at him from ill-intentioned critics.

  41. “And the highly nuanced bit about the Jews from him was boilerplate SSPX. No apology forthcoming.”

    Nonsense. No apology is forthcoming because no apology is needed. The video on the Jews was boilerplate Catholic orthodoxy. It’s a rejection of the dual covenant theory (which is heretical) in favor of supersessionism, which is orthodox, and teaches the fulfillment and replacement of the Mosaic Covenant by the New Covenant in Christ. Considering Voris does not and has never supported the SSPX, your attempt to link him to them is disingenuous at best.

    • This is as much of what I actually said that I can find, there may be more, but this is essentially my point:

      The problem in the SSPX is not just Bishop Williamson. In December, Bishop Fellay said Vatican II was a not a Council of the Church but one of the Jews, Masons and Modernists. In its literature the SSPX draws a hard line between prejudice against Jews because of their race and that against their religion, and excuses their conspiracy theories on that basis. By the way, Michael Voris takes the same line. Antisemitism has been a problem among traditionalists for a long time and it goes largely unchecked from within (from a comment on Dawn Eden’s post, in which I have not found the comment, but the quote is here).

      Voris does draw that line, and that my friend is disingenuous.

      • Back then, I asked you to give me proof that “Michael Voris takes the same line” as the SSPX, because your statement was borderline slanderous. All you offered was ONE video in which Michael Voris offered orthodox Church teaching rejecting dual covenant theology in favor of supersessionism. There was nothing, absolutely nothing, in that video that could even hint at anti-semitism (and there’s an obvious reason for that: MICHAEL VORIS IS NOT ANTI-SEMITIC). And nothing in Kellmeyer’s analysis states that either. In fact, he agrees that “Voris is correct to allude to the fact that Catholicism is just the completion of Judaism. He is correct to say that ancient Judaism looks a lot like Catholicism sometimes, but it is different.” He quibbles with some things Voris left out–but then again, Kellmeyer seems to think a 5-minute Vortex should have the same nuance and complexity as a theological treatise.

        • “person111”

          If you comment on my blog you do it under one name and one email address. We don’t do the sock puppet thing here. I won’t tell you again.

          I knew I had written something more on this. I never posted it as far as I can tell. Having read it again, I stand by it. Here it is:


          I would like to clarify something I said in the comment section on Dawn Eden’s recent post, in regard to the opinions of Michael Voris and the Jews and why I though it important to mention it.  Understandably, Dawn eventually closed the comments and I did not have a chance to respond adequately to objections made to my claim.

          This is the statement of mine in question:

          In its literature the SSPX draws a hard line between prejudice against Jews because of their race and that against their religion, and excuses their conspiracy theories on that basis. BTW, Michael Voris takes the same line.

          You can read it in context here.

          Christine Niles took exception to my comment, saying:

          It is absolutely false to claim that Michael Voris denies the Holocaust or is even the slightest bit anti-Semitic.

          And then after I attempted to clarify, she wrote:

          You have slandered Michael Voris by claiming that he is anti-semitic–and the only thing you can proffer is a video in which Voris (rightly) rejects dual covenant theology and upholds the Church’s doctrine on supersessionism.

          The fact is in that video, Michael Voris does say exactly what I said he does, namely, that antisemitism is hatred for the race of the Jews and not contempt for them in their religion.  I am not the first person to notice the problem. In fact, one of Voris’ admirers, Steve Kellmeyer, also finds the video very problematic.  Not only does the distinction race, when applied to the “Jews,” have all the wrong connotations, the connected argument that the Jewish religion, after Christ’s coming, is simply “man-made” as Voris also claims, is the loophole through which the Rad Trads excuse themselves of equating Jews with Christ-haters.  See one of the unapproved comments to Dawn’s post:

          Catholic Traditionalists are not anti-semitic; they are anti-Jew; that is to say, it is not about the race of Jews but about the Messiah-Denying of The Jews – that is what makes them Jews and that is why for instance, that St John’s Gospel is anti-Jewish, not anti-semitic.

          (That is one hell of a split hair.)

          How far does Michael Voris go in this regard?  I do not know, and I never implied anything beyond what I have explicitly stated.  But, like Steve Kellmeyer, I find this kind of argumentation problematic.  And I also find this typical of the crypto-traditionalism of which Voris is a good example.  Voris ticks all the boxes: the novus ordo is valid but a danger to one’s faith; what we need is a nice benevolent dictatorship to control all the undesirables; the SSPX is going to save the Church; the Jews as a “race” are okay, but their religion is manmade.

          There is a reason why the Church on Good Friday no longer prays for the Chosen People by identifying them as “the faithless Jews” and why even today in the Extraordinary Form of the Good Friday celebration, Pope Benedict has commanded a new version of the prayer for the Jews be used which excludes the phrases: “remove the veil from their hearts,” “Jewish faithlessness” and “blindness of that people.”  The problem is the assumption of actual sin on the part of real individual people who belong to a “nation-race” and religion and who then are appropriately labeled.

          Would the Church be antisemitic if it continued to pray otherwise? No, not per se.  But this way of speaking is inherently problematic and goes too far toward the very aberrations that the real antisemites among the traditionalists excuse in the name of Catholic doctrine.

          Nostra Aetate says the following:

          True, the Jewish authorities and those who followed their lead pressed for the death of Christ; still, what happened in His passion cannot be charged against all the Jews, without distinction, then alive, nor against the Jews of today. Although the Church is the new people of God, the Jews should not be presented as rejected or accursed by God, as if this followed from the Holy Scriptures. All should see to it, then, that in catechetical work or in the preaching of the word of God they do not teach anything that does not conform to the truth of the Gospel and the spirit of Christ (4).

          Thus, the hard line between the identification of the Jews as a “race” for which their can be no excuse for persecution and the Jews as the people of manmade religion which has rejected Christ is precisely what the magisterium has rejected, and for good reason.

          In the SSPX document The Mystery of the Jewish People in History, by Rev. Frs. Michael Crowdy & Kenneth Novak take the race vs. religion argument to its logical conclusion: the Jewish people are the “theological enemy;” their religion “is inimical to all nations in general, and in a special manner to Christian nations;” and after the death and resurrection of Christ the two great opposing forces in the world are Christianity and Judaism.  Thus, according to the SSPX document: “the only protection of the Gentile people against enslaving itself to the material superiority of the Jewish people is the Catholic life.”  In what way are Christian gentiles enslaved by the material superiority of the Jews, according to this document? By direct persecution, Jewish conspiracies against the Christian state, Jewish control of property by usury, and the targeted killing of Christians by Jews.

          Is that what Michael Voris believes?  I hope not.  I have never heard him suggest it.  I just wish to point out where the logic leads.

          Recently, it has been suggested to me that really antisemitism is related only incidentally to traditionalism, or radical traditionalism, if you like; that it is just a problem with Bishop Williamson and his sympathizers and the other splinter groups to the right of the SSPX, like the sedevacantists.  But I would remind everyone of the very recent history of the dialogue between the Holy See and Bishop Bernard Fellay.

          Since I wrote the above, a great deal has happened. Voris has been playing footsie for some time with those who lean hard toward the SSPX and is now cheering on the idea that they be reconciled without an agreement.

          • There was no intent to switch accounts to cause confusion. I must have logged into whatever account it is you need to log into here (WordPress?)–quite frankly, I can’t remember. I tend to comment in numerous places online, and I don’t keep track of where, when, or whether I’ve logged into that particular comment system. In any case, anyone who needed to know my identity could easily confirm that I am the same Christine who commented above by clicking on the link for person111, which leads to my personal website with all my info and even a photo. So there was no intent to confuse or deceive. Perhaps try to give your commenters the benefit of the doubt before leaping to accuse.

            If you want to chase this anti-semitic dead-end, you can–but you are wasting your time, looking for evil where none exists. You have explicitly admitted that “you don’t know” whether Voris goes as far as the SSPX in their suspicion of the Jews. I can lay your fears to rest–he doesn’t come anywhere close.

            And your attempt to label him a “trad” who thinks the Novus Ordo is “harmful to the faith” is erroneous, since he regularly attends the Novus Ordo (in Latin, ad orientem, reverently offered), and fully supports VII as a valid ecumenical council (while agreeing with Bishop Athanasius Schneider that it is full of ambiguous language that should be clarified).

            If you want to go after anti-semitism where it actually exists–more power to you. But trying to connect dots back to Michael Voris is a pointless waste of time. Your time would be better served faithfully serving your flock with edifying commentary than being a “self-professed heresy hunter” where no heresy exists.

            Signed–just so there is no confusion–
            Christine Niles

            • Christine,

              My sincere apologies for judging you harshly. Mea culpa.

              I never called Michael Voris an antisemite. Not ever. But as I said he has been playing footsie with the Rad Trads for a long time and now he is trying not to get sucked down their vortex. His position on the Jews is a problem. That is what I originally said. That is all I said. I stand by it.

              Watch Voris’ “Weapons of Mass Destruction” videos. He goes on for nearly two hours about the dangers of the novus ordo. At one point he compares it to going to a heterodox priest for confession: his absolution is valid, but his advice can be dangerous to your faith. Voris wasn’t making a point about abuses. He was talking about the Ordinary Form itself. He also goes on at length about how Sacrosanctum Concilium is compromised. It is abundantly clear that he believes the novus ordo is “harmful to the faith.”

              Talk about putting confusion and doubt into the minds of the faithful.

  42. I appreciate Terry Carrolls point. Perhaps the problem is that with a criticism of the Pope there must also be a reassurance that he is indeed divinely appointed by the Holy Spirit and duly elected. There must be also in any criticism of the hierarchy and assurance that hell hath not, will not prevail. Yet I shall assert that Popes are also expendable, and thus their criticism is under particular circumstances necessary and helpful in maintaining the integrity of the faith.

    “Pope Benedict IX (1032-1044, 1045, 1047-1048) was the nephew of Benedict VIII and John XIX.[2] Norwood Young calls Benedict IX the “Nero of the Tusculan Papacy. Absolute power appears to paralyse the brain if applied at an early age.”[19] According to Cushing, “the report of [his] crimes and deviance became ever more squalid as the latter reformers grew in power” but was for the first 12 years of his papacy “adequate and credible, if not perhaps immensely pious.”[2] Another interpretation of his first twelve years is provided by successor Victor III:

    (of Benedict IX) “Leading a life so shameful, so foul, so execrable that he shuddered to describe it. He ruled like a captain of banditti, rather than a prelate. Adulteries, homicides perpetrated by his own hand, passed unnoticed, unrevenged; for the patrician of the city, Gregory, was the brother of the Pope; and another brother, Peter, an active partisan […] The oppressed people at length grew weary of his robberies, murders, and abominations. They rose and drove him from the city, and proceeded to the election of John Bishop of Sabina, who took the name Silvester III.[20]”

    The faith is built on the Trinity first, the hierarchy, much like the original 12 apostles was second, no man is beyond reproach. The Office of the Pope, as to a lesser extent the office of all bishops is indeed the Rock, but the office extends to whoever happens to hold it, the holder can and will change. In this regard, I believe that Church history and to some extent the present day Eastern Churches have a more proper healthy understanding of the balance between the local bishops, archbishops and Pope’s governing of the Church. An equal fear of criticism extends to Pope, Patriarch, Archbishop, Bishop, Priest, Deacon, Subdeacon and dare I say the door keeper! (usher).

    The Pope is not a sacred pedestal beyond reproach. He is not a political figure. He is the vicar of Christ, the servant of the servants of God. Tu es pastor ovium, Princeps Apostolorum: tibi traditae sunt claves regni caelorum. Quodcumque ligaveris super terram erit ligatum et in caelis; et quoadcumque solveris super terram, erit solutum et in caelis: dicit Dominus Simoni Petro!
    Whatsoever thou shalt bind on earth shall be bound in heaven: and whatsoever thou shalt loose on earth shall be loosed in heaven: said the Lord unto Simon Peter!

    The days of being on the defense from the reformation are behind us, humanist protestantism is dieing, let us convert the world to the true faith with confidence that we shall find both joy and suffering from it!

  43. Fr. Geiger,
    Apology accepted. I in turn apologize if any of my language has been too sharp.

    CMTV has written a statement on its official position with regard to the SSPX. I believe this document was written before the one now circulating on papal criticism. There is much duplicate content in each document, but the main point of this one is to clarify that CMTV does not “support, promote or encourage the SSPX or its sympathizers.”

  44. Just to be clear, the link to our statement on the SSPX should be considered a “draft” that will be finalized and published on our web site in conjunction with a report scheduled for mid-April. For the moment, that link has only been sent to individual email correspondents asking for our assessment of the SSPX, but it does accurately reflect our judgment. There will be additional wordsmithing before final publication, but the substance of our statement is unlikely to change.

    The overlap between our statement on papal criticism and the one on the SSPX is intentional. The individuals and publications cited as examples of improper papal criticism all have in common that they are unashamed supporters, even cheerleaders, for the SSPX. One leads almost inevitably to the other, the existence of the SSPX being unimaginable absent relentless criticism of “New Rome” and its “modernist Pope and clergy.” Failure to recognize the SSPX (and independent Catholicism and sedevacantism) as a metastasis of the very “cancer” in the Church to which they claim to be a “faithful response” is the root cause of their failure to understand our statement on papal criticism.

    We did not say, and no one here in this discussion has said, that papal criticism is off limits. There is too much historical precedent in the lives of Saints and Doctors of the Church to declare criticism of the Pope, or anyone else in the hierarchy, to be out of bounds. It’s a question of “where” and “how,” not “whether.” Our objection is to PUBLIC criticism of the Holy Father, mass media campaigns only possible today that, in our judgment, would never be undertaken by critics in the past.

    As for whether this same thinking shouldn’t be applied with equal vigor to criticism of Bishops and Cardinals, that is a matter of prudential judgment. Our statement on papal criticism was a response to the FAQ (“frequently asked question”) “Why don’t you criticize the Pope for saying and doing things that, when done by bishops, you attack with vigor?” We have answered that in our published statement and, if anyone actually reads what it says rather than what it is reported to have said, it should be obvious that we “draw the line” when it comes to criticizing the Pope for some very specific reasons, not least of which are the consequences of such papal criticism seen in the existence of the SSPX.

    • Terry,

      Thanks for your response. I understand it as a serious and sincere attempt to deal with a difficult situation. You might appreciate, however, that I personally do not find it satisfying.

      The main reason for this is that you are sending mixed messages. Michael Voris’ very recent (less than a week ago) interview with Patrick Archbold was a softball approach to the proposal that the Society be reconciled without an agreement. It is hard to imagine why CMTV would think this even remotely advisable given the positions you have taken in writing relative to the SSPX. It seems that from the links you have provided that you would be forced to agree with me that such an arrangement would be disastrous, and that it should neither be recommended or even suggested as a possibility.

      Yet on the other hand it is hard to imagine that Michael Voris would really be so adverse to either the positions or activity of the SSPX since he has been openly associated, not only with Louie Verrecchio, but also Christopher Ferrara, John Vennari and Michael Matt, all well known apologists for the SSPX. In fact, Louie Verrecchio seems to be speaking for all of them when he characterizes the publication of your disclaimer as “manifestogate.” For the same reasons, but with inverse motivations, he sees the same problem that I do.

      I would also respectfully suggest that you send mixed messages when you say that the Vatican itself can’t make up its mind. It’s policies regarding SSPX priests, and what they could and could not do as priests of the Roman Church—not excommunicated, but also without canonical status or ministry—is by its very nature complicated and directed toward reconciliation. That the Church would grant confessional solutions that favor the penitent, when a case is presented by an SSPX priest, is simply a pastoral solution that favors the penitent, not the SSPX priest.

      The source for the story about the nun whose transfer to an SSPX convent was allegedly approved by the Vatican is the SSPX sisterhood itself. I think it is entirely fair to say that the Society beginning with Bishop Fellay himself have a way of spinning their stories in favor of their agenda.

      It seems that the “transfer” took place sometime in mid to late 2011, during the negations of the SSPX with the Ecclesia Dei concerning the doctrinal preamble—a sensitive time for an entity whose situation within the Church was liquid. Furthermore, religious who are bent on leaving their communities are regularly granted dispensations or exclaustrations, rather than have them risk incurring canonical penalties. Even so, the Congregation could hardly grant a transfer to a community over which it has no jurisdiction (because no jurisdiction exists) making a canonical transfer impossible.

      So I suggest again that it is CMTV that is sending mixed messages not the Vatican. The words of the Vatican and its actions correspond.

      Likewise, you send even more disconcerting mixed messages when you suggest that there might be some wisdom in the refusal of the SSPX to reconcile because of what is happening with my community and then in the next sentence recommend that they be humble and obedient like St. Mary MacKillop. Which is it?

      It is unfortunate that journalists and apologists for traditionalism, crypto-traditionalism, neo-traditionalism or whatever brand might be acceptable in the targeted market find themselves qualified to pontificate on the situation within my Institute. Admittedly, this has been encouraged by the fact that the Holy See’s efforts to resolve the problems within our Institute have been frustrated by leaking of private documents (Fratileaks) and the propaganda by which the community has been instrumentalized in the service of the traditionalist cause. This has been done by people who simply are not in a position to know what is really going on within a community that has been internally divided for longer than they know, about things of which they have little or no knowledge.

      It is not about Summorum Pontificum, which was universally accepted in the Institute from the beginning. I am not going to try explaining it to you, because by its nature, it is not a situation that can be arbitrated in the public forum or in the court of popular opinion. I will tell you this. The public spectacle has made our situation all the worse. No one has done us, on either side, any favors.

      I certainly can’t stop you or anyone else from talking about our situation, but may God have mercy on those who have made the Holy See the enemy in all this. It is the Church, and only the Church, not the friars, and not the blowhards of whatever stripe, that is going to solve the problem. Sentire cum ecclesia.

      Finally, I pray for you, Michael and your organization. Pope Francis is not naked. But you have said he is. It is too late to pretend that is not what you think. You have already made a public spectacle of it, because in my opinion, you have been forced by the agenda you adopted long ago. CMTV would like to be the flagship of the counter-revolution. But you have have no ecclesiastical mandate. Mind you I am not saying you are acting illegally. What I am saying is that God did not send you.

      Pope Francis is the one sent by God to speak in his name. He is the one, along with the bishops who have the apostolic mandate. I am not an ultramontanist, but like Bl. Newman I know that no good will come from the “prophecy” of those to whom the Lord did not speak. You think you were sent by God for this task? Then take the whole thing and place it at the feet of the Holy Father. Or prophecy to him, to his face, if you think you are Catherine of Sienna.

      The true prophets of God had no guarantee of infallibility, and sometimes they made mistakes, but it is the providence of God, who calls the prophet and guides history, that provides the guarantee. None of the popes with whom you imply that you have problems have wanted the Church to be a police state. Neither do I. But God did not send you or The Remnant, or Catholic Family News to prophesy in his name. I hope you step back from the brink, because the indication to me is that you have not. I have been concerned about the direction Michael Voris has been taking for a long time, as he can tell you.

      Touch not my anointed ones, do my prophets no harm! (ps 105:15).

  45. At the end of every Mass at my parish we all pray for the grace to die rather than commit the smallest, deliberate venial sin.

    I’m inclined to think you would rather die than perceive within yourself the slightest degree of approval or agreement with anything that Michael Voris says or does. You have him pegged in a particular way and no evidence to the contrary can penetrate your prejudice. You thoroughly distrust him and everything he does. I find that frustrating because it impairs honest communication. No matter what we say, you will find something about it that you don’t believe is honest or sincere.

    It amazes me that you could take our reference to the situation within your Institute and judge that as a subtle approval of the SSPX. Are you not familiar with the rhetorical device of “You have heard it said … but I say”? Surely you are familiar with the SSPX almost crowing over their “wisdom” in not reconciling with Rome because they perceive that what has occurred within your Institute is something that most likely would happen to them? We reference them in the manner of “You have heard it said …” and then REJECT their response! We have offered no opinion whatsoever on the situation within your Institute, privately or publicly, and we have no intention to do so because that would call into question the Church Herself and, as you may have noticed, we’re not going to do that! INSTEAD, we offer the example of St. Mary MacKillop as the PROPER and CATHOLIC response to perceived injustice at the hands of the Church. We invite the SSPX to take the risk of becoming Saints by reconciling with the Church and risking injustice, even martyrdom.

    This isn’t a veiled judgment of the justice of injustice of what is going on within your Institute. It’s saying that EVEN IF what is happening within your Institute is unjust (and we have no opinion on this), that doesn’t justify disobedience or separation from the Church. St. Mary MacKillop is our example of how a Catholic SHOULD respond. The SSPX is an example of how a Catholic SHOULD NOT respond.

    We, too, consider that the “mixed signals” that have come from Rome at different times may be the product of premature optimism over the hoped for outcome of the talks with the SSPX, or actions that should be understood as “pastoral” in response to individual circumstances and not to be universalized. Prior to the clear statement from Pope Benedict that the SSPX have NO canonical status (not merely an “irregular” canonical status), there had been all sorts of generous and even accommodating statements made by the Curia that the SSPX have used, like the good Protestants that they are, to their own advantage. But their canonical status is now very clear and there is no basis for confusion going forward. It’s now up to them to decide whether they want to be Catholic.

    As for prior associations with those individuals and publications we have just criticized, there is now a line in the sand between us and, after our report on the SSPX in April, there’s liable to be a trench. We had and still have hopes that we could all work together, but there is a “false ecumenism” — an ignoring of disagreements on matters of Truth — that we will not entertain. We will not cooperate nor be allied with anyone who can’t recognize the seriousness of lack of communion with the Chair of Peter, which criticism of Peter suggests and groups like the SSPX effect.

    I’m not going to try to engage you on valid discernment of our apostolic vocation. It’s unfortunate that our local Ordinary has never agreed to meet or speak with us at all. We have begged him to play the role of spiritual father for us. But we have a very large number of clergy and bishops, from here and all over the world, who ARE involved with us and who DO offer us guidance, and we seek their input regularly. Many have told us to keep doing what we are doing because we are doing something that they themselves, for a variety of reasons, can’t do. Neither you nor we can say, with certainty, that “God didn’t send us.” All we can do is seek, daily, to be faithful to God’s Will for ourselves as individuals and as an apostolate. Everyone, without exception, is under spiritual direction.

    You may have been able to make a case in the past that we were more sympathetic to the SSPX than you judge wise, but no such case can be made now. Maybe we have matured in our understanding and, if so, celebrate that rather than question and doubt our integrity or transparency. We believe we have a role to play in the Catholic counter-revolution. We have no idea where we fit in God’s plans but we have faith that He will continue to make it known and that we will never hesitate to follow His lead. St. Mary MacKillop, pray for us!

    • Terry,

      I gather you are using a bit of well-intentioned hyperbole when you compare my alleged avoidance of praising Michael Voris to the obligation and grace of shunning every sin, including venial, even at the cost of our life.  It is true that my interest in CMTV has more to do with what I can’t agree with, than with what I can.  Michael Voris and your organization get plenty of deserved praise.  My hats off to you for earning it, but in my estimation, not all the praise is deserved.  The reason for that happens to be something of personal interest to me, and I write about such things in this little capsule in this far off quadrant of cyberspace.

      So I commend Michael Voris and CMTV for the great work at catechesis and the correction of doctrinal error.  However, my failure to do this before now does not vitiate my criticism, which is not the product of bias, but of objective observation.  In any case, I am not aware of having questioned your sincerity.  I said I did not find your arguments consistent.

      And I am sorry if I took your opinions about my Institute as implying sympathetic regard for the SSPX.  It is just that you referred to the “current persecution” of my Institute, as though it was simply a matter of fact.  Who is doing the persecution, Terry, and what would you really know about it except the gossip you have heard on the Internet?  As far as the comparison with St. Mary MacKillop, no propaganda campaign ensued from her case.  (I want to make clear that I am not making an accusation against anyone, just noting the plain indisputable facts:  the leaked documents had their origin from within my Institute and were leaked to the traditionalist blogs.  Again, I do not know who is personally responsible for it.  I am just pointing out the fact and taking the opportunity to say how appalling I find it.)  This seems to be more akin to the methods of the SSPX than of St. Mary MacKillop.  Perhaps it was just a misunderstanding on my part, or perhaps it might be another case of mixed messages on yours.

      Regarding to the alleged mixed messages of the Vatican.  I admit that some of the pastoral decisions coming out of Rome prior to the lifting to the excommunication of the SSPX bishops were confusing, but I don’t believe they were confusing to anyone (except the SSPX) as to why such decisions were made, namely, in the interest of the care of souls.  Beyond that, I am not sure why it was the Vatican’s fault that anyone was under the illusion that the SSPX had canonical status when the bishops were excommunicated.  After all, they were excommunicated.  The “clarification” of Pope Benedict came with the lifting of the excommunication:  “the Society has no canonical status in the Church, and its ministers – even though they have been freed of the ecclesiastical penalty – do not legitimately exercise any ministry in the Church.”  (Actually, he says:  “In order to make this clear once again . . .”).  So, I don’t see why you would consider the Vatican to be saying one thing and doing something else.

      The same is true in regard to the events surrounding the breakdown of the dialogue.  The alleged mixed messages were delivered to the world by Bishop Fellay who claimed that he had sources (unnamed sources) close to the Holy Father that were saying this and that, while the official sources at Ecclesia Dei and the CDF were abundantly clear:  an agreement is not imminent, and the signing of the preample remains a condition sine qua non for regularization.  So I think it is a stretch to say that the Vatican was saying one thing and doing something else.  Frankly, the only people who I ever heard say this were those who believed the withholding of status and ministry from the SPPX was an injustice on the part of the Holy See.  And still Michael Voris thinks it would be great just to welcome them back in without holding their feet to the fire.  So what does that mean?  Just saying.

      Actually, for what it is worth, I am glad you have drawn a line in the sand, and said as much in the body of this post, so its counterfactual to say that I can’t bring myself to say anything good about Michael Voris.  So were you trying to “evangelize” the people over at The Remnant and Catholic Family News?  Because you could hardly have been confused about where they have stood for years and years and years.  There sure are no mixed messages over there.  I mean criticism of the Pope is their bread and butter, as criticism of the bishops is yours.

      I am sorry you do not have good relations with your local ordinary.  I wonder why he keeps his distance and why, as you claim, there are so many priests and bishops who do support you but who don’t themselves want to follow your path.  I understand that in hard times the temptation is to operate beyond the reach of ecclesiastical supervision.  I wonder if “spiritual father,” in regard to the bishop means actual supervision with authority or something else.  I would still say, that since you don’t have an apostolic or canonical mandate, you could find out whether you are really sent by God by submitting yourself to the judgment of the visible Church, rather than to that of unnamed supporters.  You could even, like I said, go right to the Holy Father.  Just my opinion.

      I do wish the best for you, Michael Voris and all those over there at CMTV, and I remember you at the altar.  I guess that is where for now I will have to “celebrate” in the interests of your work.  I have to admit that my use of the term “counter-revolution” was loaded.  In the traditionalist world it is the movement directed against the so-called revolution of Vatican II.  (See Michael’s Weapons of Mass Destruction.)  I hope that as you choose to follow God’s lead, you remember to place your work at the feet of his Vicar here on earth, the universal and supreme shepherd of the flock.

  46. Fascinating discussion going on here, and I think a very illuminating one. Terry Carroll, you honestly don’t understand what a confusing message is being sent by your organization? You go tooth and nail after the bishops in every move they make. As I have stated elsewhere, Voris has even criticized Cardinal Dolan for smiling and laughing too much! The priests and bishops, as flawed as they may be, as great sinners as they may be, are the ones through whom the Holy Spirit is working to lead us to salvation. Voris has actually called on priests and bishops to leave the ministry and leave the Church! Do you honestly believe this is the work of the Holy Spirit? The work of the Holy Spirit is to constantly call to repentance, not to openly judge and condemn. As Father Angelo has stated here, there most definitely can be times when a lay person should correct a prelate. But on an every day basis?! I am most sure that is not what St. Thomas Aquinas was talking about.

    As Father stated, he and Louie Verrecchio are actually in agreement, but for totally opposite reasons. Louie Verrecchio in his video released yesterday wondered how you can go after the priests and bishops with no hesitation, but somehow draw the line at the Pope when, in Verrecchio’s words, the Pope is doing the same thing as the bishops. You say it is because you can’t attack the head, no matter how wrong he may be. But as Verrecchio correctly states, it is because you have installed an attitude of rebellion among your listeners that they are so ready to attack the Pope.

    Church Militant has caused and is causing rebellion among the Catholic laity. All of my traditionalist friends love your organization and think you are wonderful. And without exception, all of my traditionalist friends are ardent critics of the hierarchy of the Church. You wrote, ” It’s one thing to attack diseased parts of a body, even amputate parts if the health of the body requires it. It’s quite another thing to attack the head and encourage people to think that separation from the head could be a good outcome.” C’mon! You can’t tell a dog it is okay to tear someone’s arms and legs off, but leave the head alone. It just doesn’t work.

    Our Lord told us to spread the Gospel, which means “Good News.” St. Paul wrote, “Finally, brothers and sisters, whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable–if anything is excellent or praiseworthy–think about such things.” Yet Church Militant tells us that their job is to “expose lies and falsehoods” and to constantly think on these things. I’m not saying we should hide our heads in the sand and pretend everything is wonderful. But there is something terribly wrong when all you can talk about is how evil the hierarchy of the Church is.

    If you refuse to listen to an ordained priest of the Catholic church, you most assuredly are not going to listen to my words. But I thank Father for giving me this opportunity to sound off.

  47. Mary,
    Yesterday we had a dinner guest spend many hours with us. He was raised Baptist,then his father decided the family should become part of the Jahova Wintess cult….my friend broke away from that when he came of age.
    We discussed his religion and mine. Somehow we ended up discussing the dogma of the Immaculate Conception and Mary’s perpetual virginity. Certainly not intended….but the Holy Spirit, we agreed, was guiding the conversation.
    I think I hit him with a tsunamis! In the beginning he refused to believe what he heard….he left our house saying he would pray psalm 131 “Humble Trust in God” and talk to Jesus’ Mother! His Mother! No one ever told him that Mary was his Mother, too!
    I believe sincere, charitable discussion has more impact on helping people find the Church than stuffing doctrine down one’s throat. Its all about love of one’s neighbor…because we are all redeemed by Christ’s blood.
    My friend is coming back eager to hear more! I am sure this will be a fruitful Lent for him… 😉
    May the peace of Christ be with us all!

  48. Pingback: Church Militant TV Weighs In | Mary Victrix

  49. Dear Father,

    Thank you noting the unintended judgment of the situation within your Institute contained in our use of the phrase “current persecution.” We have now changed our public statement to read “what is perceived as happening with the Franciscan Friars of the Immaculate (FFI)” and in the still unpublished statement on the SSPX the phrase is now “perceived persecution.” I hope you judge that satisfactory. There IS the perception of injustice within “traditional” Catholic settings, but it’s not something about which we have an opinion, public or otherwise, and we don’t want to suggest anything by our poor choice of words.

    Although we intended no judgment, I understand how it could be received that way, particularly by those within your difficult situation. Our intention was to dismiss the SSPX claim that the current “difficulties” within your Institute are sufficient justification for their ongoing and intransigent disobedience to the Church and to hold up, instead, the example of St. Mary MacKillop as the more Catholic response to perceived injustice.

    As for the rest of your response, I’m satisfied that we have heard each other and don’t see a need to discuss further. It’s always positive if people who disagree feel heard. It builds a good foundation for further discussions.

    Terry Carroll

  50. Pingback: Who Cares Who Michael Voris Isn't Talking About? - Catholic Stand : Catholic Stand

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